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Outdoor power equipment How to winterize your pressure washer

Published on November 8th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


How to winterize your pressure washer

Keep your pressure washer (a.k.a. power washers) working well by completing a few simple maintenance steps before storing it for the winter.

Here’s how to winterize your pressure washer:

1. Review your pressure washer owner’s manual for care instructions specific to your model.

2. Install a clean air filter.
The air filter must be clean in order to effectively prevent dirt, dust and other harmful debris from entering the engine. Every four hours of use, clean the filter. Every 100 hours of use or every three months, replace it. Pleated, paper air filters cannot be cleaned without damage so they should be replaced. Foam air filters can be cleaned with hot water and a small amount of dish detergent. When the filter is completely dry, saturate it with engine oil before reinstalling it. NOTE: Do not use oil on a foam filter if your model also uses a paper element filter.

3. Clean the fuel filter (following the owner’s manual’s instructions, as the procedure does vary from model to model).

4. Check the oil.
Replace the oil if it becomes too dark – or at least every 50 hours of use or once per season.

5. Clean the water inlet screen.
Check the water inlet screen for dirt and debris buildup. Rinse it with water. Allow it to dry thoroughly before returning it to the pressure washer. If the screen is damaged at all, replace it.

5. Inspect the tires.  
Check the tires for wear or damage and replace if necessary.

6. Add an anti-freeze and lubricant formula to fresh fuel. My favorite is Briggs & Stratton Pump Saver. This will keep internal parts lubricated and prevent pump cracking during storage.

Pump Saver - 1941885

7. Store in a clean, dry location, far away from open flames or sparks.

Something wrong with your pressure washer? Check out’s troubleshooting and repair help information for pressure washers. Enter your pressure washer’s model number for a complete list of replacement parts.


Related content

How to prevent a sprinkler system disaster this winter

How to prep your snowblower for winter

11 easy ways to prep a lawn mower for winter storage


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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

One Response to How to winterize your pressure washer

  1. Michael Bellanca says:

    I never new there was antifreeze for pumps in a spray can. I will have to put that in my winter inventory. thanks.

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