Pressure Washer Nozzles – Complete Guide

A pressure nozzle is one of the most essential parts of a pressure washer. The nozzle determines the kind of output a pressure washer will have, and choosing the right nozzle is necessary to get the best cleaning output. The right nozzle will clean better than any other nozzle and also get the maximum output from your pressure washer.

Choosing a nozzle that is not right for the job can damage the pressure washer, and also damage the area that you are planning to clean. In this article, we are going to take a look at different types of pressure washer nozzles and how you can choose the right pressure nozzle for the job.

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Types of Pressure Washer Nozzles

There are different types of pressure nozzles, and each of these is ideal for specific types of jobs. At times, you might need to replace a nozzle while you are cleaning once you are done with the heavy cleaning, and you want to focus on specific areas to clean.

The sum of the matter is that choosing the right nozzle for the job will give you exceptional results. The pressure washer nozzles are color-coded (Red, Yellow, Green, White, and Black) for ease of recognition. Let’s take a look at the different types of pressure washer nozzles.

Different Colors of Pressure Washer Nozzles
Different Colors of Pressure Washer Nozzles
 pressure washer spray nozzles
pressure washer spray nozzles

1) Red (0-degree) Nozzle

This type of nozzle is the smallest of all nozzles. The red nozzle is used for removing tough stains or sticky residue from surfaces. The water jet from the nozzle is highly concentrated for maximum power, and it should only be used on metal or concrete. If you use this nozzle on any other surface, such as wood, plastic, or brick, you will end up damaging the surface.

As the jet from this nozzle is the smallest in size, it is not ideal for cleaning large surfaces as it would take a lot of time to cover large areas. This nozzle is also dangerous because it offers the highest pressure rating, and Consumer Report does not recommend the use of this nozzle for pressure washing.

2) Yellow (15-degree) Nozzle

The yellow nozzle is ideal for preparing surfaces for painting or staining. The 15-degree fan spray is powerful enough to remove old paint or dirt from a surface. This type of nozzle is ideal for use on metal surfaces that need a fresh look. Avoid using this nozzle too close to the surface as the power from the jet might end up damaging the surface.

3) Green (25-degree) Nozzle

Green Pressure Washer Nozzle Offers 25 Degree Spray

This is a common purpose nozzle that is used for cleaning most surfaces. The spray is wide, and you can use it to swipe away debris and grime that is only on the surface and not deep inside. This is not the nozzle you want to use when you want some hard cleaning, so it is ideal only for soft cleaning tasks. The wide-angle of the green nozzle gives you the ability to clean a large area quickly. You can use this nozzle to clean everything from boats to patio furniture to decks, and more.

4) White (40-degree) Nozzle

The 40-degree nozzle is white, and it is a gentle spray that is perfect for light cleaning of delicate items. If you are planning to do a light cleaning of your car, windows, or flower pots, you can use this nozzle with your pressure washer. If you have applied detergent to your vinyl siding or car, this is the perfect nozzle of wash off the soap.

5) Black (Soap) Nozzle

The black nozzle is used for applying soap on walls or siding. The nozzle has a large exit hole, which reduces the speed of the water and increases the pressure to pull soap from the tank. The widest nozzle of the bunch, the soap nozzle, has an angle of 65 degrees.

6) Turbo Nozzle

Turbo Nozzle
Turbo Nozzle

This is one of the add-on nozzles that might or might not be included with your pressure washer. This nozzle is also known as the rotary nozzle. The nozzle produces a jet of water that is equal to zero-degree nozzle, but it pulsates and spins at 5000-9000 RPM. The nozzle creates a circular pattern spray that expands to 15 degrees. If you are cleaning a large area, this can reduce the cleaning time, but this is a high-powered nozzle, and it should be used with care.

How do Pressure Washer Nozzles Work?

