As a home or business owner looking for pressure washing and exterior cleaning services, you’ve probably come across the term “cleaning units” in your research. In this article, we will delve into what cleaning units are, why they are essential, how they work, their benefits, potential downsides, and explore alternative options for effective cleaning. Let’s get started!

What is Cleaning Units?

Cleaning units, often abbreviated as CU, is a crucial metric used in the pressure washing industry to measure the overall cleaning power of a pressure washer. It is the result of multiplying the water flow rate (in gallons per minute, GPM) by the pressure output (in pounds per square inch, PSI). The formula for calculating cleaning units is:

Cleaning Units (CU) = GPM × PSI

Why is Cleaning Units Important?

Cleaning units play a significant role in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of a pressure washer. A higher CU value indicates a more powerful machine, capable of tackling tough dirt, grime, and stains effectively. When you hire a pressure washing company, understanding the cleaning units of their equipment helps you assess their capability to handle your specific cleaning needs.

How Does Cleaning Units Work?

When you engage a pressure washer, water is forced through a nozzle at high pressure. This pressure, measured in PSI, creates a powerful stream of water that can remove dirt and debris from various surfaces. The water flow rate, measured in GPM, determines how quickly the pressure washer can deliver the water. Combining both these factors gives us the cleaning units, which indicates the overall cleaning power of the pressure washer.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Units?

Having a pressure washer with sufficient cleaning units offers several benefits:

  • Efficient Cleaning: Higher cleaning units ensure a quicker and more efficient cleaning process, saving you time and effort.
  • Effective Stain Removal: Tough stains and grime on surfaces can be effectively blasted away with high cleaning units.
  • Versatility: A pressure washer with high CU can handle a wide range of cleaning tasks, from delicate surfaces like windows to sturdy ones like concrete driveways.

significance of cleaning units in pressure washing

Are There Any Downsides to Cleaning Units?

While cleaning units provide numerous advantages, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Surface Damage: Using pressure washers with extremely high cleaning units on delicate surfaces can lead to damage.
  • Water Consumption: Pressure washers with higher CU tend to consume more water, which can be a concern in areas with water restrictions.

What Are the Alternatives to Cleaning Units?

If you’re looking for alternatives to pressure washing based on cleaning units, consider these options:

1. Soft Washing

Soft washing utilizes a low-pressure stream of water combined with environmentally friendly cleaning solutions to remove algae, mildew, and dirt from surfaces. It is ideal for delicate surfaces like roofs and siding.

2. Hand Scrubbing

For particularly sensitive surfaces, hand scrubbing with appropriate cleaning agents may be a suitable alternative. This method allows for more control and precision, ensuring minimal risk of damage.

The History of Cleaning Units

Understanding the history of cleaning units sheds light on how pressure washing technology has evolved over time. It provides valuable insights into the development of this essential metric and its significance in the pressure washing industry.

  • The concept of cleaning units was first introduced in the mid-20th century when pressure washing machines became more widely available for commercial and industrial use.
  • Initially, pressure washers were primarily used in heavy-duty applications, such as cleaning machinery and industrial equipment.
  • As pressure washing technology advanced, it started gaining popularity for residential cleaning tasks, thanks to its effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Cleaning units emerged as a standardized metric to measure the cleaning power of pressure washers, enabling users to compare different machines based on their capabilities.

The Current Environment of Cleaning Units

In the present day, cleaning units continue to play a pivotal role in the pressure washing industry. The current environment surrounding cleaning units reflects their importance and relevance in meeting the cleaning needs of modern homes and businesses.

  • Pressure washing companies emphasize the cleaning units of their equipment as a key selling point to attract customers seeking efficient and high-quality cleaning services.
  • Advancements in pressure washer technology have led to more powerful machines with higher cleaning units, offering greater versatility and faster cleaning results.
  • The growing demand for eco-friendly solutions has led to the development of pressure washers that optimize cleaning efficiency while minimizing water and energy consumption.
  • The rise of online resources and product reviews enables consumers to make well-informed decisions when choosing pressure washing services based on cleaning units and other performance factors.

The Future of Cleaning Units

Looking ahead, the future of cleaning units appears promising, with ongoing advancements in technology and increased focus on environmental sustainability shaping the pressure washing landscape.

  • Anticipate further improvements in pressure washer design, resulting in machines with even higher cleaning units and enhanced cleaning capabilities.
  • The integration of smart technology and automation may lead to more precise control of pressure washing equipment, optimizing cleaning efficiency and reducing wastage.
  • With a growing emphasis on environmental responsibility, pressure washer manufacturers are likely to develop eco-friendly solutions that maintain high cleaning units while minimizing the environmental impact.
  • As pressure washing services continue to expand globally, cleaning units will remain a fundamental metric for assessing the performance and effectiveness of pressure washing equipment.

In conclusion, cleaning units hold immense importance in the pressure washing company domain. By understanding the historical context, current trends, and future prospects of cleaning units, both service providers and customers can make informed decisions, ensuring the best cleaning results and a more sustainable approach to exterior cleaning.

Final Thoughts About Cleaning Units

In conclusion, understanding cleaning units is crucial for anyone seeking pressure washing and exterior cleaning services. It is the key metric that determines the cleaning power of a pressure washer, ensuring efficient and effective results for various cleaning tasks. As a pressure washing company dedicated to excellence, MidSouth Pressure Washing values the importance of cleaning units in delivering top-notch services.

