Pressure washing is a great way to clean your home and commercial buildings or vehicles, revealing their beauty and restoring their shine. However, wielding a pressure washer is challenging and can lead to pressure-washing severe injuries if not used cautiously. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2014 report shows that an estimated 6,057 people sought emergency room treatment for injuries related to pressure washers. So, if you’re handling the equipment yourself or hiring a professional, adhering to safety guidelines is crucial. It prevents accidents and ensures a smooth cleaning process. 

This write-up is your ultimate guide to understanding different pressure-washing injuries and how to prevent them. Let’s get started!

Pressure Washing Greenville, Greer, Travelers Rest, Easley

What is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing uses high-pressure water spray to clean dirt, debris, and loose paint from your buildings and vehicles. The water released from the pressure washer exerts a force of 1,500 – 4,000 pounds per square inch, effectively removing stubborn oil stains. However, this high-pressure water isn’t safe for humans and pets and can cause severe pressure-washing injuries. 

Different Pressure Washing Injuries

People often assume that using a pressure washer is safe or that the wounds caused by the equipment are clean. Well, both assumptions aren’t accurate, and the following details of pressure washing injuries show that: 

Bruises and Cuts

The high-force water from the pressure washer can penetrate your skin, leading to bruises and cuts. If the nozzle is held too close to the body, you can expect deeper cuts, which usually appear small initially but require immediate medical attention. 

Eye Injuries

High-pressure washing can propel dust, debris, and other cleaning chemicals into the air. This may pose a significant risk of eye injuries if you aren’t wearing proper protective gear. For instance, these foreign elements or chemicals can enter your eyes, causing irritation, corneal abrasions, or, in some cases, lead to partial or complete vision loss. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Some pressure washers, especially the ones operated by gas, emit carbon monoxide upon operation. Using these washers in a small or poorly ventilated area can cause carbon dioxide poisoning. Its symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and even death if the exposure is prolonged. 


As mentioned earlier, a pressure washer may cause cuts or lacerations. When contaminated water or dirt enters these untreated wounds, they become the entry points for bacteria and mildew, resulting in severe skin infections. 


While this is among the less common pressure washer injuries, electrocution is still a risk you should be aware of. Faulty wires, damaged power cords, or using pressure washers near electrical outlets can make you susceptible to electrocution.

Remember, pressure washer injuries may seem small at first, but it’s always advisable to seek medical attention quickly. Otherwise, you may be at risk of serious infection and even amputation, which is the case with 30% of pressure washer injuries. 

What to Do If You Fall Victim to Pressure Washer Injuries

If you or a professional has fallen victim to a minor pressure washer injury while working with the equipment, here are a few tips you should quickly follow: 

Safety Tips for Using a Pressure Washer

It’s always better to be a little careful beforehand than to be sorry later. So, make sure to follow these safety tips before working with a pressure washer to ensure you are protected from possible pressure washing injuries:

Read the Instructions Manual Carefully

First things first, before using a pressure washer, you must refer to the instructions manual. This will help you understand how to operate the washer and what safe pressure settings are. 

Suppose you are borrowing a machine and it doesn’t come with a manual; you can always look for instructions online. Doing so ensures that you know the washer’s workings, preventing mishandling. 

Wear Proper Safety Gears 

Another must-do is to wear proper safety gear when using a pressure washer. You may not know this, but wearing appropriate gear can prevent most pressure washer injuries. 

So make sure to wear:

Some additional tips that you should follow are:


Pressure-washing injuries include bruises, cuts, infections, eye damage, and even electrocution. You must follow proper safety tips, such as reading instructions carefully and wearing safety gear, including boots, safety glasses, and long pants. In addition, you should avoid pointing the high-pressure washer stream towards yourself or anyone around and keep children and pets away. 

Are you seeking top-notch pressure washing services in the Upstate, Greenville, SC? First Class Exterior Cleaning has you covered. We have a team of highly skilled and qualified professionals who thoroughly clean your residential and commercial buildings and other essentials, following proper safety tips. 

Contact us today, and let us help you restore the beauty of your property safely and efficiently!