How to Choose the Right PSI of Pressure Washer for Different Applications?

How to Choose the Right PSI of Pressure Washer for Different Applications?

PSI, simply known as pounds per square inch, is a water pressure unit in a pressure washer. While talking about the pressure washer, it's the first thing you have to consider, even if you are buying or operating it. Setting the right PSI is the key to pressure washing.

Now you might be thinking about how to choose the right PSI for your applications. Well, here we are going to discuss the same thing. So, if you are interested, read further!

Here we will take a brief review about;

  1. On which factors does PSI depend?
  2. Is there any formula to calculate the right PSI?
  3. PSI values for some common applications

Let’s start!

Factors to Determine the Right PSI

Being one of the most important values in pressure washer operation, this value depends on a few basic factors;

  • Surface & stain chemical bonding – stronger the bond, more PSI will be used
  • Durability of surface – you can’t extend PSI from a specific level for fragile surfaces regardless of the stain type. It can cause surface breakdown or damage.
  • The pressure washer itself – every pressure washer has its specific PSI value that you can increase or decrease. That’s why the seller always asks about your PSI requirement while purchasing.

Is There Any Formula to Calculate the Right PSI?

You might get confused while looking at the given PSI values on the internet about how these values are used as standards. The first thing you need to clear in your mind is that there is no formula or equation to calculate the required or right PSI value.

In the case of pressure washers, they are designed for a specific PSI value range. However, the professionals usually set the PSI values for different applications based on their experiences and tests. These values will provide you with a range to find the right value according to your surface durability and sensitivity.

Given PSI Values for Different Applications

Based on the provided PSI values, pressure washers are divided into three main types;

  • Light duty: ~1800 pressure psi
  • Medium duty: 2000-2800 PSI
  • Strong: >2800 PSI

Other PSI values that are being used for common applications are given below;

  • BBQ grills: 1500-4000
  • Car washing: 1300
  • Mold and mildew removal: 3500
  • Decks/docks: 2600-4000
  • Concrete driveways: 3000
  • Construction equipments: ~ 5000
  • Wood surfaces cleaning: 200-3,000

You can search for more values according to your need. The common household pressure washers usually have less than 3000 PSI values as the higher values have risky effects, so they are dealt with by professionals only.

The PSI value above 7000 to 50,000 is used only on large industrial levels and dealt with by engineers. So, you should be careful while dealing with the higher values unless you are a professional.


In this guide, we have described the importance of PSI values in pressure washers and how you can find the best one for your use. Be careful while working with the pressure washers as they are not inherently dangerous, but careless behaviors might make them one.