A Beginners Guide to How to Use a Pressure Washer
The benefits of pressure washing are many. With a pressure washer, you can clean your driveway, deck, outdoor furniture, and much more. Get ready to get that power washer out for this beginner’s guide on how to use it!
What is a pressure washer and how does it work?
A pressure washer is a device that uses water and air to remove dirt from surfaces. The typical home owner’s unit has two tanks, one for the cold water supply and another tank for pressurized hot water or an attached high-pressure hose.
The highest PSI (the measurement of force per square inch) you will likely find on a consumer model is 3000 psi while an industrial machine can get up to as much as 12000 psi! This means it can blast off tough stains with ease.
How to use a pressure washer
Now that you know how a pressure washer works, it’s time for you to learn how to use one! Here are some tips:
- Always read your machine’s owner’s manual before using it. Each model has its own specific instructions.
- Start by spraying water on an inconspicuous area of the surface you’re cleaning to test for colorfastness. Some paints and other finishes may be damaged by the high pressure of the sprayer. If damage occurs, stop using the pressure washer and rinse the area with clean water.
- When using a pressure washer, always stand to the side of the sprayer. Never stand in front of it or you could be injured by the high-pressure stream.
- Begin spraying at an angle and adjust as needed. Move the machine slowly across the surface, being careful not to let it ‘skip’ over any areas.
- Keep a safe distance from objects that you don’t want wet – such as cars, plants, or electrical outlets.
- If cleaning a driveway or other large surface, work in small sections so that the soap doesn’t dry on the surface before you’ve had a chance to rinse it off.
Be sure to have someone standing by when you are using a pressure washer to help if something goes wrong. Pressure washers can be dangerous if not used correctly. With these tips, you’re ready to get started on your next cleaning project!
Two types of pressure washers and how they work
Pressure washers are available in two different types: electric pressure washers and gas pressure washers. You’ll need to decide which type will work best for the cleaning projects you have planned, including whether or not you want one that can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
Electric pressure washers
Electric pressure washers run on electricity from a standard outlet. They’re quieter than gas-powered washers and don’t produce carbon emissions, but they also tend to cost more upfront due to the price of installation at home. Electric washers are best for light-duty tasks such as cleaning the patio furniture, washing the car, and cleaning the siding on your house.
A few of the downsides to using an electric power washer are that you may have to wait for the machine to heat up before use and they can’t handle as much dirt or water as a gas powered pressure washer. In addition, an electric pressure washer tends to be a bit smaller in size so it may not be suitable for all cleaning projects.
Gas pressure washers
Gas pressure washers generally offer greater power output – especially when it comes to removing oil stains from concrete surfaces – though this depends entirely on the model itself and how much PSI it’s rated for (pressure per square inch). Gas engine power washers use a small engine to run a pump that creates high-pressure water which tends to make them very loud and heavy, so they’re best suited for cleaning in the backyard or similar outdoor areas.
Gas pressure washers do have a downside though: their fuel requirements mean that you’ll need to keep them near an external power source (a generator is ideal), which may limit where you can use it. They also produce carbon emissions which can be harmful to the environment.
If you choose an electric pressure washer, you won’t have these downsides, but they are limited in terms of power – so if you’re looking to clean a large surface area or need to remove tough stains, a gas-powered model is likely your best bet.
In addition to choosing between electric or gasoline-powered models, you’ll need to decide on the size of pressure washer you need. This is measured in terms of gallons per minute (GPM), and most projects can be completed with a model that has a GPM rating of between 0.75 and two.
If you’re unsure about which pressure washer to purchase, consult with an experienced salesperson at your local hardware store who can help guide you to the right model for your needs. With these basics in mind, it’s time to get started on choosing the perfect machine for your home!
Do you turn the water on before you start a pressure washer?
Yes, you should always turn on the water before starting the pressure washer. This will help to avoid any accidents. Additionally, make sure to read your machine’s owners manual for specific instructions. Each model is different and may have its own specific safety tips. Remember to always stand to the side of the sprayer when using it and never stand in front. This will help to avoid any accidents while also ensuring your cleaning project goes smoothly!
How do you set up a pressure washer?
