How To Start A Pressure Washing Business Quickly

start a pressure washing business

There are many ways to make extra money. This article gives you some advice on how to start a pressure washing business from start to finish. It also has great information on how to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

When you’re thinking of starting a new business, you can’t just go out and start it. You need to go through many steps and a lot of work to make sure you are ready for when the time comes. We will show you how to start a business as a pressure washer and get your business started.

Table Of Contents show

Why Should You Start A Pressure Washing Business?

Small business owners have the benefit of controlling their time. No more waiting to hear when your boss needs you for another project; you decide where to spend your time. Owning your own pressure washing business gives you control over your work hours and income. In addition, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air while you are getting paid.

If you’re like me, you may not be cut out for a desk job and need to be out in nature to feel truly happy.

As a business owner, you’ll decide how big your company gets. You can ease into the business by starting small with a few clients. If you want to branch out for more money and more responsible, commercial buildings, heavy machinery cleaning, truck washing, and other large projects can be taken on.

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If you have the skills and the marketing ability, you are the only one who controls how much your business will grow.

A significant benefit to pressure washing is that it doesn’t require much physical strength to use the equipment. This means even older business owners can still work with the equipment.

Can You Make Money In The Pressure Washing Business? 

young girl making money in the pressure washing business

While not typical for everyone, some people with pressure washing businesses are making more than a thousand dollars a day. However, I guarantee these business owners spent countless hours, days, and years to scale their business to make that kind of money.

However, according to ZipRecruiter, the average pressure washer makes an average of $28,384 a year. This is a much more realistic number, especially if you start the business as a side hustle.

Starting a business may seem like a lot of work, but the peace of mind it gives you will allow you to focus on your new pressure washing business. It will take a lot of time and effort to grow, and you will get out what you put in.

If you’re new to the small business world, it’s essential to understand that a company’s profit is just as important as a person’s. It takes money to make money, and you’re out of the game if you don’t have enough to play with.

Cash flow is extremely important, and if your money out is more than your money in, you will start bleeding money and start to take on unmanageable debt. 

Money Management Tip:

Keeping your business and personal finances separate in entirely different accounts will make it easier to track expenses and income. 

When you mix business and personal assets, your personal property, such as your home, car, and other valuables, are at risk if the company is sued.

How To Start A Pressure Washing Business And Make Money

The best way to create a solid client base is word of mouth. Many businesses in this sector have many repeat clients. By providing reliable and excellent service, your income and customer base will increase.

As far as rates go, most pressure washing businesses charge a flat rate of around $50 to $100 for simple jobs such as pressure washing a car. This may include waxing the vehicle to make it look new.

If you’re looking to make more money than a hundred dollars here and there, signing on real estate owners for power washing contracts is one of the most important parts of this business. It is very profitable to power wash homes because the exterior surfaces can be charged by the square footage.

Business Overview Of Pressure Washing

man with a business in pressure washing How To Start A Pressure Washing Business

There are a lot of power washing businesses that offer a variety of services. There are power washing businesses that provide cleaning services in addition to spraying surfaces with water. Power washing requires skill and caution, but it is efficient and effective.

The business structure of your company depends on your skillset and interests. Whatever business structure you choose, be sure to implement a business plan that takes into account your overall goals for the company.

Power washing businesses offer expertise, convenience, and higher quality equipment that can tackle larger jobs, while anyone can rent a basic pressure or power washer.

Many customers will become returning customers if they schedule appointments multiple times per year.

Industry Summary Of The Pressure Washing Business

If you’re looking for good news, the power washing industry experienced a 2.0% growth from 2015 to 2020. The demand for cleaning services from both households and businesses drove the growth. Due to the increasing job market, the increase in disposable income made it possible for more people to hire cleaning workers.

Pressure Washing Industry Trends

The power washing industry is affected by many trends. Because of this, it’s vital for power washing businesses to invest in technology that increases their efficiency and ability to do top-quality work. Manual labor is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit skilled workers, so companies must use software and training tools to attract, hire, and train talent.

