How to Treat a Pressure Washer Burn

Pressure washers are an incredibly useful tool for cleaning surfaces around your home or business. However, they can also be dangerous if not used correctly. One common injury associated with pressure washers is a burn. If you’ve suffered a pressure washer burn, it’s important to know how to treat it properly. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about treating a pressure washer burn.

What is a Pressure Washer Burn?

A pressure washer burn is a type of injury that occurs when the high-pressure stream of water from a pressure washer comes into contact with your skin. The force of the water can cause the skin to break or even burn, similar to a thermal burn. Pressure washer burns are most commonly found on the hands, arms, and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.

What are the Symptoms of a Pressure Washer Burn?

The symptoms of a pressure washer burn can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild burns may cause redness, swelling, and pain, while more severe burns may cause blisters, peeling skin, and even permanent scarring. In some cases, a pressure washer burn may also cause nerve damage or infection.

How to Treat a Pressure Washer Burn

If you’ve suffered a pressure washer burn, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to minimize the risk of infection and scarring. Here are the steps you should take:

Step 1: Stop the Flow of Water

The first step in treating a pressure washer burn is to stop the flow of water. This will prevent further damage to your skin and allow you to assess the severity of the injury. Turn off the pressure washer and remove the nozzle from the hose.

Step 2: Cool the Burn

After stopping the flow of water, the next step is to cool the burn. Hold the affected area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes to reduce inflammation and soothe the pain. If you don’t have access to running water, use a cool, damp cloth instead.

Step 3: Clean the Burn

Once you’ve cooled the burn, it’s important to clean the area to prevent infection. Gently wash the affected area with mild soap and water, then pat it dry with a clean towel. Avoid using harsh chemicals or rubbing the area too hard, as this can further damage the skin.

Step 4: Apply a Burn Cream

After cleaning the burn, apply a topical burn cream or ointment to the affected area. This will help soothe the pain and promote healing. Look for products that contain aloe vera, lidocaine, or hydrocortisone.

Step 5: Cover the Burn

Finally, cover the burn with a sterile gauze or bandage to protect it from further damage and reduce the risk of infection. Change the bandage daily and keep the area clean and dry.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Most pressure washer burns can be treated at home with the steps listed above. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Severe pain or discomfort
  • Large or deep blisters
  • Fever or chills
  • Signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus
  • Numbness or tingling in the affected area

If you’re unsure whether your burn requires medical attention, it’s better to err on the side of caution and seek help.

Preventing Pressure Washer Burns

The best way to treat a pressure washer burn is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you avoid pressure washer injuries:

  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes
  • Never point the pressure washer at yourself or others
  • Use the appropriate nozzle for the task at hand
  • Keep a safe distance from the surface you’re cleaning
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them carefully

By taking these precautions, you can reduce your risk of injury and enjoy the benefits of a clean home or business.


A pressure washer burn can be a painful and potentially dangerous injury, but with the right treatment, you can minimize the damage and promote healing. If you’ve suffered a pressure washer burn, remember to stop the flow of water, cool the burn, clean the area, apply a burn cream, and cover the burn. If you experience any severe symptoms or signs of infection, seek medical attention immediately.

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