A Guide to Pressure Washers
Mossy, slippery deck stains, dusty and grimy terraces, century-old-looking garden furniture. There is a common solution to all of this: pressure jet washers
This type of cleaning equipment gained a lot of popularity in the past years because of its availability and efficiency. At first, power washing was a service that you had to order through a company.
Nowadays, the demand for residential water pressure machines is higher than ever. Why? Well, it’s quite effective but have you ever seen someone perform jet washing? It can be a lot of fun and it is even often included in those weird satisfaction compilation videos. On the other hand, to buy a pressure jet washer can be a smart investment, especially when you really do need to clean some outdoor areas and surfaces on a regular basis.
But what do you need to know before buying a pressure washer? Let’s go through a few things that you need to keep in mind before you make your final decision.
What are the applications of a jet washer?
Here is a quick list of the most commonplace things that you can clean with a pressure washer: outdoor furniture, parking spaces, sidewalks, driveways, sidings, patios, decks, gutters, roofs, walls, fences, bicycles, and motor vehicles.
One of the most common uses for the appliance is driveway and garage cleaning. It makes sense because they are usually covered in tire marks and oil spills which can affect the kerb appeal of your property.
What can you clean using a pressure washer?
Imagine that you want to throw a barbecue party but you notice that the grill is a bit greasy, the patio could look better, the fence has accumulated grime, and on top of that - your outdoor furniture is not in top shape.
The good news is, of the above can be cleaned with a decent jet washer. You just have to change the pressure intensity and hose depending on the material of the surfaces.
You can make your vehicle squeaky-clean in about 25 minutes when using a pressure wash system. Just connect a scrubbing brush attachment and find some cleaning solution. It won’t be long before your paving is like new again.
How do pressure washers work?
There are 4 main parts to a jet washer:
- The water inlet
- An electric motor and power cord
- The water pump and high-pressure hose
- Cleaning attachments.
The working method of a pressure washer is reasonably simple. Water is fed through to the machine, then the pump applies a high pressure and blasts it from a hose through a trigger gun. For more advanced use, you can get a cleaning agent like the Husqvarna 2.5L detergent solution for pressure washers, add the vehicle cleaning kit, an extension hose, the surface cleaner attachment and you have a complete pressure washing solution.
Pressure Washer Nozzles:
The purpose of the nozzle is to allow the user to control the speed and flow of water. This way more pressure can be applied when an area is harder to clean, whilst protecting more delicate surfaces from damage. Distance is another factor that can be controlled with the nozzle.
Different machines have different amounts of pressure and are suitable for different applications.
Choosing the best pressure washer
Of course, everyone wants a quality product that works and will last a lifetime. However, as with most products, there is a solution to every requirement.
These little gems are good for small jobs like lightly soiled paving, bicycles, small cars and garden furniture. They are cheap (£40-£100), light to carry and can be found in supermarkets and hardware stores. A minus is that they tend to clean slowly, they can be noisier, and are not really designed for prolonged use.
A bit more expensive (£100-£200), middle-range pressure washers can take care of paved areas and decking, cars and 4x4s. In short: they are a good balance of value and performance. A good example is the Husqvarna 235R
The serious end of the pressure washer market can be larger and heavier, and the extra power is reflected in the price (think £150-400). With long hoses, high power and flow rates they can complete the task in a fraction of the time. All that power needs responsible hands though, so there is a bit of a learning curve. The top of the range Husqvarna pressure washer is the PW450.
What are the benefits of pressure washing?
While you are scratching your head over what to consider when buying a pressure washer, know that this type of equipment comes with plenty of advantages:
- It’s easy to use and some people actually find it quite enjoyable.
- It doesn’t involve buckets of water, sponges and getting yourself dirty. You are practically just standing there blasting away the grime and dust.
- Heights are not a problem as well because you just need to point the nozzle to the spot that you want to clean, so no more running around with ladders.
On another note, pressure washing is health beneficial, believe it or not. It destroys harmful substances, keeping your family breathing the purest air possible. Washing away algae and other buildups also minimizes the risk from incidents caused by slipping and falling.
When you think of deep cleaning, you probably associate it with volatile heavy-duty chemicals. However, in recent years we’ve seen that the use of such products has declined significantly thanks to jet washing as it is a nature-friendly alternative. It only uses water so it won’t bring any harm to the environment.
Recommended safety measures:
You will be surprised by the number of people that thought it was a good idea to spray their hand or foot with a top-of-the-range pressure washer. These daredevils often end up in the hospital with serious injuries like torn up skin. There are a couple of measures that you need to take, so you don’t end up like this. Gena Lorainne, a pressure washing expert (Fantastic Services in London) shared with us some essential safety measures you should always follow:
- Wear goggles, long pants, closed shoes, and be extra careful on wet surfaces.
- Always start with the widest spray angle. Begin by working with the nozzle 2 feet away from the surface and move closer as needed.
- Don’t use a jet wash while on a ladder. Pulling the trigger could cause recoil and throw you off balance.
- Don’t point the nozzle toward yourself, other people, or pets. (pretty self-explanatory)
- Don't use an extension cord with an electric-powered model.
- And please, spare a few minutes to read the manual.
These are the basic recommendations that you can follow when investing in a pressure washer to ensure a pleasurable experience. Stay safe and have a good time when jet washing!