Compressed Air Driven Pressure Washer?

Compressed Air Driven Pressure Washer
(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Hi, we have old air compressor and it still working, I want to use the compressor to output air and water to clean my motorcycle, is that possible? Do I need a drum to store water?

We answer…


If  I understand you correctly, you are trying to emulate or build your own pressure washer. Is that correct?

A pressure washer uses a pump system, high pressure hoses, and often a reservoir through  which detergent and cleaning chemicals can be introduced to the pressurized wash water flow.

If you are trying to accomplish this with compressed air, the answer is yes, it is possible. However, what you spend on “cobbling up” your compressed air driven pressure washer may be more than the cost of buying a purpose built washer.

You would have to plumb compressed air from your compressor into a PRESSURE VESSEL that contains the water / detergent mixture. A fitting from the bottom of the tank (compressed air would be introduced through a fitting on the top)would allow the water / detergent to flow from the tank, through a PRESSURE HOSE, to the spray outlet with which you would wash your motorcycle.

The rate of flow of water and the pressure of the spray would be predicated on the pressure of the compressed air in the PRESSURE VESSEL, and the ability of your compressor to continue to supply sufficient compressed air, and the nozzle through which the water flowed.

I capitalized PRESSURE VESSEL and PRESSURE HOSE because I want to make very clear that you need to purchase a tank and hose that is rated for the pressure you expect to pump into it from your compressor. Failure to use the appropriately rated equipment could result in catastrophic failure of a component with injury or death the result.

While your concept has merit, if I wanted to use an electro-mechanical system to clean my motorcycle, I would use a pressure washer.

Or, a rag in a bucket of hot, soapy water.  🙂



Hello, I am Bill, the Compressed-Air-Man. I have years of experience in industrial and residential compressed air applications, air compressors and general pneumatics. I created this site to help professionals, students, and DIYers understand and properly implement and maintain compress3ed air systems.


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