Clean Profits: How To Start a Pressure Washing Business

a man pressure washing a sidewalk.
If a power washing business is something you may be considering, then you can find the details in this post, starting with the steps. Then we’ll review a few points for your consideration, followed by a collection of resources to become more familiar with the power washing industry.

Pressure washing, also called power washing, is the process of cleaning surfaces with high-pressure water sprays.

It doesn’t require a lot of technical skills. For example, you can effectively clean concrete, wooden decks, aluminum or vinyl siding on houses, sidewalks, and more.

The high-pressure blast removes concrete’s mold, gum, dirt, and other stains. It helps wash away fading finishes on wood surfaces and helps keep siding on homes looking new.

Steps to Starting a Pressure Washing Business

1. Decide if Running a Business Is Right for You

It is important to decide if you are looking for entrepreneurship and if you possess the necessary skills before starting a business. It isn’t for everyone to be an entrepreneur. For example, it’s possible that you like power washing, but running a pressure cleaning business might not be the best choice for you.

Check the link below for important things to consider before starting your business.

2. Research

Business Research

The more you know about a pressure washing business, the more successful you’ll be.

From the link below, you will find inside information about a pressure washing business from people in the industry. In addition, you’ll find various ways to contact them to get the information you need. There are also possibilities to get a tour of a business in operation.

This step should not be rushed because you will find that a lot of what you need to know can be found in the article below from the right people.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for more.

Target Market

Knowing your target market will make setting up your business to attract customers easier.

Once your business opens, you need to know your target demographic to create effective advertising strategies.

For more, see, How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Considerations and Goals

You need to have a vision of what type of setup you want for your pressure washing business. Answering the following questions can help you create a vision.

As you are doing your research, your vision may change, and that’s okay. But, for now, start with a vision and adjust as necessary.

Questions for you to answer:

  • Are you planning on a home-based power washing set up or intend to operate from a commercial location?
  • Are you intending on one location or multiple ones?
  • Will you operate full or part-time?
  • Will you do all the work yourself or hire staff for operations and management?
  • Have you considered weather conditions that may restrict you from working all year?
  • Will you focus on commercial, residential, or both markets?
  • Is there anything original about your business for a competitive edge?

4. Location Considerations

A company’s success is based on selecting the optimal location, and it is quite challenging to succeed in a poor one.

Choose an area where pressure washing is in demand, but the market is not yet saturated.

For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Business Name Considerations

Choose a business name available for registration, memorable, simple to say, and catchy. Obviously, you will also need a matching domain name.

You can access additional information by clicking on the following links:

6. Business Registration

To operate legally, you must choose a business structure, obtain the necessary permits, and register your business.

Several factors, such as your financial situation and the size of the enterprise you intend to run, will undoubtedly influence the structure of your business.

See, How to Register Your Business for all the details.

7. Create Your Corporate ID

Corporate IDs include logos, business cards, stationary, promotional items, brochures, etc.

The logo and business cards can be the starting point, then the rest can be added later. To positively impact your customers, you want to ensure your design is professional.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Calculating Startup Cost

The first few months of your business’s operation will require a certain amount of capital.

Start with a list of the items you’ll need; as you research costs, you may discover additional issues, which you can add to your list and finalize your estimate.

For more, see, Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything? Also, see, Business Expenses To Consider.

9. Writing a Business Plan

For a business loan or to attract investors, you’ll need a business plan that helps you see the big picture and stay on course.

There is a link below that describes several options for creating one.

For details, see How to Write a Business Plan.

10. Set up Your Banking

Both your business and personal finances must be kept separate. Separate checking accounts are the optimal method for achieving this.

A merchant account is also required to accept credit and debit card payments.

The following articles provide further details on business banking.

11. Get the Funding for Your Operation

Because they consider new businesses high-risk, lenders prefer to invest in established, successful businesses rather than take a chance on a startup.

With a professional business plan that makes sense to a lender and collateral, you can obtain a business loan, despite its difficulty.

For ideas, see our article, Getting a Small Business Loan.

12. Software Setup

There is a lot of software to help you run your business effectively.

Check out the links below to find software to help your business run better.

I suggest you research and read reviews to learn more about how others have used the software packages you are considering.

13. Get Your Service Insured

To start a business, you must have the proper insurance. Speaking with an insurance broker can protect your customers, employees, and property.

To learn more about business insurance, click on the following links:

14. Physical Setup

During this step, it is critical to concentrate on the layout of your operation. Your shop must be organized to know where everything is and where you can find it.

Your layout should be appealing to make a good impression on customers. But, of course, the same is true for your office, where you’ll spend most of your time managing your company.

