How to Clean a Pressure Washer Pump Safely?

You may have the smallest pressure washer or the biggest one like the 3000 PSI. Whatever be the case, you need to ensure its general cleanliness and schedule maintenance. So, it is no wonder that you need to learn how to clean a pressure washer pump.

There are some important parts of any pressure washer that need extra care. To get an extended lifespan and desired performance, you need to operate and maintain those parts appropriately. Among all the parts, the pressure pump is the most valuable and important one. In this article, we are going to discuss the basics and cleaning procedures of the pump.

What is a Pressure Washer Pump?

A pressure washer pump is one of the main components of the power washer. The pressure pump is a device that moves the water by converting electrical or mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. It delivers the required water flow rate that commands by the power washer motor.

how to clean a pressure washer pump

How Does a Power Washer Pump Work?

There are three types of pumps that can be used in a pressure washer. Depending on the type, the work pattern varies. We are not going to discuss the working process for each type. Instead, we will give you a general concept of the working principle of a pump.

The pressure washer pump ensures the high pressure of the water. To do so, it accelerates the water taken from an inlet valve. The inlet valve takes water from, usually, a garden hose. At first, the pressure pump takes the water and then spins it. This water gains kinetic energy and builds up tremendous pressure. The amount of generated pressure is generally 75 times the pressure of any garden hose.

Now, this pressurized water gathers at the back end of the wand/trigger. As soon as you press the trigger, a significant amount of air mixed with the water. Together the air and pressurized water come out of the wand and clean the stuff.

Again, the pump can be subdivided into another two types depending on pressure flow. One type maintains low pressure and high flow. The other type maintains a high-pressure and low flow rate.

Always try to use the right garden hose and power washer hose to get the optimum output.

Why Do You Need to Clean the Pump?

Over time, water builds up minerals and corrosion onto the pump. The minerals are the combo of too many substances. Some of the substances are harmful to any metal, let alone the pump. Again, the corrosion may eat up even a complete ship/ aircraft within a few months! So? Isn’t it clear the impact your pressure pump gets from these minerals and corrosion?

When you clean your pressure pump, you erase these sorts of substances. As a result, your pump gets the required maintenance and doesn’t succumb to the minerals. Furthermore, the scheduled maintenance, inspection, and cleaning of the pump increase its lifespan. Sometimes, a pressure washer loses pressure due to a faulty pump!

The pump of the power washer is the most pricy than any other parts. So, if you neglect and fail to take the minimum care of the pump, you have to pay the price. The minimum repair cost for a standard pressure pump is over 100 bucks! Isn’t it a better option to follow the guidelines to operate any machine?

On the other hand, sometimes we use unauthorized cleaning solutions. Most of the locally made cleaning solutions (like bleach) are harmful to the pressure pump. So, you should avoid using those to skip unnecessary troubles. When you use any kind of cleaning solution with your power washer, you should clean the pressure pump asap. Always use the best cleaning solutions with your power washer.

Steps of Cleaning the Pressure Washer Pump

Cleaning the pressure pump is a pretty simple task. But, this simple task can save the life of a pump in the long run. Follow these 4 simple steps to clean the pump like a pro.

Step #1 Switch Off the Power Washer

Before working for any maintenance job with your power washer, make sure that you turn off it. If it is gasoline operated, shuts off the engine. If it is a battery-powered one, disconnect the electricity flow. Make sure that, you do not leave any scope to restart or reconnect the washer during the cleaning job. Any unwanted start-up of the power washer is lethal!

Step #2 Take Out the Pressure Pump from its Bay

Now, with the help of a screwdriver and adjustable wrench, take out the pump from its bay. After removing the pump, clean it with an air blower or vacuum cleaner. After blowing with air, clean the pump with the help of kerosene or alcohol. Pour down the kerosene or alcohol inside the pump. Now, jerk the pump manually so that kerosene/alcohol covers every portion of the pump. Furthermore, clean all the vents including the cooling vents to remove debris.

Once you are done with the alcohol treatment, blow the pump with air one more time. This air blowing will remove unnecessary alcohol residue. Now, it is time to put back the pump in its bay. Place the pump to its bay with the help of the tools you used to take it out.

Step #3 Give the Pump Water Treatment

Once you fit the pump to its bay, secure all the nuts and screws properly. Remember, no loose connection is acceptable with a power washer. Give the required torque to tighten the nuts and screws perfectly.

Now, connect the garden hose with the pressure washer inlet valve. It would be better if you can arrange pure water which devoids of arsenic or any sort of pollution. Now, make sure that everything is set for starting the power washer.

Step #4 Runs the Power Washer

Now, run the engine ( follow the correct procedure for gas and electric pressure washer). This time, you are running the washer for cleaning the pressure pump. When your power washer runs, the water comes through the inlet and reaches the pump. After that, the pump pressurizes the water and pushes it towards the wand. So, in this case, the water will wash the pump and the kerosene/alcohol we have used earlier.

At least 2 to 3 minutes of runtime is required to clean the pressure pump. You may think that if the water is capable of cleaning the pump, then why it does need to clean as it uses water all the time? Well, we have removed the probable debris, residue, mineral wastages, and corrosive substances that gathered on the pump with time.

Well, you are done with the pressure pump cleaning task! The scheduled cleaning of the pressure pump prevents it from unwanted clogging.

Hunter Tips on Power Washer Pump

  • After every operation of the power washer, runs the engine 2-3 minutes more for cleaning the pressure pump. This will remove any sort of debris or residue from the pump. Thus, you can reduce the number of pump cleanings each season!
  • The motor/engine of the power washer produces power. With the help of this power, the pump builds up pressure. To save the pump and get the most out of it, you should use appropriate attachments. Always use the best surface cleaners and the perfect turbo nozzles with your power washer.
  • During long-term storage, you have to use the pressure pump saver. This preserver prevents the pump from any sort of corrosion. Almost 95% of power washer users use the pump saver. Do not forget to buy the best pump saver available on the market.

Pressure pump saver


Depending on our needs, we use electric power washers or gas pressure washers. Whatever be the power source we opt for, the cleaning machine needs some care. The pressure washer helps us immensely clean any dust, dirt, or grime. So, shouldn’t we help it to remain serviceable? Take care of your pressure washer and any other power tools. A fit machine can produce the ultimate result that we are looking for. We hope that this article on “how to clean a power washer pump” was helpful for you.

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