Recent technological and machinery discoveries have led to efficient water-fed poles that allow a business to save time while tackling difficult jobs.

As we press forward as a global economy focused on automation, business owners must embrace automation tools to run their businesses better and save time. This can involve automation revolving around bookkeeping, social media management, hiring and retention, training, and outreach, to name a few.

Power washing businesses like to use social media

Showing potential customers the quality work that the business does can give businesses credibility. It is possible to make a business’s social media pages more engaging with the help of drones and video footage.

More customers are using online searches and reviews to find service professionals, so businesses need to embrace online marketing. By doing this, companies will make it easy for potential customers to contact them through their business page if they want to use the local service ads.

The customer service experience has become more critical in the power washing industry than ever before. The best customer service experience can be provided from the initial inquiry to the appointment.

Taking credit card payments or online payments can help a business stand out from the crowd.

How To Learn To Powerwash

As you can imagine, the best way to learn is to practice, even if you can watch and learn from YouTube all day long.

Use a pressure washer from Home Depot or borrow a friend’s for a week and use it every day to clean. Try all different types of surfaces to include:

  • Your driveway
  • House
  • Siding
  • Car
  • Board
  • Lawn Mower
  • Garbage Bin
  • Grill
  • Patio
  • Furniture
  • Deck

Initial practice won’t make you an expert, but it will give you a foundation to build upon.

If you want to learn how to properly clean the more challenging surfaces like a driveway and wood deck, a quick YouTube search will point you in the right direction. 

As you start to experiment and practice, you’ll know it relatively quickly if you don’t like doing the work. To gain additional training quickly, call up a pressure washing company in a neighborhood a few miles away and offer to work for them for free on Saturdays for a month.

Learn the Skills to be Efficient

Studying pressure washing on the all-you-can-eat video buffet (YouTube) is one of the best and cheapest ways to learn the required skills to avoid damaging property and maintaining a profitable business.

Borrowing a buddy’s power washer or renting one from Lowe’s is a great way to practice your craft. As previously stated, every single day, use it to clean your patio furniture, deck, and driveway.

You’ll be learning the skills you need when you restore items on your property.

Learning The Basics Of A Pressure Washing Business

learning the basics of a pressure washing business

When it comes to starting a pressure washing business, it’s incredible how many people don’t know how to deliver the services they plan to sell. It is not as difficult to learn how to pressure wash as it is to learn skilled trades.

As I stated earlier, if you want to learn power washing techniques, your best friend will be the video-sharing website, YouTube. You’ll discover that the more common pressure washing equipment uses cold water.

Many videos explain everything from equipment choice to techniques. After you have spent a reasonable amount of time learning the ins and outs to avoid damage and obtaining the best results, it’s time to pick up a wand after you’re familiar with the process.

The best way to learn how to power wash is to buy a pressure washer when you can afford it. Renting or borrowing one is the best way to experiment without going broke buying a new fancy power washer.

Finding Places To Practice

Pressure washing your house is the best way to start your learning journey. However, there’s no need to worry if you don’t own a home because there are some ideas for surfaces to practice on.

It’s very easy to get other people to let you practice on their land in exchange for free power washing. If you’re lucky, the property manager of your apartment might be willing to let you power wash some of the common areas for free.

If you are practicing on someone else’s property, you should make sure that the person you are working with is ok with the potential for property damages.

As a new pressure washer, you’re more likely to ruin someone’s concrete, damage their siding, or take the paint off a surface. Keep this in mind and avoid spraying a brand new vehicle if you have no idea what you’re doing.

If the owner or manager of the property agrees, offering your services for free is a great way to get pressure washing experience and build a list of future customers.

Working For Another Pressure Washing Company

If you don’t have the money for a power washer or can’t find a place to practice, you can look into working for another power washing business.

This will help you learn the techniques you will need to start your own pressure washing business, but it will also help you earn some money that you can apply towards buying your own equipment when you’re ready.

