Pressure washers are powerful tools that can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks, from removing dirt and grime from driveways and sidewalks to washing cars and outdoor furniture. To make sure your pressure washer is ready to tackle any job, it’s important to know how to properly fill its tank.

The first step in filling a pressure washer tank is to select the appropriate cleaning solution. There are many types of detergents and chemicals available that can help with specific cleaning tasks, such as removing oil stains or mildew. It’s important to choose a cleaning solution that is compatible with your pressure washer and the surface you’ll be cleaning.

Once you have chosen the cleaning solution, it’s time to fill the tank. Start by removing the cap or lid from the tank. Most pressure washers have a designated tank for adding cleaning solution, so locate this tank and open it if necessary. Carefully pour the cleaning solution into the tank, taking care not to spill any on yourself or the surrounding area.

After you have filled the tank, secure the cap or lid back in place. Make sure it is tightly sealed to prevent any leaks while you use the pressure washer. Finally, double-check that the tank is properly connected to the pressure washer and that all hoses and connections are secure before turning on the machine.

Step 1: Preparing the Pressure Washer

Before filling the tank of your pressure washer, it’s important to properly prepare the machine. Follow these steps to ensure that your pressure washer is ready to go:

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1. Inspect the pressure washer: Before filling the tank, visually inspect the pressure washer for any signs of damage or wear. Check the hoses, connections, and fittings to make sure everything is in good condition.

2. Check the oil level: Most pressure washers have an oil reservoir that needs to be properly filled. Consult your pressure washer’s manual to locate the oil reservoir and check the oil level. If the oil is low, add the appropriate type and amount of oil as recommended by the manufacturer.

3. Check the fuel level: If your pressure washer is powered by gasoline, check the fuel level to ensure there is enough gas for operation. Fill up the fuel tank if necessary, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct fuel type.

4. Attach the spray gun and nozzle: Before filling the tank, attach the spray gun and nozzle to the pressure washer. Make sure they are securely connected and in proper working condition.

5. Connect the water source: Before filling the tank, connect the pressure washer to a water source using a garden hose. Ensure that the water source has adequate water pressure and that the hose is free from kinks or blockages.

6. Prime the pump: Some pressure washers require you to prime the pump before use. Consult your pressure washer’s manual for specific instructions on how to prime the pump if necessary.

7. Ensure proper ventilation: It’s important to use your pressure washer in a well-ventilated area to avoid buildup of fumes. If you’re working indoors, make sure to open windows or doors to allow for proper airflow.

By following these steps to prepare your pressure washer, you’ll be ready to fill the tank and start using your machine effectively and safely.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Detergent

Once you have filled your pressure washer tank with water, it is important to choose the right detergent to use for the cleaning job at hand. Using the wrong detergent can damage surfaces or not effectively remove dirt and grime.

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Before selecting a detergent, consider the type of surface you will be cleaning and the type of dirt or stain you are dealing with. Different detergents are formulated for specific surfaces and stains, so it is crucial to choose one that is appropriate.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a detergent:

  1. Type of Surface: If you are cleaning a delicate surface such as wood or vinyl siding, opt for a gentle detergent that is safe for those materials. For tougher surfaces like concrete or metal, a stronger detergent may be necessary.
  2. Type of Stains: Different stains require different cleaning agents. For example, if you are dealing with oil or grease stains, look for a degreasing detergent. For mildew or mold, a mildewcide detergent would be suitable.
  3. Environmental Concerns: If you are environmentally conscious, consider using biodegradable or eco-friendly detergents that are safer for the environment.
  4. Specific Manufacturer Recommendations: Some pressure washer manufacturers recommend using specific detergents to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines before making your choice.

Always follow the instructions provided on the detergent label for proper dilution ratios and usage. Mixing the detergent with water in the correct proportions will help you achieve the best results.

Once you have chosen the right detergent, carefully pour it into the pressure washer tank, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid overfilling the tank to prevent spillage.

Now that you have chosen the right detergent, you are ready to move on to the next step: Using the pressure washer to clean your desired surfaces.

Step 3: Opening the Tank Lid

Once you have chosen the appropriate cleaning solution and prepared it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s time to open the tank lid of your pressure washer. This step is crucial to ensure a smooth and effective cleaning process.

First, locate the tank lid, which is usually located on the top or side of the pressure washer unit. It is typically labeled with a graphic or text indicating its purpose.

Next, make sure the pressure washer is turned off and unplugged from any power source. Safety is paramount when working with any machinery, and pressure washers are no exception. Take a moment to examine the lid and ensure it is free from any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on its surface.

Using both hands, firmly grip the lid and rotate it counterclockwise to loosen and remove it. Some lid designs may require you to push a button or pull a lever to unlock it before turning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure washer model.

Once the lid is removed, you will have access to the tank where the cleaning solution is to be poured. It is essential to ensure that the tank is clean and empty before pouring in the cleaning solution. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe out any residue or dirt that may be present.

After cleaning the tank, carefully pour in the prepared cleaning solution. Be sure to pour it slowly and avoid overfilling the tank, as this may cause the solution to spill or leak during operation. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper amount of cleaning solution to use.

Once the cleaning solution is in the tank, securely place the lid back on and tighten it by rotating it clockwise. Ensure it is properly sealed to prevent any leaks or spills during use.