You should also display your business sign, so people know it is open.

For more information, see the following articles:

15. Creating a Website

A website is useful for marketing your business and communicating with customers. Therefore, your website must be quick and mobile-friendly to impress your users.

Register a domain name and open a hosting account with a reputable provider to ensure full control over your website.

For more, see the following articles:

16. Create an External Support Team

You can build an external support team to provide professional or consulting services when you need them. It may take months or years to build your team, but you don’t have to wait until they’re ready to start using their services.

Consider meeting with professionals who you may need as part of your team. For example, a lawyer, a financial advisor, an accountant, a banker, an IT professional, a marketing expert, and a web designer are all professionals to consider.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors.

17. Hiring Concerns

When it comes time to hire, only hire the number of employees necessary.

Having excessive employees will increase your operating expenses and decrease your profits.

For each open position, ensure that the candidate is a good fit.

Choosing the wrong candidate results in lost time, lost productivity, and wasted money that could have been used to produce results; additionally, you must start from scratch if the individual is not a good fit.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee. You may also be interested in Common Job Positions for a Business.

Considerations Before Starting

Skill Set:

  • Safely operate a pressure washer
  • The operation of cleaning with a pressure washer without damaging surfaces
  • Common Business Skills

Equipment and Supplies:

  • Pressure washers
  • Hoses
  • Tips for hoses of varying sizes
  • Turbo nozzle for cleaning concrete
  • Surface cleaner
  • X- Jet (nozzle for houses, roofs, and tall structures)
  • Chemicals and soaps
  • Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
  • Turbo nozzle
  • 24′ Extension Wand
  • 100′ of 3/4″ quality water hose
  • 100′ 4000 PSI Goodyear high-pressure hose
  • 110′ commercial fill hose
  • 12′ to 18′ extension wand for 2nd-story access
  • Gutter cleaning bar
  • 4800 PSI-rated high-performance wand
  • Four-head aluminum water broom
  • 5-gallon concentrate super house washing biodegradable soap
  • Degreaser (great for driveways and walkways)
  • Hammerhead surface cleaner rated at 4800 PSI, poly shroud with dual spinner action; cuts cleaning time by 60%
  • Commercial grade rotating turbo nozzle (great for gum removal and oil spots)
  • Full set of pressure tips
  • Essential Office Equipment

Monthly Expenses:

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

The investment required to start is relatively low, though pressure washers can cost only a few hundred dollars to as much as twenty thousand.

It is best to buy the best you can afford when you’re starting. For example, a smaller, less expensive power washer will be fine if you have limited startup capital. Just keep in mind that it will take you longer to do commercial jobs, and you will need to replace them sooner.

Tips & Considerations:

  • Before starting, rent a pressure washer for the weekend, or borrow one, and pressure wash your own house. Keep in mind that it will be harder for you at this stage because you will not have all the right tools and experience. (It gets easier with experience.)
  • You need to consider what you plan to offer in terms of services, and you need to consider how much you can spend on cleaners and cleaning chemicals.
  • When choosing which pressure washers to purchase, decide between cold and hot water pressure washers.
  • Hot water is a natural emulsifier, which means it doesn’t need a lot of additional chemical help to get off grime and other stubborn and sticky substances. Hot water and steam’s natural cleaning power will reduce your dependence on cleansing agents, which will save you money.
  • Unlike cold water machines, hot water/steam machines can take care of jobs in cold weather.
  • You can use hot/steam water machines in fleet washing, flatwork, environmental cleaning, and house washing.
  • You don’t want to use hot water or steam on wood surfaces, as it will cause the wood fibers to soften and swell.
  • The larger pressure washers will contain more water. If you’re focusing on residential jobs, you may be able to start with a smaller pressure washer.
  • The amount of pressure the washer has is also important. The higher the psi (pounds per square inch), the harder the water will come out of the hose, which will make the work quicker and more effective.
  • If you plan on investing in a pressure washer, make sure you choose a vendor that can provide you with the best technical support available. See that the equipment you buy is easy to maintain and that its parts are readily available.
  • Even though you may have a small operation, you are still running a business. You want to make sure you get the business insurance coverage to cover you in case of an accident or damage caused by your service. One incident can easily put you out of business if you don’t have the right insurance.

Type of Customers:

Your market can be divided into two groups: commercial and residential markets.

The advantage of servicing the residential market is that you will only need a fraction of the startup capital to tackle the jobs of a commercial market.

The commercial market may cost you more initially, but it also allows you to earn more because the service contracts in this market tend to be larger.

You need to choose your preferred target market. Once you have made up your mind, you can look into the competition in your area.


