Difference Between Power Washing And Pressure Washing?

It is completely okay if you are someone who thought there was no difference between power washing and pressure washing. Just know that you are not alone when it comes to that mix up.

Many times these terms have been used interchangeably and all that leads to is more confusion.

What is the difference between pressure washing and power washing? Both power washing and pressure washing machines have the ability to pump out a good amount of pressure, but the power washing machine can create heat to warm up the water. While this may seem like a small difference, it is a huge factor in how to use each.

They both use very similar processes but some key differences as well. If you are able to distinguish the differences, it will help you make a better decision on which kind of washing is best for you.

A man is cleaning wooden fence with electric power washer

So What is the Difference Between Power Washing and Pressure Washing?

When it comes to water pressure, both power and pressure washing uses very similar amounts of pressure. If you are trying to know how much pressure, it really depends on the kind of machine.

For example, a home unit will not get you as much pressure as an industrial kind of machine.

If you want to just talk about the machines, the biggest difference between a power washer and a pressure washer machine is the heating element.

Both machines create decent pressure, but a power washing machine creates heat to warm up the water. This may seem like a small difference, but it is a huge factor in determining which one is right for you and for the job.

Knowing What Power Washing Is

When you use a power washer, it will use a high-pressure stream of very hot water that will be used to blow any dirt or other disgusting materials away from any hard outdoor surfaces. What is Power Washing?

When you are able to combine the high-pressure water and its temperature, you will find it makes it easier and more efficient at taking care of all those hard to remove materials that are stuck on your surfaces.

When you think about residue like salt, mildew, and mould from your outside patios, decks, driveways, and so much more, your power washer is a great way to keep all those things away from your hard surfaces. The heat that the power washer emits, can also help remove things like that pesky piece of gum that has been stuck on your sidewalk for weeks now.

If you have a garage, your power washer can help remove all grease stains that are stuck on your driveway or garage floor.

You, like every other person, probably has a weed and moss issue. The heated water when using power washing can also help you push them away and halt them from growing back as quickly as they usually do.

Power washing is best used on surfaces that are heavily saturated or infected with other materials. Power washing is definitely the more powerful option between the two.

Knowing What Pressure Washing Is

When you think of pressure washing, it is most likely the method you have used before in your home. While it uses the same high-pressure water blast as power washing, it does not use the same heated water.

Instead, when you are using pressure washing, you will be using regular temperature water. So while this regular temperature water does a good job at blowing away any dirt on hard services, you will find that it will have great difficulty in getting rid of any moss, mould, or any other substance that does not come off easily.

So even though pressure washing does a tremendous job at cleaning the surfaces you want to be cleaned, unfortunately, anything that will put up a fight to go away, pressure washing is not the way to go.

Washing Plastic Transparent Carport Roof by Caucasian Men. Pressure Washer Job.

When You Should Use Each

As stated above, whether deciding if you should use pressure washing or power washing, it really depends on the job you are trying to get done. How to make the choice between the power washing and pressure washing machine? Here is a look at when to use either pressure or power washing.

Pressure Washing

If you are thinking about just cleaning the outside of your house, pressure washing is definitely the way to go. It is less harsh on surfaces so that is why it makes most sense when trying to clean surfaces such as masonry, brick, or concrete.

This is the kind of wash you want when you believe it is time to do a quick wash of your patio and deck.

Now there are different ways you can pressure wash, either using bleach or detergent, but you need to be aware of the possible side effects that using those cleaning products can have on your grass or any plants you have hanging around your garden.

Power Washing

If you are planning on doing a much larger job, like you want to do your extra big driveway, patio, or deck. Maybe you are helping a friend out and going to clean a commercial type building.

That is when power washing is the way to go. The heated water will usually help your job move along much quicker than regular temperature water. That is the exact reason you have to be careful about what kind of surfaces you are going to use power washing on.

If you are thinking about using power wash, it is best to mainly use it on surfaces like concrete, stone, and any other type of hard material. If you are not careful and use the hot water on the wrong surface, you may cause damages that are unfixable.

Power washing is supposed to help make your property look and feel cleaner, so you do not want to use it on the wrong surface.


No matter what kind of wash you are thinking of using, it is probably the safest bet to hire a professional to do the job. If you are not properly trained or have never used the machines, you are opening yourself up to either damaging the surfaces you are washing or worse, hurting yourself in the process.

If you get hurt or severely damage your property, that will definitely cost more than it would just to hire a person or company to come in and do the washing for you. In cases like these, it is much better to be safe than sorry. You do not want to be kicking yourself when it is all said and done.

In the end, there is not much of a difference when it comes to power washing and pressure washing. It all basically boils down to whether the water you are cleaning with is hot or not.

Now that may seem simple but remember, that hot water can affect what you are cleaning. If you do not want to hire a professional, just remember to take your time, and be precise with your cleaning.

Both power and pressure washing can make your house and property look newer and cleaner than it is. So when it comes time, take your time, know what you want to clean, and pick the right kind of a wash for you. When you are finished, you will be satisfied, no matter which one you choose.