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Pressure Washing Nozzles: Choosing The Right Tip For The Job

So you may be thinking of getting a pressure washer or you may have a pressure washer and you are just about ready to use it for the first time. You might not know the differences between the different nozzles and how the different tips effect the spray pattern of the pressure washer. Great news for you, in this article I will cover the various types of tips that you can use for a pressure washer and how to use each one for different applications.

What do different color tips mean?

Pressure washing tips come in different colors so they can be easily identified while using a pressure washer and changing tips for applications. The tips are typically organized in a fashion that indicates pressure based on the color with the lighter more friendly colors being less pressure and the brighter more aggressive colors being higher pressure. For example, the white tip is a wide spray resulting in lower pressure than a red tip which is a high pressure stream.

what are the different nozzles for pressure washers?

Pressure washing nozzles come in many shapes and sizes for various application and machine types. Generally when most people think of pressure washing tips they think of the generic tips that come with your pressure washer. Most manufacturers include about 5 colored tips with the purchase of your pressure washer. Outside of the typical nozzles, there are specialty nozzles that perform other functions such as injecting soap or rotary cleaning.

The five that typically come with pressure washers are as follows:

  • Black Tip (1 Story Soap Tip)

  • White Tip (40 Degree Pressure Tip)

  • Green Tip (25 Degree Pressure Tip)

  • Yellow Tip (15 Degree Pressure Tip)

  • Red Tip (0 Degree Pressure Tip)

Outside of the normal nozzles that most pressure washer owners are familiar with are the nozzles that professional pressure washers are more familiar with. These tips include:

  • 2 Story Soap Tip

  • X-jet

  • Turbo Nozzle

  • Adjustable Nozzles

  • J-Rod

You will learn about the different nozzles, and the applications they are used for so you can have a better understanding of which one to use in each situation.

Applications of Pressure Washer Tips

1 Story Soap Tip (Black)

Black pressure washing tip

The black tip is a low pressure tip. This allows water to have more volume which allows the pressure washer to pull a vacuum from a chemical injector. If you have a downstream chemical injector set up, the black tip will make spraying various chemicals solutions much easier as the chemical will be inside the pressure washing line mixed at a constant rate. This is good for spraying houses, driveways, and even your vehicle. The main thing here is to be sure that you are only using approved chemicals for the cleaning at hand.

40 Degree Tip (White)

White pressure washing tip

The white tip is a 40 degree wide high pressure tip. This tip is usually good for light pressure washing. The white tip is great for washing your car or boat because of its wide spray. It doesn't have as high pressure as some of the other tips, however, it can also be used to clean decks or fences. I personally use this tip when I wash my truck.

25 Degree Tip (Green)

Green Pressure Washing tip

The green tip is a 25 degree wide high pressure tip. It's very similar as the white tip except the spray pattern is a bit tighter and it has a bit more pressure. The green tip is all around great tip to use for general pressure washing. The green tip can be used to clean vehicles, boats, concrete, decks, fences, and other general areas that need to be cleaned. Overall, this a great tip to use for most pressure washing applications when requiring high pressure to clean.

15 Degree Tip (Yellow)

Yellow pressure washing tip

The yellow tip is a 15 degree high pressure tip. This tip is more geared towards more heavy duty cleaning. Its 15 degree wide fan spray is significantly more pressure than the 25 degree. This tip should be used for pressure washing heavy duty materials that can handle high pressure cleaning such as concrete. While there are other materials that can handle high pressure to a degree, I dont recommend using this tip for washing anything outside of concrete to someone who is inexperienced. Spraying at a distance is okay for some surfaces with this tip but this tip should be used with more caution.

Zero Degree Tip (Red)

Red pressure washing tip

The red tip is a zero degree tip meaning it doesn't shoot a fan spray but rather a direct stream. This tip is very powerful and is not recommended to use for any application you are not prepared for. While it may seem like a great tip to reach your gutters, you have to remember that this tip is a high pressure tip, and without proper use it can damage many surfaces easily. As this tip can be used to clean gutters, and rinse houses, we only use the red tip to clean gutters. Outside of that it has limited application.

2 Story Soap Tip (Pink/Blue)

Pink pressure washing tip

Blue pressure washing tip

The 2 story soap tip is actually a kit that you can purchase and it comes with a blue tip and a pink tip. The pink tip is the 2 story soap tip and the blue tip is the 2 story rinse tip. Both of the nozzles are zero degrees technically; however, the orifice size of each nozzle is bigger than a standard zero degree, with the pink tip having the larger orifice of the two. The blue tip is a better rinse tip than the standard red tip because it has a slightly bigger orifice making it have less pressure and more volume which is going to help you rinse faster.

*Pro tip: Use the pink tip to rinse with after soap application. The pink tip will have more volume than blue, just make sure you're not pulling soap anymore.


While the X-jet is a tip, its unlike the rest of the tips because this tip features a hose coming off of it to inject soap. If you do not have a downstream injector, you can use the x-jet as a substitute to spray soap. The X-jet can pull chemical at a higher rate than most downstream injectors and is great for heavy application cleanings. We use the X-jet for roof cleaning and some specialty cleanings.

Turbo Nozzle

The Turbo nozzle is a great addition to your pressure washing tip arsenal. This tip is a zero degree tip that is angled on a rotary allowing the spray pattern to spin. This nozzle creates a circle pattern that is great for heavy duty cleaning applications. The most common thing we use a turbo nozzle for is to clean concrete curbing. With curbing, the concrete is angled and has curves which make it hard to clean with other nozzles. The turbo nozzle makes light work out of washing curbs.

Adjustable Nozzles

Adjustable nozzles are nozzles that contain your typical spray patterns in an all in one solution. I have used these adjustable nozzles and they are super convenient. It's nice to go from a wide spray pattern to a 2 story soap tip in the matter of a few clicks at the nozzle. However, that convenience can be outweighed by its performance compared to traditional nozzles. From my experience the spray patterns don't seem to be quite as strong as the traditional tips, especially 2 story soap tips.


The J-rod isn't really a nozzle per se, but more like a nozzle tool. It is essentially 4 tips welded together so that you can switch tips fast and not have to worry about where you sat your last tip down at. Having a J-rod can make customizing your nozzles a very easy thing to do because it allows tips to be screwed into place and be able to change the location of the tips or the various spray patterns. I personally keep a 15 degree, a 2 story soap tip, and a 2 story rinse tip as well as a 1 story soap tip on my j-rod.

What pressure washing tips do I need?

If you are just starting out, I would recommend getting these pressure washing tips for a good foundation. In addition, if you do not own a downstream injector, then I would highly suggest getting an X-jet so you can spray soap. If you are not cleaning with soap then you may be breaking your back trying to pressure wash. Understanding what surfaces and soaps to use is another topic for a different time, but those basic tips and an X-jet will put you at a level where you can practically clean anything given you have a decent pressure washer.


In this article you have learned what the different tips and nozzles are used for with various applications. You have also learned what the tip colors mean and how it relates to the pressure that is sprayed as well as the pattern that is sprayed. With this information you are ready to put the different tips in action on your next pressure washing job.

If you found this article helpful please be sure to share this with someone else who could benefit from learning about the different tips and nozzles that professionals like myself use on a regular basis. Also, if there are any tips that I did not cover in this blog, feel free to leave a comment and I will be happy to look into it.

Until next time, Happy Washing!

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