Make Your Own: 4 Pressure Washer Detergent Recipes

Last Updated on June 13, 2022

Make your own pressure washer detergent

Pressure washers are the best. They are even better when combined with a homemade pressure washer detergent.

Sometimes, a pressure washer isn’t actually strong enough to shift the toughest of grime and you’ll need a pressure washing detergent or chemical to help you gain a perfect finish!

The only problem now is what detergent and where do you get it?

There are some great detergents out there, but they are pricey, and a pressure washer can go through detergent at the same rate it goes through water!

We have done research on how to make your own pressure washer detergent and save those much-needed pennies when completing larger jobs.​

DIY Pressure Washer Soap

Pressure Washer Cleaning Fluid comes in all shapes and size, Strengths and concentrates but one thing always stays consistent and that’s that it cleans and a pressure washer can clean alot of things!

This means that we will be dealing with chemicals, so to keep safe you must always make sure you wear gloves, never rub your eyes and if you do come into contact with any of the chemicals then wash the area thoroughly, immediately.

How to make your own pressure washer detergent

One of the recipes we will be touching on today, include Borax substitute or washing soda crystals.

In the UK you can no longer purchase Borax as it has been banned. This is why we use Borax Substitute as it does the same job without the risk to health.

We will also be using Soda Crystals.

Soda crystals can be found in most supermarkets and have a great cleaning attribute.

You can dissolve them in water and use them to clean all sorts of items. You can sprinkle them over stained areas on your clothes before you wash to remove stains.

Another great ingredient we will be using is degreaser, this is a chemical that’s great for removing stubborn stains such as oil leaks on the driveway or BBQ mess from the patio.

Be sure to wash your hands if you get this on your skin as it can cause irritation.

pressure washer detergent

homemade concrete cleaner for pressure washer

For Concrete surfaces such as driveways or patios where you are going to have oil stains, rubber marks, food marks maybe even the scorched remains of a bonfire you are going to want something a little heavy duty.

You are going to want to have a cleaning solution which includes some form of degreaser in it to help combat stubborn stains.

We will note how to make one part of the pressure washer soap recipe which can then be doubled, tripled, etc as required for the size of the job. 


  • 1 Litre of Water
  • 8 Tbsp of Borax substitute
  • 8 Tbsp of Soda Crystals
  • 1 Tbsp of Washing up Liquid
  • 4-8 Tbsp of Degreaser (Only add if necessary, for the job)


  1. First, mix the borax and soda crystals together to form a mixture. After you have done this add the water, followed by the washing up liquid and degreaser if you are using it.
  2. If you need to make this solution slightly stronger you can increase the number of ingredients or reduce the amount of water whilst keeping the ingredients the same.
  3. Be sure to mix these ingredients outside or in a well-ventilated room as the fumes from the chemicals can cause issues if there are breathed in.

Homemade pressure washer solution for decking

Decking can be a right so and so to clean if its left for too long.

If you have left it and it’s been a particularly wet winter, you can have all sorts of algae and slime growing on your natural wood deck.

You’ll be pleased to know that it’s very easy to clean decking with a homemade power washer solution and you only need a few household ingredients.


  • 6 Tbsp of White Vinegar
  • 8 Tbsp of Soda Crystals
  • 2 Tbsp Washing up Liquid
  • 1 Litre of Warm Water


  1. Mix all your ingredients together and use your foam sprayer attachment to spread this over your decking.
  2. Make sure to get good coverage and leave it for 10-15 minutes.
  3. When you come back to it use a hard bristled brush and give it a good scrubbing, especially in the hard-to-clean algae infested areas.
  4. Once this is done, go to town with your pressure washer, using smooth sweeping movements and ensure you get all the residual detergent off of the wood once you are finished.

Cheap homemade pressure washer detergent

If you are looking at keeping costs to a real minimum then you can make a cheap homemade pressure washer detergent but simply mixing;


  • 8 tbsp of bleach
  • 6 tbsp of washing up liquid
  • 1 Litre of Water

This is a really cheap method of making your own pressure washer detergent, but we recommend NOT using bleach in your mixture. Bleach can be harmful to the skin and with water pressure being so high that it could spray water into the air, you could even end up breathing this in.

homemade pressure washer detergent for cars

A pressure washer car soap recipe isn’t something that most people would look for. Car shampoo is very easy to come by and you can buy it from pretty much any supermarket, hardware store or home shop.

You can make your own homemade pressure washer soap for cars with ease and it will be cheaper and last longer than shop bought detergent.

You also don’t have to store specific detergent ready for car cleaning you can just use these simple household pressure washer detergent

When using a detergent on car it doesn’t need to be a strong as other detergents, this is because you don’t want to damage the paint work.


  • 1 Tbsp of Dishwasher Liquid
  • 1 Tbsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 Litre of warm water


  1. Simply mix all these ingredients together and you have yourself a homemade power washer detergent that’s great for cleaning a car. This Pressure washer cleaning fluid will cut through surface dirty and leave your car with a nice shine.
  2. Once you have cleaned your car, dry it off and give it a wax to finish it off.

