A pressure washer is like an anti-bacterial blitzkrieg. It quickly blasts away dirt and grime that would take a half-day of scrubbing to remove by hand.
Be cautious around delicate surfaces and electrical components (doorbells, backup generator cabinets). Avoid spraying directly on surfaces with heavy stains or dirt. The best pressure washers have a surface cleaner that helps lift the dirt off and wash it away. Click here for more info.
Power washers blast away dirt, mildew, and grime on outdoor surfaces, including patio furniture, lawnmowers, and garden tools. They also help control weeds and moss and can strip old paint to prepare a surface for repainting.
Machines that deliver 3,000+ psi are considered professional-grade and are often used for industrial cleaning, paint stripping, and graffiti removal. For most homeowners, a model in the 2,600-psi range should be sufficient.
The ability to easily use detergent is a must for most users, and most models allow you to attach detergent tanks or siphon cleaner from a bucket. The best we tested lets you select which type of soap to use and features a detergent mechanism that snaps onto the end of the wand. Some also include a brush attachment, perfect for loosening stuck-on gunk.
A pressure washer blasts water at high pressure (75 times what you’d get from your garden hose). This can be great for getting rid of a buildup of mildew, mold, dirt, and moss. It can also be great for cleaning a driveway, patio, deck, car, bike, or outdoor furniture.
Different nozzles adjust the force of the spray. Red nozzles emit a pencil-like jet, which can damage painted surfaces and soft materials like cedar; yellow nozzles create a wider fan of spray that removes rust and other material; green nozzles can clean most siding; and black nozzles provide the gentlest spray for washing down surfaces after cleaning.
To protect yourself from pressurized water, wear close-toed shoes and pants and be mindful of where the nozzle is directed. Be sure to relocate plants, furniture, and other objects that could be hit by the spray; cover outlets, light fixtures, doorbells, and sound systems; and turn off any electrical devices in the area you’re cleaning.
The detergent that is used for pressure washing helps lift the dirt and grime from surfaces, leaving them clean and renewed. It can remove tough stains like diesel smoke, road grime, and bugs while being gentle on the environment and ensuring that no damage is done to wood or metal.
You can use this detergent in your pressure washer or apply it manually. It works on a wide variety of surfaces, including concrete, vinyl, and asphalt, and is safe for the landscape and surrounding bodies of water.
When choosing a detergent for your pressure washer, make sure that it is specifically formulated for use with the type of surface that you need to clean. Otherwise, it may damage the surfaces or your equipment. Also, check to ensure that it is compatible with your specific model of pressure washer.
A good pressure washer needs a high-quality, durable hose. It should be able to withstand high water pressure and temperature, as well as resist damage and wear. It should also be easy to coil up and store.
This hose from Garhose is perfect for homeowners. It can expand up to three times its length and can withstand up to 3000 psi of water pressure. It’s also crush-resistant and abrasion-resistant. It comes with a metal fitting that connects to your pressure washer and is leak-proof.
This hose from Simpson is another good choice. It’s rated to 4500 psi and can handle hot water as well. It’s made with a tough liner and dual overbraid technology and has a non-marking polyurethane outer jacket. It has a quick-connect connection and works with many pressure washers.
The nozzle that you use on the pressure washer determines how much power is applied to a surface and what type of spray pattern. Incorrect nozzle selection can damage surfaces, and in extreme cases can even harm the pump itself. Alkota recommends always testing a pressure washer with the red zero-degree nozzle in an inconspicuous area to make sure it’s not damaging what you’re washing (such as concrete, wood, composite decks, or cars).
Most gas-powered home-grade pressure washers come with a set of five quick-connect nozzles. These include the 0-degree, which is super powerful and could slice right through skin, siding, or wood; the green 25-degree for general cleaning; the yellow 15-degree for intense moderate to heavy-duty cleaning like stripping paint; the white 40-degree for rinsing surfaces, and the black soap nozzle. Continue reading the next article.