How to Use a Pressure Washer: 5 Effective Tips
Pressure washers are one of the best ways to clean decks, patios, exterior walls, and nearly anything that could use a good cleaning. They’re not always very intuitive for beginners, but luckily, it’s pretty easy to learn.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of handy tips that will have you well on your way to pressure washing like a pro.
How to Use a Pressure Washer
1. Selecting the Right Pressure Washer for You
It can be hard to shop for a pressure washer if you don’t know what you’re looking for. First, you want to choose between gas and electric.
Gas-powered pressure washers are best for heavy-duty outdoor jobs because you can’t use them indoors and their gas supply is portable. Electric pressure washers, on the other hand, can be used anywhere. They don’t put out as much water pressure as a gas one, though.
The next is what class of pressure washer you need. Let’s take a brief look at those below.
2. Check the Water Supply
Perhaps the most common pressure washer newbie mistake is not making sure the water supply is good enough to pressure wash. As a rule of thumb, you want 5 gallons to come out of the spigot in under 2 minutes. Use a bucket to test it.
The better the water pressure from your supply, the better your power washing results will be. Lastly, clear the area of any obstacles that might fly around, like toys or lawn furniture.
3. Choosing the Right Nozzle for the Job
Once you’ve picked out the perfect pressure washer for you, it’s time to use the right nozzle for the task at hand. Nozzles range from 0 degrees to 40 degrees and are useful in different situations. Let’s check out which nozzles are used for which jobs below.
If you’re cleaning a two-story house, you might want the red nozzle for cleaning the upper level. Then you could use the yellow to blast off some caked-on grime and finish up with the green nozzle.
For windows, use the super-gentle white nozzle. Each one is very useful for the job it does, so be sure to use the appropriate nozzle.
4. Do a Test Run
As a trial run for your brand-new pressure washer, pick out the green nozzle and choose a soft wood surface to clean. A deck is a perfect selection, but siding works too. Follow the next steps closely to get used to pressure washing.
It’s easy to get trigger-happy with the wand but stop a minute before tackling heavy-duty grime and dirt. Load your favorite detergent into the soap compartment of the pressure washer and use a wide spray nozzle to thoroughly coat the surface you’ll be cleaning. Let it sit there for a few minutes and soak into the surface, softening the dirt and gunk. Now clean as usual. A few minutes of prep work can make all the difference with caked-on grime.
5. Maintain the Correct Cleaning Angle
Pressure washer wands work best from a perpendicular angle, so maintain that angle whenever possible. Everyone knows the pain of cramping your hand reaching up underneath a low surface, but there doesn’t seem to be a solution.
If you need to wash underneath decks or high up on a second-story wall, you may want to invest in a pivoting pressure washer wand. You can adjust the angle on the wand to reach any surface with your desired angle.
Pressure washers are a practical and fun way to clean but require some basic knowledge to make the most of. Using the correct nozzle and preparing surfaces alone will make a huge difference in your pressure-washing projects to come.
Featured Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shutterstock