Once you have your pressure washer, the next step is to set it up. This will vary depending on the model of pressure washer that you have, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual. In general, you will need to attach the garden hose to the inlet valve on the pressure washer, and then you will need to plug the power cord into an outlet.
How long should you run a pressure washer?
The amount of time you should run a pressure washer will also vary depending on the model of the machine that you have. In general, it is best to start with lower pressure and then work your way up. You don’t want to use too much pressure or you could damage the surface that you are cleaning.
What kind of detergent do I need for a pressure washer?
When using a pressure washer, it is important to use the right type of detergent. There are two types of detergents: cold water and hot water.
Cold water detergents are best for surfaces like vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass, while hot water detergents are for removing grease and dirt from surfaces like concrete and steel.
Hot water detergents are best for removing oil stains from concrete surfaces. Be sure to read the detergent’s instructions carefully, as each type of detergent has different mixing ratios.
6 Things You Can Clean With a Pressure Washer
1. Driveway – pressure washing your driveway will make it look brand new and remove any algae or moss that may be growing on it.
2. Deck – a power washer removes dirt, mold, and mildew from your deck for a fresh start.
3. Patio furniture – the cushions on outdoor furniture are often overlooked when they need to be cleaned; pressure washing them is easy and leaves them looking like new.
4. Sidewalks – walkways can get dirty over time with cracks in the pavement, oil stains, water spots, etc.; get rid of these by using a power washer to clean up the sidewalk.
5. Pool equipment- pool cleaners work hard cleaning up after you but sometimes that isn’t enough; use your pressure cleaner to give yourself an extra layer of protection against bacteria.
6. Siding- siding is difficult to reach with just a ladder or bucket so use your high-powered machine to help you out!
How do I use a pressure washer properly?
Start by clearing your deck or driveway of debris. They can get in the way and damage a pressure washer’s nozzle if you don’t clean thoroughly first.
Always read the manual that came with your pressure washer to see what equipment is recommended for use, such as detergents or cleaning pads. Ensure you have these things on hand before using it for the first time so they are ready when needed!
If you are using a detergent, make sure it is the right formula. Most pressure washers come with a concentrated soap solution that can be used in conjunction with hot or cold water to clean your home or vehicle.
Always point the nozzle of the machine away from people and pets before starting it up – even if they aren’t nearby! A strong jet of water can easily knock someone over so error on the side of caution whenever your pressure washing.
You will need an extension cord when powering your powerwasher, as long hoses typically result in less than ideal reach for some units (with smaller units particularly). Ensure you purchase one that’s compatible with both machines, otherwise, there may be serious consequences such as damage to equipment due to low voltage.
The most important thing is to make sure you use it safely and responsibly, particularly if there are children or pets around! Always keep the machine pointed away from people and ensure all areas of access for them have been cordoned off. You should also avoid letting anyone actually touch or hold the pressure washer as its pressurized jets can cause serious injury.
A few other safety tips include not running your hose under hot water when filling up with cold water (this could cause a burst hose!), checking that any clamps on hoses are secure before using, never leaving an unattended machine while in operation – even outside – and making sure no one wears loose clothing near moving parts such as wheels etc., which will get easily caught.
If you are using gas powered pressure washers, be sure to start it in an open area and avoid pointing the spray at yourself or others. Never use a power washer to clean debris from windows or other surfaces higher than you can reach safely. Always keep bystanders at least 20 feet away from the work area. This may be a bit overboard, but you should wear protective gear when using a pressure washer, such as gloves, eye protection, and ear protection.
Most importantly of all is to have fun! And stay safe while you’re doing it. Don’t take any unnecessary risks by tackling high-powered jobs in poor weather conditions or when fatigued from working too hard. If in doubt – don’t do it! Just wait for another day…
Tips for maintaining your new tool so it lasts longer and works better
Winterize the pressure washer
Winterizing a pressure washer is easy to do and will save you from having to replace parts the following spring. When your unit isn’t being used between uses, it should be stored in a dry place that doesn’t get below freezing (40 degrees F). Protect your machine by adding antifreeze or even water softener if necessary before storing for long periods of time. It’s also important not to drain all of the gas out as this can lead to condensation build-up inside the pump which could cause corrosion as well as damage other components such as your carburetor or fuel lines. Additionally, keep an eye on wear and tear so you know when something needs replacing before stowing away for instead of trying to fix things in the spring.
