When you would rather be at the lake or on the golf course, it can be difficult to get excited about outdoor cleaning projects. Thankfully, with the right time-saving tools, you can complete all of your household chores and participate in your favorite hobbies in one weekend. However, not every pressure washer is created equal, nor is every outdoor task suited for every pressure washer.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pressure washers can damage your property. It’s crucial to do your research before beginning. You’ve come to the right place if you’ve never used a pressure washer. We will introduce 10 essential tips for pressure washing and more useful information.
Are you prepared to begin working on your own project? For a quick lesson in power washing, continue reading.
Table of Contents
Which One To Choose: Gas Or Electric Pressure Washer?
Pumps are used in pressure washers to raise the water pressure that flows through the connected hose. Electricity or gasoline can be used to power that pump.
Both options have advantages and disadvantages.
Gas Pressure Washers
Compared to electric washers, gas-powered washers typically offer higher PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute) ratings. They can clean surfaces much more quickly thanks to the added power.
Pros Of Gas Pressure Washers
- There is a large range of PSI and GPM levels that gas-powered pressure washers can produce. In addition to cleaning more quickly and effectively than electric models, they also give you more choices.
- Power washers powered by gas are cordless. You can continue working even if there isn’t a power outlet nearby.
Cons Of Gas Pressure Washers
- All gasoline engines, no matter how small, need routine maintenance. If you intend to store the machine for an extended period of time, you’ll need to change the oil from time to time and make sure the right fuel additives are used.
- Electric engines are quieter than gasoline ones. In addition, they emit gases. A gas-powered pressure washer should never be used inside or in covered areas.
Electric Pressure Washers
In some cases, electric washers can be more practical than their gas-powered counterparts. The absence of gas fumes is another benefit.
Pros Of Electric Pressure Washers
- Power washers that run on electricity don’t emit any dangerous gases. If necessary, you could use one indoors, but you would need hearing protection and an effective way to drain the water.
- With an electric engine, you can forget about performing routine maintenance like oil changes.
Cons Of Electric Pressure Washers
- The power that a gas-powered pressure washer can generate simply cannot be matched by an electric model. An electric pressure washer will take much longer to finish the job if you need to clean a large or particularly dirty area. (Furthermore, you might not get the outcomes you expected.)
- Electric pressure washers are less portable than gasoline-powered models because they need a power outlet.
What Is The Best Pressure Washer Size?
You must decide on the engine size regardless of whether you select gas or electric pressure washer.
The total power of the device is determined by the engine’s size, just like it is for any other engine-powered device. A small engine won’t be able to generate the water pressure or output in gallons per minute of a bigger engine.
Pressure washer engines are typically divided into four categories.
Light-duty Pressure Washers
Less than 2,000 PSI of water pressure is generated by light-duty pressure washers. A light-duty electric pressure washer will do just fine if you only intend to occasionally clean a small deck or patio, some outdoor household items, or other similar small surfaces.
Medium-duty Pressure Washers
You want to clean the driveway, fencing, or siding of your house. You should use a medium-duty pressure washer. This sized pressure washer generates water pressure between 2,000 and 2,800 PSI.
Heavy-duty Pressure Washers
A heavy-duty pressure washer might be your best option if you know you’ll need to clean large concrete slabs or need to climb a second-story. Pressure levels for heavy-duty pressure washers range from 2,900 to 3,300 PSI.
Professional Pressure Washers
A lot of pressure washing is what you intend to do. Are you preparing the exterior of your house for a painting project? If so, think about spending money on a pressure washer of the highest caliber. The extra-heavy-duty engine is made to handle challenging tasks that take hours to finish. 3,300 PSI and higher water pressures are produced by these power washers.
No matter which pressure washer you select, keep in mind to also consider the GPM measurement.
10 Pressure Washing Tips
1. Choose The Right Tool
Electric or gas models are available for pressure washers. Compared to electric models, which produce an average PSI of 1,300 to 1,700, gas-powered washers produce 2,000 to 2,800 PSI. Gas washers can therefore clean 10 times faster than electric models and are generally thought to be more powerful. However, gas-powered washers are noisier and need to be used with more caution to avoid scratching wood or other surfaces.
