Simple Pressure Washing Tips

Simple Pressure Washing Tips

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.

Pressure Washing Driveways

Pressure Washing Driveways

The cleanliness of the exterior of our homes, which includes the garden, deck, patio, and even driveway, can reflect our perspective towards cleanliness. When it comes to cleaning the garden, deck, and patio, often you need professional help as maintaining them can be very difficult. The driveway on the other hand is an exemption as it doesn’t take a lot of knowledge to clean the driveway, just the right cleaning tools and equipment. To clean the driveway effectively and efficiently, you will need a pressure washer. The pressure washer is the best cleaning equipment ever created and it will help you accomplish your task of cleaning your driveway much better and in less time.

In the past, cleaning the driveway meant you had to sweep and hose it with water. There are even times you need to scrub oil spill with brush and soap just to remove the stain. This takes a lot of time and energy which is why many homeowners take a pass when it comes to cleaning their driveway whenever possible. However, with a pressure washer, what used to be hours of cleaning is reduced into minutes as it enables you to thoroughly clean your driveway with every pass of the highly pressurized stream of water.

If you do not have a pressure washer, you have the option of renting or buying one, although it is often recommended to buy one instead of renting as renting one can cost somewhere between 30 to 60 dollars, while buying an entry level unit will only cost you around 120 dollars. Once you have your own pressure washer, you will be able to clean whenever you want to and not wait until you have a lot of cleaning task just to get the most out of a rented pressure washer.

When buying your first pressure washer, you will have the option of choosing between a gas pressure washer and an electric pressure washer. Both types have their own advantages as well as significant disadvantages. Gas-powered pressure washers are very powerful and are used for an assortment of commercial and industrial cleaning applications. Their main advantage is that they can be used on remote locations without the need to be connected to the grid for power. Another advantage is that size-for-size a gas pressure washer can generate more power than an electric one. Despite its advantages, a gas pressure washer also has significant disadvantages. One of the most notable disadvantages of a gas pressure washer is that they cannot be used on enclosed spaces as the fume coming out of the combustion engine can be lethal if exposed to for prolonged periods. Other disadvantages would include high noise levels and more maintenance requirement. Electric pressure washers on the other hand are gaining popularity with homeowners as they are less expensive, have low noise levels, require little maintenance, and they can be used on enclosed spaces. Their most significant disadvantage on the other hand is that they constantly need to be connected to a power supply in order to run. This means you cannot use an electric pressure washer unit on remote locations without any electricity.

When it comes to pressure washing driveways, usually, a pressure washer that is able to generate more power is recommended. However, since your pressure washer unit is not just meant for cleaning the driveway, having too much power may damage the other surfaces you will be using the unit with. Therefore, a unit with a power rating of 1,500 to 3,000 PSI is highly sufficient. The only problem with the lower rating is that it will take a bit more time to clean than with the more powerful ones.

When cleaning your driveway, it is recommended to start from the garage going down to the street. This way, you have direction in which way you want to go and sweep off the dirty water towards the end of your goal. Before pressure washing the driveway though, you first need to remove any twigs, small rocks or debris that the highly pressurized stream may blow off and possibly ricochet towards you. Once you are done with that, you can start pressure washing your driveway. Make sure to spray in a sweeping pattern and concentrate the stream only if there are stains that need to be removed. If the stain seems difficult to remove and you know that your pressure washer unit comes with a chemical and detergent dispenser, then you can use that to hasten the removal of the stain. If a stain is really bad, you may need to pre-treat it with chemicals before pressure washing it. When pressure washing the other paved surfaces of the driveway that are not stained, just make sure you cover the whole area and pressure wash it more than once to get a real clean.

High Quality Pressure Washers

If you want your pressure washer unit to perform effectively even after years since its purchase, then you need to buy a unit with quality components. Most mid-end to high-end pressure washers from well-known manufacturers make their units using high-grade components that are capable of withstanding tough cleaning tasks.

When buying your pressure washer, the first thing you would want to consider would be their housing. Regardless of type, they need to be housed in a robust casing that can withstand chipping and most chemicals. Aluminum housings and low grade plastic housings can wear down quickly which further decreases the lifespan of the unit. If you are going for a hot water or a steam unit, then there is no alternative to stainless steel housing. This will make the unit a heavy duty and corrosion free.

If mobility is your top consideration, then you should aim for models with wheels or trolleys so you can move them around quickly. Just make sure that the wheels they have are strong and reliable so they can withstand wear and tear when subjected to demanding conditions. Trailer mounts or truck mounts are recommended for heavier units to enhance their mobility.