A pressure washer is one of the most versatile tools in a person’s arsenal. They’re great for everything from washing cars to cleaning windows, but they can also be used for other purposes that you may not have considered before.
This blog post will outline what to look for in purchasing a pressure washer, as well as let you in on 11 brilliant pressure washer uses. If you’re like me and have rarely, if ever, used pressure washers, I’ll also provide step-by-step instructions on how to use one. We’ll start with a few simple hacks that anyone can do at home!
Need more ideas? Check out: How to Wash your Car at Home For Beginners or Easy Step by Step Guide for Cleaning your Car’s Interior
First, a word of caution: pressure washers can be an extremely powerful tool, especially if you have one of the more concentrated nozzles on. Always start with the least intense nozzle attachment on an area that you are pressure washing so you don’t risk damaging the surface. If it doesn’t seem to be getting clean, simply move up to a stronger nozzle attachment. There are so many pressure washer uses that will help you clean your home in a snap!
As with all power equipment, kids and animals should stay away from the area that you are pressure washing to avoid getting sprayed. Don’t spray your skin with a pressure washer either!
What are some things you can do with a pressure washer?
1. Washing Fabrics
Instead of using your household washing machine, you can use a pressure washer to launder any fabric. You’ll need water, soap, and bleach for this hack, so make sure that it’s thoroughly rinsed at the end of the process.
The types of fabrics you can wash with a pressure washer include outdoor rugs, outdoor pillows, patio cushions, and more.
Please note that depending on your pressure washer, you may need to use the right attachment for delicate fabrics. When in doubt, test a small area first! Pressure washers work best when used on surfaces made from tough materials such as concrete, stone pavers, and wood decks, so don’t expect miracles if you’re trying to get stains out of thin fabric like cotton T-shirts.
The higher pressure will remove dirt but won’t necessarily remove tough stains without getting them wetter than necessary first. A mixture of detergent and water is recommended so you’ll get the best clean possible.
PLEASE also use caution when attempting to wash fabrics with a pressure washer. If the pressure is too hard, you can actually tear holes in the fabric.
2. Garage Floors
Garage floors can get very dirty and this is one of my very favorite uses for a pressure washer. The garage is an extesion of your home and if your garage is really dirty, you better believe that the dirt, leaves and debris make their way into your house! It’s extremely easy to clean your garage frequently with this retractable pressure washer. I absolutely love mine!
3. Carpet Freshener
Your carpets are sure to be dirty after a long day of walking around on them. You could take your pressure washer with the nozzle on high pressure (and using a quality detergent) and spray down all over the carpeted areas before vacuuming!
This works well with large rugs as well! Remove them from your house to avoid getting your house wet, and spray down your rugs with your high-pressure hose. I do recommend checking a corner of your rug first to make sure it can handle the power washing before you use the high-pressure spray on the entire thing. You don’t want to ruin your rugs!
4. Outdoor Shower
If you have an outdoor shower that’s been neglected for too long, this hack will make it as good as new again. Simply use your power washer to wash away any dirt or debris until it looks pretty clean. Then scrub with soap and water afterward.
5. Window Cleaning Hack
This is another one that works if you don’t have access to any other tools or materials. You can still get some work done! All you need is a pressure washer and some water.
Simply spray the window with your pressure washer, then use paper towels or rags to wipe away any dirt! Start with low pressure to test how your windows will handle the power washing, and then work your way up to high pressure as needed.
6. Cleaning Grills
All you need for caked-on grills is a power washer. Spray down the grill until it’s nice and clean from all that grease and grime and oil stains before scrubbing it off with soap and water.
7. Wood Surface Cleaner
You don’t want those wood surfaces in your house getting dirty too easily, do ya? Using detergent on low pressure (or high if needed), simply take your pressure washer and spray a coat of soap onto the surface, then use a rag to wipe it all off.
8. Cleaning Rugs
We’ve talked about carpets, but did you know that pressure washers work wonders on rugs too? Just like with any other type of fabric, simply spray some detergent onto your rug and rub it gently with water before wiping it clean with dry paper towels or microfiber cloths.
9. Outdoor Furniture
This is one of my favorite pressure washer uses! A pressure washer might be just what your outdoor patio furniture needs! Use warm soapy water for this one (to avoid damaging wood). Spray down all surfaces until they’re nice and clean, then rinse well. Dry thoroughly afterward because you don’t want those pesky bugs crawling all over your clean furniture.
It is also recommended to do your patio furniture pressure washing in the morning or evening. Power washing your patio furniture in the afternoon means your outdoor furniture will be drying under the full heat of the sun. That might sound like a good thing, but rapid drying can lead to splintering. So to avoid splintering, do your pressure washing of outdoor furniture when the sun isn’t beating down too much.
10. Cleaning or Polishing Wood Floors
If you have a pressure washer with nozzles, use it to get deep into the grooves of wood floors and remove any old dirt or grime that’s been there for ages!
