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How to Use a Pressure Washer

Pressure washing deck

Pressure washing is a quick, easy and efficient way to clean the outdoor spaces in your home. Everyday dirt, grime and mildew builds up on every surface including your patio, deck, driveway, or pathways, and is a pain to clean by hand, which is why pressure washing is a great alternative. 

But first, what is a pressure washer? This machine uses water from your garden hose to pressurize water and spray through a hand-held wand. Most hoses also have a hose for applying detergent or degreaser to pesky stains. A pressure washer differs from a power washer because it uses ground temperature water, while a power washer uses hot water to tackle biological stains like mold.

How to use your pressure washer

  1. Prep your area

Clear the area you are washing by removing furniture, pots, toys, etc. Pressurized water can be destructive to fragile plants, so you can use garbage bags or a tarp to prevent damage. This also works for any electrical plug or outlet.

2. Select a nozzle

Your machine should come with various nozzles to choose from for different purposes. For example, the 0 angle nozzle is ideal for tough stains, as it has the highest concentration and most powerful stream. By increasing the angle of the spray across a larger zone, the water becomes less powerful and more suitable for something delicate like a car. The universal range of nozzle angles include 65 degrees, 40 degrees, 25 degrees, 15 degrees, and 0 degrees.

3. Attach the hose

Connect a hose to a water supply line, and securely fasten your chosen nozzle on the pressure washer. 

4. Spot Test

Double check the pressure and effect of the pressure on a spot that is normally out of sight. This makes sure that damage is not done, but if it is, it will be out of the way or covered. 

5. Use detergent

Most pressure washers come with a special department for detergent. By utilizing this, you can combat stubborn grease stains that would otherwise not be removed with water alone.

Safety Tips

-Always place the pressure washer on a flat surface

-Only clean a car with an electric pressure washer

-Avoid spraying windows, light fixtures, and outlets

-Never pressure wash from a ladder or elevated surface as you can easily lose your balance

-Always wear safety goggles and closed toe shoes

-When using a gas-powered pressure washer, only use in a well ventilated area.

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