Jeff Kirby


Jeff is our head reviewer here at and has over 10 years in the commercial pressure washing business. What he doesn’t know about pressure washers isn’t worth knowing.

In short:

Yes, a pressure washer can remove rust, particularly light surface rust on metal surfaces. However, the effectiveness depends on factors such as the pressure setting, nozzle type, and surface material. Additionally, stubborn rust may require alternative methods or additional tools.


The details:

When using a pressure washer to remove rust, consider the following factors to ensure effective and safe rust removal:

Pressure settings and nozzle choice: A higher pressure setting and a narrow-angle nozzle, such as a 15-degree nozzle, can help break away and remove rust. However, it’s essential to use caution when working on delicate surfaces, as too much pressure can cause damage.

Surface material: While metal surfaces can typically handle higher pressure, softer materials like wood or plastic may require a gentler approach. Always start with a lower pressure setting and a wider-angle nozzle, gradually increasing the pressure if necessary.

Stubborn rust removal: In some cases, a pressure washer alone may not be enough to remove stubborn rust. If you find that your pressure washer isn’t quite cutting it, you can try combining it with a rust removal chemical or a wire brush attachment to enhance its rust-removal capabilities. These methods can help break down and loosen the rust, making it easier for the pressure washer to do its job.

Technique: Move the nozzle in a consistent sweeping motion across the rusted area, overlapping each pass to ensure thorough rust removal. This also helps prevent streaks or lines on the surface.

Test a small area: Before tackling the entire project, it’s a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that your pressure washer settings and technique are appropriate for the specific rust and surface material.


A pressure washer can remove rust effectively when used with the appropriate pressure settings, nozzles, and techniques. However, stubborn rust may require additional methods or tools, such as rust removal chemicals or wire brush attachments. By considering the surface material and testing a small area first, you can achieve great results in rust removal with a pressure washer.


Best pressure washers for rush removal

There isn’t a single “best” pressure washer for rust removal, as the ideal choice depends on the specific requirements of your rust removal project and your personal preferences. However, we can recommend a few highly-regarded pressure washers suitable for rust removal tasks:

Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer:

This pressure washer offers 2000 PSI and 1.4 GPM, providing sufficient power for most rust removal tasks on a variety of surfaces. It also features a water-cooled induction motor, which increases its lifespan and overall performance.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric High-Pressure Washer:

With 2030 PSI and 1.76 GPM, this pressure washer has enough power to tackle rust removal effectively. It comes with multiple nozzle options and a detergent tank, allowing you to adjust the pressure and cleaning solutions for different surfaces.

Ryobi RY142300 Electric Pressure Washer:

Offering 2300 PSI and 1.2 GPM, this pressure washer has a brushless induction motor, ensuring durability and performance. It also features a metal roll-cage frame, providing extra protection and stability.