How To Start a Pressure-Washing Business

how to start a pressure washing business

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Starting a pressure washing business is a great opportunity to earn thousands of dollars and gain hundreds of potential customers.

A well-planned pressure washing business can earn you extra money without needing a lot of capital or training.

If you want to know how to start a pressure-washing business, you’ve come to the right place.

I wrote this guide to discuss all the steps necessary to start a thriving pressure-washing business.

Let’s begin.

How To Start a Pressure-Washing Business in 9 Steps

  1. Learn to pressure wash.

  2. Study the pressure-washing market.

  3. Determine your business structure and get licenses.

  4. Set up your business bank account.

  5. Get insurance for your business.

  6. Invest in all the necessary equipment.

  7. Create the right fee structure.

  8. Promote your business.

  9. Serve your first customers.

Follow these steps to start your own pressure-washing business.

1- Learn To Pressure Wash.

Have you ever wondered how to make money with a pressure washer?

The first step is to learn power washing, even if you plan to hire staff.

This skill forms the foundation of your business for several reasons:

  • Complete jobs more efficiently.

    When you can pressure wash effectively, you’ll be able to complete jobs faster, with lower business expenses.

  • Reduce risks.

    Learning the proper techniques will reduce your risk of damaging your client’s property, giving you an edge over another pressure washing business.

  • Provides networking opportunities.

    Learning to pressure wash also lets you network with other local businesses, boosting your business’s visibility and earning more customers.

However, learning how to pressure wash is easier said than done.

Here’s how to start a power washing business.

  • Online tutorials

    Many online platforms, like YouTube and DIY websites, offer detailed video tutorials and articles for pressure washing essentials and techniques.

  • Pressure-washing courses

    There may be courses in your area that provide comprehensive training in pressure washing. These often include hands-on experience and certifications, boosting your credibility.

  • Personal experience

    Nothing beats personal experience. You can borrow or rent a pressure washer to practice cleaning your property.

2- Study the Pressure Washing Market.

how to start a pressure washing business

Researching your potential customers, area, and competition will let you tailor your services better.

For instance, the needs of residential customers differ from local businesses, so you can’t just take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to studying the pressure washing market.

1. Identify Your Local Market.

Focus on your immediate area. Research the demand for pressure washing, the types of surfaces needing cleaning, and existing pressure-washing service providers.

2. Do Competitor Research.

List other pressure-washing businesses and analyze their service configuration, pricing, and existing customers. Find out how they work, and then brainstorm how to differentiate yourself.

3. Define Your Target Market.

Define your ideal customer. Consider factors like demographics, income levels, and specific cleaning needs. Tailor your services to cater directly to this segment of the local population.

4. Establish a Pricing Strategy.

Determine your pricing structure based on costs, competitor pricing, and target profit margin. Make sure it’s competitive yet sustainable. You can even create a pressure-washing business plan to make it more organized.

5. Determine Potential Costs.

It may seem early, but you should know your potential expenses before starting the business. This includes pressure washing gear, marketing expenses, and more.

3- Determine Your Business Structure and Get Licenses.

Legal compliance is critical in establishing your legitimacy as a pressure-washing business.

The business structure of your pressure washing company plays a big role in the type of licenses, permits, and certifications that you need to have. It can also affect accounting and tax filing, liability, and regulatory requirements.

There are four main types of business structures.

  1. Sole proprietorship

    This structure has no personal liability protection, but it’s simple to set up.

  2. Partnership

    This structure is best for those with at least one other business partner.

  3. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    This structure suits individual owners or small groups who want liability protection.

  4. Corporation

    This structure requires a more complex setup but offers a more robust liability protection.

Regardless of your business structure, though, here are the most likely requirements:

  • Business license

    A business license grants you the legal right to operate your pressure washing business within a specific area or jurisdiction.

  • Business name registration

    You’ll have to register your business name at your local licensing office. If local laws dictate, you may also have to file a trade name, a “doing business as” (DBA) name.

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Also referred to as Federal Tax Identification Number, your EIN is required when filing taxes for your business.

  • Insurance

    You may also have to get liability insurance to protect your power washing business from potential claims and property damage.

  • Certifications

    If available in your area, consider getting certifications from pressure-washing industry associations to showcase your expertise and professionalism.

  • Environmental compliance

    Ensure you comply with local environmental regulations related to water usage, wastewater disposal, and the use of chemicals.

  • Health and safety certifications

    Depending on local laws, you may also need certifications for handling chemicals and ensuring workplace safety.

4- Set Up Your Business Bank Account.

Set Up Your Business Bank Account

Setting up a dedicated business bank account is fundamental in organizing your pressure washing company.

It provides personal asset protection by having a clear financial separation between your personal and business accounts and your personal and business expenses.

You can also build your company’s credit history, allowing you to take out business loans in the future.

