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How to Choose The Right Pressure Washer Nozzle

Pressure washers, also known as power washers or jet washers, are machines that use a high-pressure stream of water to clean dirt and other residue from surfaces. One of the parts that determines the effectiveness of a pressure washer is the nozzle. Pressure washer nozzles come in different types, with each designed for a specific application. It’s important that you use the right nozzle for your pressure washer and specific application in order to achieve the best results and prolong the life of your machine. 

In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about pressure washer nozzles, including the different types, sizes and recommended uses, to help you choose the right one for you.

What Pressure Washer Nozzle Do I Need? 

Pressure washer nozzles are categorised by two factors: colour and size. The nozzle’s colour refers to the degree of spread as the water comes out of the nozzle. The nozzle size, also known as the orifice, is the opening in the nozzle that restricts the water flow from the pressure washer. Before you decide which size and colour nozzle to use, you first need to consider the rating of your pressure washer.

Pressure Washer Rating

The first step to selecting the right-sized nozzle is to determine the maximum pressure of your machine, which is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). Using the correct nozzle size for your pressure washer ensures that it operates within safe limits, and that it is the most efficient and effective it can be. 

Here are our recommended nozzle size for your pressure washer based on the maximum pressure of your machine. However, please note that these are general guidelines, and you should always consult your pressure washer manual for specific recommendations.

Maximum Pressure (PSI) Recommended Nozzle Size
Up to 1500 2.0
1500 – 2000 2.5
2000 – 2500 3.0
2500 – 3000 3.5
3000 – 3500 4.0
3500 – 4000 4.5
4000 – 4500 5.0
4500 – 5000 5.5
5000 – 5500 6.0
5500 – 6000 6.5
Above 6000 7.0

Nozzle Size

Nozzle size refers to the diameter of the orifice in millimetres. Larger nozzle sizes tend to have higher flow rates and lower pressure, while smaller nozzle sizes produce higher pressure and lower flow rates. Choosing a nozzle that is too large can reduce operating pressure, while choosing a nozzle that is too small can limit water flow and create an excessive load on the machine, causing the motor to overheat or even causing long-term damage. 

Nozzle Size (Orifice) Recommended Use
2.0 Heavy-duty cleaning tasks require maximum pressure and power.
2.5 Tough cleaning jobs.
3.0 General-purpose cleaning, such as driveways, pavements and patios.
3.5 Cleaning tasks where a balance between pressure and coverage is needed, such as washing vehicles or fences.
4.0 Light-duty cleaning of delicate surfaces like cars, windows, and garden furniture.

Nozzle Angle

Once you know the correct size of nozzle you need, you can choose which angle you require the water to spray out. The most common nozzles are 15 and 25 degrees, but there are several different spray angles available.

Nozzle Colour Spray Angle Recommended Use
Red Nozzle 0 degrees High-pressure, super-focused jet for tough cleaning tasks, similar to a pencil. The jet is extremely dangerous, so additional care is required.
Yellow Nozzle 15 degrees Intense, concentrated jet for stripping dirt and grime from hard surfaces. The yellow nozzle isn’t as powerful as the red, but it is still dangerous if not used with care.
Green Nozzle 25 degrees General-purpose cleaning of pavements, driveways, patios, decks, and gutters. Although less powerful than the red and yellow nozzles, you can still clean tough stains if you hold the wand close to the surface. You can also clean wood and siding if you keep the nozzle farther away from the surface. This is the most versatile pressure washer nozzle.
White Nozzle 40 degrees Wide, gentle spray ideal for delicate surfaces like cars, windows, and garden furniture. Use this nozzle head for situations requiring a lighter touch because it won’t scar.
Black Nozzle 65 degrees Low-pressure, wide spray for applying detergent. The black nozzle has little pressure, which engages the injector and releases detergent into the wand.

Other Nozzle Types 

There are three other nozzle types to consider: adjustable, rotating and drain.

Adjustable Nozzles

Adjustable nozzles let you adjust the spray angle by twisting the nozzle head. These nozzles tend to contain  0, 15, 25 and 40° nozzles, along with soap and rinse nozzles, making them suitable for most jobs. 

Rotating Nozzles

Rotating nozzles, also known as turbo nozzles, are zero degree nozzles that spin round in a circle at 15 or 25 degrees. Rotating nozzles create a dual hammer and cutting effect,  which makes them great for stubborn cleaning tasks, such as agricultural and farming equipment. Their power means they aren’t suitable for more delicate tasks, such as cleaning your car or windows. 

Drain Nozzles

Drain nozzles, also known as sewer nozzles, tend to have one forward facing jet and three or more rear jets. The forward facing jets cut through the blockage, while the rear flushes the debris. Due to their power, drain nozzles tend to be used with high flow output pressure washers. 

Are Pressure Washer Nozzles Universal?

No, not all pressure washer nozzles are universal. Some pressure washer nozzles are brand-specific, meaning they will only work with accessories from the same manufacturer. Using the incorrect size or brand can impact performance and might even damage your machine. For example, a nozzle designed just for a Hyundai pressure washer would not work on a Champion pressure washer .

Nozzle Connectors

There are also different ways in which the pressure washer nozzle connects to the lance that you might want to consider. 

Quick Release: Quick release nozzles have a mechanism that allows for rapid attachment and detachment from the lance, making it convenient for changing between different nozzles. 

Snap-On Nozzles: Snap-on nozzles have a snap or clip mechanism for easy attachment and removal from the lance.

Screw- On Nozzles: Manually screwed onto the lance in a fixed position.

Threaded Nozzles: Threaded nozzles have threads that screw onto the lance.

Other Pressure Washer Attachments 

Beyond standard nozzles, there are several specialised pressure washer accessories and attachments for specific cleaning needs, such as:

Surface Cleaners: Flat or round attachments ideal for cleaning large, flat surfaces like patios, driveways, and garage floors with increased efficiency. These position the nozzles just off the surface on a rotating bar, making it easier and faster to clean large areas.

Foam Cannons: Attachments that create thick foam using detergent solutions, often used by people who work with cars for a faster, more effective clean. 

Spray Guns: A handheld device used to control the flow and direction of pressurised water from a washer. When the trigger is squeezed, it activates the flow of water from the pressure washer pump through the hose and out of the nozzle at high pressure. The spray gun allows the user to adjust the intensity and pattern of the water.

Hoses and Wands: Lengthen the reach of the pressure washer, which is ideal for cleaning high-up or hard-to-reach areas.

Depending on your needs, one of these attachments might help you enhance the performance of your pressure washer and nozzle.


No two cleaning tasks are exactly alike, and neither are pressure washer nozzles. That’s why it’s essential that you choose the right pressure washer nozzle for the task at hand. To recap, make sure your nozzles are suitable for your pressure washer rating and intended application. Keep a reasonable distance when first using your nozzle, and move closer if you need to. You should switch to a more intense nozzle if you’re close but not getting enough power.

Keep in mind that, due to the high-pressure water flow, the orifice or hole in the nozzle gets larger over time, which causes a decrease in pressure. A new nozzle will restore the correct pressure and a clean pattern.

Looking for a premium pressure washer? At Generators Direct, we offer a range of petrol, electric and diesel pressure washers for your specific needs from a range of top-rated brands. Not sure what you need? Check out our Pressure Washer Buying Guide for everything you need to know. 

All of our products are manufactured, tested and certified to industry standards, and come with a price promise – you won’t find prices cheaper anywhere on the web, but if you do, we’ll match them. In addition to this, all orders come with free mainland UK shipping and after sales support from our experts.

If you require additional advice or have a question for our team, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us using this form or via phone at +441639849847.

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