How to clean a pressure washer carburetor

Picture of BISON Santy

Hello, I am Santy, the funder of I have been in cleaning machinery field for more than 5 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to pressure washer from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

Knowing how to maintain the various components of your pressure washer properly is critical to extending the life of your machine.

One of the most critical parts of a pressure washer is the carburetor. Ensuring it is always up and running is vital to properly functioning the entire machine.

The carburetor on a pressure washer is designed to ensure the machine maintains an acceptable air-to-fuel ratio for optimal function.

The ideal air-fuel ratio is between 15: 1 and 12:1. Maintaining this range is the most crucial job a pressure washer carburetor can do, as a malfunctioning carburetor can cause the machine to consume more fuel than necessary.

The carburetor is essentially the heart of the pressure washer, keeping the air and fuel pumped in sync.

A pressure washer that is used frequently may experience carburetor problems, which should be addressed immediately if possible. Let’s discuss how to clean your pressure washer’s carburetor when you need it.

Signs your carburetor needs cleaning

how to clean pressure washer carburetor 1

You’ll be able to spot numerous irregularities that point to the need for maintenance when it’s time to clean the carburetor on your pressure washer.

Here are some of the main signs that your carburetor needs cleaning.

Startup problem

When your carburetor needs to be cleaned, you’ll notice that the pressure washer requires a little more effort to kick in. In more serious cases, the machine may not start at all!

When the carburetor becomes clogged or stops working, air and fuel won’t flow properly, causing problems. If you start having this type of problem, check the condition of your pressure washer carburetor, as it is often the source of the problem.

Abnormal sounds 

One of the most obvious signs that a carburetor needs cleaning is the popping and “sneezing” sound of the pressure washer running.

These sounds usually indicate some kind of imbalance in the air and fuel mixture. This will cause fuel flow problems in the carburetor.

If you start hearing unusual noises from your pressure washer, your carburetor most likely needs cleaning!

Black smoke

Another vital sign to look out for that indicates some carburetor maintenance is in order is black smoke from your pressure washer.

This usually indicates an imbalance in the fuel-to-air ratio, where more fuel passes through the combustion chamber than expected.

Black smoke can result when more fuel is being cycled than the machine is designed to handle. If you see this, check the condition of your carburetor!

A step-by-step guide to cleaning your carburetor

How to Clean Pressure Washer Carburetor

Properly cleaning the carburetor of a pressure washer is a relatively challenging task, especially for someone without any experience in the process.

Fortunately, we will provide a step-by-step guide to properly cleaning your carburetor.

Step 1: Close the fuel valve

Before doing anything, remove the spark plug cap and close the fuel valve to ensure no fuel passes through the carburetor.

Step 2: Access the carburetor

Next, locate and access the carburetor on your machine. You often must remove the throttle cover, intake, and air filter box to get to the carburetor.

remove carburator

Step 3: Empty the fuel tank

Locate the gas line which connects the carburetor to the tank and bleed out any still gas. Remove the tube from the nozzle of the carburetor and vent the gas into some sort of container.

Step 4: Now remove the carburetor

Using a socket wrench or nut driver, remove the carburetor from the pressure washer’s engine. Unscrew the two bolts connecting the carburetor to the engine, and disconnect the throttle cable from the carburetor linkage.

Step 5: Remove residual gas

Check the carburetor unit for residual fuel and place it in a container. Next, you need to check for corrosion, dirt, or grime. If the corrosion is excessive, you may need to replace the carburetor, depending on the condition.

Step 6: Disassemble the Carburetor

Now is an excellent time to take a picture of how the carburetor is assembled in case you need it for reference. Unscrew the bottom of the unit and take out the carburetor bowl. Take apart the other parts in order, and remember your steps!

Step 7: Apply Carburetor Cleaner

At this point, most of the dirt and grime should have been removed. You can now spray the parts that require further care with a cleaner.

Keep in mind that rubber parts can be affected by harsh cleaning agents – soap and water will usually do the trick. Rinse each piece thoroughly, then allow it to dry.

clean pressure washer carburetor

Step 8: Reassemble

Now that everything is properly cleaned and dry, the last step is to put the carburetor back in place. This is where your previous photos will come in handy. Think back to the order in which you took everything apart, and repeat the process in reverse!


The carburetor is like the heart of your pressure washer. If it doesn’t work correctly, the air and fuel won’t circulate properly, which can cause many problems.

We cover some of the main signs that indicate your carburetor needs maintenance and provide a step-by-step guide outlining how to clean your pressure washer’s carburetor.

Please take this information and advice and use it to ensure a carburetor failure does not hinder your pressure washing efforts.

FAQs about How to clean a pressure washer carburetor

While knowing how to clean your carburetor is essential, it's also important to understand what causes problems and how to prevent them. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

To prevent buildup in the carburetor, you should avoid leaving fuel in the pressure washer tank for extended periods. When some of the old fuel's components evaporate, it leaves a thick, gummy residue.

This sticky substance is what causes clogs and engine problems. A good cleaning is usually required. In worse cases, you may need to rebuild or replace the carburetor.

Another common question is whether it is okay to use WD 40 as a cleaning solution. You might be wondering what the difference is between them and how they compare.

People who want an alternative to do a similar job may look for something more powerful with less residue.

However, if you just want to clean the carburetor without removing it, WD 40 will suffice. It's also a money-saving option, which is always great if it works!

You can use many different solutions to clean your carburetor. Using a carburetor cleaning spray is the first line of defense when cleaning a clogged carburetor. If you're using an alcohol cleaner, such as gasoline or acetone, it's a good idea to soak the carburetor in it for a while before reassembling and rerunning the engine.

You can also use solvent-based cleaners, such as CRC carburetor and choke cleaners. It would help if you used an aerosol spray to apply it to the inside of the carburetor and let it soak for about 20 minutes before rerunning the engine.

The best way to do this is to remove the carburetor first, then spray the cleaner and scrub it with a brush, cleaning it inside and out.

Generally, the process involves applying some sort of cleaning product, then wiping away any remaining residue with a paper towel or rag. However, there are a few things to consider before considering these options.

First of all, if you want to clean the carburetor problem without removing it from the engine, we recommend not using solvent-based cleaners as this may dissolve the sides of the valve cover and anything in between gaskets or seals. If no valves or other fittings are nearby, you should be able to use solvent-based cleaners without issue.

Second, when cleaning the carburetor without removing it from the engine, you need some kind of device thin enough to fit in tight corners and around. Usually, this means using a toothbrush or other similarly shaped implement.

Third, be careful if you use WD-40 to clean your carburetor, as this solvent will dissolve any gaskets or seals on the side of the valve cover.

As you can see, several options exist for cleaning a carburetor without removing it from the engine. The first option we recommend is to use an appropriate solvent-based cleaner.

You'll need to do some prep work when using this option, but the upside is that you don't need to disassemble any fittings or valves to make it work.

The downside is that these cleaners are often more expensive than others, and depending on where you live, they can be challenging to find.


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