If you simply wanted to buy car shampoo or snow foam you can check our handy guide to the best snow foams and shampoos for your car here.

Why make your own pressure washer detergent

Some people might think that making your own detergent will be more hassle that its worth. But there are several reasons why making your own pressure washer detergent would be beneficial over buying ready made soap.


Making your own detergent can allow you to make in larger quantities than can be bought in a shop and in the long run saving you bundles. The joy of detergent is that it lasts as well and doesn’t spoil. So, you could make 5 litres of detergent which would cover you for maybe your next five medium sized jobs and it can be stored in the garage on a shelf.


Lots of sho-bought soap contains chemicals and nasties that can cause allergic reactions. Making your own will allow you to make this without anything that might cause irritation to your skins, eyes or even give you a migraine.

It’s not worth taking any risks when your health is concerned and having chemicals that you could be allergic too, flying through the air out of a high-powered jet can have serious repercussions when it comes to using them.


If you are concerned about your carbon footprint (as you should be) then making your own pressure washer detergent can really help keep yours down.

Being super eco-friendly is a good thing seeing as you’ll be using lots of water, petrol or electric with your pressure washer.

What Household items that can be used to make pressure washer detergent?


Washing up liquid

​Just normal washing up liquid is a great cleaning agent for adding to homemade pressure washer detergent and can easily be found in almost all kitchens. Just a few tablespoons of the liquid can be enough to add a kick to your cleaning detergen​t.


Vinegar is one of the best cleaning agents you can find in the home. The acidity of the liquid kills mould and mildew but be careful, it won’t prevent its return. Vinegar is also great for cleaning windows but be sure to dry them to prevent streakiness.


Bleach can be used to kill mould and mildew and will also prevent its return. Although bleach is great for cleaning, we would advise against using it in a pressure washer. Using it turns it into a mist which can be dangerous to breath in.

If you are going to use bleach in your pressure washer be sure to wear extra safety precautions such as goggles, overalls and a mask.

Check out our full safety tips here!

Soda Crystals

Soda Crystals or washing soda can be dissolved in water and used to clean all sorts of things, but most commonly to remove stains from clothing. If you cant find soda crystals in your local store and don’t want to order them online you can make your own.

Making Soda Cystals

The main ingredient in soda crystals is baking soda and that makes it a great eco-friendly pressure washing detergent.


  • Baking Soda
  • Grease Proof Paper
  • Oven
  • Spatula


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  2. Spread the baking soda onto the grease proof paper in an even way
  3. Leave in the Oven for 30 minutes
  4. Stir ever 5 minutes
  5. Take out the oven and allow to cool before touching

The new chemical will be less shiny and drier than it went it. They will look a little more see-through and crystallised.

We have looked into the cleaning power of using DIY detergent and it really it a great alternative to shop bought. You can read about all its uses in this great post here.

Preparations Before Cleaning

Using chemicals to clean certain things can cause reactions so it’s important to prepare the surface or item you are looking to clean properly before use. Ensure you know how to use a pressure washer with detergent before starting any work.


Before using a pressure washer on your car its handy to prepare the car as if you was going to put it through a car wash. Easily damaged items such as radio ariel, loose wing mirrors or loose window wipers should be removed or secured.

Make sure the engine is off and the car is in park or has the handbrake on, ideally on level ground but if level ground isn’t available then double check the handbrake and leave it in the opposite gear whilst off.

Ensure the windows are rolled up to avoid any water getting inside.


Make sure you secure any pets and ensure than children are kept inside whilst you are pressure washing.

Wet the patio first then apply the detergent and use a hard brush broom to scrub the area before pressure washing for a clean finish.

Safety Precautions

When using a pressure washer with or without chemicals it’s important to know how to safely use a pressure washer.

When using chemicals to create detergent and also using a pressure washer, certain safety precautions should be followed to ensure you are kept safe whilst using.

Make sure you wear protective gloves whilst mixing your detergent as well as wearing gloves, overalls, goggles, a mask and work boots whilst in use.


What do the professionals use?

Whilst a homemade pressure washing detergent is perfect for around the home jobs, the professionals aren’t using them.

The professionals use Sodium Hypoclirote which is basically a bleach compound usually used for cleaning swimming pools.

It will kill of any and all organic matter, including your plants and grass so its important to use it correctly. It will also stain your clothes and if exposed for to long damage your health so make sure you are wearing your saftey equiptment. 


Latest Guides 

Kranzle K7 Pressure Washer Review

Kranzle K7 Pressure Washer Review

Jeff Kirby ReviewerJeff 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.IntroductionThe Kranzle K7 is a robust and versatile...

read more
Kranzle K10/122QR Pressure Washer Review

Kranzle K10/122QR Pressure Washer Review

Jeff Kirby ReviewerJeff 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.IntroductionThe Kranzle K10/122QR is a portable pressure...

read more
Bosch Aquatak 140 vs Kärcher K5 Full Control Home

Bosch Aquatak 140 vs Kärcher K5 Full Control Home

Jeff Kirby Reviewer 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. Hey there, fellow DIY enthusiasts! As a 45-year-old...

read more