Clean and dry your pressure washer thoroughly between uses. If you leave water in the machine, it will freeze during cold weather and cause severe damage to internal components. Use a pump saver product every six months to keep moisture from building up in the pump. Be sure that all fittings are empty of water before putting away your washer. Use a 90-degree nozzle, if possible, to prevent damage to the pump and pressure hose.
The pressure washers are an excellent investment for people who want to clean their home or business quickly and easily. However, to ensure that your pressure washer lasts as long as possible, it’s essential to store it properly between uses.
1) Store the unit indoors if possible:
Store your pressure washer inside a garage, shed, or some other covered area to protect it from weather and dust. When not in use, the machine should be started up every month or so to prevent engine damage due to carbon accumulation (ignition points may become fouled) and oil thickening. It also helps keep the seals lubricated and free from rust and corrosion.
Before storage, replace worn hoses and nozzles with new ones for safekeeping. If your unit does not have a drain built into it, you will need to remove water from the pump and tank before laying it down flat on its side or hanging it on a wall mount device.
2) Clean your unit:
Once the machine is set for long-term storage, drain the fuel tank. If it contains gas, run the engine dry and safely dispose of any remaining gasoline. Then pour a solution of one part automatic engine degreaser to ten parts water into the fuel tank and slosh it around to coat all surfaces inside. Drain this cleaning fluid from the tank through a filter or strainer so that you can reuse it later on.
Pour a few ounces of oil into your fuel tank before storing if you have not already done so when filling up at the pump. It will help lubricate moving parts during storage which helps prevent rusting and corrosion resulting from condensation that will collect when your pressure washer sits idle over time. Dispose of any remaining gasoline following federal, state, and local laws.
3) Clean the unit’s exterior:
Wash the machine with clean water to remove all dirt, grime, oil, or chemicals that may have been spilled on it during use. If you spot severe rusting anywhere on your pressure washer (such as under a metal surface), sandblast these areas before continuing the cleaning process to remove corrosion faster and more completely.
Scrub away stubborn stains or built-up dirt with a stiff brush or detergent containing trisodium phosphate (TSP). Rinse thoroughly until no soapy residue remains. If possible, hose down your pressure washer indoors because free-flowing water will damage hardwood floors.
4) Disconnect the high-pressure hose safely:
Reel in the garden hose and make sure it is empty of all water (so it won’t freeze during storage). Use a pair of channel locks or pliers to remove any brass quick-disconnect fittings on either end. Lubricate rubber seals with WD-40 or silicone spray before installing them back onto your pressure washer’s wand, lance, and nozzles for safekeeping.
Keep these accessories separate so they don’t scratch surfaces when stored together in one location. A large plastic container that can be closed is ideal for keeping all wand pieces out of harm’s way while stowed away. Use the same method to safeguard your pressure washer’s electric cord. Coil it up and secure it with a rubber strap or old bungee cord.
5) Protect the unit from the elements:
Before stowing your pressure washer away, use waterproof spray paint to coat all metal parts that are prone to rusting – such as the pump, handle assembly, high-pressure hose fittings, nozzles, lances, trigger gun swivel joint (if you have this feature), and any rivets.
The last thing you want is for your equipment to be destroyed by corrosion while sitting idle during weather conditions that promote its formation. Use plastic sheeting to cover sensitive controls so they won’t get smashed when placed against an object like the side of a house. Tape the sheeting in place with duct tape for extra protection.
6) Lubricate all moving parts:
Before you store your pressure washer away for an extended period, lubricate foot-operated on/off valves, quick-connect fittings, and trigger gun swivels to prevent sticking or stiffening up while inactive. Use SAE 30 oil specifically designed for this purpose. Apply the solution sparingly with a clean rag to avoid wasting it – what little that is applied should be sufficient enough for proper long-term storage maintenance.
Be sure to remove any excess grime that may have accumulated on other metal surfaces. Hold them under running water before applying grease so contaminants are run away, which will help keep dirty oil off your pressure washer’s metal parts. If there are any rust stains, remove them with a stiff wire brush before applying the protective fluid.
7) Keep the unit in a cool & dry location:
The best place to store your pressure washer when not in use is indoors, if possible, with the machine raised on blocks so air can freely circulate underneath. It needs to be out of reach from small children or pets that could otherwise become entangled in its high-pressure hose and suffer serious harm by tugging at it, tripping over it while moving about, or chewing on an exposed accessory like a lance nozzle, for example (which has happened with my dog).
A garage or shed with proper ventilation is another suitable location for storage. Suppose you live in an area with heavy rain, high humidity, or extreme temperatures exceeding the rated specifications on the pressure washer’s temperature/pressure relief valve (TPR). In that case, it is best to store your unit indoors instead of outside for its protection – especially if it doesn’t have a corrosion-resistant body like stainless steel.
8) Remove all unnecessary accessories & parts:
First of all, keep extra lances and wand extensions inside their original boxes to prevent them from getting banged up or scratched during storage. Store them away from each other, so they don’t scratch surfaces upon contact.
This goes for spray tips, too, since they’re made of brass that will rust over time if not adequately protected by substances like silicone spray or WD-40 – which you should apply to them before putting them away. Store the original packaging for the same reason.
9) Remove all gasoline from your pressure washer:
Every year we hear of incidents where people have been seriously burned by a fire that originated with a spark from an electric appliance like a blower, power drill, or saw near gasoline that had not been completely removed from its container and attached equipment (a simple mix of fuel and oxygen is all it takes to ignite an explosive flame). If you own a pressure washer with a gas-powered engine, do yourself and those around you who may come in contact with your unit. At the same time, it’s stored between uses a favour and empty any remaining gasoline as soon as possible after each use.
If possible, use up all your gasoline outdoors since this is where fire hazards are least likely to develop (yes, car fires can indeed occur too). Let the remaining fuel evaporate away outside until nothing remains but fumes, which should take about an hour or so depending on weather conditions. Store the empty gas can in a dry area like your garage or shed with its cap off to expedite evaporation. Be sure to wash it out thoroughly before using it again (the process also works for oil-based two-stroke engines like those used by string trimmers and lawnmowers).
10) Store your unit properly:
Above all else, keep pressure washer parts clean and rust-free throughout the entire year – not just when you’re storing it between uses. You can do this by simply hosing off any excess dirt and grime with water before putting the unit away, which will also help remove any leftover gasoline you may have used up.
Don’t ever store your pressure washer with its oil still inside of it – this is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen! If you’ve already gone through the trouble of draining the engine’s crankcase of all oil as per the manufacturer’s instructions, thoroughly clean both surfaces on either side of its gasket using turpentine, paint thinner, or carburetor cleaner (or whatever more powerful solvent that may be recommended in the manual). Wipe both dry afterward.
Final Words – 10 Tips How To Properly Store Your Pressure Washer Between Uses
That’s pretty much everything I can think of when properly storing your pressure washer between uses. If you keep yours in a location where it won’t be subjected to extreme heat, cold, or excessive humidity (like your garage or under your stairs, for instance), then you should have no problem with its longevity.
A well-maintained pressure washer will serve you better each season, so keep it clean and store it properly over time to increase its longevity. High-pressure water can be quite dangerous if mishandled.