homemade pressure washer detergent

5 Top Recipes for Homemade pressure washer detergent

If you are a cleaning freak, you must know that pressure washers are the best outdoor tools that make cleaning tasks a breeze. However, more than a pressure washer is needed to provide the cleaning you require for plenty of your cleaning projects. It is where you realize the importance of a pressure washer detergent that leverages cleaning abilities by efficiently cutting through tough grease, grime, mold, and stains.

However, spending a lot on store-bought pressure washer detergents is absurd. While commercial pressure washer detergents are readily available, many prefer homemade options for their cost-effectiveness and customizable ingredients. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of homemade pressure washer detergent, provide secret recipes of DIY pressure washer soap for different surfaces, discuss the option of making versus buying pressure washer detergent, suggest pressure washer detergent alternatives, offer usage tips, and conclude with key takeaways.


Besides some excellent pressure washer detergents available in the stores, there are solid reasons that might justify the need to prepare your own eco-friendly homemade power washer solution. A few of them are listed below.

  • Cost-effective: Compared to a variety of pressure washer soaps readily available in the market, homemade pressure washer soaps can help you save bucks, provided that you have the required ingredients available at home.
  • Customizable ingredients: Making your detergents gives you more control over the mixture’s constituents, allowing you to eliminate potentially dangerous compounds and adjust them to your cleaning needs.
  • Allergy free: Many pressure washer detergents available in the market are prone to allergies despite claiming they are not or their sharp scents causing headaches. In such cases, a homemade power washer soap can be rescued. The ingredients are essential and primarily used in your day-to-day routine. Hence, prepare your homemade pressure washer detergent if you suffer from allergies like eye or skin irritation or migraines.
  • Known ingredients: Companies making pressure washer detergents never disclose the ingredients they incorporate in their products due to the risk of being copied. Some of these ingredients may harm your children, pets, plants, or any living being around your pressure washing tasks. Homemade pressure washer detergents have ingredients known and safe to use.
  • Environmentally beneficial: Compared to specific commercial competitors, homemade detergents are more eco-friendly because they use natural and biodegradable chemicals.


  • Variable effectiveness: For stubborn stains and labor-intensive cleaning activities, homemade power washer detergents may have different cleaning power than specific commercial solutions.
  • Trial and error: You may need to try a few different homemade detergents for pressure washer recipes before you find the one that works best for your unique cleaning requirements.
  • Limited shelf life: Since homemade detergents typically have a shorter shelf life than commercial goods, making smaller quantities is essential to maintaining freshness and efficiency.

Tip: Do not read further if you’ve decided to buy a commercial pressure washer detergent.


 We have some exciting information now that you are ready to make your DIY power washer soap. You can prepare your homemade pressure washer detergent according to the type of surface that you need to clean. Not all surfaces require equal strength of pressure washer cleaning solution to clean up. So you may adjust the ingredients accordingly. That is the beauty of preparing homemade detergent for a pressure washer. But before we move on, let’s have an idea of commonly used ingredients so you can get a hold of them.

Commonly used household items for DIY pressure washer detergent

  • Water: The most common and essential ingredient.
  • All-purpose household cleaner or Dish detergent: Dish detergent or an all-purpose household cleaner can be the best homemade pressure washer detergent to cut grease, grime, and other tough stains.
  • Vinegar: best known for killing the mildew and mold around the decks, vinegar is best used as an essential ingredient in most homemade pressure washer detergents.
  • Bleach: Bleach has an excellent ability to remove stains. It can be used as one main ingredient in detergent for pressure washers; however, be very careful in its use. Bleach can be hazardous to the eyes and digestive system.
  • Borax: Largely known for cleaning concrete, borax can be the best ingredient for homemade pressure washer detergent for concrete.

1- Homemade pressure washer detergent for concrete

homemade pressure washer detergent for concrete

Concrete is excellent for structural purposes but also great for pressure cleaning. The strength of a pressure washer paired with an efficient detergent can restore the cleanliness and look of concrete surfaces, whether cleaning up tough stains, filth, or grime from driveways, patios, or sidewalks.

RECIPE – Homemade pressure washer soap for concrete
  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • One tablespoon of dish wash soap 1 gallon of water

Combine all the ingredients and use the solution as a homemade pressure washer detergent for concrete.

2- Homemade pressure washer detergent for decks

homemade pressure washer detergent for decks

Wooden deck is a relatively delicate surface to deal with. Hence, pressure washing with a low-grade detergent can do the job well.

RECIPE – Homemade pressure washer soap for decks

  • 1/3 cup laundry detergent
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose household cleaner
  • 1 quart of bleach
  • 1 gallon of water

Mix all the dry items first and add them to water. Ensure you prepare this solution in an open area to avoid bleach contaminating the eyes. Bleach is an unsafe ingredient to use; however, very well known for cleaning mildew on wooden surfaces.

