Are Pressure Washer Nozzles Universal? [FIND OUT!]

Wondering if all pressure washer nozzles are universal? Pressure washer nozzles are designed with a specific purpose for each option. They are color-coded depending on the angle and water pressure they emit. Using the wrong nozzle can result in damage to your washer.

You have just gone and bought a new pressure washer because your last one finally gave up on you. The guy in the store was trying to sell you some new nozzles, but you turned down the offer because you still have nozzles from your old machine. They are universal and will fit your new washer. At least, that’s what you’re thinking.

So, the guy at the shop was right. He was just trying to save you from a headache when you got home: maybe your nozzle won’t connect to your washer. Read on to find out more regarding this integral part of your washer system.

Close up of Pressure Washer Nozzle

Related Reading: Are Pressure Washer Hoses Universal? [ANSWERED]

Checking that you are using the right pressure washer nozzle

If you have a look at a pressure washer nozzle, you will find a five-digit number such as “25065”. What that is referring to is the fan degree of the nozzle and the opening through which the water flows. In this case, the “25” is a 25fan degree nozzle with a 6.5-size opening.

The openings can range from 3.0 to 6.5 which are the more standard options. The sizes increase by 5 as the hole gets bigger. For example, 4.0, 4.5, etc. You can find sizes lower than 3.0 and higher than 6.5.

It is tempting to use a higher number opening with your machine so that you reduce the water pressure. Yet, you are under-utilizing the pressure rating of your washer which means that you are taking more time to complete the task.

Another common mistake is to use a lower opening. The idea behind this is that it will increase the pressure of the water. The water is being forced through a smaller space so the pressure rises. There is a logic behind that type of thinking.

However, you are going against the washer manufacturer’s specifications concerning the appropriate tip. Pushing water through a tinier hole may spray out highly-pressurized water, but you are causing your machine to work harder. The end result is you are reducing the lifespan of your washer through unnecessary wear-and-tear.

Choosing the correct fan degree

If you choose the wrong nozzle, the result could lead to frustration. Too much pressure can lead to damaging the surface you are trying to clean. Not enough pressure may have you taking longer than you desire to get the job done.

Choose carefully and match the tip to the job at hand. Here are the most common nozzles you will find.

0o Red Nozzle

This nozzle will give you the highest level of pressure. The water is shot out in a direct stream. Because of the narrow range of water coverage, it isn’t an ideal option for cleaning. But for spot cleaning tough dirt and stains it is a great choice.

You can use it on concrete and metal. Don’t use it on wood or soft surfaces.

15o Yellow Nozzle

If you are wanting to strip paint off a surface or remove hardy on grime or mildew, you can put this tip onto your washer. The water comes out at a 15o sheet of water. The pressure is slightly softer than the red nozzle, yet still powerful enough for those stubborn jobs.

Most surfaces will be okay under the pressure from this nozzle. Also, it’s great for removing the mud off the wheels and bumpers of your 4 x 4 (just be careful with the paintwork on your vehicle).

25o Green Nozzle

You could consider this as the all-rounder option of nozzles. Because of the gentle spray, you can use it for most tasks around your property. Attach it to your washer and you are ready to give your house a washdown. Chase away those leaves and dirt from your driveway or patio.

Clean your car, boat, or patio furniture with this tip. There is so much this nozzle is capable of.

40o White Nozzle

We are getting into the lower-pressure end of the nozzle range with this tip. It’s best suited for more fragile surfaces such as windows, blinds, and sidings. You can also use it to give your car a rinse-off if you are using your pressure washer to clean it.

65o Black Nozzle

Known as the soap nozzle due to it being used with detergent. This nozzle has the lowest pressure of all the tips. Great for those more gentle jobs that require soap.

Turbo or Rotating Nozzle

If you want to halve your cleaning time, you should consider this nozzle. What makes it so effective is how it rotates the water from the head, The water is emitted in a circular pattern stream at a rate of 5,000 to 9,000 rpm. You get the pressure of a 0O tip but the coverage of a 25o nozzle.

Adjustable or Variable Nozzle

This nozzle saves you from having to stop work just so that you can swap over the tips. In the adjustable nozzle, you get 6 choices: 0o, 15o, 25o, 40o, soap and rinse. It is a convenient choice if you just want one nozzle that covers a range of tasks.

Choosing the right nozzle

If it’s your first time using a pressure washer, you may be a bit concerned about not wanting to do any damage. That is understandable. However, you will find that once you get started with the washer, you will soon adapt. Here are some steps to help you take a careful approach to the cleaning task.

  1. Consider what the appropriate nozzle will be. That is determined by the job itself. Is it to blast away stubborn dirt from metal or concrete? Then go with the red nozzle. A more gentle job may require white or black tips.
  2. Start at a distance and move closer to the surface you are cleaning
  3. Begin with an obscure spot. When you feel comfortable carry on with the rest of the cleaning job.

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Continue Reading: Is There Any Difference Between Power Washing And Pressure Washing?


Pressure washer nozzles come color-coded so you can easily select the right tip for the job. However, you may think that the nozzle you have chosen is a great match for your washer.

Each nozzle has a 5-digit number on it so that you can tell both the fan degree and size of the opening. These will match the pressure rating the manufacturer recommends for your washer. Having a nozzle that doesn’t meet this recommendation can mean you aren’t getting the pressure you could be from your nozzle.

On the flip side, you could be causing your washer to work harder than it is designed for. That means you may be looking to purchase a new machine sooner than you have to.