Now that the tank lid is securely in place and the cleaning solution is ready, you are one step closer to using your pressure washer effectively. Proceed to the next step to learn how to operate the pressure washer and start cleaning.

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Step 4: Pouring the Detergent

Once the water tank is filled, it’s time to add the detergent to your pressure washer. Pour the appropriate amount of detergent into the designated detergent tank, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to use a detergent specifically formulated for pressure washers, as using the wrong type of detergent can damage the machine.

Tips for pouring the detergent:

1. Measure the detergent: Use a measuring cup or follow the instructions on the detergent bottle to ensure you pour the correct amount of detergent into the tank.

2. Use the right detergent: Different pressure washers require different types of detergents. Make sure to choose a detergent that is suitable for your specific pressure washer. Some pressure washers have adjustable detergent injection systems that can automatically mix the detergent with the water, while others require you to manually mix the detergent with the water before pouring it into the tank.

3. Avoid overfilling: Do not pour more detergent than necessary. Overfilling the tank can lead to excessive foam production, which can cause issues with your pressure washer’s performance and potentially damage the machine.

Once the detergent is poured into the tank, securely close the detergent tank lid. Your pressure washer is now ready to use with the detergent mixed in the water stream.

Step 5: Closing the Tank Lid

Once you have filled the pressure washer tank with the desired cleaning solution or water, it is important to properly close the tank lid. Failing to do so can result in leaks and spills, which can be not only messy but also dangerous.

To close the tank lid, first ensure that the lid is clean and free from any dirt or debris. This will help to create a secure seal and prevent any leakage during operation. If necessary, wipe the lid with a clean cloth before proceeding.

Next, align the lid with the tank opening and gently press down until you feel a click or some resistance. This indicates that the lid is securely in place. You may need to use some force, but be careful not to overtighten it, as this could cause damage to the lid or the tank.

Once the lid is closed, give it a slight tug to make sure it is properly sealed. If it feels loose or comes off easily, readjust the lid to ensure a tight fit. It is crucial to have a tightly sealed tank to prevent any leaks or spills while operating the pressure washer.

Additional Tips:

  • Make sure the tank lid is closed before connecting the pressure washer to any power source.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure washer model to ensure proper closing and sealing of the tank lid.
  • If you are using a cleaning solution, make sure it is compatible with your pressure washer and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dilution.

By following these steps, you can ensure that the tank lid is securely closed, allowing you to safely and effectively use your pressure washer for your cleaning needs.

Step 6: Testing the Pressure Washer

Before you start using the pressure washer, it’s important to test it to ensure that it’s working correctly and that there are no leaks or other issues. Follow these instructions to properly test your pressure washer:

1. Connect the Hose and Wand

Start by connecting the high-pressure hose to both the pressure washer and the spray wand. Make sure the connections are tight to prevent any water leaks during testing.

2. Check the Water Supply

Ensure that the water supply to the pressure washer is on and that there is sufficient water flow. You can do this by opening the water source valve and checking for a steady stream of water coming out.

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3. Start the Pressure Washer

Turn on the pressure washer by following the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves flipping a switch or turning a dial to the “on” position. Wait for the engine or motor to start running smoothly.

4. Test the Spray Wand

Hold the spray wand away from your body and press the trigger to start the water flow. Check if the pressure washer is generating the desired amount of pressure. Adjust the pressure settings if needed.

5. Inspect for Leaks

While using the pressure washer, watch out for any leaks around the connections or from the pressure washer itself. Leaks can indicate a faulty seal or a loose connection. Tighten any loose connections or replace faulty seals before using the pressure washer extensively.

6. Shut Off the Pressure Washer

Once you have finished testing the pressure washer and ensured that it’s working properly, turn it off following the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves flipping the switch or turning the dial to the “off” position.

By properly testing the pressure washer before use, you can ensure that it’s in good working condition and avoid any unexpected issues while cleaning.


What is a pressure washer tank?

A pressure washer tank is a container that is designed to hold water or a cleaning solution for use with a pressure washer. It is typically made of a durable material, such as plastic or stainless steel, and is equipped with fittings or hoses to connect to the pressure washer.

How do I fill a pressure washer tank?

To fill a pressure washer tank, you will first need to locate the fill inlet on the tank. This is typically a small opening with a screw-on cap. Once you have located the fill inlet, unscrew the cap and pour water or a cleaning solution into the tank until it is full. Make sure not to overfill the tank, as this can cause overflow and spillage.

What type of water should I use to fill my pressure washer tank?

You can use either tap water or distilled water to fill your pressure washer tank. Tap water is generally fine to use, but if you live in an area with hard water, you may want to consider using distilled water to prevent mineral build-up in the tank and on the pressure washer components.

Can I mix cleaning solutions with water in the pressure washer tank?

Yes, you can mix cleaning solutions with water in the pressure washer tank. This can help enhance the cleaning power of the pressure washer and make it more effective at removing dirt and grime. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the pressure washer or causing harm to yourself.

Do I need to empty the pressure washer tank after each use?

It is generally recommended to empty the pressure washer tank after each use to prevent stagnant water or cleaning solution from sitting in the tank and potentially causing damage or odors. Simply remove the cap from the fill inlet and pour out any remaining liquid. Additionally, you may want to rinse the tank with clean water to ensure that all residual cleaning solution is removed.

What is the purpose of a pressure washer tank?

The purpose of a pressure washer tank is to hold water or detergent that is used to create high-pressure water jets for cleaning purposes.