Pressure washing is one of the most reliable methods to give your property a thorough cleaning. It’s convenient, quick, and remarkably effective at eradicating tough gunk and filth, including grease, algae, oil stains, and a whole lot more.
Throughout the years, the quality and cleaning ability of pressure washers have greatly progressed. Nevertheless, they’ve become more budget-friendly. The cleaning equipment can dramatically improve your ability to clean and manage your home while reducing the time you need to spend doing so.
Keep in mind though that these machines can deliver a powerful pressure that can harm anyone on its path. So it’s vital to use it with utmost care to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
A power washer is a particularly good investment if you don’t always have enough time in your hands for upkeep. However, if you end up with the wrong one, you may see yourself getting disappointed. What’s more, you may very well have just wasted your budget and time.
How Exactly Does A Pressure Washer Work?
Contrary to popular belief, a pressure washer is a relatively straightforward cleaning device. It has either an engine or motor that powers its pump, which pushes the water at high pressure through an orifice or nozzle.
So how does it perform these chores easily? Once you connect a power washer to a hose, it’ll use either electricity or gas to power its pump, which, in turn, intensifies water pressure. As a result, it’ll force water out that’s up 80 times more powerful than that from a regular garden hose.
That extreme power can loosen paints, stubborn dirt, etc. from various surfaces, streamlining a lot of your cleaning chores. Some pressure washer models even feature a built-in detergent tank along with a spray to provide you with an even thorough cleaning.
Pressure Washer Types
A pressure wash has two main varieties, which are gas and electric. Both types come with benefits and drawbacks that will depend on your individual cleaning needs.
One of the most important things you need to consider when looking for the appropriate washer is the power you need. The average PSI of an electric unit is between 1200 to 1700.
Meanwhile, the gas version is around 2000 to 2800. But keep in mind that the higher PSI and GPM a unit has, the more expensive it’ll get. Check out the original source of information about the best pressure washers to learn more.
Aside from this, make sure to purchase from a reliable brand that offers a good warranty. Some of the tried and tested companies are Sun Joe, Ryobi, and Karcher, to name a few. Doing so will give you peace of mind that your machine will not only provide you with top performance but will serve you for many years as well.
Generally, an electric pressure washer is enough to handle all the cleaning around your property. However, it may be better to opt for its gas equivalent if you plan to clean a massive surface area without any electrical source nearby.
Electric Pressure Washers
Electric pressure washers, also known as electric power washers, are extremely powerful machines for your home. But what makes them truly powerful and efficient?
A simple online search will provide you with PSI, GPM, and CP ratings. But these numbers will not cut it. There are other key factors that make an electric washer reliable. One of those is its engineering, specifically on how its power is applied.
Moreover, its cleaning potential and end results will depend on other things aside from its raw power. These include a unit’s pressure hose, quality of spray gun, and power adjustment options.
Although electric pressure washers are not as powerful as the gas models, they can provide you with a solid enough performance that can get rid of most grime. Additionally, they are more portable, easier to operate, and are less likely to damage your surfaces.
Furthermore, this type is perfect for small cleaning projects and occasional larger tasks. You can wash your patio, driveway, cars, lawn equipment, deck, and so much more with ease.
- It’s a lot less quiet in comparison to its gas cousin
- It gives off zero-emission
- Portable and easy to store
- Requires minimal upkeep
- A more affordable option
- It is less powerful than gas pressure washers
- Less durable since most of its components are made of plastic
- You always need to be close to a power source
- The surface area you can clean is limited to the length of your unit’s power cable
Best Electric Pressure Washers
It’s very tempting to just get whichever brand or model that crosses your way. An electric pressure washer is suitable for most homeowners. However, you still need to understand that not all are created equally or will work well for each purpose.
So to help narrow down your choices, we searched long and hard for the best electric pressure washers that can meet your specific needs:
AR Blue Clean AR390SS
AR Blue Clean AR390SS is a heavy-duty electric pressure washer that has excellent features and will deliver fantastic results. It’s super easy to assemble and operate that you may not even go through its owner’s manual.
This power washer offers 2000 PSI of cleaning ability and 30 ft high-pressure hose that can eradicate hardcore filth. Additionally, it is made from long-lasting materials and even comes with a professional-grade gun.