Commercial and residential pressure washing is a multi-million-dollar industry. However, large corporations are hesitant to have their personnel do the job due to the large overhead cost (staff salary, equipment, training, liability, insurance, etc.). That is why more and more companies hire an outside professional contractor who will do the job faster and for less money.

While rates can vary according to the region, below are average rates. At the time of publication, you may want to check into current rates:

Residential Services


$100 – $300 flat price

$0.50 – $2.00 per linear foot.

$0.10 – $.20 per sq. ft.

Driveways and Sidewalks

$75 – $200 flat price

$.08 – $.15 per sq. ft.


Cedar Shake Roofs – $.60 – $.90 per sq ft.

Composition Roofs – $.10 – $.30 per sq ft.

Mobile Homes

Single Wide – $40 – $55

Double Wide – $50 – $65

Commercial Services

New Construction

Remove Mortar Tags from New Brick – $.18 – $.30 per sq. ft.

Surface cleanup (wand spray down) – $.02 – .03 per sq. ft.

Parking Lots, Sidewalks, and Drive-Thrus

Bank/Restaurant Drive-Thurs – $8 – $30 per lane

Parking Lots, Garage Floors – $.03 – $.20 per sq. ft.

Parking Spaces – $8 – $20 per space


We’ve gathered a few resources to help you during the start-up phase and once your business is up and running. Please feel free to use these resources any time.

Businesses for Sale

Before starting your business, you may want to consider purchasing a business that’s for sale. It is possible to find a good match, it is possible not to, and the worst that can happen is you have gained a stronger grasp of what owning a pressure washing business is like.

See the latest Google search results for pressure washing businesses for sale.


Staying up-to-date with the latest tips, insights, trends, and information about your field. It can, however, be difficult to find all the information in one place.

Following is a link to a detailed Google search results page with a list of publications that can help you stay on top of your industry. It is now easier to find the information, and it’s up to you whether you use it or not.

Keep up-to-date with your industry by visiting the site below at least once a month.

Click here for the latest publications related to a pressure washing business.

Industry Trends and Statistics

Statistics and trends in the industry can provide insights you may not have considered. Look at trends and statistics to determine if the industry is improving, declining, or shifting.

Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Pressure Washing Industry.

Industry Terminology

Being familiar with pressure washing terms is important. The terminology can be learned from experience, or you can use a glossary to get a head start.

Search Results Related to Terminology in the Pressure Washing Industry.


Choosing the right supplies is crucial to your success. On the other hand, you can lose money if you choose the wrong supplies. Therefore, it’s important to get the best price possible for your supplies while ensuring that you provide quality and value to your customers.

See the Latest Google Search Results for Pressure Washing Business Supplies.


Membership in an association can be beneficial. Associations may provide publications and news of interest to members. Many of them also host events where you can network with other industry professionals.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Pressure Washing Industry. You may also want to check out our page for tips and insights about Joining a Trade Association.

Top Pressure Washing Businesses

By studying other businesses, you can learn what the market offers, pricing, and other ideas. In this way, you may come up with a unique idea or discover something your business needs. My focus is not always on the competition. Rather, I like to know what the competition can offer and strive to offer the best products and services.

Search Google for the Top Pressure Washing Businesses in Your Area.

Marketing Tips

Marketing is an integral part of running a business. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. Marketing is essential to attracting customers. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

You’re simply bringing awareness to your business, products, and services. Taking out a radio ad and handing out flyers are marketing examples.

As you can see from the examples above, marketing can be simple.

If you want to market your own business, try one technique at a time, test it, and do more of the things that work and less of the ones that don’t.

Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Pressure Washing Business.

Pressure Washing Tips

It never hurts to keep up with the latest pressure washing tips, regardless of your experience. There’s no harm in spending a little time and refreshing your memory.

Have a Look at the search results for tips related to pressure washing.


Your industry can also be better understood by reading books. You don’t have to read non-fiction books from cover to cover; instead, you can look through the table of contents or the index to find the information you are looking for.

View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Pressure Washing Business Books.


Using Google News is a great way to find stories about pressure washing that have been covered by the media.

Also, you can set up an alert on Google so you will be notified whenever something new is posted about the pressure washing industry.

See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Pressure Washing Industry.

Videos on YouTube

YouTube is an excellent source of information for visual learners. In addition, you can discover videos that contain tips and insights on expanding your industry knowledge.

While watching YouTube videos, one thing worth noting is the related topics. These are always on my radar because I can easily find topics that I haven’t thought about. So you may want to keep an eye out for them.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Pressure Washing Business.

For More Business Ideas, See Our Start-up Ideas Section.