At MidSouth Pressure Washing, we take pride in our commitment to utilizing custom-built, industry-leading equipment that boasts the perfect balance of cleaning units to tackle any cleaning challenge swiftly and safely. Our team of experts is well-equipped to handle both residential and commercial projects, providing thorough and professional cleaning services that exceed your expectations.

Experience the difference of working with a trusted pressure washing company that prioritizes the quality of their equipment and the satisfaction of their customers. Contact MidSouth Pressure Washing today to discuss your cleaning needs and let us help you achieve pristine and immaculate surfaces for your home or business. Let us be your partner in maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of your property.

significance of cleaning units in pressure washing

Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Units

Can I use a pressure washer with high cleaning units on my car?

It is not recommended to use a pressure washer with high cleaning units on cars, as it may cause damage to the paint and finish. Opt for a lower pressure setting or consider hand washing for your vehicle.

What safety precautions should I take when using a pressure washer with high cleaning units?

When using a powerful pressure washer, always wear safety goggles, closed-toe shoes, and appropriate protective clothing. Avoid pointing the nozzle at people or delicate objects, and be cautious on slippery surfaces.

Can I rent a pressure washer with high cleaning units for DIY projects?

Yes, many hardware stores offer pressure washer rentals. However, ensure you understand how to use the equipment safely and effectively before attempting any cleaning tasks.

Is it necessary to hire a professional pressure washing company with high cleaning units?

Hiring a professional company with experience and high cleaning units is advisable for challenging cleaning tasks, large areas, or delicate surfaces to ensure the best results without causing damage.

What is the ideal range for cleaning units in a pressure washer?

  • The ideal range for cleaning units in a pressure washer depends on the intended cleaning tasks. For most residential applications, a pressure washer with cleaning units ranging from 1,500 to 2,800 CU should suffice. However, for heavy-duty commercial or industrial cleaning, machines with higher cleaning units, such as 3,000 to 5,000 CU, may be more suitable.

Can I convert cleaning units to determine the water flow rate or pressure separately?

  • No, cleaning units are a combined metric that represents the product of water flow rate (GPM) and pressure (PSI). It cannot be converted to determine these values individually. To assess the water flow rate or pressure of a pressure washer, you need to look at the GPM and PSI specifications provided by the manufacturer.

Are all pressure washers with high cleaning units equally effective?

  • While high cleaning units generally indicate a powerful pressure washer, effectiveness also depends on other factors, such as nozzle type, spray pattern, and the quality of the pressure washer itself. A well-designed pressure washer with high cleaning units will deliver better results than one with the same CU value but lacking in overall performance.

Can a pressure washer with low cleaning units still be effective for some cleaning tasks?

  • Yes, pressure washers with lower cleaning units can still be effective for certain light cleaning tasks, such as washing cars, cleaning windows, or gentle cleaning of sensitive surfaces. They are generally more suitable for jobs that don’t require high-pressure force, where a lower cleaning unit can offer precise control and prevent potential damage.

Is there any maintenance required for pressure washers based on cleaning units?

  • Regardless of the cleaning units, regular maintenance is essential to keep your pressure washer in optimal condition. This includes checking and cleaning the nozzles, inspecting hoses for leaks, changing oil, and keeping the unit free of debris. Regular maintenance ensures the longevity and consistent performance of your pressure washer.

Can I increase the cleaning units of my existing pressure washer?

  • The cleaning units of a pressure washer are determined by the combination of its GPM and PSI. You cannot directly increase the cleaning units without upgrading the machine’s components. If you need higher cleaning units for more demanding cleaning tasks, you may need to invest in a more powerful pressure washer with the desired CU value.

Are there any safety considerations specific to pressure washers with high cleaning units?

  • When using a pressure washer with high cleaning units, be cautious not to direct the high-pressure stream at people, pets, or delicate objects. High pressure can cause injury and damage surfaces not suitable for pressure washing. Always follow safety guidelines and use appropriate protective gear when operating any pressure washer.

How do I determine the cleaning units required for my specific cleaning task?

  • To determine the appropriate cleaning units, consider the type of surface you need to clean, the level of dirt or grime, and the size of the area. For general residential cleaning, lower to moderate cleaning units are usually sufficient. For tough stains and large commercial areas, opt for higher cleaning units to achieve efficient results.

Can I rent a pressure washer with the desired cleaning units for a one-time project?

  • Yes, many hardware stores and equipment rental companies offer pressure washers with varying cleaning units for short-term use. Renting a pressure washer can be a cost-effective solution for occasional or one-time cleaning projects. Ensure that you choose a machine with adequate cleaning units to suit your specific cleaning requirements.

Is it essential to use cleaning agents or detergents with a pressure washer based on cleaning units?

  • While pressure washers with high cleaning units can be effective at removing dirt and grime on their own, using suitable cleaning agents or detergents can enhance the cleaning process. The choice of cleaning agents depends on the surface being cleaned and the type of stains or contaminants present. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using cleaning solutions with your pressure washer.


Remember, when choosing a pressure washing company, always inquire about their cleaning units, experience, and expertise to ensure the best outcome for your cleaning needs.

By understanding cleaning units and exploring alternative cleaning methods, you can make informed decisions when it comes to pressure washing and exterior cleaning services. Happy cleaning!