Even more, it sports a water-saving technology specifically designed by AR Blue Clean to make the unit eco-friendly. At 36 pounds, it’s heavier than others on this list, but you won’t have trouble handling it.
Simpson Cleaning 61016
SIMPSON® Pressure Washers are known for their reliability and efficient performance, and the Simpson Cleaning 61016 lives up to expectation. This electric pressure washer has a sturdy construction and delivers solid cleaning skills.
It is jam-packed with great features, including a pressure of 2300 PSI combined with good water flow at 1.2 GPM. This means that the machine can help you take care of a wide array of light to medium and a handful of heavy-duty power washing sessions.
Moreover, it comes with 3 spray nozzles, including the turbo type for quick cleanups. The Simpson Cleaning is a little heavy. However, its never-flat plastic wheels make it hassle-free to maneuver.
Briggs & Stratton 20680
Just like with all Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washers, the 20680 model is a tough and enduring electric washer. Its frame is metal to ensure the unit is safe from acquiring damages. On the other hand, its plastic casing protects it from the weather.
Furthermore, it comes with a 20 ft hose that lets you spray water from several angles without feeling awkward or unstable. It can deliver as much as 1800 PSI but at 900 PSI you’ll be able to clean almost all surfaces and get rid of most grime.
On top of that, it comes with a detachable turbo nozzle that you can use to increase its water speed without increasing its pressure.
Karcher K3 Follow Me
Karcher K3 Follow Me has 1800 PSI and 1.3 GPM under its belt. Theis 15-pound Karcher equipment is quite portable and compact enough for easy storage. It also features a 15 feet propriety hose, nozzle, turbo, and variable.
Instead of mounting the unit on a cart, it comes with four wheels. Therefore, it’ll follow you wherever you want it to be. Just make sure to uncoil your garden hose to prevent kinking. And since it’s lightweight, you can simply pick it up and carry it around with you.
Gas Pressure Washers
If you’re looking for the ultimate deep-cleaning, nothing can compare to the power of a gas pressure washer. Also referred to as gas power washers, these mighty machines are mean enough to undertake the heavy-duty and larger jobs that electric ones can’t often handle.
These include clearing your pathways of trees saps and gums. Likewise, they’re superb at stripping paint and removing the toughest of stains from driveways, patios, and other large surfaces.
Professional contractors and handymen favor a gas-powered washer over the electric type. The reason for this is because you don’t need any electricity to run it. Plus, its power can go as high as 4000 PSI.
Nonetheless, gas washers are not only for pros these days. There are now affordable ones suitable for home use. And if you’ve utilized garden equipment before like a lawnmower, then you won’t have any trouble operating and maintaining it.
- Offers a higher pressure than electric power washers.
- Allows you to clean larger areas thoroughly in less time.
- Has a hot water option, which means you don’t need to use detergent.
- Can tackle tough gunk.
- Heavier and much louder.
- It requires regular maintenance, including tune-ups and winterizing.
- There’s also the risk of overheating if you let your gas unit idle for too long.
- You can’t store it inside your home.
Best Gas Pressure Washers
Similar to electric-powered washers, the right gas model will depend on your needs, as well as the purpose you have in mind for it. But to simplify your decision, here are some of the top-notch gas pressure washers on the market:
- Simpson Cleaning MSH3125
The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 Gas Pressure Washer is perfect for your large scale, heavy-duty cleaning projects. This durable and sturdy equipment has a steel tube frame with a matte powder finish, making it corrosion and rust-resistant. Therefore, it can take on heavy and extensive use.
Moreover, it is flexible, versatile, and features 10 inches wheels with four-ply pneumatic tires. It means that it can maneuver through rough surfaces easily.
But the most notable feature of this Simpson gas power washer is its axial cam pump with OEM technologies. The handy feature comes with a design that allows for minimal upkeep while delivering optimal performance for each washing session.
Generac 7122 SpeedWash
Generac SpeedWash 7122 is a powerhouse boasting a performance matching those of professional and commercial-grade models. This unit sports the 196cc OHV engine of Generac on top of an axial cam pump with a brass head.
