Have you caught the pressure washing bug? It’s a powerful cleaning method that can have your entire outdoor space, from the driveway to the siding, looking brand new. But such a powerful cleaner can’t be used on everything, because it has the potential to damage soft surfaces. You may wonder, can you pressure wash your cable railings? The short answer is, you can, but you probably don’t need to.

Do I Need to Wash My Cable Railing?

Cable railings are a great investment because they shouldn’t ever need maintenance, as long as they were properly installed. You may need to occasionally wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove dirt, dust or mud that collects on them. Or, if you live in a condominium, you may find that birds occasionally poop on the cables, and you need to wash it off.

If you’ve let dirt or bird poo accumulate, it makes sense that you’d want to use your pressure washer to quickly clean it all off. You can use a pressure washer for this task in most circumstances.

Can I Pressure Wash My Cable Railing?

You can pressure wash the cables that we use in our cable railing systems. These are high-quality, marine-grade cable that can withstand 15,000 pounds. While other types of cable might lose their coating under high-pressure streams of water, the marine-grade cable won’t. You can safely use a pressure washer on the cables, although you should still seek to

However, other parts of your rail system might be more vulnerable to pressure washing. Even medium pressure settings on pressure washers can gouge wood, leaving chips on unevenness on the surface. It can also remove paints and sealants. At higher pressures, you may also damage the metal. It’s possible to strip paint off metal posts with the pressure washer, although you shouldn’t be able to bend them.

You also need to think about what’s past the cable railings. After all, the cables are thin enough that they won’t stop all of the water from the pressure washer. If you’re not careful, you could end up creating a mess of the landscaping just behind the railing.

So, you have to be strategic about how you pressure wash your cable railing.

How to Pressure Wash Your Cable Railing

If you want to pressure wash your cable railing, you should follow these tips:

  • Always start with the lowest pressure nozzle and work your way up if the pressure is not high enough to remove the grime. This way, you avoid damaging sensitive surfaces.
  • The white tip, or the 40-degree tip, should be enough to clean the wood on your cable railing system, and stronger nozzles may harm it.
  • Some pressure washers have soaping tips or settings that you can use to add soap to your railing first. This can make it easier to remove any caked-on dirt or grime.
  • If you choose to use soap on your cable railing system, don’t use bleach or anything harsh, it could stain your wood or harm the metal.

With those tips, you should be able to pressure wash your cable railing quickly and without damaging them.