Pressure washer nozzles work on the simple principle that restricting the flow of water in the hose to create pressure that forces the water to come out forcefully. Some nozzles restrict more water by design, which makes the water come out with a greater force, while others spread the water in a fan shape for a variety of cleaning needs. A nozzle with a smaller exit hole will create more pressure, while a nozzle with a wide hole will create less pressure.

You might often need to switch from one nozzle to another, depending on the cleaning you are doing. If you are stripping rust from a machine, you might want to use a yellow (15-degree) nozzle. But if you are cleaning soap from a vinyl siding, a white (40-degree) nozzle would suit your needs better.

Pressure Nozzle Sizing Chart

Pressure Nozzle Orifice Sizing Chart
Pressure Nozzle Orifice Sizing Chart

This chart will help you choose the right orifice size for the PSI and GPM rating of your pressure washer.

How to Pick the Perfect Nozzle for Your Cleaning Job?

When you want to choose the perfect nozzle to do the job, you need to understand the job first. If you are looking to remove hard stains from a hard surface, then you will need a nozzle that offers high pressure and concentrated stream. To prepare wood for staining or metal for painting, you can use a yellow nozzle that offers a 15-degree spray. Here are some more tips that can help you to choose the right nozzle for the job.

1) Test First – Choose a small area of your work surface and see if using the nozzle’s stream on that area gives you the results you need. If the stream of water damages the area, you need to choose a nozzle that offers less pressure.

2) Go With Widest Angle Nozzle – Most regular cleaning tasks can be done with a wide-angle nozzle, and it is best to choose a wide-angle nozzle for the first time. You can change the nozzle depending on the result you get from the wide-angle nozzle.

3) Change Distance – Often, changing your distance from the surface, you are applying the water’s steam to makes a difference in the quality of cleaning you get. If the stream does not remove dirt from even six inches, you should try a narrow-angle nozzle.

Video Guide

Here are some videos that can give you a better understanding on how pressure washer nozzles work and how you can make the best use of the nozzles for cleaning.

How to Choose the Right Nozzle

Explanation of Different Pressure Washer Nozzle Degrees

FAQ About Pressure Washer Nozzles

Here’s a quick look at some of the frequently asked questions and answers about pressure washer nozzles.

Q1) Are pressure washer nozzles universal?

Ans. No. The nozzles are not universal, as in using a nozzle with any pressure washer might not give you the results you are looking for. While you can fit any nozzle to your pressure washer wand, if the orifice size is not ideal, it might damage your pressure washer. It is recommended to use the nozzles that are designed for the water flow and orifice size of your pressure washer for the best results.

Q2) What do the colors mean on pressure washer nozzles?

Ans. The colors of the nozzles are an easy way to recognize the pressure of water that the nozzle will spray. Red offers maximum water pressure in a concentrated stream that can mark concrete, and white nozzle offers a gentle spray to clean glass or windows.

Q3) What are the different nozzles for a pressure washer?

Ans. Different nozzles for pressure washer are Red, Yellow, Green, White, and Black. Red offers the maximum water pressure, and black offers the least water pressure.

Q4) Are pressure washer nozzles interchangeable?

Ans. It is recommended only to use the nozzles that are provided with your pressure washer as these are designed to handle the pressure from the washer to a suitable degree and give the best cleaning results.


Pressure nozzles are great for use with pressure washers, and they make a quick job of any cleaning task. The only thing that you need to do as a user is to pick the right nozzle for the job. It would help if you also were careful while using the nozzles as some of them offer a high-powered stream of water that can damage even concrete.

Once you understand how the nozzles work and you know the level of cleaning required from a job, you will have a better idea of which nozzle is best suited for the job. As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to use a wide-angle nozzle for cleaning and then move from there, depending on the cleaning expectations and the cleaning results.

For any questions or queries about pressure washer nozzles, please feel free to contact us through the comment section.


Nozzle Misconceptions

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Hi, I'm James. The Chief Editor at I worked in Pressure Washer industry for a few years, and I thought to share my knowledge about pressure washer on our blog with my team.

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