Additional tips to help your pressure washer last longer
Don’t use gasoline with ethanol when filling up the tank. Ethanol is highly corrosive and isn’t good for your washer’s engine or fuel system.
Don’t use the wrong detergents or cleaning products when washing the exterior of your home. Some cleaners are made for outdoor surfaces while others can damage them when used improperly.
Don’t pressure wash in direct sunlight or on hot days as this could cause the components to overheat and break down faster than usual, decreasing its lifespan even further.
Be careful not to use too much detergent when washing with a power washer – it’s better to add more later if needed instead of trying to remove residue afterward because you may strip off paint along with it!
What tip should I use on my pressure washer?
Use the right tip for the job! There is a variety of tips to choose from, each with different applications. You can purchase an assortment pack if you don’t know which one(s) you’ll need initially or go straight to getting all your bases covered by purchasing multi-task nozzles that work well on multiple surfaces and even at various distances away.
Now that we’ve gone over how to properly use a pressure washer as well as some helpful hints about maintaining it, let’s take a look at what types of power washers are available out there before determining whether renting or buying is the best option for you.
What are the types of pressure washer Nozzles?
There are several different types of nozzles, each with its own purpose and spray pattern:
Turbo (or rotary) nozzle – This type of nozzle has fewer openings than other types and provides the highest amount of power while also providing smooth coverage over flat areas like driveways.
Angle spray tip – Simply attaches to your hose and sprays at an angle… perfect for cleaning walls, gutters, decks, stairs, etc! It’s designed so you don’t accidentally damage siding if you’re using it on houses or buildings.
Soap Nozzle tip – When combined with detergent, this type of nozzle will help you clean surfaces more quickly and easily.
What do the colors mean on pressure washer nozzles?
- Green nozzle tips are for light-duty jobs such as washing cars, trucks, and fences.
- Yellow nozzle tips are for medium-duty cleaning jobs such as decks, driveways, and sidewalks.
- Red nozzle tips are for the heavy-duty jobs like cleaning concrete, asphalt, and large debris.
- Blue nozzle tips clean delicate surfaces like windows, boats, and cars without leaving streaks.
When choosing a nozzle tip to use on your pressure washer, it’s important to select the right one depending on what you will be using it for. For example, if you’re going to be cleaning the exterior of your home (sidewalks, driveway, etc.), then a yellow or green tip should suffice – but if you’re looking to remove paint or strip rust off metal surfaces, you’ll need a red
Pressure washing tips for different surfaces, including wood, metal, brick, concrete, stone, and more!
Now that you know how to use a pressure washer, here are some tips on using it for specific surfaces.
• For wood decks and fences: Use a long-handled brush attachment with your high-pressure spray to avoid damaging the surface of the wood.
• To clean brick or stone walls: Avoid direct contact between these materials and the nozzle as they can be pitted by intense water pressure. Instead, attach an extension wand if possible so you can keep at least 12 inches away from them while still cleaning effectively. Spray down areas where dirt has collected first before going over your entire wall with cleaner—this will help prevent unwanted damage to anything located around those spots! You may also want to invest in a small scrub brush attachment that will help you apply cleaners more effectively.
• For vehicles: If your car has delicate paint, avoid using a high-pressure spray head when washing a car as this may cause damage to the finish. Instead, use a soft bristle brush or cloth attachment and keep at least 12 inches away from the body of the vehicle while gently scrubbing off dirt and debris.
• For metal surfaces: Polish and protect metals from corrosion by using a detergent that is specifically meant for this surface type. Rinse off completely to avoid any leftover residue that can cause rusting over time.
• When cleaning concrete: Always test in an inconspicuous area first as some types of concrete may be sensitive to the high-pressure water stream. If all goes well, spray down the entire surface and use a stiff brush attachment to scrub away built-up dirt, oil, or grease. Rinse thoroughly afterward!
Now that you’re a pro at pressure washing, get out there and give your home a good clean! Be sure to follow all of the safety precautions we outlined earlier to avoid any accidents or damage. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us for help. Happy washing!