How to Clean Pressure washer pump

If you own a pressure washer, you know the satisfaction of blasting away grime and dirt from surfaces. But if your pressure washer pump isn’t cleaned regularly, you might find yourself frustrated by its diminished performance. A dirty pump can lead to low pressure and even damage your machine over time. Don’t let that happen to you!

To clean a pressure washer pump, first turn off the machine and disconnect it from the power source. Remove the inlet and outlet hoses, then flush the pump with clean water. Use a soft brush to remove any debris or buildup. Reassemble and test before use.

In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of how to clean a pressure washer pump, so you can keep your machine running at its best and get back to tackling those tough cleaning jobs.:

Types of Pressure Washer Pumps

Types of Pressure Washer Pumps

There are different types of pumps used in pressure washers, each with its own unique cleaning requirements.

Following are the different types of pressure washer pumps and discuss the best practices for cleaning each one. By understanding the different types of pumps and how to maintain them, you can ensure your pressure washer operates at peak performance and lasts for years to come.

Axial cam pumps

Axial cam pumps are a type of pressure washer pump commonly used in residential and commercial pressure washing machines. They operate by using an axial cam mechanism to create pressure, which is then used to power the water spray.

Axial cam pumps are popular due to their compact size, relatively low cost, and ease of maintenance. They are generally rated for pressure in the range of 1500-4000 PSI and flow rates up to 4 GPM.

To clean an axial cam pump, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This may involve flushing the pump with clean water after each use, checking and replacing worn or damaged parts, and performing regular maintenance to keep the pump in good working condition.

Overall, axial cam pumps are a reliable and efficient option for pressure washing tasks, and with proper care and maintenance, they can provide years of reliable service.

Triplex plunger pumps

Triplex plunger pumps are a type of pressure washer pump that uses three plungers to create pressure. They are commonly used in commercial and industrial settings due to their high pressure output and durability.

However, they require regular maintenance to prevent damage and ensure optimal performance. This includes checking and replacing seals, inspecting valves, and cleaning the pump regularly to remove dirt and debris.

If properly cared for, triplex plunger pumps can provide long-lasting and effective performance for a variety of pressure washing applications.

Wobble plate pumps

Wobble plate pumps are a type of pressure washer pump that use a wobbling motion to generate pressure. They are typically found in lower-end pressure washers and can be prone to wearing out faster than other types of pumps.

Regularly clean and maintain wobble plate pumps to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. This includes checking and replacing worn out or damaged parts, such as the piston seals and bearings.

Diaphragm pumps

Diaphragm pumps are a type of pressure washer pump that use a flexible diaphragm to displace water. They are popular for their ability to handle a wide range of pressures and flow rates, making them ideal for a variety of cleaning tasks.

To clean a diaphragm pump, start by turning off the pressure washer and disconnecting the hoses. Next, remove the diaphragm and inspect it for damage or wear. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one.

Clean the inside of the pump housing with a soft brush and mild detergent, then rinse thoroughly with water. Finally, reassemble the pump and hoses and test the pressure washer to ensure proper operation.

Preparations for Cleaning the Pump

Preparations for Cleaning the Pump

Before you start cleaning your pressure washer pump, there are some preparations you need to make. Following are the steps you should take to prepare for cleaning the pump, including gathering the necessary tools and equipment and ensuring the pressure washer is turned off and cool to the touch.

Gathering necessary tools and materials

Before cleaning the pressure washer pump, gather all the necessary tools and materials. This may include safety goggles, gloves, a pressure washer pump cleaner solution, a bucket, a soft-bristled brush, and a wrench for removing the pump.

By having all these tools and materials ready, the cleaning process will be more efficient and effective. Follow safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions when gathering and using these tools and materials to avoid any accidents or damage to the pump.

Disconnecting the pressure washer from power sources

When cleaning a pressure washer pump, it is crucial to take safety precautions to prevent accidents. One of the essential preparations is to disconnect the pressure washer from all power sources, including electrical and fuel sources.

This ensures that the machine is not accidentally turned on while you are cleaning the pump, which can cause injury or damage to the machine. Before starting the cleaning process, double-check that the pressure washer is completely disconnected from any power sources.

Ensuring safety measures are in place

Before starting the process of cleaning a pressure washer pump, ensure that all necessary safety measures are in place. This includes wearing protective gear such as gloves and goggles, as well as ensuring that the pressure washer is turned off and disconnected from its power source.

Check the pressure washer pump for any signs of damage or wear and tear before beginning the cleaning process. By taking these safety measures, you can avoid accidents and ensure that the cleaning process goes smoothly.

Step by Step Cleaning Guide

Step by Step Cleaning Guide

Cleaning your pressure washer pump is a simple and easy task that can be done at home with the right tools and knowledge. Here is the process of cleaning your pressure washer pump, ensuring that it operates at its best for years to come.

Flushing out the pump

In the process of cleaning a pressure washer pump, one of the important steps is to flush out the pump. Flushing out the pump involves removing any debris or residue that may have accumulated inside the pump, which could cause damage or reduce the pump’s efficiency.

This can be done by disconnecting the water inlet and outlet hoses from the pump and running clean water through the pump for a few minutes. Ensure that all the water is drained from the pump before reconnecting the hoses and turning the pressure washer on.

Removing the pump from the pressure washer

This topic covers the important steps involved in removing the pump from a pressure washer as part of the cleaning process.

It includes valuable information such as the tools needed for the job and the precautions to take before starting the task. The steps to remove the pump are clearly explained to ensure a safe and efficient cleaning process.