Lastly, having a business credit card will be beneficial for properly counting your business expenses. This streamlines the accounting processes and even enhances your professional image.

Here are the key steps to follow:

1- Choose the Right Bank.

Research and select a bank that caters to business needs. Consider factors like fees, features, and accessibility for your business model.

If you plan to allow bank transfers as a payment method, ensure your chosen bank is reputable and convenient to your potential customers.

US Bank is an excellent bank to open a business account, and they’re currently running a promotion (valid until January 2024) on opening new business accounts.

USBank homepage

2. Gather Essential Documents.

Collect all the required documents, including your business registration, tax numbers, and personal identification.

You can check the full list of account requirements on your chosen bank’s official website.

3. Visit the Bank.

Once you have all the requirements, go to the bank to open a dedicated business account.

4. Fund Your Account.

Most banks require a minimum amount for your initial deposit. Ensure you have this amount to prevent delays in opening your business bank account.

5. Set Up Your Payment Gateways.

To accept credit card payments, explore payment gateway options and integrate one into your commercial pressure washing services operations.

Doing this makes paying more convenient for your clients, improving their chances of returning to your business.

5- Get Insurance for Your Business.

A pressure-washer business has risks like any business venture, so getting business insurance to cover potential problems is crucial.

Business insurance will protect your equipment, clients, and you in worst-case scenarios, ensuring that unforeseen circumstances won’t jeopardize your business’s sustainability.

Here are the most important policies you should consider getting for your power washing company.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury claims.

For instance, if you accidentally injure a client or damage their property while you’re pressure washing, this policy will cover any potential expenses that may arise.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

This insurance covers employee medical expenses and lost wages in case of work-related injuries or illnesses.

It ensures that your employees are taken care of while protecting your business from potential lawsuits related to workplace injuries.

Equipment Insurance

This policy protects you from the unforeseen financial harm of damages to your power washing equipment in case it gets stolen or damaged.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers any company vehicle transporting people and equipment to a job site.

This policy covers your vehicle if it gets stolen, damaged, or involved in an accident.

6- Invest in the Right Equipment and Supplies.

Invest in the Right Equipment and Supplies.

Having all the necessary equipment is critical to a successful pressure-washing business.

The right equipment ensures you can deliver high-quality results to your first clients, which is important to establish a good reputation from the very start.

The key is to invest in quality equipment because it’s a long-term investment that can reduce maintenance costs and enhance productivity. It also shows your customers that you take your business seriously.

Here are all the equipment and supplies you should invest in for your business.

Professional Pressure Washers and Peripherals

It doesn’t matter if it’s residential pressure washers or industrial pressure washers.

A quality pressure washer provides consistent power for effective cleaning, saving time and ensuring excellent results.

You should also think about investing in quality peripherals.

  • Nozzles and tips

    Different nozzles and tips allow for various spray patterns, which are essential for effectively cleaning different surfaces. Surface cleaning nozzles are particularly important for various jobs.

  • Hoses

    Durable hoses that can handle high-pressure water are mandatory.

  • Maintenance tools

    Keep equipment tip-top with maintenance tools like oil, filters, and wrenches.

  • Chemicals and cleaning agents

    Invest in eco-friendly and effective detergents and cleaning solutions for various cleaning needs.

Uniforms and Safety Gear

Professional uniforms can help build your brand image and establish credibility, which is especially important for small business owners.

Incorporating essential safety gear shows that your pressure cleaning business doesn’t take safety for granted, helping you attract more customers.

Business Vehicle

Depending on your scale, a truck or trailer to transport your equipment is crucial for providing convenience to your potential customers.

An official company truck ensures you can deliver people and equipment to the job site as efficiently as possible.

7- Create the Right Fee Structure for Your Services.

A suitable fee structure is critical when starting a pressure washing business from scratch.

A well-thought-out fee structure ensures your pressure-washing business startup can cover costs and generate profit.

Additionally, it helps you align yourself with the competition, setting proper expectations for potential clients and customers.

Factors To Consider When Creating Fee Structures

Here are some things you should keep in mind to ensure that more money ends up as profit:

  • Costs and profitability

    Calculate all your expenses, including equipment maintenance, supplies, labor, insurance, and overhead costs. Your basic fee structure should cover these costs while allowing a reasonable profit margin.

  • Market research

    Investigate competitors’ pricing and industry standards in your area. Your fee structure should be competitive yet reflect your value regarding quality and expertise.

  • Client needs and preferences

    Consider your target audience’s expectations and budget constraints. Do you cater primarily to commercial property owners or residential customers? Do you work with big companies or small business owners?

    Tailor your fee structure to align with your potential customers’ needs and preferences.

Common Fee Structures in the Pressure Washing Business

Ultimately, the choice of payment depends on things like business goals, market demand, and pricing strategy.