3- Homemade pressure washer detergent for siding

homemade pressure washer detergent for siding

Vinyl siding requires gas-pressure washers to clean without scrubbing them. Below is the recipe for detergent used for vinyl siding.

RECIPE – Homemade pressure washer soap for siding

  • 1/3 cup laundry detergent
  • 1/3 cup TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate)
  • 1-gallon hot water

It serves as the best vinyl siding cleaner used in a pressure washer.

Mix the three ingredients and apply them along your vinyl siding. Leave for a while, and then wash it off with plain water.

4- Homemade pressure washer detergent for cars

homemade pressure washer detergent for cars

A Car’s surface is prone to severe damage if dealt with carelessly. To clean a car while preventing its paint, it is recommended that you spray the car with the pressure washer detergent formulated for cars and then let it sit for a while to do the job and then rinse it off using plain water.

RECIPE – Homemade pressure washer soap for cars

  • ¼ gallon bleach
  • 1-gallon hot water
  • ¾ cup laundry detergent (phosphate-free)

Combine the three ingredients preventing any solids from forming.

5- All-purpose Homemade Pressure washer detergent

As the name suggests, an all-purpose pressure washer detergent is an all-rounder and is safe for use on cars, decks, wood, concrete, vehicles, vinyl siding, and nearly all other surfaces. The only drawback of an all-purpose detergent is that it is a jack of all master of none.

RECIPE- All-purpose eco-friendly pressure washer detergent

  • 1 gallon of water
  • ⅓ cup phosphate-free laundry detergent powder
  • ⅔ cup household cleaner
  • (optional) 1 cups vinegar

Combine all the dry ingredients and then gradually mix into the wet ingredients, ensuring no suds are formed.


Comparing homemade pressure washer detergent with store-bought options

1.      Cost consideration

Homemade pressure washer detergent is less expensive than selections from the shop. Everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap are frequently used in homemade cures since they are affordable and easily accessible. On the other hand, store-bought detergents made especially for pressure washers might be more expensive.

2.      Cleaning power and effectiveness

Store-bought pressure washer detergents are created specifically: to offer mighty cleaning power for various surfaces and types of filth or grime. They frequently include particular ingredients and additions that improve their cleaning properties, making them more effective than homemade substitutes. These commercial cleaning chemicals may be available in various strengths or specialized formulae and have undergone considerable testing to verify their efficacy.

While generally useful for light cleaning, homemade pressure washer detergents might have less cleaning power than their store-bought counterparts.

3.      Environmental impact

When contrasting homemade and commercial pressure washer detergents, environmental impact is a crucial factor to consider. Store-bought alternatives could include chemicals that, if not utilized or disposed of appropriately, could damage the environment. Surfactants, phosphates, and other additives that can harm aquatic life or cause water pollution are frequently found in these goods.

On the other hand, DIY pressure washer detergents may be a better option from an environmental standpoint.

4.      Flexibility and customization

One benefit of making your pressure washer detergents is that you may alter the formula to suit your cleaning requirements. You may adjust homemade recipes by changing the ratios of the ingredients, adding other cleaning agents, or adding natural smells for a more enjoyable cleaning experience. This adaptability enables users to explore and identify the best cleaning solution for various stains or surfaces.

While store-bought alternatives offer convenience and ready-made solutions, they must offer a different degree of customization.


If you can’t find homemade or commercial detergents, take a look at these options:

  • Solution of vinegar and water
  • Water with baking soda paste
  • Combination of lemon juice and water


  1. Consult the pressure washer’s manual: Read up on the manufacturer’s recommendations for using detergent with your particular pressure washer machine.
  2. Test the detergent on a tiny, discrete area before using it on a larger surface to guarantee compatibility and the desired outcomes.
  3. Observe the correct dilution ratios: For the best cleaning results, dilute the homemade detergent using the suggested percentages.
  4. Begin at a secure distance: Start pressure washing the surface from about 2 to 3 feet away, and if required, progressively go closer. Starting too near, especially with delicate materials, may harm the surface.
  5. Apply the proper technique: Sweeping motions should be used while maintaining a constant angle with the pressure washer wand. To avoid uneven cleaning or surface damage, avoid remaining stationary for an extended period.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: To avoid detergent residue accumulation, thoroughly rinse the surface after cleaning the detergent. Rinse thoroughly to ensure that all cleaning agents have been eliminated.
  7. When using a power washer and handling detergents, protect yourself by donning protective gear, such as goggles and gloves, to avoid possible chemical spills or contact.


Homemade pressure washer detergents can be an essential weapon in your cleaning toolbox, whether trying to remove stubborn stains from your concrete driveway or give your hardwood deck a new look. Try out many formulas to find the one that works best for you, then relish using your homemade solution to get spotlessly clean surfaces.

How to Dilute Dawn for a Pressure Washer Refer to this useful resource for detailed directions on Dawn dish soap dilution for pressure washer use.

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