If you don’t own a pressure washer you are missing out on one of the most satisfying experiences there is. That is, the satisfaction of watching your old dingy, run-down, weathered, home exterior components go from nasty and grungy to sparkling like new again. If your house wasn’t built for you it’s possible you’ve never even seen it look as good as it will after you pressure wash the ever-living heck out of it.
I bought one of these for my husband a few years ago as a present but I’ll admit to you that I think I love it and use it more than he does.
At the time of purchase I wasn’t sure what he would need it for but I now realize there’s little that you DON’T need it for, when it comes to the outside of your house and some areas inside as well.
I’m not a clean freak by any means, but there is something resurrecting (almost miraculous maybe) about watching years of built-up gunk spray off of things like cement and brick.
Warning: It’s addictive.
Real Warning: These are tools not toys and can actually be very dangerous. High pressure washers can literally take the skin off your body in a single blast. Please use caution and read ALL SAFETY WARNINGS before using one.
The Benefits of Owning a Pressure Washer
Here are some of the things you can clean with a pressure washer (I’m sure there are tons more but this should cover the main ones):
- Cement & Concrete – Driveways and patios
- Brick & Mortar – Walkways and house exterior
- Wood Decks
- Wood or Metal Fences
- Patio Furniture – Metal & Plastic
- Grills & BBQs – (make sure to disconnect your propane first)
- Exterior Windows
- Trash Cans
If you’re willing to lend it out, you’ll also become popular with neighbors who don’t own one.
They really do come in handy and are not very expensive for the benefits they provide.
Here are before and after examples to show what a good pressure washer can do.
Cement & Concrete
An example of a driveway that has been pressure washed.
Brick & Mortar
Here is an example of what these things can do to clean brick. I didn’t use any solution, just one of the stronger nozzles. I was able to get the baked-in, blackened sap out of the brick in our front porch area in only a few minutes.
Before pressure washing a deck, make sure you understand how to do this properly. You can damage and splinter your wood if you use too strong of a nozzle or get too close to the wood.
Wood or Metal Fences
As with wood decks, be careful to use the right nozzle and distance from the wood so that you don’t damage and splinter the wood.
Here is a half cleaned bench to show the difference between before and after.
Grills & BBQs
Watch this video for the proper way to safely wash your bbq grill.
Trash cans can really begin to stink after a while. And what is that sticky black stuff? Doesn’t matter, because after a few minutes of spraying yours out with your pressure washer and a little detergent you’ll have it back to new in no time.
Make sure you watch a tutorial on how to safely wash your car with a pressure washer before you start. You can damage your car’s paint if you use the wrong nozzle. However, done correctly, this is a much quicker and efficient (uses less water than a garden hose) way to clean your vehicles.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Gas or Electric
- Gas pressure washers are more expensive, produce gas fumes, are heavier, yet are more powerful and don’t rely on a power source.
- Electric are typically cheaper, quieter, and lighter than gas, but are less powerful and have the restriction of a power cord.
Power Level – PSI stands for Pounds Per Square Inch.
- 1500 to 1900 PSI is considered light-duty and works best for light household cleaning but not good for tough jobs like cleaning brick and concrete
- 2000 PSI and above is more heavy-duty and can handle tougher surfaces, but also runs the risk of causing more damage if used incorrectly.
- A pressure washer that has wheels will be easier to move around.
- If you are using your pressure washer for different job types you will likely be changing out the nozzles. Make sure that your washer comes with durable nozzle tips, cheap ones can fall apart easily. Note: Be very careful with or discard the red nozzle, as this is capable of damaging body parts and your possessions easily.
- A great feature in the home pressure washer models is the ability to add detergent right to your machine and have this mix with the water that comes out. Some models have this and some do not, so if this is something you would like make sure it is included.
- The ability to convert your water into hot or cold temperatures on-demand is a more advanced feature and will cost more. The hot water option is a nice to have, as this will help with the cleaning process.
Where to Buy a Pressure Washer
Any local hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot will carry pressure washers.
Amazon also has a large selection of pressure washers at great prices.
If you are looking for a recommendation, this is a really solid starter pressure washer with excellent reviews. It’s portable, lightweight, has a detergent reservoir, enough pressure to handle any task and won’t break the bank.