Do Pressure Washers Get Rid Of Weeds? – A Definitive Guide

Title image of a weed growing from a crack for a do pressure washers get rid of weeds post

As most owners of pressure washers will find they are fun and easy to use.  After a while, you will start to look for new and exciting projects around the house to use your system with.  A common question we get is from people wondering if you can use a pressure washer to get rid of weeds?  

It seems like a great way to make a menial task quick and easy while also be a fun way to use your washer.  The answer, however, is not so black and white. A pressure can remove weeds the real question is whether or not you should.  The answer will vary greatly depending on the type of surface your weeds have become a nuisance on.

Check out our full guide below so you can learn when and where you can use a pressure washer to get those weeds under control.

Can You Pressure Wash Driveway Weeds?

Probably the most common area around your home where you will consider whether or not a pressure washer is the right tool to remove weeds from will be from cracks in your driveway.  Most driveways are concrete or asphalt and over time they can crack. In many cases for regular style driveways, a pressure washer can be a great way to remove weeds.

The cracks in your driveway will attract loose soil, dirt, and weeds will spread to them. A pressure washer will work as a jet to loosen and remove both the weed and the root.  It can also blow out dirt and other debris that weeds like to live in. Doing regular cleaning of these crack can prevent future weeds from returning.

Another benefit of using a pressure washer to remove weeds from your driveway is that while you are at it you can clean your entire driveway. This will help keep looking brand new for years to come and really make your home look nice and stand out.  

Something to consider with this is if you have a different style of driveway like bricks and pavers.  The spaces between pavers may be filled with sand or other materials that you want there. A high powered pressure washer may remove more than just the weeds. And it will cause you more work to refill what else it removes.

When deciding whether or not you can use a pressure washer to remove weeds from your driveway, paths, and other hardscapes you just want to make sure you a using a psi that is strong enough to do the job but NOT so strong that it will damage your surface area. Make sure you use a psi power that is okay to use on your surface material. For a concrete surface like a driveway a 3000 psi nozzle is good. However, that would be too much for some surfaces like decks and your home exterior so be careful where you spray.

You will also want to use a tip that gives you a wider spray area. Make sure you do not hold the tip too close to the surface area. Give you wand at least a foot of distance from the surface at all times. Also do not stay in one spot for too long. Keep it moving as too much for too long in one spot will cause damage. Always test out your surface in a small area that won’t be a problem is there is any damage. If that area is cleaned well with no damage then you know you are good to do the entire driveway.

How To Get Rid Of Weeds Between Interlocking Bricks With A Pressure Washer

Many driveways, paths, and backyard areas are built with neatly designed and packed interlocking bricks.  They are fantastic and can really make your yard stand out. The main downside is that they are extremely easy for weeds to infiltrate and start growing between bricks.  This can make for unsightly growth that takes away from your hard work and landscape design.

A pressure washer can make quick work of removing weeds from interlocking bricks, but it does come with some drawbacks. Mainly the pressure that is used to remove weeds can also remove sand or any other sediment you are using between your bricks. This can be a good thing to help prevent weeds from concrete driveways. But that sediment is important with interlocking bricks to keep them in place and looking nice.

To remedy this you will need to do an extra step. If you still want to use a pressure washer for this job.  After blasting out all the of weeds and removing the yard waste let the bricks dry. Then take your choice of filler from sand to rock sediment and spread it around. Using a broom to refill the cracks and space.  

This will accomplish two good things.

  1. You will replace the space filler that was removed from the pressure washing process. Ensuring that there are no long term issues or damage from removing that filler.
  2. Also by using something like sand you can make those areas less habitable for future weeds.  Weeds are pretty hardy and just like in Jurassic Park “Life finds a way”. Taking steps to make it less inviting for weeds will help reduce how many come back.

These steps are also the same for removing weeds from block paving with a pressure washer To see a pressure washer with a turbo nozzle in action clearing weeds from interlocking bricks check out this video.

Weed Prevention Tips So You Won’t Have To Pressure Wash Them Away

Once you get your weeds removed your next question is how to permanently get rid of weeds in the driveway?  While every home landscaper has tried to find a solution to this problem there is no for sure way to fully prevent weeds from getting where you do not want them.  However, with our tips below you can greatly reduce the total amount you have to deal. As well as how often you will have to remove them.

For many types of hardscapes like paths and driveways with concrete and pavers, the best way to help prevent weeds is something you should do when you are installing the hardscape. By adding geotextile mesh between the ground and your hardscape it will prevent most if not all weeds that will try and pop up through your pathways. This is also how to prevent grass from growing between bricks as well.  This version of geotextile mesh is great for this purpose. It is easy to use and lasts for a long time.

Another thing you can do to help prevent weeds from getting out of control is using this handy tool when one or two pop up.  It is small enough that it can fit into cracks and crevices to pull up the weed and root. If you can keep this tool nearby and use it when one pops up you can remove them before they are able to spread and create even more weeds.

This particular weeder hand tool has a recycled plastic handle so it is eco-friendly while also being sturdy and well made.  It is built to last a lifetime and 96% of its overall reviews are 5-4 stars. It is perfect if you are looking for a tool to remove weeds between pavers as well.

Will Bleach And Vinegar Kill Weeds?

Both bleach and vinegar can kill weeds but they are not recommended as a way of dealing with them.  Bleach especially should not be used with your pressure washer. It can cause damage to your unit’s pump. Only use approved soaps and detergents with your pressure washer.

Bleach will also kill all plant life it comes in contact with. Because of this, you can easily cause damage to the rest of your landscape and your neighbors’. It can also run off and get into your local environment and possibly even your water supply. Bleach is really not an environmentally friendly way of dealing with weeds.

For vinegar to work it will need to be in an extremely high concentration which can cause other problems. Vinegar is also not a recommended way to handle weed removal. It is also something that will kill any plant life on contact so it is easy to overdo it and cause damage to your plants. It also very likely will not kill the roots so the weeds will be back before you know it.

In Some Situations, You Can USe A Pressure Washer to get rid of Weeds

With everything above in mind, you can see that a pressure washer can get rid of weeds. If the surface you are cleaning can stand up to a pressure washer.  Most units can utilize interchangeable nozzle tips so you can control how strong your machine is.  What will work best for you will be difficult for anyone to say without being able to look at your unique situation.

It is best to always do a test in a small out of the way area first. Then wait to see how that area holds up after using the system on it.  If it all goes well then you can continue on and remove the rest of the weeds.  

We hope you found this information helpful.  If there are any tips or advice we left out please let us know in the comments below and we will update our guide.  If you are looking for a pressure washer or more tips on how to use them, then please check out our blog for helpful topics like how to winterize a pressure washer, and how to pressure wash an outdoor trash can.

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