However, here are a few industry-standard ideas to help start a pressure washing fee structure.

  • Per-square-foot pricing

    This structure charges clients based on the total area that needs cleaning. It’s straightforward and transparent, making it easier for clients to understand the cost.

  • Hourly rate

    Some pressure washing services prefer an hourly rate, especially for jobs with varying complexities. This structure ensures you’re properly compensated for your time and expertise.

  • Package deals

    You can offer bundled packages for house washing, driveway cleaning, and deck maintenance. This is best for clients looking for comprehensive solutions.

  • Combination pricing

    This approach combines per-square-foot pricing, hourly rates, and package deals, allowing you to tailor your prices to different projects.

  • Membership or subscription pricing

    Consider offering subscription-based services for regular clients. You can provide a continuous in-demand service, such as scheduled maintenance. Your clients get a discount for something they always need while you get regular income.

  • Variable pricing

    You can also adjust your rates based on factors like the level of dirt, surface type, or the need for specialized treatments. This approach offers flexibility and customization.

  • One-time surcharge

    You can add a surcharge for one-time jobs, such as first-time customers, or unusually dirty surfaces.

8- Promote Your Business Using Various Marketing Strategies.

Promote Your Business Using Various Marketing Strategies.

Regardless of the business venture, you can’t expect customers to pour in immediately.

If you want your pressure wash business to thrive, you need effective marketing strategies.

With these, you can introduce your services to more customers, build your brand further, and ensure steady business growth in the coming months.

Here’s how you can establish a strong offline and online presence in your local market,

Offline Marketing Strategies

No matter how modern things get, there will always be value in traditional marketing strategies applied the right way.

Here are a few tips for informing people that you provide pressure washing services.

  • Start networking.

    Networking utilizes word-of-mouth marketing and the power of human relationships.

    Attend local business events, join chambers of commerce or local associations and network with organizations such as the United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners.

    You can even collaborate with other local businesses to expand your professional network.

  • Print physical materials.

    Design and distribute flyers, brochures, and business cards to homes and local businesses to increase brand awareness in your area.

    You don’t have to make them fancy, but they do have to include essential information such as your service location, basic rates, and operating hours.

  • Put signage on your vehicle and equipment.

    Adorn your work vehicles and all the pressure washing equipment with eye-catching signage that displays your business name and contact details.

  • Sponsor local events.

    You can also sponsor relevant local events, booths, or other community activities to increase your brand’s visibility and community engagement.

  • Implement referral programs.

    Encourage satisfied clients to refer your services to people they know. Incentivize them by providing referral bonuses or pressure washing services at discounted rates.

Online Marketing Strategies

Modern marketing methods present incredible opportunities to reach your target audience.

Here are some tips that you can use to spread your brand’s reach online.

  • Social media

    Social media is everywhere, so you must be where your potential customers are.

    Establish and maintain active profiles on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor to engage with potential clients and showcase your work.

  • Business website

    A website is important for your business. Create a professional website to serve as the hub of your online advertising efforts and showcase your services, customer testimonials, important contact numbers, rates, and other information.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Write engaging and informative articles about your pressure washing company.

    Optimize your website for search engines to improve visibility in local search results. For example, you can rank on the keywords “power washing business near me” and direct searches to your business.

  • Online advertising

    Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on platforms like Google Ads or Facebook and Instagram social media ads to reach a wider online audience.

  • Online reviews

    Encourage satisfied clients you’ve pressure-washed to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and social media. You can do this by offering a discount the next time they visit if they leave a review.

9- Serve Your First Customers.

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With everything set in place, you can now land your first client.

The very first pressure washing job you will take is special. It impacts your trajectory by providing crucial feedback, testimonials, and referrals.

Here are some valuable tips for getting your first customer.

Leverage Local Networking.

Attend community events and other local gatherings to engage with your community and introduce your services.

Building personal relationships with other small business owners, local businesses, and community members can also lead to referrals and initial clients.

Use Door-to-Door Promotion.

Choose an area where your clients are. If your clients are residential, go to houses and introduce your house-washing business. If your clients are industrial, meet with managers or hygiene departments.

Make sure you have a friendly demeanor to make a memorable impression. Also, be prepared to answer questions and provide estimates on the spot.

Offer a Limited-Time Promotion.

You can also entice your first prospects with a special introductory offer, such as a discounted rate for their first service.

Limited-time promotions can create a sense of urgency and encourage potential clients to take action.

Collaborate with Local Businesses.

Partner with complementary local businesses like landscaping, real estate agents, or property management companies.

Offering mutually beneficial deals or referrals can help you tap into established customer bases.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Pressure-Washing Business

Being a local pressure washer has advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll examine in this section.

