19 Items to Keep Away from Your Power Washer

Written By Jill Taylor

Using a power washer can definitely make cleaning easy, but it’s really important to know what items should never be exposed to intense pressure. Here are 19 things you should definitely keep away from your power washer.

Electrical Panels and Wiring

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Mixing water and electricity is always a bad idea. Power washers can push water into electrical panels and wiring, creating shorts and serious hazards. As Pressure Washers Direct suggests, make sure electrical components are covered, or just avoid washing near them.

Delicate Garden Plants

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Power washers can strip paint, so just imagine what they could do to your delicate garden plants. That intense water pressure can easily damage leaves, stems, and flowers. Always use a gentler method for cleaning around your garden to keep your plants safe.

Wooden Furniture

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Your beautiful wooden furniture needs special care. Power washers can strip away the protective finish and even damage the wood. Instead, use a soft cloth and mild soap solution to keep your wooden pieces looking great.


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Even though they look tough, vehicles have certain spots that can be damaged by a power washer. The pressure can strip paint, damage seals, and push water into places it shouldn’t go. It’s better to use a car wash hose with the right attachments.


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Glass windows might look tough, but a power washer can crack or break them pretty easily. That much pressure can also damage the seals, causing leaks. It’s best to stick with traditional cleaning methods to keep your windows intact and working well.

Air Conditioning Units

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The parts inside air conditioning units can’t handle high-pressure water. Using a power washer can bend the fins, damage the coils, and even push water into the electrical components. For these sensitive systems, use regular, simple maintenance.

Painted Surfaces

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While it might be tempting to use a power washer to clean painted surfaces, it can leave you with a messy and costly repair job. A garden hose and sponge will do the job better and keep your painted areas looking great.

Roof Shingles

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Roof shingles keep your home safe from the weather, but they’re not built to handle the intense force of a power washer. The pressure can mess up your shingles and cause leaks. Instead, use a soft-bristle brush and some roof cleaner for safe cleaning.

Outdoor Cushions

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You’ve probably heard that it’s OK to clean outdoor cushions with a power washer, but that high pressure can really tear up the fabric and foam. Instead, try using a fabric cleaner and a soft brush to keep your cushions looking fresh without any damage.

Asphalt Shingles

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Asphalt shingles, just like other roofing materials, can get easily damaged by a power washer. This might cause water to seep in and harm your roof. Just use the usual cleaning methods to keep your roof lasting long and working well.

Antique Items

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This may not come as a surprise, but antique items can easily get ruined by a power washer. The pressure can strip finishes, damage wood, and mess up intricate details. Clean them with gentle products to keep these valuable pieces in good shape.

BBQ Grills

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It might seem like a good idea to use a power washer on your BBQ grill, but the force is likely to damage parts and push water into spots where it can cause rust or electrical problems. Stick to grill-specific cleaners and brushes for a thorough and safe clean.

Exterior Lighting Fixtures

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Be careful with exterior lighting fixtures, especially the ones with glass parts, when using a power washer. The high pressure can easily break or damage them, leading to busted lights and possible electrical hazards. Clean them with more care to keep everything working smoothly.

Gutter Systems

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Gutters need regular cleaning, but be careful with power washers—they can push water behind the gutters and destroy your home’s exterior. Plus, the pressure might knock parts of the gutter loose. Instead, grab a gutter scoop and garden hose to clean them up.

Patio Pavers

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Patio pavers might look tough, but using a power washer can wear them down and wash away the sand between them. This can leave you with an uneven surface and potential tripping hazards. A simple broom and garden hose are all you need to keep your pavers clean.


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Bicycles have a lot of sensitive parts that don’t do well with high-pressure water. Bearings, chains, and gears can suffer from water and pressure. So, stick to a hose spray and bike-specific cleaning products.


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Wooden decking can easily splinter when hit with a power washer, leading to expensive repairs and safety issues. Instead, try using a deck brush and the right cleaner to keep your deck looking great without any problems.

Solar Panels

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Solar panels are built to last, but using a power washer can scratch them and damage the cells. This can lower their efficiency and shorten their lifespan. Instead, use a soft cloth and water to gently clean your solar panels, keeping them effective and in good shape.

Soft Stones

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Soft stones like limestone and sandstone can get damaged by the high pressure of a power washer, causing surface damage and weakening them. Instead, try using a brush and the right stone cleaner to keep these materials looking beautiful and durable.

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