How To Drain A Pressure Washer

By Power Tools

March 8, 2021

One part of owning a pressure washer that can often go forgotten is knowing how to properly store it in the offseason, for the most part, this means winter. 

However, in some more temperate climates, this means storing it for a longer period of several weeks when you will not be using it. Many owners will complain about having to do this, and some will ignore it altogether. It only takes a few minutes and saves you a lot of hassle.

It gives extra life to your pressure washer and ensures it is prepared to get back to cleaning when it is needed.

This process is the act of draining your pressure washer or otherwise known as winterizing it.

Why Do You Need To Drain A Pressure Washer?- Winterize.

You may wonder why you should bother draining and winterizing your pressure washer.

The truth is that even if you store your pressure washer in a seemingly secure location such as a garage or shed, it should still be winterized if there is little chance you will be using it for a while, especially during cold seasons. Because these areas are not insulated enough to protect your pressure washer against savagely freezing temperatures.

Even if you were to store your pressure washer in somewhere like a basement or an attached garage where temperatures rarely fall beyond freezing, any prolonged period of inactivity can be damaging in itself.

These longer storage periods, as well as cold temperatures, can do a real number of the internal seals of your pressure washer. It can lead to dry rot or cracking in the pump and fuel systems.

Not only that, but gasoline can also go stale in around about 30 days, this is because the ethanol in the fuel can lead to deterioration that can create rust, corrosion, and a buildup that can clog fuel lines, and then any water still in the machine can freeze, expand and burst water hoses.

Mold and mildew are also a common occurrence in un-attended pressure washers.

No matter whether you have a gas or electric pressure washer both should be drained and winterized to protect the machine. Though each had a different technique for doing this. Let us take a look at how you should do this for each, to protect your pressure washer.

Gas Pressure Washer Draining.

Before we get into any details about how you should store your gas-based pressure washer, you should be cautious with any gas-powered appliances.

Any combustible, such as gasoline, stored inside your home, especially for long periods, should have the gas removed from the tank and kept far away from any potential igniter.

This can be dangerous, hence it is best not to store your gas-powered power-washer inside the same building in which you sleep and live unless you have removed the gas.

Now let us look into how you should drain and winterize your pressure washer if it is gas-run.


  1. First of all, if you have no plan to use your pressure washer for at least the next thirty days then you need to store it properly to protect its engine. Get yourself a fuel stabilizer and prepare to remove detergent and water from the pump system.
  2. Secondly, you should add the fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run the engine for a couple of minutes to fully circulate the stabilizer throughout the system.
  3. Thirdly you need to remove the water and cleaning solution from the pressure washer. Get a bucket of clean tap water ready.
  4. Now you will need to hook up your pressure washer to your garden hose like you usually would. Place the detergent feed tube into that bucket of clean tap water and pull the trigger with the low-pressure nozzle and let it run for a few minutes to clean the system of detergent. Then turn the hose off and remove it from the inlet.
  5. Next, you need to pull the trigger once more and drain all of the water from the system.
  6. Finally, add an anti-freeze ‘pump saver’ to the pump inlet if you live in an area where temperatures may drop to near freezing. This will help to protect your pressure washer from cold temperatures and possible mineral deposits.

Electric Pressure Washer Draining

Electric pressure washers get rid of the need to tackle gasoline-related protective measures. So you will only need to take care of the pump system for long-term storage.


  1. First of all, you want to start by getting that clean bucket of tap water.
  2. Place the suction hose into your clean water-filled bucket, attach your garden hose and turn it on.
  3. Now turn on your pressure washer and hold the gun to spray the water for 2 minutes, clearing the system of all detergent.
  4. Then disconnect the garden hose and pull the gun once more to empty the system of all water.
  5. Store the pressure washer indoors and in a warm spot to best prevent any freezing or seal damage. You can add ‘pump saver’ antifreeze into the pump outlet to protect the internal seals too.

Store Your Pressure Washer

When storing your pressure washer after draining it, you should store it somewhere safe and warm. A dry indoor spot in a garage or basement is a good choice.

So is a garden shed as long as water and frost are unlikely to get in. Remember that you should be careful with gas-powered pressure washers if you are storing them in an area attached to your home, and keep them away from possible igniting appliances.

You can also buy a storage cover that will help to keep your powerwasher free of dust and rust during storage, they also prevent pests from getting into it.

If you do decide to store it outside, you will need a cover to protect it, these are often made from cloth of polyester with a water-resistant coating.

If you store your pressure washer outside, even after draining you still need to keep it well protected so a thick and heavily waterproofed cover is the best option.