Learning To Pressure Wash Like a Professional

professional skills of a pressure washer

It’s important to get experience, so you not only clean your customers’ surfaces well but don’t damage the surrounding area. High-pressure water and landscape don’t mix together which is one reason to learn how to pressure wash like a professional before starting a power washing business.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You will want to make sure your services are top-notch before you start your business.

Renting a pressure washer will help you practice. You will have plenty of time to work on your skills if you lease it for less than $100 a day. If you want to improve your pressure washing skills, you can offer to clean your neighbors’ houses and ask them how they’d rate your services.

Go back and practice if they disapprove.

The Costs Involved In Starting A Pressure Washing Business

The cost of transportation to take the pressure washing equipment to the client’s premises is the leading startup cost. When operating a pressure washing van, it’s a good idea to have the company’s advertising on it to attract more customers, which will cost money.

If you want to offer power washing to vehicles passing by on a main thoroughfare, you need a physical business location – which will cost money.

The lease for power washing equipment and water tanks costs will cost about $2,000 down and roughly $700 per month, which is the equivalent of purchasing $25,000 in equipment.

Purchasing pressure washing equipment for a larger upfront payment would save you money in the long run but not if you don’t like the business or are not profitable.

Depending on the jobs you plan to contract, pressure washers cost from a few hundred dollars to over $15,000. Before buying the most expensive and shiniest washer, look at which type of pressure washer you need.

As far as startup equipment, you’ll need a high-powered pressure washer, high-pressure and low-pressure hoses, nozzles, surface cleaners, water inlets, X-jet Sewer jetters, soap, and chemicals.

Another option is to spend $450 per month to lease a commercial van fitted with power washing equipment.

To get the equipment and the van, you will need a few thousand dollars for the down payment and enough to pay the lease payments for the first six months while you find customers.

It is possible to start this business with less than $10,000 in cash and finance the rest with credit.

To create a positive income stream, you will need to quickly make a sustainable business effort by generating $2,000 or more per month in paid jobs.

Other equipment You’ll Need

pressure washing equipment

Before you buy your first power washer, you need to carefully consider what it will take to succeed as a power washing business and thrive as a self-employed entrepreneur.

While the freedom to decide what workweek is going to look like, the feeling of being your own boss, and the creation of jobs in your local economy are all things that can change your life, you need to realize it will take more than just buying equipment and selling jobs to start a power washing business.

Ongoing Pressure Washing Business Expenses 

The labor cost for the workers, lease payments for the equipment and the van, insurance, and amount allocated to the monthly marketing efforts are some of the ongoing expenses.

Professional Pressure Washing Licensing

If you want to start a power washing business, depending on the state you live in and operate, you may need to be licensed by a regulatory board. Because of stiff penalties, it’s essential to have all of your ducks in a row if you want to sell power washing jobs.

Many states regulate the detergents and cleaning agents used in this work. In addition, governing boards usually require power washers to keep wastewater out of public drain and waterways.

When buying power washing equipment, it may be a good idea to invest in a wastewater reclamation system. These systems can be expensive, but they can help you avoid fines if you don’t comply.

Depending on where you are in the country, you may need a permit or business license from the local wastewater plant. Make sure you are up to date because requirements can change frequently.

It’s best to reach out to your local governing authority to find out more about the licensing requirements for pressure washers.

Pressure Washing Insurance And Potential Liability

Pressure washing businesses need to be insured to start because it is possible to damage a home accidentally when you pressure wash it. If you use a ladder in your company, it’s likely someone will become insured, leading to additional liability.

To not be personally liable in the rare case you are sued, you need to be insured. Assets can be seized, and payments can be made to compensate for the reason behind the lawsuit.

To be a legit pressure washing business, you need to register your business as an LLC, S-corp, C-corp, DBA, or something similar to avoid personal responsibility from claims against the business.

