air compressor as pressure washer

How to Use air compressor as Pressure washer? Ultimate guide + 3 top pressure washer air compressor attachments

When performing a deep clean on your outdoor surfaces, nothing beats the thoroughness of a pressure washer. Although your regular garden hose can manage a lot of cleaning, you will need a pressure washer for more detailed cleaning. But what happens when you do not own a pressure washer? Can you use your air compressor as pressure washer?

Air compressors are versatile tools for many tasks, from inflating tires, powering tools, operating pneumatic equipment, or even unclogging your sink. Utilizing its various applications, you can turn an air compressor into a pressure washer. However, an air compressor power washer can only provide power a few notches higher than a garden hose. It can never match the ultimate power that a pressure washer delivers. Still, for many of your cleaning tasks, an air compressor, along with a pressure washer attachment for the air compressor, can handle the job well.

This post will guide you through turning an air compressor into a pressure washer using the right attachments. We will also list the best three pressure washer attachments for air compressors on our list we would always recommend you invest in.

Alternatives to pressure washer

Sometimes you do not have access to a pressure washer or perhaps you lack the garage space or the cost attached to buying and operating a pressure washer. In such a case, there are many alternatives to pressure washers. These alternatives include garden hoses, buckets & sponge cleaning, using hot water for cleaning, soft washing, or pressure washing with air compressor that saves you from the hassle of using your own elbow. Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses which will ultimately impact their cleaning ability. This blog post will mainly discuss the use of air compressor for pressure washing.

How do Air compressors work?

Air compressors are incredible tools that convert power into potential energy stored in pressurized air. They work on a simple principle. When the air is compressed into a smaller space, the air molecules compress in volume while the pressure increases. Air compressors confine air into such small spaces and release them where needed resulting in high pressure. This high-pressure air is used to power many tools and devices.

Can you Use air compressor as pressure washer?

Use air compressor as pressure washer

Usually, a garden hose delivers a pressure of around 40 – 70 PSI, far below that of a pressure washer which works on at least 1300 PSI and above. When attached to an air compressor, the garden hose can still deliver a maximum pressure of 200 PSI. Therefore, even if you convert your regular hose into a pressure washer using an air compressor power-washer attachment, you can handle only a few cleaning tasks that do not require much pressure.

However, if you still want your air compressor as power washer to handle your light-duty cleaning, you can use it as a maintenance pressure washer using the right attachments. Below is a list of equipment to convert your air compressor to a pressure washer.

Three essential Air compressor pressure washer attachments

To convert your air compressor to a power washer, you will require a pressure washer conversion kit or a washer wand connecting to the air compressor. It includes an air compressor water gun, a high-pressure hose, and connectors.

How to convert an air compressor into a power washer – step by step

Now that you have all the air compressor pressure washer attachments available and you might be wondering how to turn this air compressor into a pressure washer, we have discussed the steps below so that you do not mess up.

1.      Ensure that you have a compatible air compressor

Before you start, make sure that the air compressor you want to use as a pressure washer is compatible with that power washer. For an air compressor to work smoothly as a pressure washer, it should have a minimum of 4 CFM and 90 PSI.

2.      Assemble all the parts

Now, you can attach your pressure washer wand to the air compressor. It usually involves connecting the high-pressure hose to the air compressor and the other end to the pressure washer gun.

3.      Connect the water supply

The next step is to attach the garden hose to the water supply. Make sure that the water supply is smooth and connected securely.

4.      Connect the pressure washer attachment

The other end of the garden hose must be connected to an air compressor pressure washer attachment that looks like a spray gun. Ensure all connections are tight and secure to prevent air or water leakage.

5.      Begin pressure washing

Now, turn on the faucet and point your spray gun to the targeted area. Squeeze the trigger to release a high-pressure stream of water. Start at low pressure and increase it gradually.

Top 3 air compressor pressure washer attachments

Our experts have listed the top picks for pressure washer air compressor attachments to help you choose the right product.

1.      Turbo jet power washer high-pressure spray nozzle

air compressor pressure washer attachment

The Turbo Jet Power Washer High-Pressure Spray Nozzle is a cheap and valuable solution for simple to medium-sized outdoor cleaning activities. It produces a high-pressure spray that effectively blasts away dirt and grime and attaches quickly to a typical garden hose. Even though it is inadequate for demanding work, it shines in terms of use, toughness, and overall value for the money. Ideal for homeowners searching for convenient, adaptable equipment for routine exterior cleaning. Overall, a fantastic addition to your cleaning toolkit. 4.25 out of 5 stars.

