How Much Does it Cost to Start a Pressure Washing Business?

how much does it cost to start a pressure washing business

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking for a simple business model or you are looking to branch out, pressure washing is a fantastic venture. 

But before you can start making money, you’ll need to know what to expect regarding pressure washing business start-up costs.

So, how much does it cost to start a pressure washing business, anyway?

We’ll dive deep into what you need to start a pressure washing business, including start-up costs, equipment, profitability, and more! By the end, you’ll have a complete roadmap for getting your business off the ground to enjoy the freedom of being your own boss.

For all the equipment you need, the #1 home for commercial pressure washers in Houston is Hotsy of Houston! Our friendly team will help you get set up with everything you need.

Why Start a Pressure Washing Business?

The entrepreneurial journey is exciting, and while some challenges are ahead, the rewards of freedom, fulfillment, and prosperity are more than worth it.

However, why should you choose pressure washing specifically?

High Demand for Services

No matter the time of year, homeowners, businesses, and property managers always need pressure washing to keep their surfaces and valuable tools clean. Pressure washing is often the only way to deal with common stains, like mold, oil, and mildew, since these materials can become embedded over time.

Just within commercial pressure washing alone, there are several options. Check out our guides for each one to get some inspiration for choosing a niche:

Low Entry Barriers

Another fantastic reason to start a pressure washing business is the low barrier to entry in terms of knowledge and costs.

Learning how to use a pressure washer is simple, and you can pick it up within a day or two. You’ll spend a bit more time learning how to use soap with a pressure washer or how to choose the right accessories, but even these are relatively straightforward.

Plus, you can often rely on the experience of others to fill in any gaps in knowledge until you learn the ins and outs for yourself.

Well, then, how much does it cost to start a pressure washing business?

You are also in luck here, as pressure washing business start-up costs are reasonable. If you rent a machine at first, your total costs will often equal just a few thousand dollars. 

Profitability and Growth Potential

If initial pressure washing business start-up costs are around a few thousand, how much can you expect to profit?

One of the best parts about this industry is the tremendous growth potential. Getting clients is easy with the correct marketing setup, and you can quickly scale to $5,000+ monthly.

With the right equipment, you’ll be able to deliver exceptional results. This will increase repeat business and referrals; soon enough, you’ll have so many clients that you’ll need to turn people away!

The sky is the limit, and the best part is that you completely control your destiny.

So, how much does it cost to start a pressure washing business, exactly?

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Pressure Washing Business?

The first step to profitability is to fully understand pressure washing business start-up costs, as this will help you set up your pricing model and even play a role in determining your niche.

The Pressure Washer Itself

How much does it cost to start a pressure washing business?

The chief determining factor will be the star of the show: which machine you choose.

There are many pressure washer types to choose from, ranging from small electric models for indoor home jobs to massive gas behemoths mounted to trailers for industrial cleaning.

Hotsy’s line of commercial pressure washers starts at around $2,000 for basic models, and higher-power units will cost closer to $5,000 or more.

Ensure you understand what pressure washer PSI (pounds per square inch) and pressure washer GPM (gallons per minute) represent. These two factors signify the power and volume of your water stream, and each material has different ideal numbers, so adjust based on your niche.

Accessories and Attachments

Once you have the best commercial pressure washer for your niche, you must invest in some accessories to improve efficiency.

Hotsy offers the best pressure washer attachments, including wands, hoses, and nozzles. Specialty accessories, such as the Hotsy Surface Cleaner for large floors or the Hotsy Foam Cannon for vehicles, will further speed up the process. These attachments cost between $50 and $500.

Remember to pick up PPE like non-slip pressure washing boots and gloves to ensure a safe work experience.


Like accessories, finding the best pressure washer detergent will speed things up. There are specialized formulas for each type of stain, like Hotsy Ripper I for grease and oil or Hotsy Transport for vehicles.

Depending on how many niches you want to be in, you can settle on $100 to $500 for your initial soap. Be sure to pick up a quality pressure washing pre-treatment as well, as it can speed up the cleaning process and help you deliver results faster.

Considering a Trailer

The average cost for a homemade pressure washer trailer setup ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.

While it isn’t necessary for most niches, it can be a great long-term goal for expanding your service area. 

Business License, Insurance, and Other Logistical Costs

In addition to all of your equipment, you’ll need a few bits of paperwork before you get started:

  • Business licenses and permits: Estimated cost of $100-$500. The city of Houston, for example, charges a $32 application fee.
  • General liability insurance: Typically $500-$1,500 per year, depending on your coverage needs.
  • Vehicle insurance: A dedicated work truck or trailer will need appropriate coverage, costing $500-$2,000 annually.
  • Accounting, legal, and other professional services: $500-$2,000 annually.

So, overall, how much does it cost to start a pressure washing business?

For your equipment, you’ll pay between $3,500 and $5,500 for a basic machine, accessories, and soaps. Add another $5,000-$15,000 for a trailer and around $2,000 for logistics.

Accounting for the Ongoing Costs of Running a Pressure Washer Business

Pressure washing business start-up costs are reasonable, but what about ongoing expenses?


Pressure washers require a steady and clean water supply to do their job effectively. A typical residential driveway or sidewalk job might require up to 20 gallons of water.

