How to Pressure Wash a Basement Floor

If you’re looking to give your basement floor a thorough cleaning, pressure washing is the way to go. Not only is it an effective method for removing dirt and grime, but it can also help prep the surface for painting, staining, or resurfacing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pressure wash a concrete basement floor:

Precaution #1: What is Your Basement Floor Made Out Of?

Is it concrete, laminate or hardwood?

It it’s concrete or laminate, you’ll be ok pressure washing it. If it’s made out of hardwood, you may want to rethink whether you want to pressure wash your basement floor or not.

One of the most common questions people have about hardwood floors is whether or not they should be pressure washed.

While there are a few schools of thought on this topic, the general consensus is that pressure washing is not recommended for hardwood floors. The high-powered water stream can damage the finish on the floor and potentially cause gouges or other damage to the wood itself.

In addition, pressure washing can force water and moisture into cracks and crevices, promoting the growth of mold and mildew. For these reasons, it’s best to stick with traditional cleaning methods, such as sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping, when cleaning hardwood floors.

Precaution #2: What Kind of Pressure Washer are You Working With?

In general there are two kinds: gas powered and electrical powered pressure washers. Gas powered washers are generally more powerful than electrical washers, but they have some drawbacks.

In the case of using a pressure washer in your basement, you’ll need to be mindful of the exhaust a gas pressure washer emits. You’ll want to be sure to turn it off when it’s not in use and ventilate the basement as much as possible.

Open windows if there are some in your basement. If not point a fan to a room that has windows and blow the air in the basement towards it.

Also consider using a pressure washer surface cleaner for the job. Please see our article about pressure washer surface cleaners to learn more.

How to Pressure Wash Your Basement in 4 Steps

Below you’ll find 4 steps that will help breakdown how to easily pressure wash your basement.

Step 1: Finding Your Basement’s Drain

Before you begin, you’ll want to determine whether or not your basement has a drain.

Most basements are equipped with a floor drain, which helps to prevent flooding by channeling water away from the foundation of the house. However, if your basement is unfinished or has never been used as a living space, it’s possible that the floor drain has become covered by dirt, debris, or even concrete. 

If you’re unable to find a drain in your basement, you’re going to need to take additional steps to remove the water. We’d suggest renting a shop vac if you don’t have one already.

Don’t have a shop vac? We love the Dewalt Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Vac for the job. Dewalt is a proven brand that isn’t going to break the bank.

Have someone follow you with the shop vac, vacuuming up the water the pressure washer emits as you go. Just be sure you check the tank of the shop vac frequently and empty the water as needed.

Step 2: Prepare the Basement for Pressure Washing

Be sure to remove any items in the basement you don’t want to get wet. A pressure washer will send water to just about every corner of an enclosed space, so be sure to look high and low.

It’s important to clear the area of any furniture or other items that could be in the way. For large items of furniture that are hard to move, you can probably get away with wrapping it with a tarp or plastic drop cloth. Once the area is clear, sweep the floor to remove any loose debris.

Next, place masking tape or another waterproof material over any electrical outlets. Accidentally spraying one of these with a stream of high water pressure could damage your home’s electrical circuitry.

Step 3: Let the Basement Pressure Washing Begin

Fill your pressure washer with the proper amount of cleaning solution. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this.

When you’re ready to start pressure washing, begin in a corner of the room and work your way out. Be sure to hold the nozzle about 10-12 inches from the surface of the floor as you move it back and forth.

What Pressure Level is Best?

It’s always a good idea to start a cleaning job with a pressure washer on the lowest pressure setting and work your way up as needed.

Some floors, even concrete floors, are more delicate than they look. If so you can damage your floor with a high PSI wash.

Some pressure washer nozzles have variable settings. Other washers have removable nozzles that need to be equipped in order to achieve the desired pressure. Be sure to take a peek at your manual if you’re not sure what kind you have.

Step 4: Clean up

After you’ve gone over the entire floor, let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.

If you don’t have a drain, be sure to have someone follow you with a shop vac, removing water from the surface as you go.

If you have a drain, take a large broom to any standing water and sweep it towards the drain.

At this point, there should be a small enough amount of water for you

Once the floor is dry, you can apply a new coat of paint or sealer, if desired.

Pressure Washing Safety Tips

Pressure washing is a great way to clean enclosed spaces like your basement. However, there are a few safety precautions you should take before beginning your project. First, be sure to wear protective clothing, including gloves, eye protection, and a long-sleeved shirt.

Never spray a person or animal with a pressure washer. Water emitted from a pressure washer can cause severe damage to eyes and skin.

Second, always start with the washer on its lowest setting and work your way up. This will help prevent accidental damage to your property.

Third, be careful not to slip on wet concrete. Wear rubber souled shoes with plenty of grip and closed toes. No flip flops! Here’s what all the professional pressure washers wear:

Fourth, be sure to ventilate the basement as much as possible, especially if you’re using a gas powered pressure washer

Finally, be sure to read the instructions that come with your pressure washer before using it. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a safe and successful pressure washing experience.

Now that you know how to pressure wash a basement floor, you can keep your space clean and tidy all year long.

A Helpful Video on Indoor Pressure Washing


Pressure washing a basement floor is a great way to remove dirt, grime, and other build-up that can accumulate over time.

By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure a safe and successful pressure washing experience.

So there you have it! Now get out there and give your basement floor a good cleaning.