Two workers repair and clean an alley. One is on a ladder repairing the left wall, and the other is power washing the right wall.

If you don’t know what power washing (also called “pressure washing”) is, it’s when a special hose ejects liquid at light-speed in order to clean off large, outdoor things that are always dirty. Kind of like a flamethrower, except with water. It’s a great tool for keeping decks, driveways, and the siding of houses clean, but there a couple of things that make power washing a bit more complex, and potentially harmful.

1. Power Washing Isn’t Just Water

When you hear the word “washing,” you think water right? Well, when it comes to power washing, it’s actually not just water. Cleaning chemicals are often included in the mixture to help get a better clean. Additionally, you often have to lay down cleaning chemicals onto the surface you are about to wash. Bet you didn’t expect pressure washing to be like Dexter’s Laboratory, huh? 

Test tubes sit in a line, some full of purple liquids and others with green liquids, while a dropper drops liquid into them.

And just like in a laboratory, if these chemicals get onto your eyes or skin, you could potentially have a harmful reaction, get a chemical burn, or even get a chemical infection. So, make sure you wear protective clothing while power washing, and keep small children, pets, and any other unprotected parties out of the area. Yes, you may look like you have no friends and are going to go to a cosplay convention, but it’s either that, or having to tell your friends you got a chemical burn from a Super Saiyan hose.

2. Injuries Due to Pressure

It’s not called power washing for nothing. Some power washing hoses can expel the liquid at almost 3,000 psi (lbs/sq. in.). Yeah, you read that right. 3,000. To put that in perspective, that’s how much a fully grown female hippo weighs. And you’re getting that much pressure per square inch. That’s a lot of pressure, and that means that if that hose slips and hits you anywhere, that part of your body is, safe to say, not going to be okay. According to the CDC, “The strong spray from a pressure washer can cause serious wounds,” and these wounds can quickly get infected. And, if the highly pressurized liquid hits your eyes, it can cause injuries that could lead to blindness. 

A hand is held up, palm up, with it's two middle fingers wrapped in a blue bandage.

Furthermore, even if you don’t lose your grip on the hose, the aggressive liquid could hit an object and launch that object at you or someone else. Obviously, this can cause injury as well, especially if the projectile is sharp or hard or both. Bottom line: You don’t want your Korean ceramic flower pot hitting your face at 20 mph. To avoid these injuries, again, wear protective clothing while power washing, and completely clear the area you are washing of not just people and animals, but also objects. It’s okay, Karen, the squirrels will live if your antique squirrel feeder is inside for an hour.

3. Electrocution During Power Washing

A lighting storm full of bright white, glowing,  thin lightning tendrils is shown in the sky.

What do we call Water + Electricity, boys and girls? That’s right y’all: Electrocution. And not the kind that zaps you and just makes some smoke come out of your head. Fortunately, most pressure washers have a hard shell to cover their wires and electrical elements. However, exposed electrical parts of that mower, outdoor outlets, plugged-in appliances, and electric outdoor toys and tools can quickly cause trouble if hit by the washer. And they can cause some especially big ZAPS if submerged in the leftover liquid you’ll definitely be standing in. Not good. So, make sure you keep the area completely clear of electrical doodads while power washing.

It’s no doubt that power washing gets the job done, but it can be a bit complicated and kind of scary. We can understand why it might be too much of a headache to take on. Luckily, we have tons of power washing professionals on deck (pun intended) ready to take on the Super Saiyan hose for you.