Cleaning Unit Ratio (CUR)

A measure of the efficiency of a pressure washer, calculated by dividing GPM by PSI. A higher CUR indicates more efficient water usage and cleaning power.

Related terms: cleaning unit ratio, pressure washer efficiency, CUR

Cleaning Unit Ratio (CUR) in Pressure Washing & Power Washing

Why Does CUR Matter?

While high pressure (PSI) might seem like the holy grail of cleaning power, CUR reveals a deeper truth. It goes beyond brute force, showing how efficiently your pressure washer utilizes water to achieve cleaning results. A higher CUR indicates:

  • More Cleaning Power per Drop: A higher CUR signifies your pressure washer gets more cleaning mileage out of every gallon of water, maximizing efficiency and potentially lowering your water bills.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Lower water consumption translates to a smaller environmental footprint, making your cleaning routine more sustainable.
  • Gentle on Surfaces: High pressure can damage delicate surfaces. A higher CUR often allows for lower pressure settings while still achieving effective cleaning, preserving your driveway, deck, or other surfaces.

So, don’t just chase the highest PSI; embrace the wisdom of the CUR. It’s the quiet efficiency hero of pressure washing, ensuring you clean smart, save water, and protect your surfaces, all while delivering sparkling results.

Decoding the CUR Formula: Numbers that Empower

Now, let’s unlock the secrets of the CUR formula:


  • GPM (Gallons per Minute): This represents the amount of water your pressure washer pumps per minute.
  • PSI (Pounds per Square Inch): This measures the force of the water spray.

Essentially, CUR divides the cleaning force (PSI) by the water used (GPM) to reveal the efficiency ratio. A higher number indicates your pressure washer uses less water to achieve the same cleaning power, making it a champion of efficiency.

Choosing a Champion: CURs that Lead the Pack

While specific CUR values vary based on pressure washer models and intended uses, here’s a general guideline:

  • CUR below 2: This indicates lower efficiency, often found in older or budget-friendly models.
  • CUR between 2 and 4: This represents a good balance of cleaning power and efficiency, suitable for most residential cleaning tasks.
  • CUR above 4: These are considered highly efficient models, ideal for professional cleaners or heavy-duty tasks.

Remember, CUR is just one factor to consider when choosing a pressure washer. However, prioritizing a higher CUR, along with appropriate PSI and features, can lead you to a machine that delivers powerful cleaning while minimizing water usage and environmental impact.

Beyond Pressure Washers: Where CUR’s Wisdom Spreads

While CUR shines in the pressure washing world, its efficiency mantra can extend to various cleaning scenarios:

  • Steam Cleaners: Similar to pressure washers, steam cleaners can benefit from a focus on efficiency. Choosing models with higher heating element-to-water ratios ensures they produce more steam with less water usage.
  • Car Washes: Water conservation is increasingly important in car washes. By employing technologies like water recycling and choosing efficient equipment with high CURs, car washes can minimize their environmental footprint without compromising cleaning results.
  • Industrial Cleaning: In industrial settings, efficient cleaning methods are crucial. Utilizing high-pressure equipment with good CURs can significantly reduce water consumption and energy costs, benefiting both businesses and the environment.

Remember, CUR is a universal symbol of efficiency, whispering the secrets of doing more with less. By embracing its message in pressure washing and beyond, you can contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable world, one perfectly cleaned and efficiently powered surface at a time.