Can You Use An Air Hose for a Pressure Washer?

Wondering if you can use an air hose on your pressure washer? You can use an air hose as a pressure washer. Simply attach it to your garden hose and allow the air from the compressor to pressurize the water. Then use a spray gun to distribute the water over your desired area.

Perhaps you have an air hose in your garage but lack a pressure washer. You have a cleanup job to do. Pressurized water would complete the task in a short time. Looking at your air hose has you wondering if you can use it as a makeshift pressure washer.

Pressure washers are dedicated pieces of equipment designed to make washing down surfaces and breeze. However, you don’t have to purchase a washer if you have an air hose. Keep reading to discover how you can turn your air hose into a pressure washer.

man holding pressure air hose to hook up and install

Related Reading: Can Hot Water Be Run Through a Pressure Washer?

What’s the Difference Between an Air Hose and a Pressure Washer?

There are a couple of differences between the two items.

An air hose pumps out compressed air at a pressure of around 200 PSI. Of course, some units can produce higher and lower levels of output. Pressure washers output pressurized water at approximately 1,000 PSI. Again, like air hoses, you can find pressure washers that output different levels of pressure.

The second point of difference is in the way they connect to your faucet. The pressure washer is the easiest option as it simply screws onto the faucet. To use your air hose as a pressure washer, you need to attach it to your faucet using a pressure washer attachment that fixes to your air hose.

Using an Air Hose for Pressure Washers – What You’ll Need

It’s pretty straightforward to use your air hose as a pressure washer. However, for the process, you will need an air compressor that can produce between 40 to 50 PSI. Also, you will need a spray gun with a double inlet, a garden hose, and an outside faucet.

One thing to be aware of is that the length of the garden hose can affect the flow and pressure level of the water. Longer hoses will result in a lower flow and a drop in pressure from the water being outputted. Typically, household faucets have a pressure of 40 to 60 PSI.

You will need a pressure washer connector so that you can attach the air hose to your water supply.

How to Use Your Air Hose as a Pressure Washer

With all the equipment gathered up, it’s time to transform your air hose into a pressure washer. Follow these steps:

  1. Build up the pressure: Before you start allowing the water to flow, you need to have your air compressor up to the appropriate pressure level. Check the gauge to see if it’s showing at least 30 PSI. Anything below this pressure will affect the flow of the water.
  2. Attach the hose: Connect your garden hose to the faucet.
  1. Put on the spray head: Place the spray head onto the hose. Make sure that it is fitted firmly and securely. Of the two inlet choices on the spray head choose the bottom one for the garden hose. This option is better to enhance the flow of the water through the head.
  2. Attach the air hose to the spray head: Get your air hose and thread it onto the upper inlet of your spray head. Check that it is fitted nice and securely. Look again at the air pressure level on the compressor.
  3. Fix the air hose to the compressor: Fix the air hose to the airline connection of the compressor. Push the hose onto the attachment. Keep pushing until there is a popping noise. If you find there is an issue with the flow of air, then double-check the connections.
  4. Let the water flow: Turn on your faucet and start the water flow. Squeeze the trigger of your spray head to ensure that the water is coming out. The flow should be at normal speed. Anything less may indicate a connection issue. If there is a problem with the flow, check the connection at the faucet as well as with the spray head.
  5. Turn on your compressor: Now that the water is flowing, increase the speed at which it is being outputted by turning on your compressor.
  6. Start your power cleaning: With everything running fine, point the shower head towards the area that you want to clean. You may find that the pressure from your compressor varies while you are cleaning. Just allow the air pressure levels to build back up and then continue with the job.

Be Careful When Using Your Air Hose

Using compressed air can be dangerous. There is always the risk of being hurt or injured while using an air compressor and air hose.

The main issue to be aware of when using compressed air for cleaning is the risk of blowback. That is parts of plants or trees, as well as other debris, being blown towards you. This can cause serious injury if the debris gets into your eyes and ears, or it cuts into your skin.

There is also the possibility of the compressed air itself affecting your health. Any opening within your body allows the air to enter, which can result in harm to you. Your hearing can also be damaged due to air compression and sound.

Some countries prohibit the use of compressed air for cleaning. In the USA it’s still permitted but only at a pressure of 30 PSI or lower. Additionally, the use of personal protective equipment is a must. 

Continue Reading: Will 2000 PSI Be Safe for Pressure Washing a Vehicle?


If you have an air hose and compressor at home, you can use that as a pressure washer. You will need to get a pressure washer attachment for your hose to do so.

Cleaning with an air hose only requires you to attach the hose to your faucet. You also need a spray head and your air compressor. The recommended air pressure for the task is 30 PSI. In the USA, this level is the maximum due to safety issues surrounding the use of compressed air.

There is a chance of debris being blown back. So, to look after your well-being, wear protective gear such as goggles, earmuffs, and gloves.