Can you use Dish Soap in a Pressure Washer? | Patio destinations

So, you have one of these nifty pressure washers and wonder if it’s safe to use dish soap with them. This question is something many people ask themselves and are often surprised to find out that dish soap can be used in a pressure washer.

However, these soaps need to be appropriately diluted with water before it is used. Aside from cleaning dishes with these soaps, they contain components that help remove stains, greases, and dirt from surfaces, especially when used in a pressure washer.

One of the best dish soaps to use in a pressure washer is the dawn dish soap which is believed to be one of the best. It is nicknamed “soap of all soap” due to its super cleaning abilities, especially in removing stains, grease, and other oils from various surfaces.

Despite the effectiveness of this soap when used in a pressure washer, knowing that it would never be as effective as a soap made specifically for pressure washers is crucial. These soaps combat hard stains and make the cleaning job more manageable.

Also, dish soap that is not correctly mixed can cause damage or clog the pressure washer. Such practice is against many manufacturers operating manual and may lead to a void in warranty.

Anyway, if you are still interested in using dish soap in your pressure washer, below is a detailed guide to help you out.

Is Dawn Safe for a Pressure Washer?


Dawn dish soap is considerably safe for pressure washers if you know how to use it properly. Instead of buying extra soap for your pressure washer, this cleaning agent can do the work at no additional cost.

Dawn dish soap has been applauded for removing grime and grease from the outer shroud of a gas grill and dirt from external car surfaces.

It is also effective in cleaning patio, paver surfaces, and fences. Also, this soap is safe for plants and biodegradable; Basically, this soap is non-toxic.

Using this soap will save you the expense of getting a designated soap for your pressure washer.

However, soaps made for pressure washers are lighter in texture when compared to dishwashing soaps. Also, this soap comprises different solutions, which makes it effective at removing stubborn stains from any surface.

How to Dilute Dawn Dish Soap for Pressure Washer

If you are still interested in using dish soap on your next pressure washing project, here’s how to do it:

  1. First, get a dish detergent with a degreaser like Dawn Dish Detergent.
  2. Mix 1/3 cup of the dish soap with 1 gallon of water. You can eyeball it, but ensure the soap is not too much because it will make your mixture too sudsy and soapy.
  3. Ensure the soap mix thoroughly with the water so the soap does not damage the machine.
  4. Now you can use the mixture to clean any surface you want; when this mixture is sprayed, leave it for a while, but do not let it dry before rinsing it away.
  5. Be sure to rinse all the soap and residue away.

can you use dish soap in a pressure washer

Why You Might Not Want to Use Dish Soap in Your Pressure Washer

In most cases, dish soaps will get the job done. However, various pressure washing soaps are available for purchase for a reason perhaps, because different surface requires different types of cleaning agents for the best result.

Nonetheless, there are some disadvantages of using dish soap in your pressure washer, which are stated below:

  • It may not be effective on some surface
  • It can clog the tubing and other parts of your pressure washer
  • These soaps are not suitable for cars
  • It can get overly soapy
  • Requires some level of knowledge for adequate use

What Kind of Soap can use in a pressure washer

There are different designated kinds of soap to use for a pressure washer. These soaps or cleaning agents are made to clean various surfaces for the best results. They are made specifically for pressure washers and for specific cleaning purposes.

These soaps are lighter in texture and do not need to be mixed with water before use. Irrespective of the type of cleaning you want, there is a specific soap.

Also, there is a multipurpose soap for other unspecified cleanings you want to do. Some of the specialized cleaning soap categories include:

  • Siding cleaners
  • Vehicle cleaners
  • Deck and fence cleaners
  • Concrete cleaners
  • Multipurpose cleaners
  • Mold cleaners

Homemade Pressure washer soap – DIY pressure washer soap

DIY pressure washer soap


It is usually fascinating doing various home projects yourself; the excitement that comes with the positive result is unquantifiable. Doing your pressure washer soap yourself will save some money that can be used for other stuff in the home.

Carrying out this project requires using various common household cleaning agents. For example, for a general or multipurpose pressure washing soap, mix one gallon of water, 2/3 cup of household cleaner, one cup vinegar, and 1/3 cup of phosphate-free laundry detergent (powder).

Additionally, many household multipurpose cleaners are also usable with your pressure washer. To do this, mix about 1 ounce of cleaner per 1 cup of water or about 2 cups per gallon. Again, you can increase the amount for a heavy-duty job or decrease it for a lighter-duty job.

This solution can carry out various cleaning jobs around the home. However, if you want more sophisticated cleaning, read here for various DIY pressure washer soaps.

Pressure Washer Soap FAQs

Can you use Pine-Sol in a pressure washer?

Yes, you can use Pine-Sol in a pressure washer. Pine-Sol is an all-purpose cleaner that works well on many surfaces, including those found in your home. It’s also safe to use on many materials, including stone and ceramic tile, wood, metal, and plastic.

Since Pine-Sol is a multi-surface cleaner and safe for use on many surfaces, it’s also safe to use in your pressure washer. However, it should rarely be used since it contains bleach.

If you’re using Pine-Sol in your pressure washer to clean your deck or patio furniture, be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward with water so there isn’t any residual bleach left behind.

However, it is highly flammable, so you should be sure to keep the Pine-Sol at least 20 feet away from any ignition source.

Can you use bleach in a pressure washer?

Yes, you can use bleach in a pressure washer, but most manufacturers do not recommend it. Bleach is a powerful and corrosive chemical that can damage the seals and gaskets in your pressure washer.

Bleach can also damage the metal parts of your pressure washer, causing them to corrode and rust faster than normal.

Can you use laundry detergent in a pressure washer?

Yes, you can use laundry detergent in a pressure washer. However, it is more important to use only the laundry detergent specifically designed for pressure washers.

This is because the chemicals used in regular laundry detergent may not be compatible with the internal components of your pressure washer.

Nonetheless, regular laundry detergent can also be used, and they are of two types; powdered and liquid. Powdered detergents are generally less expensive than liquid versions, but they require more work on your part to dissolve before using them.

Liquid versions tend to be more expensive than powdered ones and must be dissolved before using them. 


Many situations bring about the thought of going for alternative options. As explained above, you can use dish soap in a pressure washer, but you must know how to mix it properly to avoid damaging or clogging the machine.

However, using the designated soap for pressure washers is usually better and safe. If you don’t understand how to mix a dish soap for the pressure washer, it is advisable not to try this process.