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How to pressure wash like a pro: Cleaner, Safer and Healthier

How To Pressure Wash Like A Pro?

There are many reasons to pressure wash your property. Pressure washing effectively removes deep stains, stubborn dirt, moss, and algae that can grow on concrete, brick, or siding surfaces.

Pressure washing also slows down residue buildup, which contributes to corrosion, discoloration, and other damage over time. Pressure washing is not just for professionals; it’s something anyone can do!

Power Wash Vs. Pressure Wash

Power wash and pressure wash are two words that get used a lot interchangeably, but they really shouldn’t. They have different meanings, and there’s a big difference between them.

Pressure Wash: The process of using a powerful jet of water to clean surfaces, typically exterior house siding, patios, walkways, and decks.

Power Wash: The process of using a powered spray to clean surfaces, typically exterior house siding, patios, walkways, and decks.

What’s the difference? A pressure washer uses water traveling at high speed, exiting the nozzle at around 40-100+ PSI (pounds per square inch). It uses an electric motor to turn the pump or gas engine to pressurize the water and send it through a hose and nozzle. 

Pressure washers can be adapted with different kinds of spray tips for washing cars, boats, RVs, and other vehicles.

A power washer uses a gasoline or electric motor that turns a pump which pressurizes water and sends it through a hose and nozzle. It typically uses a high-pressure 1,500 to 2,600 PSI (that is pounds per square inch) turbine or axial pump.

Pressure washers cost between $100 and $1,000+ whereas power washers run from about $250- to $2,500+. So if you’re doing a lot of power washing, it might be more cost-effective to buy a pressure washer if you’re doing a few things here and there though a power washer will work just fine.

Most people use the term “pressure wash” when talking about using a power washer. But for all intents and purposes, they mean about the same thing.

How To Pressure Wash Like A Pro

Now I know what you’re thinking: “I can just use a garden hose and some dish soap to clean my driveway.” And while that might work just fine, using a pressure washer to clean your driveway will give you better results and save you time.

You don’t need to buy an industrial-sized machine if you’re new to pressure washing. A portable electric pressure washer will do the job just fine. Here’s how you do it:

Pressure Washing Tips For Beginners

If you’re new to using pressure washers or have never done so before at all, there are a few essential things to remember. First, pressure washers can be dangerous; always follow the directions and use common sense when operating one. Never point it at yourself or anyone else!

– You should only use pressure washing on exterior surfaces. Pressure washing isn’t adequate for interior uses such as cleaning tile or wood floors, countertops, or the grout in a shower.

– Pressure washing should be done when there is no wind to ensure you can keep it under control at all times. If pressure washers are used during high winds, they tend to become more unpredictable and dangerous. 

The best time of day for using a pressure washer is typically at night after the sun goes down. However, pressure washers can be loud, so it’s a good idea to consider wearing ear protection when using one for an extended period.

– Pressure washing should never exceed the maximum PSI level that the manufacturer recommends. Exceeding this limit could dry out your surface and damage it over time, especially when using a pressure washer with rotating nozzles.

– Pressure washing should never be used on any combustible surface, such as oil or gas. Pressure washers can generate heat and moisture, which could cause an otherwise flammable substance to ignite into fire very quickly! Therefore, pressure washing over these substances will only increase fire risk.

-You should always do pressure washing in a back and forth motion; never move the washer in circles or spirals. Pressure washers generate large volumes of water, which can cause damage if it is not effectively controlled with pressure washing tips like these!

Choosing the Right Nozzles

The nozzles on a pressure washer are critical and can affect the results of your cleaning job. It includes knowing what nozzle to use for which surface!

– A 40-degree angle is best suited for removing stubborn dirt from the pavement. In addition, this type of nozzle will be effective at blasting out any debris that has been stuck in cracks or crevices in concrete.

– A 25-degree angle is the best option for removing stubborn dirt from the siding. It suggests using this type of nozzle on surfaces like brick, stone, and metal, prone to rusting over time.

– The 15-degree angle should be used when pressure washing decks. Pressure washers can cause damage to wood, which is why it’s best to use the 15-degree angle nozzle when cleaning wooden decks.

– Use a 0 degree or flat fan tip for reaching high-up areas. Pressure washers can be very effective at removing dirt and other debris from hard-to-reach places like gutters!

– Use a concentrated stream nozzle for removing caked-on dirt or oil. This type of nozzle will allow you to get into small cracks and crevices that are likely hiding away dust, grime, rust, etc.

