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Hot vs Cold Pressure Washers

When it comes to pressure washers there are a variety of choices to consider in order to select a pressure washer that will perform well for your contracting needs. First is the design type of the pressure washer, whether it is a direct or belt drive pressure washer, our guide on belt and direct drive pressure washers can help with questions about these two types of pressure washers. Second is hot or cold water pressure washers, and third is how many gallons per minute and psi do you want your pressure washers to operate at. This guide will cover the pros and cons of hot and cold pressure washers and provide suggestions on which may be best for the work you do.

Cold Pressure Washers Pros

Relative to hot pressure washers cold pressure washers offer two main benefits.  First, they have a lower initial price. Second, there is less that can break on them and things that can wear cost less than hot pressure washers.

Cold Pressure Washer Cons

A few of the drawbacks to cold water pressure washers include that they do not clean as well as a hot pressure washer. If your surface has oil or grease contaminant on it, hot water can be needed to help remove the grease from the surface. Additionally, hot water pressure washers that are equivalent in pressure generally tend to be more effective at cleaning hard to remove contaminants from a products surface, like when considering removing paint from a surface with a higher pressure washer.

Cold Pressure Washer Pros

The benefits of cold water pressure washers include that they tend to be less expensive initially. Additionally they are simpler to repair as they do not have extra parts like heating elements that can fail.

Cold water pressure washer applications

Cold water pressure washers can handle the majority of pressure washing jobs out there, from cleaning your deck to concrete to siding cold water washers offer plenty of performance.  If the surface your cleaning will have heavy grease or oil stains sometimes a hot water washer may be necessary, however you may be able to use chemical treatments to get rid of grease or oil with a cold water washer for an occasional need.

Hot Water Pressure Washer Pros

The biggest benefits to hot pressure washers include that they are effective at removing grease and oil from a products surface. Additionally, they can tend to be more efficient at cleaning a surface overall.

Hot Water Pressure Washer Cons

The biggest drawbacks to hot pressure washers include their initial cost and larger number of parts that can go bad. Initial starting prices are around $3095 which makes them a large investment. Parts are generally comparable except the hot water pressure washer will have a burner built in which can be expensive to repair, if there is ever an issue with the burner.


Common Hot water Applications

Commercial cleaning of restaurants, duct work, vehicles with oil or heavy soil deposits, as well as cleaning applications where the ability to kill germs is important.  A hot water washer can also be used for any application a cold water washer can as the heat is optional. 

Summary of Hot and Cold Pressure Washers

Hot pressure washers are generally needed for tough cleaning tasks like removing grease or oil from surfaces you are pressure washing, there greater efficiency cleaning is the biggest benefit they offer. Cold water pressure washers are the most common pressure washers on the market and are less expensive than hot water pressure washers.


For more on choosing the ideal pressure washer check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying a Pressure Washer.

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