Can You Pressure Wash in the Rain?

If you’re a homeowner or run your own cleaning business, you’re probably familiar with pressure washers. These tools are powerful enough to strip paint but can also clean more fragile surfaces.

The problem is that you can’t control the weather even if you’re prepared for a job.

Which brings us to the question of the day: can you pressure wash in the rain? Modern pressure washers can withstand some form of water exposure. You certainly don’t want to leave any piece of equipment in harsh outdoor elements for long periods of time.

Let’s discuss why it’s safe and when you should avoid using this piece of equipment in the rain.

Can a Pressure Washer get Wet?

As we briefly touched on above, pressure washers can withstand some level of water exposure.

One way to find out if your pressure washer can get wet is to look for an Underwriter Laboratories (UL) label on the exterior.

UL is a company that provides safety ratings for electrical equipment. Check the rating on this label to make sure your pressure washer is safe for a wet outdoor setting.

Tips for Pressure Washing in the Rain

So, you’ve decided that you don’t mind doing a little outdoor work in the rain. But before you run outside and start spraying everything down let’s take a look at how to prepare for pressure washing in the rain.

With these tips you can get the job done safer and in the most efficient way possible.

1. Check the hourly forecast

It can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to check the forecast these day. Have you ever looked at the weather for the weekend only to see an image of a rain cloud?

It’s a pretty vague description to say the least. That’s why it helps to check the hourly forecast before you begin a pressure washing project.

You will be able to see if it’s just a passing shower, or full-blown storm and plan accordingly.

2. Don’t Rush the Job

If you just got caught in an afternoon storm, make sure that you’re not playing beat the clock. Oftentimes people get in a mad rush when they see a rain cloud.

But this doesn’t have to happen if you follow our first point. Keep an eye on the forecast and you will be prepared for all weather conditions.

Rushing through a job just because you don’t want to get wet will produce sloppy results.

3. Cover your Equipment

Even if a pressure washer can get wet, maybe you want to keep it dry. If that’s the case try covering your equipment with a piece of cardboard or plastic.

You could even secure an umbrella to where the wand is held when not in use. Again, you don’t have to do this but if you don’t want to take the chance it won’t hurt.

Some pressure washers are even small enough to fit under an outdoor table.

4. Bring Plenty of Towels

This tip really applies to individuals who own their own pressure washing company.

If you don’t have dry towels on hand, you and all of your equipment will get the interior of your vehicle wet. So make sure to dry everything before the trip home.

Even if you don’t have your own business, dry towels will come in handy when the job is done. That way you won’t go walking through the house dripping water everywhere.

Pros of Pressure Washing in the Rain

Can You Pressure Wash in the Rain

Makes Work Easier

Believe it or not, there’s actually less work involved when you’re pressure washing in the rain. Typically, you will need to water down plants around the house before starting a job.

This process helps avoid killing the plants from cleaning detergents. But you won’t need to bother rinsing down plants first when they are already wet from the rain.

Less Sun

Working in the rain means avoiding the sun, which can help in two ways. The first reason should be obvious. The temperatures won’t be as high, and the weather conditions will be more comfortable.

The second reason is that you will be able to see surfaces better. Sometimes the sun can create shadows that can prohibit you from seeing mold in certain areas.

More Soak Time

Another benefit of pressure washing in the rain is allowing cleaning detergents to soak more. When you’re working in direct sunlight, soaps tend to dry up very quickly.

It can create a rushed work environment when you’re trying to wash and rinse too quickly. You won’t have to worry about soap drying on windows, siding, or other surfaces in the rain.

No Rescheduling

This only applies if you own a pressure washing business. If you don’t mind working in the rain, then you won’t need to worry about rescheduling jobs.

This can be a nightmare when you have customers who are difficult to get in touch with. And if you live in an area where it rains frequently, this back-and-forth can be avoided by working in the rain.

When You Should NOT Pressure Wash in the Rain

High Winds

Pressure washing in the rain is one thing, but if all that water brings high winds you should wait.

This kind of weather will make your pressure washer stream much less effective, and surfaces won’t get as clean.

If you own a washing business, your customers certainly will notice poor results. Just remember to postpone the job if you think that high winds will have a negative impact on the results.


If you’re working in an area and it starts to thunderstorm, it’s best to call it quits.

It doesn’t matter if the job is almost done, you don’t want to put yourself in a dangerous solution. Metal equipment and ladders don’t mix well with lightning.

Check the weather to see if it’s a passing storm to decide what the best course of action is. If the lighting only lasts for ten minutes, you can wait it out inside your car.

Leasing equipment

Maybe you decided to lease a pressure washer, instead of buying it. If that is the case, you should probably avoid using it in the rain.

The last thing you need is to damage a piece of equipment that isn’t yours, because you will be held responsible.

Even if it’s a very small chance, you want to avoid any water damaging electrical components, or getting inside the gas tank. Just wait it out until the rain stops.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you better understand everything there is about pressure washing in the rain. You won’t be doing any damage unless your equipment is very old, and it isn’t up to UL standards.

Modern tools are made to take some level of water, but that doesn’t mean they should be fully emerged. Just be safe out there and always stop the job when there is lighting.

You don’t want to take any chances when working around all that metal. And if it does start to rain super heavy, just take a break to check the forecast. You want to make sure the job is done correctly, so you can produce the best results possible.

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