How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor? - Pressure Washer
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How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor?

How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor?

A pressure washer can be used as an air compressor by attaching an air compressor hose to the pressure washer and adjusting the pressure settings to at least 150% of the desired pressure level. Now connect the pressure washer to the closed tank, and start it. when the tank is 90% full of water you will have about 5 gallons of 150 PSI air. An air compressor doesn’t have the same power as a pressure washer.

What is an Air Compressor?

How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor?

An air compressor is a machine that inhales air from the surroundings and squeezes it to make it fit into a smaller space. This squeezing process increases the pressure of the air. The compressed air is stored in a tank so that it can be used later. air compressors come in various types and sizes, each designed for specific purposes. The most common types include

  • Reciprocating Compressors (piston-driven)
  • Rotary screw Compressors (rotating screws)
  • Centrifugal Compressors (dynamic compressors).

Air compressors are widely used in industries, construction sites, automotive workshops, and even in residential settings. They provide a convenient and versatile source of power for a range of applications, making tasks more efficient and reducing the need for manual labor.

Difference between the pressure washer and air compressor

How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor?

Pressure and flow rate:

an air compressor may not deliver the same cleaning power as a pressure washer. Air compressors and pressure washers operate on different principles. Air compressors typically generate high pressure but lower flow rates, while pressure washers are designed to provide both high pressure and high water flow rates.

Safety concerns:

Air compressors are designed to compress and store air, while pressure washers are specially designed to handle water and cleaning solutions. Using an air compressor as a pressure washer can enter water into the air compressor system causing damage or posing electrical hazards. follow all safety guidelines and precautions provided by the manufacturer before generating the machine.

Cleaning Solutions:

Pressure washers often offer the option to mix cleaning solutions or detergents with the water stream to enhance cleaning effectiveness. These solutions can help break down dirt, grime, grease, or other stubborn stains more efficiently. When using an air compressor as a pressure washer, it’s essential to consider whether your setup can accommodate the safe use and mixing of cleaning solutions.


Using an air compressor as a pressure washer may put additional strain on the compressor. Understand the maintenance requirements of your air compressor and be prepared to perform regular cleanings and any necessary repairs to ensure its continued safe operation.

Can an air compressor become a pressure washer?

It is recommended to purchase a pressure washer instead of converting air pressure into it. However, it is possible to adapt it to function as a pressure washer. Converting the compressor into a pressure washer requires significant modifications and considerations to ensure safety, effectiveness, and compatibility like Pressure and flow rate, water compatibility, and equipment adaptations. Given these challenges and risks, it is generally recommended to use a dedicated pressure washer designed specifically for handling water because they are purpose-built to deliver high-pressure water streams safely and effectively. it is advisable to invest in a proper pressure washer rather than attempting to convert an air compressor.

When can I replace a pressure washer with an air compressor?

How can a pressure washer be used as an air compressor?

You can consider replacing it in some situations, but it’s important to understand that they have different capabilities. Following are the examples of when an air compressor could be used instead:

Light Cleaning or Dusting:

If you need to clean or remove dust from surfaces, an air compressor with a nozzle attachment can blow away loose particles and reach hard-to-reach areas.

Pneumatic Tools:

Air compressors are commonly used to power tools like impact wrenches, nail guns, or paint sprayers. If you mainly need that for these tools and don’t require high-pressure water, an air compressor can be a suitable option.

Drying or Blowing:

Air compressors are useful for drying surfaces or blowing away water or moisture from parts, equipment, or vehicles.

If you have extensive cleaning needs or need to remove tough stains, a pressure washer will typically be more effective.


In conclusion, while it is possible to adapt an air compressor for use as a pressure washer, it is not a recommended or quick solution. The differences in pressure, flow rate, water compatibility, and safety make it challenging to achieve the same cleaning power and effectiveness as a washer. It is recommended to buy a pressure washer for high-pressure water cleaning tasks and use a compressor for its intended purposes, such as powering pneumatic tools. Prioritizing safety, and efficiency, and using the right tool for the job will yield better results in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do washers have compressors?

Washers typically rely on a combination of water supply, detergent, mechanical agitation, and sometimes heat to clean clothes. They do not utilize compressed air in their cleaning process.

Can a pressure washer use air?

A pressure washer cannot use air as a substitute for water. The components and design of a pressure washer are optimized for handling and pressurizing water, not air.