How to Start a Pressure Washing Business

Starting a pressure washing business can be a great way to earn extra income as well as grow the business into a full-time money-making venture. What makes the power washing business so great is that it has relatively low startup costs compared to other businesses in similar fields.

So if a business with low startup cost and high earning potential sounds appealing to you then keep reading to learn all the steps necessary to launch your own successful pressure washing business.

Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business

There are certain steps that apply when starting any kind of business, however, a power washing business has its own unique set of tasks that must be completed in order to get it off the ground.

Learn How to Pressure Wash

If you’re already considering starting a power washing business that probably means you’re somewhat familiar with how power washing works and what it takes. However, even if you’re totally new you should be able to learn the basics relatively quickly so that you can start to establish your business.

The key elements that you’ll want to learn are what different types of power washers exist as well as the different types of surfaces that can be cleaned with a power washer.

You’ll also want to identify if there are any specific cleaning agents or detergents that need to be used in certain situations. There are also certain attachments that can be used on the power washer when cleaning various surfaces.

Finally, you’ll want to identify the surfaces where power washing is not recommended. The last thing you would want to do is damage a customer’s property because it was not suitable for power washing.

Create Business Plan

Every business from a small startup to a multi-million dollar corporation will require a business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines the goals and ambitions of your company as well as how you intend on achieving those goals.

A business plan operates as a type of roadmap that you can follow when making decisions regarding which direction your business should go. So whether you plan for expansion or new marketing ideas, a business plan can help guide the way and keep you on track so that you don’t stray away from your original business goals.

Set Your Rates

Power washing generally has fairly standard pricing that is specific to the area where you intend to do business. In this case, that means you can investigate other power washing companies in your area to see what they charge for their services. Unless you plan on going above and beyond what they offer you should probably price your services in a similar way as the already established companies.

However, there are exceptions here and you can either price higher or lower depending on your own operating expenses and services offered. For example, you may have lower costs which means you can offer your services at a lower price.

 Alternatively, you may be able to offer a more customized service than your competitors which means you may be able to charge a higher price if the market is willing to pay for that extra level of service.

Establish a Business Structure

A business structure determines how the law or state views your business as an entity. For example, your business can be seen as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or one of several types of corporations.

Each one of these can work for your business but each does have its own advantages and disadvantages. An LLC is a popular choice because it allows for the flexibility to be run as a sole proprietorship or a partnership but still gives many of the advantages of a corporation. Some of these advantages can be tax-related as well as certain amounts of liability protection for your personal assets.

Along with registering your business, you will likely also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a unique identifying number assigned to your business for tax purposes.

Buy Equipment and Supplies

There are essentially two main categories of equipment you’ll need to start a power washing business. Those two categories are of course going to be the power washer itself and its related accessories. The next category will be the vehicle that you’ll need to move yourself and the power washer between job sites.

Power washer

For the power washer, you will need something that is commercial quality and will hold up with day-to-day usage. Power washers come in a range of different makes and models and can cost anywhere between $200 to $1,000 or more.

You’ll also want to decide if you want to go with a gasoline-powered washer or an electric power washer. A gas-powered washer will be much more portable but there will be more maintenance required. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of gas which can fluctuate quite a bit throughout the year.

An electric-powered washer may be a good choice, however, you will need to have a power source or a generator available when arriving on a job site. This may not always be possible which would make an electric power washer unsuitable in some circumstances.


The next thing you’ll need is a vehicle that can transport your power washer as well as yourself when going to a client’s property. If you already have a suitable vehicle such as a large pickup truck or large SUV then you may not have to purchase an additional vehicle.

If you don’t already have a vehicle you can always purchase one, although this will increase your startup costs. You should be able to purchase a suitable vehicle through financing and expect to pay between $300 to $500 per month.

Create Marketing Channels

One of the most vital tasks when starting a new business is to get your service out there in front of potential paying customers. The first step in this process is to start creating your social media accounts across the various platforms where people can find you. Next, you’ll want to build a website that has all of your important information including your prices, the type of services offered, and the area where you do business.

You can also contact property managers directly who may need your service. This includes landlords, apartment complexes, and other rental properties where they may need your power washing service. These types of clients can often become customers that you build a relationship with and can help maintain a steady cash flow even while there are fluctuations in demand. 

Focus on Getting Your First Customers 

It’s common for most small businesses to struggle to find their first customers. This is nothing new so don’t let it discourage you. There are some things you can do that will make finding your first few customers a lot easier.

To start, you’ll want to inform all of your friends, family, and even business partners about your new service. There may be people in your immediate circle who already need power washing services.

Next, and this is something that was touched on in the earlier section, is to directly contact businesses in your area who may need your services. For example, if you see a storefront where the parking lot or the area in front has stained concrete you can approach this business owner and ask if they would be interested in power washing services.

If you’re new to running a business, you may think this seems like a pushy approach. However many local property owners often don’t have the time to deal with certain maintenance issues. So if a person approaches them and offers them a solution that can solve their problem they’ll often be not only grateful but also more than happy to pay. 

The Different Types of Pressure Washing Businesses

There are two types of general pressure washing businesses, although each can have overlapping clients and use a similar business model.

Residential Pressure Washing Businesses

As the name suggests, a residential pressure washing business focuses on residential customers like homeowners and their surrounding property. This can mean their home’s exterior, patios, and garden areas, as well as pools and other surfaces.

Starting a residential power washing business is usually easier and requires less expensive equipment. But the amount of money that can be earned and the demand for business may be lower.

Commercial Pressure Washing Businesses

Commercial power washing involves providing your services to businesses or property owners. This can mean more money, but you will also need a higher level of expertise. You may need to carry certain additional liability insurance as well that may change from job to job.

However, there are large commercial clients but also smaller ones. These smaller commercial clients can often be serviced by an experienced residential power washing company.

Advantages of a Pressure Washing Business

There are key benefits to choosing a power washing business as your next venture. They include:

  • Low startup cost
  • Potential for high profits
  • Potential for growth 
  • Great way to build a reputation in the community

Drawbacks of a Pressure Washing Business

Like every business or venture, power washing has its drawbacks as well. It’s wise to understand these to make sure that power washing is a good fit for you and your situation.

Some drawbacks include:

  • The work can be physically demanding at times
  • Demand can fluctuate due to the weather, leading to fluctuations in earnings

The Next Step to Start Your Own Power Washing Business

If you’ve decided that the low startup costs and great earning potential of a power washing business are right for you, you may be wondering what step to take next in order to become your own boss.

A great first step in the right direction is to contact the business experts at doola. From registering your business as an LLC or helping you with bookkeeping, doola’s small business tools make starting your company easier than you ever imagined.

Contact doola today to learn how we can help get your business off the ground fast.


Do I need a license to start a pressure washing business?

Most local areas will require some kind of permit to do business. You’ll need to check with your local city and state to see what is required for your area. However, there is usually no specific license for pressure washing.

Is pressure washing in high demand?

Power washing can be in high demand in many areas. There are also seasons where demand is highest, such as during the spring and summer months.

How much do pressure washers make a day?

Pressure washing jobs on average cost about $250 per day and you can easily do 2 of these per day. This makes for a good profit margin considering the low startup costs.

Who is the target market for pressure washing?

Homeowners, business owners, and property owners are all potential customers that need power washing services.

How do I get more customers for pressure washing?

Direct marketing can be one of the better ways to reach new customers. Either through advertising or direct contact with homeowners and businesses to let them know about your services.

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