How to Rent a Power Washer

How to Rent a Power Washer

Get your hands on a pressure washer for your outdoor cleaning projects

By Stevie Donald

Power Washer
Photo by iStockphoto.comBookmark and Share

Power washers (also known as pressure washers) are handy tools. A power washer can prepare decks for staining, your house for painting and clean anything from driveways to barns. Electric power washers are good for washing cars and sidewalks, but not powerful enough for stripping heavy dirt accumulation, paint or stain. A gas-powered professional-grade power washer is an expensive machine, and for most people it makes more sense to rent one for larger projects. Most rental yards have gas powered machines that deliver about 2,500 psi (pounds per square inch). With the correct nozzle, this is adequate for just about any residential pressure-washing job.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Pressure washers are bulky machines. You'll need a roomy car, or a truck or van, to transport it. Otherwise, you can ask if the rental shop offers delivery.
  • Arrange your power washing project when you'll have several days of hot, dry weather, if possible. It's not fun to do on cool or rainy days, and you'll need several days for everything to dry afterward.
Renting the Right Pressure Washer

Step 1:

Assess your project. If there is mildew or a lot of dirt on what you're power washing, you'll need to apply detergent or mildewcide with the washer, so you'll have to rent a washer with a detergent feed. This allows you to run detergent through the machine, then switch to water-only mode for high pressure cleaning and rinsing.

Step 2:

Look for a pressure washer that delivers at least 2,000 psi for removing loose paint or moss from masonry and wood surfaces.

Step 3:

Ask for the appropriate color coded nozzle for your project. The black nozzle applies chemicals and detergents, while the white one rinses them off. The green nozzle is best for general washing, mildew removal and deck cleaning, but it will not remove paint or stain. The yellow nozzle is best for removing paint, stain and stubborn dirt or moss. Many rental yards will not give you the red nozzle, which delivers a powerful, straight stream of water and can easily damage siding or break glass.

Step 4:

Have the rental yard attendant give you a quick tutorial on how to operate the power washer. You'll need to know how to adjust the pressure, attach the hoses, couplings and nozzles, and how to start the machine. Ask them how long the washer will run on a tank of gas.

Step 5:

Ask if they have any accessories that will make your job easier. These can include extension wands so you don't have to climb a ladder and extra hoses. Also consider buying cleaning solution from them, if you're going to be using any.

Step 6:

Return the power washer in the same condition you received it. Fill the gas tank, and clean paint chips and debris from the hoses and machine housing.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Few rental yards rent out electric power washers, or washers that deliver less than 2,000 psi.
  • You'll need decent water pressure at your house for the power washer to work optimally. If your water pressure is on the low side, buy or rent a 5/8-inch diameter garden hose. Most household garden hoses are 1/2-inch in diameter.
  • If there's any cosmetic damage to the power washer when you rent it, point it out to the rental attendant and have him make a note of it on the rental agreement.
  • Don't add household bleach to solution you're running through the power washer because it will quickly ruin the seals. If you need to remove mildew, ask the rental yard for a recommendation to a non-chlorine mildewcide.
  • Be very careful with the power washer. The water comes out with tremendous force and you can easily damage wood and brick, or injure someone, if you're not careful.

About the Author

Stevie Donald is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been a painting contractor since 1979.

Related Guides

White tables and chairs, table cloth on lawn

How to Rent Tables and Chairs

Whether it is for a garden party, housewarming event or a wedding reception, renting tables and chairs is cost-effective for a one-time occasion and prevents you from making a purchase that will just gather dust.... Read More

Plan your Home Maintenance

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Log In with your Facebook account.
We’ll never post without your permission.
If you previously linked your account to a Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, Aol, or Windows Live login and don't have a password, you'll need to create a new password to access your account. Click here to receive an email with your temporary password and then login using your email address and temporary password.

Log in to your DexKnows account:

Forgot Password?
Sign Up

Already have an account? Log In

Log In with your Facebook account.
We’ll never post without your permission.

Create a DexKnows account:

At least 6 characters
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You'll receive the DexKnows Tips email newsletter as well as email updates about your account.
Forgot Password

Please enter your email address so that we can send you an email with a link to change your password..

Change Password

Please enter your email address so that we can send you an email with a link to change your password.


Please enter your new password

Email Address:

At least 6 characters
Link Accounts


Do you currently have an account with Dexknows?

Should we link this account to the one you just created?

Please provide this additional information to register
Will be displayed next to your reviews.
Yes, I want to find out about great deals, local recommendations and more!
I agree to terms of use and privacy policy

Please share the issue you encountered with our search

I am a(n):


Please check at least one issue checkbox.