Doesn’t require technical qualifications to startEquipment maintenance can be costly
Potential to yield high profit marginsPhysically demanding
Consistent demand in any neighborhoodJob availability depends on the season and weather
Flexible work hoursPlenty of competition


Is power washing a good business? Let’s talk about all its advantages.

Doesn’t Require Technical Qualifications To Start

While understanding the basics of pressure washing techniques and equipment operation is necessary, anyone can become a pressure washer.

This makes it an attractive option for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds because it allows them to enter the market easily if they’re willing to learn and committed to quality service.

Potential To Yield High Profit Margins

How much can you make pressure washing? Considering it has low start-up costs and minimal overhead expenses, you can make significant money, especially if you start as a mobile pressure washing business.

You can increase rates as you grow your client base and reputation.

By diversifying your services to include specialized cleaning, such as roof or deck restoration, you can command premium prices that increase your pressure washing business salary potential.

Consistent Demand in Any Neighborhood

Property owners, both residential and commercial, require regular exterior cleaning to maintain their properties’ aesthetics and structural integrity.

This translates to a consistent demand that ensures a steady stream of potential clients. Although it doesn’t eliminate the seasonality often associated with related businesses, it does reduce it.

Flexible Work Hours

Being your own boss means having a remarkable degree of freedom regarding when and how you want to work.

You can operate part-time or full-time, set your hours, and even tailor your services to specific client needs.


While this business model can be great, you must also know its disadvantages.

Costly Equipment Maintenance

Your pressure washing equipment and its hoses, nozzles, and other tools require regular upkeep to ensure they function optimally. Neglecting maintenance can lead to breakdowns and costly repairs.

This means budgeting for maintenance and routine servicing is critical. This ongoing expense can cut your profit margins, making careful financial planning necessary.

Physically Demanding

Pressure washing often involves hours of standing, bending, and maneuvering heavy equipment. High-pressure water streams can also require significant physical effort to control, especially during extensive projects.

As a pressure-washing business owner, you need to be able to handle the physical demands of this job. You also need to ensure that your staff are physically capable as well.

Job Availability Depends on Season and Weather

The demand for pressure washing services can exist all year round, but the opportunity to work on many of them relies on the weather.

After all, you can’t pressure wash exteriors when it’s raining daily — clients will consider it a waste of time and money.

You can circumvent this by opening a shop for hard-to-clean items and offering interior cleaning services.


The pressure washing industry can be highly competitive, particularly in densely populated areas. Established businesses with solid reputations may dominate the market, so you’ll have to figure out ways to stand out

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do Pressure-Washing Companies Get Clients?

Pressure-washing businesses utilize traditional and online marketing techniques to get clients. The most popular ways to get clients include going door to door, word-of-mouth marketing, online marketing, establishing a social media account, and making a website.

Is Pressure Washing a Good Business?

If you enjoy pressure washing, then yes, starting your own pressure washing business can be a great part-time or full-time opportunity.

Is Pressure Washing a Good Side Hustle?

Yes. Pressure washing can be a great side hustle since you can be flexible with the time and amount you work with your clients. You can even start by offering your neighbors a driveway pressure washing business today.

Can You Scale a Pressure Washing Business?

Yes. A pressure-washing business is scalable. You can expand by hiring employees, investing in more equipment, targeting new markets, or offering specialized services like roof or deck cleaning.

What Things Need Pressure Washing?

You can do pressure washing to clean various surfaces, including houses, driveways, sidewalks, decks, fences, patios, vehicles, industrial equipment, and commercial buildings.

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Pressure Washing Business?

The start-up cost for a pressure washing business varies, but it typically ranges from $2,000 to $10,000, which is lower than most traditional businesses. Costs include equipment, insurance, licensing, marketing, initial supplies, and ongoing expenses.

What Do You Need To Start a Pressure Washing Business?

You’ll require business licenses, insurance, a vehicle for transportation, marketing materials, and a solid business plan. You’ll also need essential equipment like a pressure washer, hoses, nozzles, cleaning agents, and safety gear.

How Much Do Pressure Washers Make?

Pressure washing business income can vary widely depending on location, services, pricing, and marketing efforts. However, many company owners can earn an average annual income from $30,000 to $75,000.

What Safety Protocols Should I Put in Place for My Pressure Washing Business?

Safety protocols should always be part of your business plan. This includes using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), ensuring proper equipment maintenance, adhering to chemical handling guidelines, and conducting regular safety training for yourself and your employees.

Plus, always ensure your insurance policies are up to standard for your business.

The Bottom Line

I hope my guide on starting a pressure washing business showed you why it’s an excellent business idea.

Remember the tips and strategies I discussed to ensure you start your business on the right foot and avoid costly mistakes.

On the other hand, if you still want to earn extra income but don’t think starting a business is for you, consider doing other side hustles that pay weekly.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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