For example, Northwest Harris County charges an initial fee of $12.90 for commercial use and $0.60 for every 100 gallons after the first 2,000. Your exact rate will vary based on your county’s utility prices.


Depending on whether you have an electric vs gas pressure washer, your fuel costs will vary. Gas prices are hard to predict but often cost you over $100 monthly. Electric costs average around $8.67 per kWh in Houston for commercial use.

You’ll also need to add extra fuel costs for your transportation, often another $100+ per month.

Logistical Renewals

Remember the logistics and paperwork we discussed? These factors often include monthly or yearly renewals at the same rates—budget at least $1,200 for licenses, insurance, and professional services annually.


Restocking your detergent will often be more affordable than the initial cost. Depending on your niche, you’ll spend anywhere from $20 to $100 on new tubs of soap and other cleaning solutions.


While learning how to maintain a pressure washer is easy, there are a few budget quirks to consider. Regular maintenance includes changing and inspecting the oil, filters, pressure settings, nozzles, attachments, and worn parts.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500, though you will save money by buying a new machine with a comprehensive warranty.


Lead generation is at the heart of any business. You’ll need to spend money to find new clients, including things like:

  • Developing a website and online presence
  • Creating and distributing printed marketing materials
  • Networking and building relationships with potential clients

Expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $2,000 annually for a quality marketer.

How Profitable is a Pressure Washing Business?

You now know everything about pressure washing business start-up costs and recurring expenses, but what about the other side of your balance sheet?

Factors Influencing Income

It’s vital to do your research when starting your business so you know what to expect:

  • Service Area and Market Demand: How many companies or homeowners need your services nearby?
  • Specialization and Expertise: Are you niching down to grow your expertise so you can charge more?
  • Competitive Landscape: How many other businesses are in your area, and what are their customer bases?

Average Rates and Pricing Models

You’ll typically choose between one of two pricing models: per-square-foot and hourly rates.

We recommend per-square-foot rates if you’re in the commercial space. Even a new company can comfortably charge $.50 per square foot.

Hourly rates are a great choice for home pressure washing and niches that don’t cover large surface areas. You can bill anywhere from $100 to $200 per hour, giving you similar revenue to the per-square-foot model.

Budgeting Tips for Pressure Washing Business Start-Up Costs

If the initial start-up costs are outside your price range, a few tips can make your initial foray more affordable.

Small Business Loans

A loan of $15,000 from a bank or credit union could set you up with everything you need, including marketing to find new clients, and you’d be able to pay it off within just a few months!

Leasing vs Buying vs Renting

The decision between buying vs renting a pressure washer plays a massive role in your initial start-up costs. You can avoid high prices, pressure washer repair costs, and maintenance fees by renting.

Of course, the cost to rent a pressure washer will eventually be higher in the long run, making a purchase more valuable.

Leasing strikes an excellent middle ground between buying and renting, giving you more reliable access to high-quality machines without spending the full purchase price.

Considering Used Equipment

Used equipment can be an excellent way to save money. Refurbished machines are often cheaper, letting you start your business for just a few thousand dollars.

However, you’ll need to ensure the machine and accessories you buy are reliable and durable enough to get the job done. We recommend bringing a used machine to your local pressure washer repair shop for a full inspection before buying, and you should always plan to upgrade in the future to the newest technologies.

With everything you need now established, all left to figure out is where to rent a pressure washer! Thankfully, the #1 home for commercial hot water pressure washers in Houston is right before you.

Get Started on the Right Foot With Everything You Need at Hotsy of Houston!

At Hotsy of Houston, you’ll find all the equipment and knowledge you need to start your pressure washing business in Southeast Texas. We’ve worked with thousands of local businesses, including several commercial pressure-washing startups, and have endless insight into the industry.

We’ve seen time and again that high-quality equipment is critical to start-up success, and we’re proud to be the region’s only authorized Hotsy retailer. Hotsy is the most storied brand in the field, with over 50 years of history delivering high-quality, reputable machines.

Between commercial pressure washer rental in Houston, sales, and leases, we’ll work with you to find a solution that fits within your budget and helps you get started.

You can also find premade & custom pressure washer trailers in Houston at our store. We can help you choose a trailer with all the storage space, branding, and organization you need.

You’ll also have access to our inventory of high-quality pressure washer detergent and pressure washer parts in Houston

We are even an authorized Hotsy repair center, making us the most reliable place to find commercial pressure washer repair in Houston.

Finally, our friendly and expert team has all the experience and insights you need to find success. We’ll walk you through everything, including the differences between hot vs cold water pressure washers, how to rent a pressure washer, how to store a pressure washer, and more!

Wrapping Up Our Pressure Washing Business Start-Up Cost Guide

The idea of starting a pressure washing business is straightforward: you clean homes, decks, driveways, industrial buildings, or machinery and get paid to do so!

There are some upfront costs, but the great thing is that you can quickly recoup them within just a couple of months of work or even sooner with high-quality equipment and fantastic lead generation.

Hotsy of Houston is here to help you get started. As the #1 home for commercial cold water pressure washers in Houston, we have everything you need to put your best foot forward for your clients and start racking up those referrals. Contact us today to learn more!