Those who have tackled big cleaning jobs in Chicago are likely familiar with the power and efficiency of a pressure washer. It’s a wonderful tool that uses water at high speed to blast away dirt, grime, and more. But hold on a minute! There are certain things that a pressure washer can damage. An IL Chicago Handyman shares six things you should never clean using a pressure washer.


Have you considered using a pressure washer to clean your car, truck, or bicycle? Hold that thought. A pressure washer’s stream is much too strong for vehicles. It can damage the paint, create dents, or even break the windshield and windows. When washing your vehicle, stick with a safe and trusted method – a regular hose, a bucket full of soap and water, and a soft cloth or sponge.

Asphalt Shingles

Thinking about using a pressure washer for cleaning roof shingles? Not so fast! Asphalt shingles are covered with tiny pebbles which protect the shingle from sun and rain. A pressure washer could blow off those pebbles, shortening your roof’s lifespan and making it less pretty. Rather than a pressure washer, consider using a roof cleaner with a soft brush to gently scrub away dirt and moss.


Gutters are little channels that carry rainwater away from your home, protecting the foundation. But they are not built to handle the strong force from a pressure washer. The hard stream of water might cause them to bend, break, or even pull away from the house. The handyman’s tip? Get on a ladder and carefully remove the leaves and gunk by hand while wearing a pair of gloves.


Windows may look strong, but the glass can easily crack or shatter under the force of a pressure washer. A shattered window brings in more than fresh air – damaged windows can harm people, let in pests, and cause energy costs to skyrocket. So, instead of the pressure washer, grab a window squeegee and some soapy water to make your windows squeaky clean.

Old Mortar

If you live in an old house with brickwork, keenly look at the mortar – the greyish stuff between the bricks. Over the years, that mortar can become brittle and crumbly. A pressures washer could blast it out from between the bricks, creating gaps and loose bricks. To clean old brick and mortar, gently scrub it with a soft brush and soapy water.

Window Siding

Siding (whether it’s wood, vinyl, or something else) protects your home from weather, pests, and other outdoor elements. However, the siding wasn’t made to stand up to the punishing force of a pressures washer. This force can crack the siding, break it, or force water behind it, leading to rot or mold down the road. Instead, the handyman suggests using a garden hose and a scrub brush to clean sidings without damaging them.

Final Thoughts

A pressure washer can be a real time-saver when it comes to big cleaning chores, but like any tool, it’s important to use it right. The key is knowing what not to pressure wash to prevent costly damages. So, the next time you are in a cleaning mind, remember this advice from a Handyman – some things are better off cleaned the good old-fashioned way. 

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