Pressure washers are cleaning equipments that are very popular in the industrial and commercial sectors. This is because with the use of pressure washers, not only are you able to accomplish your cleaning tasks more efficiently, but you are also able to cut down cleaning time significantly. This is possible because pressure washers generate a highly pressurized stream of water that is capable of lifting and dissolving tough dirt on surfaces. These days, the cleaning power of the pressure washer is finding its way into many households and manufacturers are responding by manufacturing light-duty residential grade pressure washers. In the past, households put a lot of effort in cleaning their cars, garage, driveway, fence, patios and many more, or they spend money to hire cleaning professionals to do the job for them. These days though, thanks to the cleaning power of the pressure washer, households no longer need to dread the back-breaking work of cleaning, or spend money in hiring cleaning professionals.
The truth is there are a number of pressure washer owners who are not familiar with pressure washing basics. Due to this, they are not able to use efficiently or maximize the use of their units. However, with the right knowledge and information, any pressure washer owner will be able to effectively use their pressure washers. The list below shows some effective pressure washing tips.
1. Choosing Nozzles – sometimes referred to as tips, pressure washer nozzles are responsible in controlling the size of the fan spray. If you want to pressure wash more efficiently, you need to choose the right nozzle accordingly. Most pressure washer units come with interchangeable nozzles. This capability serves two purposes – first is to control the amount of pressure concentration and the second would be to the size of the fan spray. Most pressure washer nozzles come in different color which helps to identify their fan spray.
- Red Nozzle – this has a 0° degree fan spray and has the most concentrated stream. This is the perfect nozzle for removing tough dirt and mud on heavy equipment, rust from steel, and stains on concrete.
- Yellow Nozzle – this has a 15° degree fan spray and is perfect for focused cleaning. Depending on the power of your pressure washer, this nozzle is ideal for removing paint from wood and masonry. This nozzle is also ideal for removing mildew stains as well as marine growth on boats.
- Green Nozzle – this has a 25° degree fan spray and is meant for general cleaning. This nozzle is perfect for cleaning dirt, mud, and grime. It is also suitable for rinsing surfaces to be painted.
- White Nozzle – this has a 40° degree nozzle and has the largest fan spray dedicated for cleaning. This nozzle is perfect when rinsing surfaces or for light cleaning as the strength of the pressure washer is widely distributed.
- Black Nozzle – this nozzle is used in conjunction with chemicals and cleaning solutions.
As a rule of thumb when selecting nozzles, the smaller the angle of the fan spray, the more concentrated the power is, and the wider the fan spray, the lesser and highly distributed the power is. When changing nozzles during use, make sure to turn off the unit first and make sure that the nozzle you replaced it with is tight and secure before turning the unit back on.
2. Using Chemicals – when using chemicals, make sure to use only those that are approved for pressure washer use. Most pressure washer units come with a chemical injector that allows the continuous flow of cleaning formulation into the water stream. If you use any chemical or detergent on the unit, you may risk damaging your unit prematurely.
3. Testing the Power – when pressure washing, always test the unit for its power first. The ideal way to do this would be to start pressure washing from a distance of 10 feet and slowly narrowing that distance to at least 3 to 4 feet. If you notice too much power than you really need or the spray may potentially damage the surface you want to clean, you may spray from a distance to lessen the force or change nozzle to distribute the power. When test spraying, make sure to move the spray from side-to-side to see if the surface is being cleaned. When pressure washing, it is always a good idea to spray from distance at first so you can check the power and effect of the pressure washer as compared to starting immediately at near point blank range.
4. Preparing what to Clean – before pressure washing, make sure you know what you want and what part to clean. Knowing this will enable you to prepare the surface as well as the surrounding area of what you want to clean. This would include removing any unstable items that may get blown or toppled over by the highly pressurized stream of water, wetting any foliage that may get damaged if you will be using chemicals, or identifying the current condition of the surface you want to clean.
5. Pressure Washing – this is actually similar to painting walls. When pressure washing, you need to do one area first before going to the next. Randomly spraying surfaces will always make you miss a certain spot or area and is not recommended if you want a complete and thorough wash. To prevent you from doing this, try to cover a 3 to 5 feet area first before proceeding to the next. Also, when pressure washing particularly dirty surfaces, make sure to start from the top and work your way downwards. This will help to prevent dirty water from trickling or streaking over an already clean area.
6. Pause before Rinsing – when using detergent or cleaning solutions to help you with the cleaning process, it is important that you give time to allow the detergent or solution to work its magic. Usually, it is recommended to allow chemicals to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Just make sure it does not sit too long or that it dries out before you rinse the surface. Once it is time to rinse, make sure to start from the top part of the area and work your way rinsing downwards.