Pressure Washers 101: Everything you need to know to get started
Pressure Washers can be intimidating BUT don't let the fear factor scare you off from these amazing tools. Pressure Washers can be one of the best options for getting a quick deep clean or for getting rid of really tough grime when all other methods have failed.
Pressure Washers extreme power means cleaning time is minimized and their portability means they can be used to clean virtually anything outdoors. What makes them powerful and effective is also what makes them dangerous - they create extreme pressure which can damage property and cause serious injury so always follow instructions and familiarize yourself with the proper procedure before use.
Pressure Washers come in gas or electric options. Each has its own pros and cons, but this post isn't about how to pick between gas and electric (call the office and our team would be happy to help you decide which model is the right fit for you), but generally homeowners only need light duty washers.
- When cleaning vertical surfaces, wash from the bottom up, and rinse from the top down
- Pressure washer nozzles are color-coded to indicate the narrowness and forcefulness of their spray pattern: White is 40 degrees, green is 25 degrees, yellow is 15 degrees, and red is 0 degrees. Black is a low-pressure nozzle used for dispensing soap. *Colors noted as industry norms - be sure to double check your own nozzles for their degrees
- As a general rule, use the broadest, lowest-pressure nozzle that will deliver adequate cleaning, because using too narrow a nozzle can cut into the surface you're trying to clean
- Spray in an inconspicuous area to test the nozzle before pressure-washing more visible areas. This way, if you are using too narrow a nozzle or find that you need to refine your technique, at least you won't harm a noticeable surface
- Hold the tip of the pressure-washing nozzle at an angle above the surface you are cleaning and at a distance to prevent damage
- Always avoid spraying water behind or under vertical surfaces such as lap siding, and into light fixtures or air-conditioning equipment, electrical outlets, soffit vents, or attic vents
- Keep the nozzle moving to prevent the water from cutting into the surface
- Add fuel stabilizer to the gasoline before filling the pressure washer's fuel tank
- never aim wand at anyone
- wear protective equipment: the 0-degree red nozzle can damage concrete! Sneakers and jeans won’t stand a chance. Your feet, hands, and eyes are at high risk of being injured. Not only from the high-pressure water spray but also from flying debris. A huge majority of pressure washer injuries are preventable simply by wearing proper safety gear. We recommend boots, gloves, long pants, safety glasses, and hearing protection
- don't operate indoors
- be aware of your surroundings
- select the correct nozzle
- electric shock- be careful when electric cords and water are involved
- protect your equipment and store it correctly