Choosing the Right Pressure Levels

Pressure washers can vary in PSI levels depending on the model, but most models will provide between 1600 and 3000 PSI. Use 1400 to 2040 PSI when cleaning surfaces like siding or brick that are particularly sensitive to high-pressure levels!

– Pressure washers with variable pressure settings can be handy; they allow you the freedom to adjust your power depending on what you are cleaning. It suggests using high pressures on surfaces like concrete, decks, and metal.

– You should keep pressure washers with fixed pressure settings at the lowest possible PSI level for cleaning siding or other sensitive surfaces. It is to ensure that you don’t cause any damage by increasing your PSI too much! Pressure wash tips suggest using higher PSI levels on surfaces like brick and stone.

– Set your pressure washer to the lowest possible PSI level for cleaning driveways. Pressure wash tips advise keeping your power settings low because high pressures can cause damage to concrete, drywall, asphalt, etc.

How to Pressure Wash a House

Pressure washing can be very intimidating if you’ve never done it before. You have a professional pressure wash your house for the first time to ensure that everything goes smoothly!

Pressure washer safety is crucial when cleaning high-up areas like walls, roofs, and gutters. Pressure washers should always point away from other people or pets in the area. Keep everyone at a safe distance from you and your pressure washer as well!

– The first step of power washing a house is to take down any outdoor decorations or furniture. It removes anything flammable like gas tanks, cans, etc., before beginning any pressure washing. It also means turning off any gas or electrical lines that might be close by before you start your pressure wash!

– Pressure wash the siding of your house in sections to avoid damaging it. Work from bottom to top and overlap slightly with each pass to prevent leaving streaks when finished!

 You should never pressure wash your gutters while they are still in the house! Instead, remove them before starting any exterior power washing.

Read More: How To Pressure Wash A House

How to Pressure Wash a Deck 

Wood has a way of losing its shine after a while – and once dirt penetrates it, it looks so bad that you believe the only solution is to change the deck altogether. 

However, you can quickly bring the wood back to life – and you can do so with a pressure washer. Here I will show you how to pressure wash a deck and return it to its former state. 

The deck Pressure washing uses water under high pressure to get rid of the dirt on your wood. You can use it for different types of surfaces, not only wood – but it has many benefits when applied to decks. 

Pressure washing is not the same as using a regular hose. It does not provide any cleaning solution. So you have to be very careful when handling it, especially if there are plants in your yard that might get damaged by its power.

The first thing that needs to be done before pressure washing the deck is making sure that there is no debris on it – you should sweep or vacuum the surface of your deck before starting.

 Pressure washing a dirty surface might damage the wood and push all that dirt deep into its pores. And this will complicate getting rid of stains later.

To remove any dirt that may be on your deck’s surface, hold the pressure washer at an angle. Then, pressure wash it in a vertical motion.

The next step is to rinse off all the dirt with water – and again, you need to use high pressure to not damage any plants around your home or leave dirty spots on them. 

Pressure washing will remove most stains, but there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to this. Pressure washing might not always be enough to get rid of mold or mildew. That is why you need to use a cleaning solution and a pressure washer for that purpose. 

Pressure washing can also eliminate any peeling paint on your deck. Still, if there are only traces left after scrubbing the surface with a brush, you can use paint thinner to remove the rest.

Read More: How To Power Wash A Deck

How to Pressure Wash a Driveway

Driveways are typically constructed with concrete tiles or brick, and high-pressure nozzles can be used without fear of harm. To begin, make sure the driveway is free of the trash. 

You won’t damage anything else in the process. However, because concrete is porous, you should use an alkaline cleaner to clean it.

If the pressure cleaning area gets flooded, don’t use high-pressure nozzles because standing water can damage them. Pressure washers operate at up to 4400PSI, so you should be careful with the equipment and not get too close to a wall or other object that cannot handle that pressure. 

The best way to pressure wash a driveway or garage floor is by first using an alkaline cleaner. High-pressure nozzles then follow you at short intervals to avoid getting tired. 

You can use pressure washing to remove oil and other stains from vehicle surfaces. Just wait until the surface has dried before using a high-pressure nozzle because water on top of the stain will cause it to spread out instead of coming off cleanly.

How to Pressure Wash Concrete Floors

Concrete floors are not typically porous, but you might still use an alkaline cleaner to wash them. Pressure washing is best for removing old paint or any other surface buildup that regular scrubbing cannot remove. 

A combination of high-pressure nozzles and low-volume sprays should be used when pressure cleaning concrete because using either one exclusively can cause scratches. 