And check this out, the SpeedWash 7122 can produce pressure as much as 3200 PSI. Plus, it has a 2.7 GPM water flow rate and comes with a flexible 30 ft hose. There is also a broad range of accessories for this model, making it ready to take on just about any jobs you have for it.
How To Use A Pressure Washer
Using a pressure washer is easier than you think. Still, you must follow some rules to ensure efficient and safe cleaning sessions all the time.
The steps may vary on the type of equipment you’re using, but the following are the general steps to follow. Also, make sure to get more information about pressure washing so that you’ll reduce the risk of accidents.
- Prepare your surface by sweeping away any loose filth and debris before you begin power washing.
- Attach your garden hose to the water inlet. Then, turn on your faucet completely.
- Release the air pressure of your machine by squeezing its wand trigger.
- Check if there are leaks on the hose connections
- If you’re using a gas model, start its engine by pulling your unit’s starter cord. On the other hand, plug your electric washer into a grounded, GFCI power outlet.
- Prime your machine’s system by letting the water flow through it for at least one minute. However, never let it idle for more than 3 to minutes to prevent the engine from overheating.
- With your washer’s gun off, set its adjustable nozzle to low or connect a low-pressure type. Make sure you begin with low pressure, then work to a higher pressure during the cleaning process.
- With your feet steadily on the ground, hold the wand firmly using both of your hands.
- Aim your wand at around 18 inches from the surface area you’ll clean and begin washing at low pressure.
- Maneuver the wand slowly in a sideways motion at a 45-degree angle to the surface. Avoid staying in a single area and keep moving or you’ll risk ruining the surface.
- Prevent the surface from obtaining streaks by moving your spray in overlapping lines.
- If the dirt calls for more pressure, simply move your spray close to it but ensure that you’re at least 6 inches away. Likewise, you can connect a higher pressure tip after you’ve locked the wand’s trigger.
About Pressure Nozzles
The intensity and angle of the water you’re spraying is probably the biggest danger that comes with pressure washing. And the nozzle at your wand’s tip is what commands this.
The usual nozzles that come with power washers are the following:
- Zero-degree (red). Perfect for the most difficult gunk.
- 15-degrees (yellow). Ideal for stripping and heavy-duty washing.
- 25-degrees (green). This is the most advisable to use for general cleaning jobs.
- 40-degrees (white). Best for surfaces that can get damaged easily.
- 65-degrees (black). Use this when cleaning with detergent.
As a rule of thumb, you never employ the zero-degree setting or red nozzle as much as possible to reduce possible injuries. Nozzles with high settings or degrees can take care of the job minus the unnecessary risks.
Pressure Washer Safety Reminders
The cleaning ability of your pressure washer largely depends on the water pressure it generates. Once your tool pumps water via its narrow hose and wand. The pressure will increase as it becomes narrower.
Your unit’s wand has a trigger or gun that you need to squeeze to activate the water flow. While some washers come with individual detachable nozzles, some have adjustable nozzle type. Regardless, both will provide you with more control over the pressure and angle you’ll use for various jobs.
Since pressure washers let out extreme pressure, you must apply safety measures. This will ensure that you won’t damage your surfaces, as well as injure yourself and anyone around you accidentally.
With that in mind, here’s a basic guideline to follow on how to use your pressure washer safely:
- Always read the manufacturer’s manual as it contains essential information about your machine. It also has details on how to properly operate the specific model you have. Additionally, you’ll find troubleshooting guidelines in there along with replacement parts info.
- Do not touch its spray. Similarly, never point it at anyone as it can easily lacerate the skin. There are even cases when a power washer at very high pressure removed a finger.
- Make sure to arm yourself with protective gear. This means wearing closed-toe shoes or boot, long pants, work gloves, and safety goggles. Also, you may want to use ear protection, particularly if you’re working with a gas unit.
- Avoid using ladders since power washers can create a dangerous kickback force. The last thing you want is to see yourself falling off of your ladder. If you have high areas to clean, get an extension wand to help you get those hard-to-reach spots.
- Prepare your surroundings before starting with your chore. Protect vents and exterior lights by covering them. Also, make sure all your windows are closed, and potted plants and other tripping hazards are out of your way.