One of the most reliable tools to keep exterior surfaces clean and looking new again is a pressure washer. In comparison to your good old brush, it will provide you with much more efficient and quicker cleaning sessions.

Whether you have an electric or gas-powered washer, you’ll be able to clean just about anything outdoors with your unit. And since it takes care of the job dramatically and swiftly, you’ll actually enjoy cleaning like never before.

However, don’t underestimate the pressure washers power. These devices generate high pressure that can easily injure you or anyone around you and damage your surfaces. Hence, it’s crucial to learn how to operate your machine precisely before beginning with the job at hand.

What’s The Best Type Of Pressure Washer For Me?

Regardless of whether your machine employs a gas engine or electric motor, it has a pump that pressurizes water flow coming from your garden hose. Then, it’ll drive it through its spray wand. Generally, the higher the PSI (pounds per inch) of a pressure washer, the more difficult jobs it can handle.

Pressure Washer

Both pressure washer types need a constant water supply, which is usually measured in GPM or gallons per minute. For a lot of homeowners who use their device occasionally, an electric pressure washer with a PSI ranging between 1,300 to 2,000 is ideal. You can learn more about it

A decent electric pressure washer usually delivers 1,300 to 1,400 PSI and needs around 1 to 1.5 GPM. It works well at cleaning patios, driveways, grills, and other light-duty tasks. This type of washer is quieter, more affordable, more portable, compact, and lightweight in comparison to a gas pressure washer. Nevertheless, you always need to be near a power outlet to use it, so it’s limiting in terms of the area you can tackle. You do have an option to use an extension cord.

Meanwhile, a gas-powered washer is more powerful, with some models delivering a water pressure of over 3,000 PSI. However, this also means that it needs more water, which is about 2 to 3 GPM. This type is best for taking care of bigger jobs like deep-cleaning your concrete floor or stripping paint away.

At the end of the day, the right pressure washer will depend on your cleaning needs and preference. Likewise, you also need to factor in costs like maintenance and fuel. Gas washers, even the smallest model, will require regular upkeep. You need to change its oil periodically, as well as ensure that you’re using the right kind of fuel additives when you need to store it for longer periods.

Pressure Washer

Know Your Manual Inside And Out

It’s highly advisable to comb through your unit’s manual before anything else, especially if you’re new to pressure washers. The majority of models on the market come with a comprehensive guide or manual.

Here you’ll find practically every little detail you need to know about your machine, from its operation to parts replacement. And most importantly, it’s always a good idea to understand how your washer runs to prevent any mishaps.

Most homeowners make the mistake of overlooking the importance of leafing through the pages of their manuals. However, these machines have a reputation for causing unnecessary injuries and damages, particularly to those who tend to rush the process.

So make sure to read it thoroughly from cover to cover once you unpack your new power washer.

Select The Right Nozzle For The Job

Although the engine size of a washer says a lot about its overall strength, the nozzle you’ll use determines the water stream angle. This is crucial since it will have an impact in terms of what the flow of your water can do. For instance, a narrower angle will provide you with more washing power than a spray with a wider or larger angle.

Pressure Washer

Fortunately, these nozzles come in a universal color code:

  • Red. This tip has zero degrees, which is the narrowest. The water stream it produces can severely damage your surfaces. Hence, you should use it with the utmost caution. In fact, it is recommended to avoid using it as much as possible. But if you have to, make sure it’s not close to the surface.
  • Yellow. The 15-degree angle nozzle is ideal for washing concrete around your property.
  • Green. With a spray of 25 degrees, this nozzle tip is great for all-purpose power washing. It’s what you need for taking care of mildew buildup on your deck, outdoor furniture, and deck, as well as for washing your vehicle.
  • White. Producing a 40-degree spray, this is probably the friendliest tip you can use. It’s perfect for any exterior cleaning you have in mind, including giving your home’s sidings the cleaning they need.
  • Black. The black nozzle tip with its 65-degrees spray angle is the gentlest among the bunch. It will not perform well at removing stains and filth. Instead, you can use it for getting your surfaces wet or when applying detergent all over it.

Safety Should Always Be Your Priority

Never ever compromise your safety no matter what type of pressure washer you’re using. These pieces of equipment are not toys and can send you straight to the emergency room.

You can easily prevent most pressure washer-related injuries by wearing protective gear. So before starting with your chore, make sure to arm yourself with the following protective gear:

  • Β Long pants
  • Safety goggles
  • Boots or shoes with a non-slip, rubber sole
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hearing protection if you have a gas pressure washer

Furthermore, never aim the wand at anyone or any object, and always keep it pointed downwards. Keep in mind that even if you don’t see any damage on the surface of your skin, that high pressure can cause internal tissue damage.

Here are other vital safety tips to remember when pressure or power washing:

  • Only use a gas unit in an area with proper ventilation. If you need to pressure wash indoors, you may want to use the electric model instead, since it won’t produce harmful emissions.
  • Avoid using ladders. The kickback of your machine can easily cause you to lose your footing or balance and send you flying down to the ground.
  • Always check your surroundings before going ahead with your cleaning task. Make sure all potential obstacles and trip hazards are taken care of.
  • Cover any nearby electric outlets and never spray at them. You can also avoid electrocution by checking the power cable of your unit of any damage or exposed wires.
  • When you’re done, store your pressure washer in a well-ventilated and dry place away from any sparks. Moreover, do not forget to winterize it first if you’ll put it in a storage area with no heat.
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