Pressure washing a floor is best done in two stages: first, clean and remove any buildup. In contrast, the second uses high-pressure nozzles to remove stubborn stains or areas that have been missed during the initial cleaning process.

How to pressure wash a car

You can make a shabby-looking car look brand new with a bit of elbow grease and the right cleaning equipment. It is, however, important to always keep safety in mind when pressure washing your vehicle.

Step 1: Choose the appropriate pressure washer and nozzle

Aside from using a pressure washer on your car, it would help if you also used the proper nozzle. The optimal nozzle is the 0° black tip. It sends out a strong jet of water that can easily remove dirt and grime without damaging the paint or finishes of your car.

Step 2: Clean away loose gravel and sand

Pressure washers can be very powerful, and you may get blasted with water if your nozzle is too close to the surface of your car. In addition, you should remove loose gravel and sand beforehand because they pose a more considerable risk of spraying your paint.

Step 3: Fill up the pressure washer tank

With the nozzle attached and turned on, fill your pressure washer tank with water. Ensure the area is well ventilated. Avoid spraying water onto any electrical components such as the battery to prevent gaskets from corroding.

Step 4: Test the nozzle on a hard surface

Turn off the nozzle and press the trigger. Get a rag and wipe away excess water from around the nozzle to prevent the water from spraying everywhere. Put the nozzle at a safe distance from the car and turn it on, making sure to keep your hand away from the trigger.

Step 5: Start cleaning.

Start with washing only one panel of the vehicle until you become more familiar with using a pressure washer. Then, work slowly, maintaining a safe distance from the car and avoiding electrical components. 

You can work on one panel at a time to prevent the dirt, grime, and insects that you remove with the pressure washer from spraying back onto your freshly cleaned panels.

Step 6: Rinse off the soap residue

After cleaning one part of your vehicle, turn off the nozzle and turn on the water to rinse off the soap residue. Do not use high pressure to dry your car, as this can cause damage and make it look worse than before you started cleaning in the first place.

Step 7: Dry off with a microfiber cloth

Dry all areas thoroughly with a microfiber rag so that there are no watermarks if water sports are, wipe them away immediately with a microfiber towel moistened with car shampoo.

When applying wax or sealants, make sure to use the right tools for the job. For example, use soft foam applicators for waxes and hard-bristled brushes for cleaning out crevices in the wheels and other hard-to-reach areas.

Read More: How To Pressure Wash A Car

How to pressure wash a fence

Pressure washers are not only great for cleaning large expanses of concrete or asphalt driveways, but they can also be used to clean wood surfaces, such as fences.

Step 1: Start by removing any loose dirt with a wire brush. If there are areas where the rot has set in, drill drainage holes in it before you begin power washing.

Step 2: Once the dirt has been removed and the rotted areas have been appropriately treated, mix up a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) detergent.

Add the TSP to water, making sure to wear protective gloves while you work. In addition, you may wish to wear goggles for this step, depending on the condition of your fence.

Step 3: After mixing your solution according to the directions, attach a garden-type hose nozzle with a 0°-degree spray pattern. Turn on the water supply and adjust it so that there is enough water pressure for cleaning but not so much that it will damage the wood or the fence with too much water pressure.

Step 4: Attach a 2-inch brush and begin washing away dirt and grime from your fence. Make sure to keep the nozzle at least 18 inches away from the surface of the wood while you work, as the TSP mixture may be harsh on wood fibers. Keep spraying until you can see the wood grain again.

Step 5: Rinse the surface of your fence thoroughly with clean water. You may want to use a bucket for this instead of the hose nozzle so that you can ensure all dirt has been eradicated. Allowing any soap mixture or residue to remain on your fence will attract bugs and damage the wood over time.

Step 6: Rinse the area twice, making sure that you have removed all soap residue before allowing it to dry. Inspect your fence for any damage due to the added pressure of the water and make repairs as needed.

Safety Tips While Pressure Washing

If you’re a novice in employing pressure washers, consider taking a few precautions. Pressure washing is not harmful in and of itself, but there are certain safety precautions that you should follow.

– Always use both hands when operating a pressure washer.

– Never point the sprayer at yourself or anyone else. Always keep it in front of your body and file it away from bystanders.

– Use protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, while using a pressure washer.

– Pressure washers can be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced user; always follow directions and use common sense when using a pressure washer.

– You should only pressure washing for exterior use. Pressure washers can damage the interior of homes, even if they are being used properly.