Other types of insurance you may want to consider are equipment insurance, business insurance, and liability insurance.

Manage Your Small Business Finances With A Business Account

use a small business account to manage finances

It’s a good idea to open a separate checking and savings account for your pressure washing business if you already have a personal bank account. 

Once you open the account, be sure to create a space to store important emails, letters, and any other correspondence you may have to reference since many banks offer incentives and discounts for business owners opening small business bank accounts.

Set Up a Bookkeeping and Accounting System

Learn from my mistakes of not planning for this ahead of time. The first couple of years of Arrest Your Debt and tax time were stressful experiences. My bookkeeping was sloppy, which required a ton of work to fix everything. Take the extra time to properly set up an accounting system like QuickBooks to keep track of your records for tax purposes.

It may be possible for you to make time for, at first, keeping track of the money that comes in and goes out of your business, similar to having your own bank account. However, as your business grows, there may be less and less time to track the financial nitty-gritty once things pick up.

The balance of your account could be affected if a specific number is not detailed correctly, which makes it wise to start correctly from the beginning.

You might think that accounting and bookkeeping are the same things, but they are not, and each plays a vital role in your business.

Look for a system that works for you sooner rather than later to track all of your business expenses.

How to Price Power Washing Services

As a business owner, you can offer a lot of pressure washing services. As you grow your business and improve your skills, it’s better to specialize in a few services first.

Regardless of where you live, you should always try to make a minimum of $50/hour gross. You will be working for less than minimum wage if your power washing business brings in less than that.

What To Charge For Your Services

The most popular method to price power washing jobs is per square foot.

Measure the job site and give the customer a quote before you begin. The cost of power washing varies between 15 cents and 75 cents per square foot, with most jobs averaging around $288. Depending on the size of the job, this will vary.

Pressure washing can cost between $50 and $100 per hour for each team member.

Figure Out Your Scope of Services

The scope of your services should be decided next. Restoration, paint removal, general maintenance, windows, roofs, or gutter are some of the specific jobs that some businesses focus on.

You can clean drain, pipes and sewage lines and you could offer more services, such as window washing.

Create Your Brand With Marketing

girl using social media for digital marketing power washing business

It doesn’t have to be expensive to create a company brand. Your pressure washing business will be influenced by marketing, and without marketing, you wouldn’t have many customers. 

An effective marketing plan can be as simple as leaving your business cards around town so people start to recognize your name and services.

Keep Current With The Times And Your Equipment

Market demand changes with trends, and training and pressure washing are the same as anything else. It would be best to keep your equipment and your credentials up to date because it’s a significant investment to use pressure washing equipment. However, it will last a long time if you learn to care for it.

Setting up an excel spreadsheet is one of the best ways to keep track of your equipment and document performance, and decide on future purchases.

Wrapping It Up

Starting a pressure washing business takes time to set up and learn the skills required to maintain a profitable business, but once you establish a community and word of mouth referrals, you can make decent money. The initial startup fees can be signficant but the overall ongoing costs are reasonable.

If you enjoy working outside and want to learn a new skill, a pressure washing business may be the perfect side hustle for you!

General FAQ

How Much Should You Charge In A Pressure Washing Business?

The price of your services should be high enough to make a profit and low enough to be competitive with other service providers.

How Do I Learn To Use A Pressure Washer?

Use a pressure washer from Home Depot or borrow a friend’s for a week and use it every day to clean:

  • Your driveway
  • House siding
  • Car
  • Boat
  • Lawnmower
  • Garbage bin
  • Grill
  • Patio
  • Furniture deck

What Are The Upfront Costs Of Starting A Pressure Washing Business?

Insurance costs, business permits, and contractor license costs are some of the upfront expenditure categories.

How Do I Learn Power Washing Techniques?

If you want to learn power washing techniques, your best friend will be the video-sharing website, YouTube.

How Much Should You Charge For Pressure Washing?

Regardless of where you live, you should always try to make a minimum of $50/hour gross.