Can You Use Dish Soap in a Pressure Washer?

Using the right pressure washer is exciting and simple because it eliminates dirt, debris, and mold at a more efficient rate than washing with hands. However, for it to be effective at removing greases and stubborn stains, it needs to be used in combination with soaps or detergents. 

Due to the abundance of soaps and detergents, it can be really challenging finding the right one that won’t damage the pressure washer. 

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In today’s world where eco-friendly and biodegradable products are the order of the day, people are seeking after soaps and detergents. The reason is simple – soaps contains natural ingredients such as fats and oil and this helps the soap to break down faster and get washed down the drain. Like soaps, detergents can be washed down the drain and disintegrate faster when compared to other cleaning agents. 

For most people, they combine synthetic detergents and these natural soap ingredients in their pressure washer to maximize the power of removing dirt. 

Sometimes, pressure washers may fail to clean certain dirt with the high-pressure water. The addition of dish soap will help get rid of dirt on the body of vehicles easily. 

However, the big question still remains whether you can use dish soap in a pressure washer. We will answer that question in this article. 

What is Dish Soap? 

Dish soap is just like the normal washing soap in the market with the only difference being that it’s in a liquid form. It’s a mixture of high-foaming ingredients that can be used in washing cutlery and can serve as a cleaning alternative. 

Dish or dishwashing soaps contains surfactants that help remove dirt when applied on a dirty surface. It is a wetting agent that contains bleach, enzymes, sodium hypochlorite, preservatives, and some fragrances that are manufactured and sold. Some dish soaps can be homemade too. 

Unlike some detergents, soaps are biodegradable and can’t be used in an untreated water and this is the issue most people have with it. When used in an untreated water, it can form calcium carbon on the surface of the untreated water. 

How Does Dish Soap Work With Pressure Washer? 

As we all know, pressure washers propel the water through a tiny opening to generate pressure. Pressure washers contains a motor, a hose, a nozzle, and a trigger-like gun switch. When the dish soap is poured in through the hose, it’s absorbed from the bottle. The machine exerts pressure on the water pump to discharge the required amount of soap through its high-pressured hose.

The soapy solution is forced through the meta nozzle that is attached to the spray gun. The nozzle allows the solution to be discharged out of the engine. Applying continuous pressure will force the device to pump and squirt out solution through the nose spray and nozzle. 

Pressure washing a surface with a dish soap is more effective at removing dirt than without using dish soap. To get the most out of your pressure washing, mix the dish soap with warm water. The warm water will help soak the dirt better than cold water. Setting it to high will allow the nozzle to squirt the soapy solution to remove any dirt on the surface. 

Discharging the soapy liquid through the nozzle occurs in two processes – the upstream and downstream injection system. Both methods are effective and the choice of use depends on the user and the amount of chemicals intended to be mixed. 

Are Dish Soap and Detergents the Same? 

Both dish soaps and detergents are excellent cleaning agents. When used in a pressure washer, you are assured of a sparkling surface or environment because it is more potent than using a water only. 

Dish soaps belongs to the category for general soaps. The only distinct feature is that dish soap is on a diluted form (a liquid foam). 

And if it’s whether dish soap is the same with detergent, the answer is no. 

Detergents can work in any type of water – whether it’s soft or hard water. Dish soaps, on the other hand is ineffective in an untreated water – which leads to the formation of calcium carbon solids. 

Due to the natural ingredients of fatty acid and oils in soaps including dish soaps, they are more degradable than detergents. 

So can you use dish soap in a pressure washer? 

The simple answer is yes! But many experts advise against using it in a pressure washer. That is because a pressure washer uses high pressure to discharge water – and during the process of discharging, you are likely to face a backsplash. Dish soap foams a lot. When used in high amounts in a pressure washer, it can create a lot of lather during which may damage the pump of the pressure washer. However, the results are impeccable – if you can deal with the backsplash, using a dish soap in a pressure washer definitely won’t be a bad idea. 

To avoid damaging the pump, use the most recommended soap or detergent by the manufacturer. Some dish soaps, bleach, and chemicals can damage the pressure washer. So avoid using them. 


The emergence of dish soaps has made it easier for people to effectively clean their homes. There is a limit to what only water can do. Dish soaps are excellent for the environment and helps remove even the most stubborn stains, rusts mold, and dirt. It is biodegradable, eco-friendly, and doesn’t affect the soil. 

Using it with a pressure washer is even more effective. Pressure washers are indispensable and will save you a lot of time and energy. Dish soaps and pressure washers are proven to be efficient cleaning combo that creates a polished finishing. 

The issue of whether dish soap can be used in a pressure washer is no longer up for a debate – and yes! You can use it in a pressure washer. Dish soap in a pressure washer is effective in cleaning home floors, vehicles, wood surface, and any other surfaces that contain hard stains. 

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