how to winterize a pressure washer

Winter is coming, and it’s time to start getting your pressure washer ready for the cold. Although it may seem like a challenging task, there are many steps that you can take for how to winterize a pressure washer before next season.

Whether you are using a gas-powered or electric pressure washer, here are some simple steps that will help make sure your power cleaning tool lasts through the winter.

It is important to note that you should winterize a pressure washer only when the temperatures are well below freezing. In warmer climates, some people recommend using antifreeze in your pump and water supply instead of draining them.

If these steps do not make sense for your particular cleaning machine (perhaps due to the type of job or location), consult a pressure washer manual or your machine’s manufacturer.

How To Winterize A Pressure Washer?

It would be best always to have a spare pressure washer hose available when the first one freezes up or cracks due to being exposed to freezing temperatures. Keep your gas tank full so that fuel does not freeze and cause rusting of metal components inside the tank.

Also, make sure all of the oil has been drained from the engine before storage- this will prevent any oil from solidifying in vital parts like gears and bearings, which will lead to them becoming unusable during a future start-up attempt. Let’s talk in detail about winterizing the pressure washer.

Winterizing a Petrol Pressure Washer

Winterizing a pressure washer begins with draining all of the water and replacing any worn out parts. To get a petrol pressure washer ready for winter, you should first winterize the engine. Then turn on the water and check if it’s working as well as your desired setting are. You should winterize both engine and pump of the unit to protect from any cracks.

  • Ensure the water supply is off
  • Drain the water from inside the engine with a garden hose.
  • Now remove the hose from a pressure washer.
  • Fill a bucket with fresh water and run it through the detergent tube to clean out all the old dirt from a pressure washer.
  • You should also ensure no kinks or cracks in your hoses before storing them away for the season.
  • There should be no water left inside the machine to maintain its metal casing from damage. 
  • To prevent rust from forming in the inner parts, add one little bit of oil into the hole inside the spark plug.
  • Use your hands to shake the engine back and forth for a couple of seconds.
  • It’s time to protect the pressure washer is by storing it in a safe and dry place in the winter season.

Winterizing The Engine of a Petrol Pressure Washer

Pressure washer motors are made to work in a wide range of temperatures. That being said, many people have found that their pressure washer’s performance decreases as the temps drop below freezing and then it stops working altogether when the temperature drops to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are the steps of keeping the engine safe and secure during the winter season.

  • Drain all gas from the tank and put a fuel stabilizer in it about one ounce per gallon.
  • Pour the mixture into the pressure washer’s engine and run it for 5 minutes to stabilize the fuel.
  • Remember, the fuel can clog up or freeze your jet lines when storing your device during the winter months, so make sure this doesn’t happen.
  • To winterize a pressure washer, store it in a dry spot with as little debris and dust as possible.

How To Winterize a Pressure Washer

Select a Proper Location

Pressure Washers should be stored in an area protected from freezing and away from any debris that could damage the pump.

The best place to store them, though it may not always be possible depending on location and space availability, is inside a garage or shed.

Selecting a location where the machine will not be exposed to direct sunlight is also advisable, as this can damage some components and reduce their lifespan.

Disconnect The Unit

Disconnect your pressure washer from any water supply before removing its other cleaning parts from the machine.


To begin the process, you need to drain your water supply pipe and spray the wand hose by running them until no more water comes out. If this will not be possible for whatever reason (for instance, because it is too cold outside), consider filling these items with some antifreeze.

Removing Other Accessories

Next, remove the spray wand from the pressure washer itself and drain it as well by running water through it until no more comes out (this may take a few minutes). You will also want to remove any quick connection nozzle tips so that they do not freeze and crack.

Now that the water supply hose and spray wand are drained, you can proceed to remove any additional accessories like lances or detergent injectors if your machine has these features (consult a manual for specific instructions).

If it does not, simply continue draining all other components, including the pump, by removing the pump plug and letting the water flow out.

Removing Any Moisture

Moisture left in a machine can rust delicate internal parts and damage other components as well. Ensure that all fittings and other openings are entirely open to remove any moisture before winterizing the pressure washer.

Reassembling The Pressure Washer

Either you winterize and store the cleaning machine without any part assembled to it. Or you can begin reassembling your device for storage. 

Use a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL.

Add a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL to the gas tank. It will prevent water from condensing in your gasoline and causing corrosion, leading to clogged filters or other problems later on.

You should also add one ounce of engine oil into each cylinder through an oil fill neck while running the unit during this step.

How To Winterize Your Electric Pressure Washer

A winterized electric pressure washer is necessary if you live in an area where the temperatures drop below freezing. The process of winterizing your pressure washer can help prevent any damage to the unit when it has been left outside during cold weather conditions.

Electric pressure washers are generally made of metal and plastic components. When the machine is exposed to freezing temperatures, some parts can create cracks or even break altogether. If you leave your pressure washer outside during cold weather, it will need to be properly winterized before being put away for storage.

The following are the steps that you need to take when winterizing an electric pressure washer.

Drain Water from Pump and Hoses

When your machine is exposed to freezing temperatures, water can freeze inside the pump. If this happens, it will cause damage to internal components and reduce the overall lifespan of your unit. To prevent the water from freezing, you should drain it completely.

You can do this by turning off your pressure washer and unplugging the unit after waiting for all of the moving parts to stop rotating.

Disconnect Hoses

 After draining both hoses and allowing them time to cool down, disconnect them from the machine’s pump and the water source. This will ensure that no residual heat is left inside the lines to cause damage when freezing temperatures are present.


Winterizing a pressure washer is an important step to protect your unit and ensure it’s ready for the next season. Drain all the water inside, lubricate any internal parts with oil (particularly around where the pump meets metal), and store in a dry place until you need it again.

This process will help keep corrosion from building up on your washer and prevent rusting or other damages that can happen when left unused during the winter months. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to having an efficient unit that will last longer than ever before.


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