When your trampoline is looking crusty and covered with any combination of dirt, leaf matter or bird poop, it’s time for an intervention. My teens would call it a ‘glow-up’. You can definitely wet and pressure wash a trampoline to clean it.
You can gently pressure wash your trampoline. First, remove any large items such as sticks or pine cones. Then give it a pre-wash soak with some sudsy water. Finally, turn the pressure washer on the lowest setting, and push the dirt matter out towards the springs, moving the net and pads as needed.
As there was so much conflicting information on the internet, I wrote to the Springfree Trampoline manufacturer. Kiera (from Springfree’s Customer Service) wrote back:
“I can confirm that the trampoline is able to be cleaned with a pressure washer. Alternatively, you can pop some detergent into a bucket, and scrub the trampoline with a soft broom. Just rinse off the soap suds afterwards!”
When you pressure wash your trampoline, you should end up with a sparkling clean trampoline. It’s also easier than crawling across the trampoline mat with a soapy bucket and soft brush, with water puddling around your knees. But let me explain the nuances so that you reduce the risk of damaging the trampoline mat.
What Is A Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer is a machine that take the water from your garden hose (or tank), and using electricity or gasoline, apply pressure to it so that it comes out of the attached nozzle at force. A good pressure washer can make the water come out of the nozzle with 50 times more force, according to the market leader Karcher.
This high force dislodges dirt, algae and even graffiti. It makes it easier to clean surfaces such as pavement, driveways, timber decking or even lawn furniture. You can often add detergent to the pressure washer, but you might not even need it.
You can either buy it from Amazon or hire it from your local hardware store.
How Much Pressure Can a Pressure Washer Give?
Pressure from a pressure washer is measured in either pounds per square inch (PSI), or gallons per minute (GPM). PSI tells you how hard the water will hit, and GSM tells you the rinsing power.
Pounds Per Square Inch
The PSI measurement tells you how much force is being applied by the water when it comes out of the nozzle. A pressure washer shows the maximum PSI that it can deliver. This maximum PSI can range from 600 to 3100 PSI, and a good pressure washer will allow you to adjust the force easily. You want a pressure that is strong enough to clean your trampoline, but so forceful that it damages the mat of the trampoline.
For reference, you generally need 500-600 PSI to clean a soft wood deck such as cedar or pine without damaging it. You’ll need around 2000-3000 PSI to effectively clean a concrete driveway.
Gallons Per Minute
The GPM measurement tells you how much water is coming out per minute. The typical range is between 1.2 – 3.0 GPM. This is not super important for our trampoline mat, as it is not a very large area, and you won’t be blasting it too heavily.
What Pressure Wash Setting Should I Use On My Trampoline Mat?
The danger is that a pressure washer causes a weak part of the mat to split. If you apply too much force, you can end up with a clean mat with a big rip in it.
For the PSI, no matter what upper limit you get in the machine, make sure you use it at the lowest setting. Whilst you can probably go up to 1200 PSI for a new mat, I’d be hesitant about going above 800 PSI for a mat that has been out in the sun for a few years. Remember, only 500-600 PSI is recommended for a soft wood deck so that you don’t gouge a rut into it.
For the GPM, this is less important on the relatively small area of a trampoline mat. It would be safe to suggest 1.2 GPM would do a good job in washing down a trampoline.
How To Pressure Wash A Trampoline?
1. Clear a path so the water can fall off the mat down near the springs. You might need to untie the padding so that any debris won’t get caught up in it.
2. Remove any sticks and other large pieces of matter such as pinecones.
3. Do a pre-wash if needed. If you are just clearing some dust from your trampoline, you can skip this step. If you are clearing long built-up grime, or baked-on organic matter like bird poop, a pre-wash can make your job much easier. This can be as simple as throwing a bucket of sudsy water over the trampoline mat.
4. Make sure you can’t slip. You might want to stand on a stable step ladder near the entrance to the trampoline safety net. Or if you have a very large trampoline, it may be useful to stand on the mat itself (no shoes!). Also wear clothes that are suitable for wet activities in case you slip.
5. Apply the pressure washer. Put the pressure washer onto the lowest setting, and see how well it cleans the mat. Use wide sweeping strokes so that you don’t linger too long in one spot. Try not to put the bulky pressure washer unit on the trampoline mat as it might damage it.
6. See if you need to go over anything again. Tip the excess water from the mat, and make sure you have gotten most of the grime off. If there are only a couple of spots, I’d use a soft brush to work on these rather than use pressure washer heavily in one or two tight spots.
7. Dry it out. Dry out the trampoline in the sun, or use a towel if you need. Replace the pads. Good to Go Forth Kids!
You can pressure wash a trampoline mat with care. Don’t use the very highest pressure as you can damage the mat. But it is easier than being on your hands and knees with a bucket and scrubbing brush with the water pooling around your knees.