2.      Simpson Cleaning 80147 Universal Pressure Washer Gun

simpson cleaning pressure washer gun

A premium, functional addition to any homeowner’s pressure cleaning toolkit is the Simpson Cleaning 80147 Universal Pressure Washer Gun. However, its most notable quality must be its universality since it easily connects with many pressure washer brands and models and hoses. Because of its compatibility, it is an excellent option for anyone who wants to pressure wash with an air compressor using a regular garden hose.

The Simpson Cleaning 80147 has the drawback of being a little more expensive than its rivals, but given its reliable design, compatibility, and performance, the price is more than justified. Overall, the Simpson Cleaning 80147 is a beautiful option if you’re looking for a dependable, powerful, and adaptable pressure washer gun. Score: 4.5/5.

3.      APACHE Hose & Belting Pressure Washer Gun KIT

pressure washer spray gun kit

A durable and highly effective cleaning tool, the APACHE Hose & Belting Pressure Washer Gun KIT provides outstanding performance for various washing tasks. The APACHE Washer Gun Kit has a respectable build quality and a comfortable grip, making it simple to operate for extended periods. It is easy to assemble and the manufacturer’s instructions are simple to follow.

Its hose connection compatibility can be a minor downside despite its many advantages. It could be difficult for some users to connect it with unconventional hoses. The APACHE air pressure cleaner gun KIT provides exceptional performance, adaptability, and value for the money, making it an excellent choice for professionals and homeowners. Score: 4.3/5.


Many light to medium cleaning tasks can be quickly and affordably solved by using an air compressor as pressure washer. To make the most of this arrangement, consider the following advice:

  • Make Sure it is Compatible: Not all air compressors are appropriate for pressure washing. For your compressor to accurately imitate a pressure washer, it must have a minimum of 4 CFM at 90 PSI.
  • Choose the Proper Attachments: It’s crucial to have a pressure washer wand or converter kit that suits your air compressor. Typically, this package comes with a high-pressure hose, connections, a pressure washer gun, and a wand.
  • Securing Every Connection: Ensure the connections between the water supply, pressure washer attachment, and air compressor are safe. Unsecured connections can decrease the performance of your setup.
  • Pressure Increase Gradually: Start with a low-pressure setting and raise it over time. By doing this, surfaces that cannot withstand high pressure will be protected.
  • Use suitable nozzles: The nozzle you use can affect how effectively you clean. Choose the nozzle that best suits the cleaning task because different nozzles produce varying pressure levels and spray angles.
  • Wear Safety Gear: Wear safety eyewear and ear protection when using an air compressor. Debris may fly around due to the high-pressure output, and the compressor may be loud.
  • Check and maintain your air compressor and pressure washer attachments regularly. It will ensure effective operation and help them live longer.

To wrap it up

Although an air compressor can be modified to serve as a pressure washer, but it might not work as well as a specialist pressure washer. Using this solution as a temporary fix or for cleaning jobs that don’t require much effort is preferable. Due to the differences in their designs, an air compressor can only approximate a pressure washer’s high-pressure water delivery capability. Therefore, purchasing a purpose-built pressure washer would be better if frequent and intense pressure washing is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

1.      Can you use a pressure washer as an air compressor?

The functions of an air compressor and a pressure washer are distinct, reflected in their designs. An air compressor can work as power washer, although the opposite is often impractical due to the way they work.

2.      What is PSI or Hp in an air compressor?

The pressure unit, PSI (pounds per square inch), measures the force exerted over a one-square-inch surface area. The air compressor’s power output is measured in HP (Horsepower). Both of these requirements must be considered when selecting an air compressor.

3.      What is air pressure washing?

Sand or other abrasive materials are used in air pressure washing, sometimes called air blasting, as a cleaning method to remove dirt from surfaces. Contrary to the latter, which depends on water pressure, the former does not involve using an air compressor as a pressure washer.

4.      What is an air pressure washer called?

An air compressor that doubles as a pressure washer is named a pneumatic power washer or a pneumatic pressure washer. It is an air-powered pressure washer gun that serves the purpose of a pressure washer.

5.      Can an air compressor be used as a pressure washer?

An air compressor can be used as a pressure washer with the appropriate attachments. But remember, it won’t deliver the same pressure as a specialized pressure washer.

Also Read How to repair pressure washer hose – expert’s advice

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