Cleaning the pump inlet and outlet valves

To clean the pump inlet and outlet valves of a pressure washer, you will need to first shut off the engine and disconnect the hoses. Next, remove the valve caps and clean any debris or buildup from the valves using a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush.

Ensure that the valves are completely clean before reassembling them and reconnecting the hoses. Regularly cleaning the pump inlet and outlet valves will help maintain the efficiency and longevity of your pressure washer.

Inspecting and cleaning the unloader valve

Inspecting and cleaning the unloader valve is an important step in maintaining your pressure washer pump. The unloader valve is responsible for regulating the pressure in the pump, so if it becomes clogged or damaged, it can cause serious problems.

To clean the unloader valve, you’ll need to remove it from the pump and inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. Once you’ve determined that it’s in good condition, you can clean it by soaking it in a solution of water and vinegar or using a specialized cleaning solution.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper safety precautions when working on your pressure washer pump.

Checking and cleaning the water and oil seals

When cleaning a pressure washer pump, it’s essential to check and clean the water and oil seals. These seals can wear out or become damaged over time, leading to leaks or reduced performance.

By inspecting and cleaning the seals, you can ensure that your pressure washer pump continues to operate at peak efficiency. Follow a step-by-step guide to check and clean the seals properly, as incorrect cleaning or handling can cause further damage.

Reassembling the pump and reattaching it to the pressure washer

This section of the cleaning guide will cover the process of reassembling the pressure washer pump and reattaching it to the main unit.

It will include valuable information on properly aligning the pump and ensuring all connections are tight and secure. Tips on testing the pressure washer to ensure it is functioning correctly will be provided.

Maintenance Tips for Pressure Washer Pumps

Maintenance Tips for Pressure Washer Pumps

Maintaining your pressure washer pump is essential to keep it functioning optimally and prolong its lifespan. A well-maintained pump ensures your pressure washer delivers the required water pressure and flow rate for efficient cleaning.

Following are some maintenance tips for pressure washer pumps, which will help you clean and maintain your pump easily and effectively.

Regularly checking for leaks and wear

Regularly checking for leaks and wear is an important aspect of maintaining pressure washer pumps. Leaks can cause the pump to lose pressure and reduce its effectiveness. Wear and tear can also lead to a decrease in performance and may eventually require replacement of the pump. To prevent these issues, it is recommended to inspect the pump regularly and replace any damaged or worn parts as needed. Using a pump protector can help extend the lifespan of the pump by lubricating its seals and preventing rust and corrosion.

Using appropriate pump oil and changing it as needed

One important maintenance tip for pressure washer pumps is to use the appropriate pump oil and change it as needed. Pump oil lubricates and protects the pump’s internal parts from wear and tear, which can reduce the pump’s efficiency and lifespan.

Use the manufacturer-recommended pump oil, as using the wrong type of oil can damage the pump. The pump oil should also be changed regularly, as old or contaminated oil can lead to reduced pump performance and even damage.

To change the pump oil, first, make sure the engine is turned off and the pressure washer is cool. Then, remove the oil fill cap and drain the old oil into a container. After that, replace the oil with the recommended type of pump oil up to the recommended level. Replace the oil fill cap and run the pressure washer for a few minutes to circulate the new oil throughout the pump.

By using the appropriate pump oil and changing it as needed, you can keep your pressure washer pump running smoothly and efficiently for longer.

Winterizing the pressure washer pump

Winterizing your pressure washer pump is an important maintenance step to ensure its longevity and prevent damage during the cold months.

This involves draining any remaining water from the pump, adding antifreeze, and storing it in a dry, protected area. Remove any hoses and attachments and store them separately. Proper winterization can save you from costly repairs and replacements in the future.

Storing the pressure washer properly when not in use

Proper storage of a pressure washer when not in use is essential for maintaining its pump. Firstly, make sure the machine is turned off and unplugged. Next, empty any remaining water from the pump and hoses, and store it in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.

It is also advisable to use a pump saver solution to protect the pump’s internal parts from corrosion and damage during storage. Finally, avoid storing the pressure washer in freezing temperatures, as this can cause damage to the pump and other components.


Cleaning your pressure washer pump is crucial for its longevity. Begin by turning off the machine and unplugging it. Detach the hoses and run clean water through the pump. A brush can help remove any dirt or grime. Reattach the hoses and test the machine before using.

As we wrap up our discussion on how to clean a pressure washer pump, emphasize the significance of regular pump maintenance and cleaning. Neglecting to properly maintain and clean your pressure washer pump can result in various problems, such as decreased performance, damage to the pump, and even complete pump failure.

Regular maintenance and cleaning not only ensures the longevity and optimal performance of your pressure washer but also saves you money on repairs and replacement costs in the long run. A well-maintained and cleaned pump operates efficiently, providing you with the necessary pressure to complete your cleaning tasks effectively.

In conclusion, taking the time to clean and maintain your pressure washer pump is crucial in ensuring it operates efficiently and lasts longer. So make it a habit to incorporate regular cleaning and maintenance into your pressure washing routine and enjoy the benefits of a well-functioning pressure washer for years to come.

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Andrew Joseph
Andrew Joseph

Introducing Andrew Joseph, a pressure washing expert with 15 years of experience in residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Andrew shares his vast knowledge through insightful blog posts, offering valuable tips and best practices for optimal cleaning results. His passion for educating others, combined with his extensive expertise, makes Andrew an indispensable resource for those looking to master the art of pressure washing.