Pressure Washer Nozzles

Ultimate Guide On Pressure Washer Nozzles

Nozzles are one of the most important parts of a pressure washer, since they can directly affect the exact way your pressure washer functions, as well as the way it cleans certain surfaces or types of dirt compared a regular hose without a hose nozzle – unfortunately, choosing between them isn’t as easy as you might think. Best of Machinery have created this short guide to explain the differences between different types of nozzles, as well as some of the different ways you can use them and what kind of situation they’re best suited to.

Colour Coding

Although not all manufacturers follow it, there’s a universal color-coding system that makes it easy to tell which nozzles are which at a glance – in most cases, red will be the most basic, with other colors either increasing or reducing certain parts of its functionality for different situations and cleaning jobs.

Yellow nozzles generally have about fifteen degrees of deviation, creating a light spray rather than a single jet of water. Green is higher, usually twenty-five degrees, while white is a whole forty degrees, allowing it to create a huge cone of water for dealing with larger areas of light staining and dirt. Black nozzles act in a slightly different way, lowering the hose’s pressure to make dispensing soap much easier and less messy.

It’s important to remember that wider angles project less force onto each inch of a surface they hit: tough-to-remove stains might need the full force of the red zero-degree nozzle to completely wash off. The distance you are from the surface will also affect how much pressure actually reaches it, so it may simply be a case of getting closer.


While you might only be spraying water from your gas or electric pressure washer nozzles, it can still cause damage to lighter or less-protected surfaces. A high-powered, zero-degree blast could even chip off pieces of a brick wall if it’s close enough, and you could bruise somebody’s skin if you accidentally aim the stream at them.

Even at the highest spray angles, your nozzles are designed for cleaning above anything else, and the water will still be moving with a dangerous amount of force when it leaves the hose. Fragile surfaces can appear more often than you might expect – glass, thin wood, and plaster can easily be damaged with a poorly-placed blast of water, so it’s important to use the right nozzle for the situation.

Turbo Nozzles

Turbo nozzles are a two-stage type of nozzle that creates a high-powered zero-degree inside a wider cone of water, which rotates at a high speed. These are excellent for removing industrial-level dirt or dried stains that can’t be easily taken off with regular sprays of water – however, they’re also much more dangerous, and the spinning motion can make it difficult to predict exactly where the water will land. There’s also the risk of you accidentally grabbing it, which could hurt depending on the design of the nozzle itself.

Cleaning Nozzles

You’ll be running water through the nozzle, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be clean – they still need proper care to make sure they’re not clogged or being damaged internally. The easiest way to do this is with a small needle, which can usually fit into the nozzle’s hole without causing any damage: this will poke out any dirt or chemicals that are stuck inside it, letting the water flow through at the intended pressure.

Choosing a Nozzle

While many electric and gas pressure washers come with a set of nozzles, you can always buy specific ones if you’re looking for a certain cleaning strength or style. Common sense is always the most important part of buying one: will it actually be suitable for what you’re doing, and does it actually fill the role you need it to? For example, if you’re trying to get a precise cleaning tool, you shouldn’t pick a wider nozzle and just hold it closer to the wall – you should get a narrower one and use it from further away, minimizing the damage the surface will take.

It’s also important to practice with the nozzles you already have, especially if one of them is similar to the new one – starting too close to a surface could cause a lot of damage, since the water will suddenly spray out of nowhere. You should make sure you know how to slowly approach a surface in a way that won’t punch holes in it, especially thin wood or temporary surfaces.

Guns and Wands

Spray wands and washer guns are alternatives to conventional nozzles and can help you deal with spaces you’d otherwise struggle to reach. They’re not meant to completely replace your standard hose-and-nozzle setup, and should always be used to supplement them instead – for example, if you need to clean under a raised deck or patio, a washer gun can easily fit underneath without getting stuck, and won’t spray with the full force of the standard hose.

Wands are better for hitting very specific areas with lower-pressure bursts of water and can fit down much thinner gaps than spray guns at the expense of being harder to aim. Both of them can often be fitted with nozzles of their own, and some can even use the original pressure washer nozzles, adding even more versatility and variety to them.

However, even if they can’t, they’re still incredibly useful tools for situations where none of your existing nozzles are useful or helpful, especially if you use a thicker hose that can’t fit into smaller spaces very well.

About the Author

Bob Robinson has been a tool enthusiast and lawn care expert for the past 11 years. First working with John Deere to reduce their impact on the environment, whilst building his love for writing in his spare time. Now, Bob runs the editorial team at BestofMachinery and tends to his garden in his spare time.

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