17 year old getting started

Hey everyone, I’m a 17 year old currently attending high school in upstate NY (suburbs). I’ve currently registered the business in both NY and CT, gotten a EID, and am working towards insurance. I’ve just started reading the free Window Cleaner’s Marketing book that you guys have mentioned, and I find it extremely useful.

Do you guys have any pointers you might be able to give me? Perhaps tips you would give yourself if you could travel back to when you were just beginning?

Here is our logo

Our shirt (uniform is our embroidered polo shirt, a black cap, and khaki dickies)

We currently have a DEWALT 4400 PSI 4.0GPM Pressure Washer

Currently we’re working on our truck bed setup and website before going into advertising,
on the advertising end, my biggest worry is that for some reason people in my area won’t be very interested in having their homes pressure washed, I guess I need to do market research.

Any input and criticisms are very appreciated, thanks for reading.


Also, for our truck bed setup we’re planning on skipping a water tank until we’ve gotten some business, but other than that we’re planning on getting this hose reel:
The Hose Reel

Essentially the truck bed setup would remain in the truck at all times, and we would have a 100ft pressure washing hose on our hose reel, and if need be we would have a second 100ft pressure washing hose to extend it incase we need to reach the back of a long house or something.
The Hose

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Who is we? A partner is the worst thing you could ever have. Kudos for hustling at a young age

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I would recommend a better quality reel and one that can hold more hose. You’ll likely use more than 100’ on a majority of jobs so I would just keep 200-250’ on the reel and carry another 50’ -100’ for just in case.

I would also recommend going ahead and getting a buffer tank. A buffet tank allows you to hook up a bypass so you don’t always have to squeeze the gun to keep the pump cool.

When you say “we” I hope you’re referring to your parents and not a business partner.

Haha…I see William beat me to the “we” question.

He’s moreso a friend that helps with stuff like during jobs. I’m very into technical stuff and he has a lot of experience with pressure washing and practical things.

Yeah I was planning on having 100 on the reel and carry an extra 100 in my truck bed and simply attach it to the end of the hose if the house requires, is this a bad idea? I /could/ buy a 200-250 reel but from what ive seen they’re quite expensive

You will need more than 100 ft most of the time in my experience. I run 200. Here is a good starter reel.

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Thanks! Guess I’m gonna get this one then, I figure it’s worth the investment to buy this now rather than have to upgrade a hose reel down the line.


I’ve had the same partner for over 30 years and she’s nearly fully trained!


The only ship that doesn’t sail is a partnership


That’s just a phase you go through with a first business, any business. Your neighbourhood is probably a money pit but you are/were to young to notice before starting. There is a multitude of work opportunities in this business from roof cleaning to driveway cleaning, fence cleaning, deck cleaning to odd cleaning jobs around the house, it’s not just dirty houses your looking for. at 17 you have plenty of time to make mistakes and learn.


You can read up all you want about marketing and such, but frankly you’ll need to find out if your area can use a PW, and people tend to be skeptical of ‘newcomers’ until their neighbors report how good/bad you did.

24 years window cleaning, you learn a few things.

Thanks for all of your input guys, I really appreciate how friendly and welcoming this community is.

What do you guys think of the shirt and logo?

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Bro did you steal the graphical look of my logo??
JetClean RGB

:smiley: Just messing with you. You asked for pointers, well you’re worried that people don’t want their homes pressure washed. They probably don’t. Soft wash them instead, use an X-Jet or downstream before you can afford a separate pump system. Good luck with your business.

Great logo! What would a separate pump system allow me to do?

It allows you to more easily control the strength of your chemicals and allows you also to use a stronger mix. With downstreaming, you can typically only get around 1% solution of SH, which is fine for soft washing things like vinyl siding, but it’s not really strong enough for flat work, especially mossy pavers, or for roof cleaning. X-Jet I think lets you put out about a 3% solution depending on your GPM, but that’s still a few percent off from what you ideally want to use for flat work or roofs.

Youtube search for “soft wash pump system”, there’s a bunch of awesome videos on there.

Well this one will definitely need to be replaced within a year or two, but I think you can find it even cheaper elsewhere. It will corrode from the inside. Should give you a head start to save for some better equipment.

Be sure to read through old threads on here. Exterior cleaning isn’t difficult at all but you’ll be surprised at what you don’t know.

You might’ve learned it in that window cleaning marketing (I don’t know what’s in it) but do you know you’re not suppose to use pressure on a lot of substrates? You’ll want to softwash vinyl houses and let the sh (Sodium Hypochlorite) and a surfactant do the cleaning? Depending on the size you can knock houses out in about an hour or two. You’ll want to use a jrod or M5 Twist at the end of a 6" lance. You’ll also want a downstream injector like the GP High Draw. If your machine came with a built in injector I would recommend bypassing it and adding the High Draw right before your hose reel. Injectors eventually fail so you want to make sure you have a way to replace them. A built in injector can’t be replaced. Always carry a few backups on your truck.

@jcfin mentioned a 12v pump. As he mentioned there are times you’ll need a stronger mix for cleaning roofs, concrete (flat work), brick homes, vinyl fences, etc. You’ll need a separate tank for your mix. You can then mix your SH and surfactant at any percent you want. You then directly apply it using your 12v. This setup is completely separate of your pressure washer. Pump up sprayers can accomplish the same thing but it takes forever. Time is money.

There’s a really good thread on wood cleaning. Be sure to read through it so you know how to properly clean a deck. Deck Cleaning 101 On most pressure treated decks you don’t want to use more than 800 to 1000 psi. You adjust the psi by using different size nozzles. Use a nozzle chart to figure out what size you need.

Just start reading through old threads. You’ll end up learning things you had no idea you needed to know.

As far as the logo I like it. I’m not sure if I’d want to wear black shirts in the summer though. Plus, you’re going to bleach the heck out of them. We use SH pretty much every single day when cleaning. If you’re surprised by that statement start reading past threads. Black garments and bleach just don’t work. We use a lot of other chems depending on the job. Rust removal requires an acid, oil or grease stains require a degreaser, and anything organic like algae, mold, and mildew require the use of SH. There are plenty others we use to.

You came to the right place to learn. There’s a goldmine of information. Be sure to get a good idea of what you’re doing before you start working on other people’s property. Practice on family and friends houses first.


I’ve had the same partner for about 25 years, and I go through tons of remedial training programs. Nothing seems to stick. There is always next year I guess.

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