Advice on a good "bare minimum" pressure washer

Since I am just starting and testing out the business i dont necessarily wanna go all out and spend 1500 bucks for a heavy duty machine…

I am wondering if you guys know of any homeowner style lighter weight machines that can be easily lifted, that wont break the bank, and still have ability to downstream SH reliably for house washing specially…

Either that or would i be better off researching and building a 12v softwashing setup?

Really all i want to clean is stained houses as there is a lot in my area and nobody is in this business here… I just want to start out with the absolute minimum pressure washer i can get away with but still have good service. Thanks

For starters, $1500 bucks will get you a minimum commercial machine: the 4/4k with AR Pump and Honda GX390, some extra hose, a good adjustable nozzle like the XJet softwash nozzle, and your chems. You’ll need oxalic acid, SH, AKA bleach or pool shock, a bleach enhancing soap like Elemonator…

… and a lot of research so you don’t ruin somebody’s house.

Anything less and you set yourself up for either failure or a very soon major upgrade. Four gallons per minute is the bare minimum you want to rinse with, and if you buy less you will grow old trying to rinse or worse, rinse poorly and leave a lot of chems on the house that will look like crap and get yourself bad publicity and maybe even a nice law suit.

Good luck!


Thanks… Can you link me the specific washer you are talking about as i see a few when googling those specs…

So the reasoning i need this style machine is for thoroughly rinsing basically is what your recomending…

Is there any special maintanence or requirements to running a more expensive machine like this (what I mean is in regards to the gpm output, will the pump have issues if customer starts doing laundry inside (lack of water) or if i stop spraying while engine running for extended period (excess water) etc… Also does the sh destroy the gun? Thanks)

As long as you have decent water flow in your area you shouldn’t have to worry about someone taking a shower.

SH eventually destroys almost everything. A gun is considered a consumable and just something that will be replaced on occasion.

Where are you located?


Sorry, but in my limited experience the answers to those questions are yes, yes, and yes. Bleach destroys pretty much everything it come in contact with, even with good rinsing, the best guns will eventually fail. If you’re running a direct drive machine, your kind of stuck with whatever the flow from the home is. So laundry and showers during service are definitely going to effect your flow at the machine. If you stop spraying for more than a few minutes with the machine running and no buffer tank to keep cool water runnin preg through the pump, you are looking at premature failure there also. I myself do not consider the x jet a low pressure nozzle, but many disagree. Get a jrod kit from pressuretek and worry about xjets (a chemical dilution product later) when you’ve put a few bucks away.

Too much emphasis on equipment, learn all you can about cleaning stained homes then go from there. A decent motor and pump is the easy part but what do you do when you get to the house?.


You ARE correct that the XJet is high pressure, but many disagree because they are aware of this softwash adjustable nozzle:

The application of chems with the M5DS is a real game changer. Now, I’m one of those guys who XJetted hundreds of houses (check my past posts that include XJet), carrying a 5 gallon bucket of SH & Elemonator

but having enjoyed pressure washing w/o that bucket for well over a year now, I would never return to the XJet. HOWEVER, the M5DS is a whole other matter. AAMOF, I’m about to order another.
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Yeah, I have been on the fence about the M5DS but, I think I’ll be picking one up for next season. I just love the j rod for the different applications you can set it up with. I have one for house washing with a shooter tip, one exclusively for wood ,one for masonry surfaces, etc… Hope your doing well my friend.

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I hated using the M5DS for house washing and went right back to my jrod after about 5 minutes. It just didn’t compare with my jrod. Once I got my 8 gpm that all changed. I love using the M5DS now. I think what changed is with the additional flow I can pretty much get the same spray patterns by adjusting the M5DS as I did with the nozzles on my jrod. I did have to use my Shooter Tip on one house that had siding way back over the middle section of a two story but the M5DS has worked for every other.

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My employees go into fits if they roll up on a job and don’t have that M5DS. They start sweating like hookers in a Revival meeting. I have to remind them of their critical thinking skills. There are many tools that can get us to the same place, they just need to think outside the box

Mike, we’re fortunate that the slow months never got slow, and I have had little time to come up for air since my recovery from COVID 19 the third week of August. For me it was a truly miserable experience without any life-threatening symptoms… I hope you’re doing well and saving lots of money (OR BUYING LOTS OF EQUIPMENT!)


I really like the M5DS, it is better with an 8. I love the Guy Blackmon shooter tip too. I have two Quad rods and they’re ok.

I agree with @MrSparkleVA that every tool has a place. Also lol about the revival meeting line. Legit made me cackle.

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Seems to be more buying than saving, lol, but you have to spend it to make it. Next on the list is definitely hot water. Fielding more and more commercial calls as of late and while I can do pretty well with cold water, I believe the time saved with hot water will pay for the machine pretty quickly.

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I tried to order from Guy twice on his FB page, no response either time so I gave up and ordered the Innovate shooter tips and have been pretty happy with them.

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Lets just say you had only $500 for a pressure washer… And you HAD to choose one for housewashing… Just downstreaming SH and rinsing… Is it possible to find a basic model this cheap? Or do i absolutely need that higher gpm for rinsing purposes??

A little more about myself is i run a small landscaping and lawn care biz for residential clients. I just want to “try” housewashing as a service next year… I am in the process of doing lots and lots of research and trying to keep it as simple and cheap as possible to start out. i do want to be able to do the job properly…

In my research i have found it to be best to downstream 10 percent straight sh from bucket to a low pressure nossle and apply the sh then wait 4 to 8 min and rinse … and repeat if needed… (Feel free to add to this if i am wrong)

I also know sh kills plants and plan on being very careful. For first year also not getting into any other services like roofs or concrete i just want to wash houses…

So thats why i just wanted to see what the best cheap unit is… Im only planning on doing a few here and there. If it takes off ill invest more into it and if i enjoy it I’ll go all in and do full service and get a nice pressure washer… But to start i just wanted thought s on getting in as cheaply and minimum as i can get away with… I am hopong to find a real basic unit for like 500 bucks… Even if its like less gpm like 2.5 but what i am hearing is that will be a problem? I know some have opinions on what is best but can i get by with something less is what I really wanna know… If i cant i wont.

Thanks for all your advice… any other units anyone can reccomend is appreciated…

I actually have this unit here and i want to know if its possible to use… Husqvarna 2.5gpm … Again just to downsteeam sh then rinse… mostly 1 story homes maybe a 2 story sometimes. Mostly wood type of siding. This is just to start is it doable? Thoughts?

Here is the specs

Here is a link to more info

That machine in our business is what the photo below is in your area of expertise. What would you do? image


Buy once, cry once.


This is so funny and so accurate!

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Don’t buy a machine. Build it. A 13 hp predator engine from HF mated to a 4 or 5.5 gpm pump will run you under $1000. Buy 200 feet of pressure hose (I like to do two 100 foot hoses together.) If you can fabricate, make a metal base for it or have one built by a local machine shop. I had a local shop bend up a large base for my new 22 hp 8 gpm machine out of 1/4" steel, they only charged $70. Spend another $250 on a general pump hose reel. Now you’ve got a respectable machine and setup.