When it comes to pressure washing, there are a few major mistakes that you should avoid

When it comes to pressure washing, there are a few blunders that you should avoid. They may appear minor, but if you don’t perform everything correctly, they can become quite serious:

  • Keep away from any electrical sources: Pressure washers are extremely powerful. And while they can help you clean your property, keep them away from any electrical sources such as power lines and outlets.
  • Never mix water with chemical solutions: If you want to use a cleaning solution for the surfaces, ensure it is added directly into the tank and not mixed with the water. Mixing it inside a power washer tank can be dangerous and cause severe problems, such as electrocution.
  • Never stand directly in front of the machine: Pressure washers shoot out powerful jets that could knock someone down or push them against something they didn’t expect to hit. Pressure washers are meant to be used at a distance. So it would be best if you always stood behind them or away from where the water is coming out.
  • Never touch the machine while it’s switched on: While most people will make sure that their pressure washer isn’t going to turn on by accident, accidents do happen. And you don’t want to end up with an injured hand or foot. Pressure washers can easily cut through skin, so power it down if you are not using it, and always make sure that the machine has been turned off before touching it.
  • Never add soap directly into the tank: Pressure washer machines work differently than standard pressure sprayers. They are filled with water, and when you add soap into them, the pressure will cause this solution to form bubbles. The machine can’t handle such a reaction, so avoid adding chemicals directly inside it unless specifically designed for that purpose.
  • Never use the machine in wet weather: Pressure washers work best when used on a dry surface. So if the ground is wet, it’s not a good idea to use your pressure washer on it at that time. Pressure washers can shoot water up relatively high. When combined with slippery surfaces, they may cause you to fall and injure yourself or damage property around you as well, so keep them off until the weather has cleared up.
  • Never use the machine on anything you cannot move: Pressure washers can shoot water up relatively high and complicated. So if there’s something close to your house that may get damaged by this, it would be best not to pressure wash it with a power washer at all. Only do it when the weather is dry enough to prevent water from being kicked up. Pressure washing is meant to be done on the ground level, not upwards towards your house or any other structure that may get damaged by this machine.
  • Never leave it running unattended: Pressure washers are mighty machines, and they can cause damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pressure washers do not come with a locking mechanism. If you leave it running while unattended, someone may try to use this machine without knowing how powerful the force behind it is.

Keep these common mistakes in mind when working with pressure washing machines so that you can avoid them at all costs. However, if done correctly, they will be beneficial for getting your surface clean and ready to use. 

However, suppose you don’t know what you are doing. In that case, it can become hazardous, so be sure to read the instruction manual before using it for the first time.

Suppose any of these mistakes have caused problems or accidents in your household. Then, people must learn how to avoid such incidents in the future. For example, pressure washing machines are beneficial for cleaning up. 

Still, they come with their own set of safety precautions that you must follow to avoid any accidents or injuries occurring around them.

Wrap Up on How To Pressure Wash Like A Pro

Learning how to operate a pressure washer can be pretty easy if you know the correct method. However, pressure washers can be extremely dangerous, so everyone must know how to use them safely to keep their family and property safe from harm as well.

FAQs

What is the best time of year to power wash house?

In general, home power washing should be done at least once a year, between March and November, throughout the year. As the weather gets colder and winter approaches, you’ll want to make sure your house is in tip-top shape before the snow flies.

How do you pressure wash effectively?

First, dampen the area with plain water under high pressure using a medium spray pattern to loosen the dirt for the most outstanding cleaning results. 

Next, use a wide nozzle setting and apply detergent with a medium spray pattern to let it permeate into the dirt. To avoid discoloration or damage from the detergent, keep the surface wet.

How many PSI Do I need to clean concrete?

Use a power washer with a 2000-3000 psi pressure rating and a flow rate of 3 gallons per minute (GPM) to clean the concrete thoroughly.

How do you get good at pressure washing?

  1. The tarp over plants to shield them from the elements and collect paint chips blasted off during washing.
  2. Don’t hold the spray wand too close to the siding.
  3. Work in small sections at a time.
  4. Keep the spray stream level and avoid pushing water behind the siding by keeping the spray stream consistent.
  5. The spray isn’t recommended on windows.

Can you use a pressure washer without soap?

Germs and bacteria may hide in places you don’t think about, like your kitchen cupboards or your shower. You can’t clean your hands without soap, nor can you pressure wash your home without it! 

Soft pressure washing prevents the possibility of damage to your home.

How many PSI Do I need to clean the house?

2800 PSI and 1-3 GPM

How many PSI Do I need to clean the deck and driveway?

Deck: Not more than 1000 PSI 

Driveway: 3000 PSI and 3 GPM

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Brett Tyler

Brett Tyler

I’m Brett Tyler, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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