With the holidays behind us, spring cleaning is right around the corner, and it is never too early to start preparing. At this point, buying tools that can help you clean your home is a smart move. For areas that need deep cleaning, a power washer is your best friend.
Power washing can be incredibly fun. It is amazing to see drastic and instant results. Nevertheless, using such a powerful tool can be just as intimidating. This machine is quite the investment – you do not want it to break during your first spring cleaning. To ensure that your power washer lasts long and you do not end up injuring yourself, here is a step-by-step guide to everything you need to know about using power washers:
Choosing the Right Type of Power Washer
There are two basic kinds of power washers – electric and gas-powered:
Electric power washers can produce pressure or PSI of up to 1,400 for 1-1/2 gallons of water per minute or gpm. They are usually used for lighter cleaning needs for outdoor spaces and cars. Electric models are excellent starter power washers. They cost less, are less bulky, and makes less noise than their gas-powered counterpart. Since this type of power washer is powered by electricity, you need to have outlets that are equipped with GFCI or a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter to run it safely.
Gas-powered power washers are more powerful than the electrical type. They can reach up to 3000 PSI – maybe more for some models. They also require more water; at least 2 to 3 gpms to function properly. They are used for more demanding jobs like preparing walls for painting and cleaning out age stains and cement.
Gas-powered power washers can be expensive. Some models can cost anywhere from $300 – $800. However, there are companies that rent these machines out. The right type of power washer is the kind that would suit your needs. Assess the chores you need it for before making a purchase.
Selecting a Nozzle for the Job
Picking out the right type of nozzle is as important as choosing the equipment itself. The nozzle distributes the pressured water onto the surface that you are cleaning. Power washers deliver a considerable amount of pressure. If you choose the wrong nozzle, you might destroy what you were supposed to spruce up.
Most pressure washers come with four nozzles – 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 25 degrees, and 40 degrees. The degrees refer to how much the water is fanned – 0 degrees shoots a direct stream of water onto the surface while the 40-degree nozzle produces the mildest pressure.
When choosing the nozzle for the job, there are four tips experts suggest to consider:
- Consider the Surface
- Start with Gentler Nozzles
- Keep Your Distance
- Start Small
Your Water Supply and Hose
No matter how modern your power washer is, if your water supply is not enough, it will not be able to clean as best as it could. Before making a purchase, make sure that your water supply hits the gallons per minute requirement the power washer you are eyeing requires. Moreover, check the hose for any kinks. Clean it and make sure there are not any obstructions.
Precautions to Remember When Using Your Machine
Using a power washer can be very fun. With that said, it is still a powerful machine, and there are precautions that you should follow when using it:
Never point the power washer at anyone – even at your own hand. People often underestimate just how much power it can deliver. It can penetrate the skin and cause serious damage. So be careful.
Using a ladder with a power washer can be unsafe. The pressure from the washer can throw you off balance.
When changing nozzles or untangling the hose, turn off the water supply. Again, you do not want the machine to go off when you are not ready. It is powerful, and you cannot risk it.
A power washer can change the way you do your cleaning. It does the job well, and it will definitely cut the time you need to spruce up your home. It does not hurt that it is also fun to use. Be safe with the tips above and enjoy.