While PSI is important to consider when choosing a pressure washer, you should also look at the washer’s water flow in gallons per minute. A machine with 5 GPM and 1,700 PSI, for example, will clean more effectively than one with 4 GPM and 2,000 PSI. Furthermore, choose a washer that can dispense cleaning agents in addition to water. Chlorine can be used to both clean concrete and stop the growth of mold and mildew.
2. Be Safe
Pressure washers are incredibly powerful tools that can be hazardous if used improperly. Always put on safety gear before using one, including gloves, boots, long sleeves, and goggles.
Make sure there is no one nearby who might be in the way of the spray before you turn the machine on. A pressure washer can harm windows, doors, overhangs, and screens; as a result, you should hold the device firmly in both hands and exercise caution before making any sudden movements. Waiting for calmer weather may be wise if it’s a windy day because the spray may be blown directly back your way.
3. Always Prep Before Starting
Your pressure washer won’t operate as efficiently as you’d like without a sufficient water supply. First, time how long it takes to fill a five-gallon bucket in order to test the water flow from your hose. You’re good to go if it takes two minutes or less; if it takes longer, there may not be enough water flow to operate the washer. Once you’ve established that your pressure washer can receive enough water, clean out the inlet filter and make sure all connections are tight wherever the tool is connected to a hose or accessory, such as the twist-on Pivot Nozzle Wand from Hyde Tools, which enables simple maneuverability while cleaning.
4. Protect Your Plants
Watch where you spray pressurized chlorine because your rose garden might not look quite as pretty afterward. Moreover, think about watering your plants before, during, and after pressure washing to dilute any cleaning agents that may come in contact with them (dry leaves absorb cleaning agents much more readily than wet ones).
5. Patch Any Broken Bricks
Survey the area before beginning any brick washing to make note of any mortar cracks or holes. Prior to washing the item, fix these stains and give them at least a week to heal.
6. Start From A Distance
It can be painful to shock any surface with a high-pressure stream of water, so proceed with caution. Once the pressure is just right to loosen and remove any grime, move in a little closer to the surface. Start washing from a distance of 10 feet away.
7. Know Your Nozzles
Your pressure washer has a variety of nozzle tips because they are designed to handle different tasks. You can wash your home’s siding or wood decks with a wide nozzle that is angled at about 40 degrees. The grime on brick and concrete can be removed with a narrower 25-degree nozzle, whereas nozzles with a 15-degree nozzle or less will only disperse extremely high pressure and should only be used to remove stains on metal. Nozzle tips are all color-coded to make it easier for you to choose the correct one.
- Red: Zero degrees; never use this nozzle close up on any surface
- Yellow: 15-degree angle; used to prepare surfaces for painting, staining, or resealing, or to remove mud from tires
- Green: 25-degrees; good for masonry
- White: 40-degrees; good for a general wash of your home’s exterior
- Black: 65-degrees; gentle and typically only used to wet a surface, not clean it
Use the lowest possible degree that is safe for the material and stain you are cleaning. Apply the cleaning agent from the bottom up, and then rinse without letting it dry.
8. Adjust The Spray Angle
Keep the nozzle perpendicular to the surface you’re cleaning to get the most power from your washer. Consider purchasing a pivoting nozzle wand if you need to clean an area that is challenging to reach, such as high-up siding.
9. Know Your Limits
It isn’t much you can do with DIY pressure washing to remove some stains, such as those caused by acorns, fertilizer, oil, and rust. Additionally, some large or complicated tasks require more tools than you may have on hand. Rather than pushing yourself too far and endangering your house (or yourself!), consider calling in a local power washer to assess the situation; the cost to pressure wash a home ranges from $100 to $650.
10. Maintain Your Machine
To avoid any weather-related damage, store your washer indoors when it’s not in use. By filling the pump with undiluted RV-grade antifreeze, you can also winterize the machine.
The Bottom Line
You might find pressure washing to be very satisfying if you prefer instant gratification when it comes to cleaning and home maintenance.
However, you might come to the conclusion that pressure washing is simply too much work. It’s a dirty job, and you’re almost certainly going to get drenched in water, but that’s okay. If you’d prefer to let a professional handle the pressure washing, get in touch with them for assistance.
Your house will be just as clean on the outside as it is inside with a little water and hard work.
Read More: How To Pressure Wash Driveway?