Don’t do this indoors though, because it could damage delicate wood flooring but this would work great on outdoor wood decks. Cleaning decks can go so much quicker with power washers.
11. Defrost Your Windshield
Ever wanted to know how those car detailers manage to make cars look so good? They’re using a pressure washer! Pressure washers work wonders on windshields, just be careful not to leave behind streaks from oversaturation.
Simply spray once in one direction across the surface, then rinse down with water before repeating the process until all ice is gone. Remember to start off on a low setting!
12. Quickly remove old paint
By blasting an object with water at high pressure. The paint will break up and separate from the surface, making it easy to remove.
13. Remove chewing gum
There’s nothing worse than trying to peel a piece of dried-out gum off some nice fabric with your fingernails! Simply wet down an area of chewed furniture, place a cloth on top then use the pressure washer nozzle like you’re painting over it. The water, combined with pressure, should be enough to loosen any sticky residue so that it can be easily peeled away without damaging anything or taking hours.
14. Clean stone surfaces
Stone is porous and absorbs dirt, which makes removing stains difficult unless they are still fresh (for example, red wine). A pressure washer blasts out tough dirt and stains.
15. Outdoor walkways and concrete
Pressure washers are great for cleaning walkways and concrete surfaces because they remove dirt without damaging the surface. If you’ve ever tried to pressure wash a paved area with your garden hose before, then you’ll know that it’s impossible! You won’t be able to reach every little nook and cranny of those areas which leaves them looking dirty after all your hard work, but not if you use a pressure washer.
16. Remove mildew
Sometimes you’ll find mildew growing on exterior walls in damp conditions in rainy climates like Seattle or Portland. To prevent its growth, simply blast off mold using the power of water pressure.
17. Clean a dirty patio umbrella
You can clean your dirty patio by spraying it down and then letting it dry in the sun. It’s easy for umbrellas to get dirty and dusty and a power washer takes all of the hard work out of an otherwise annoying task.
18. Wash the mud off your car
after a long trip through a remote country, your car can get really dirty. Sometimes the mud is caked on too much for just a spray wand or hose. In that case, you can turn to power washers. This is the perfect solution for car enthusiasts who enjoy babying their cars.
19. Mildew off of sidewalks
It’s not uncommon for mildew and mold to build up in humid climates, even on your driveway or sidewalks. Spraying it with a pressure washer will make your sidewalks look brand new in a matter of minutes. And it’s extremely satisfying to watch!
20. Spray down the exterior of your house
Houses endure a lot of things trying to protect us from the elements. So if you take a minute to look at your house’s exterior, you’ll be able to see that it’s most likely due for a cleaning. A retractable pressure washer makes it infinately easier to wash off your brick stucco or whatever exterior surface your house has.
21. Getting rid of spider webs
Sometimes spiders like to take up residence in high places of your house such as your exterior lights or under your eaves. A pressure washer can easily spray the spider webs away without even needing a ladder!
22. Garbage Cans
Garbage cans can get really disgusting, really fast! But a pressure washer enables you to clean that stink trash can without having to scrub it with a sponge. Just spray the inside of the trash can (you can even add in some detergent if you’d like) and then watch all of the dirt and yucky food spray away.
What specs should I look for when choosing a pressure washer?
There are many pressure washers available on the market. Some are more suited to your needs than others, depending on what you’ll be using it for and how often you plan to use it. Before making a purchase, consider whether or not pressure washing is something that will happen every week or only a couple of times a year.
I will say though, the more difficult and annoying the pressure washer is to use, the less frequently you will get it out….even if something needs to be cleaned. That’s why I’m pretty obsessed with my retractable pressure washer. It’s a breeze to use and it’s always ready to go. I don’t have to worry about tripping over 3 different hoses/cords everytime something needs to be cleaned.
The following are some things to keep in mind when comparing different models:
The Type of Surface Material
Ask yourself what you’ll be using your electric pressure washer for. You can’t spray concrete with an aluminum nozzle, so figure out what surfaces you’ll be using your pressure washer on see which type works best for those surfaces.
Higher pressure should give better results but also costs more money and requires more maintenance. Watch out for high static pressure ratings as well; they may cause damage over time if used incorrectly.
This rating refers to the volume of water that the pressure washer can produce per minute. The higher this rating is, the more powerful and faster it will operate. So the higher the GPM is, the quicker you can wash a surface.
One consideration to keep in mind with regards to drive type is whether or not you want a Honda engine (quieter but more expensive) or a Briggs & Stratton (a little louder, but usually more affordable). Either way, be sure to use ear protection while operating, as they are both very noisy!
You also want a power cord that is long enough to reach any area you need it in. It’s better if this cord retracts so you’re not tripping on it all day long!
Lastly, make sure it has variable spray nozzles this will allow you to use less pressure on more delicate surfaces or you can move up to use a more intense pressure for tough surfaces and stains.
How Much Do Pressure Washers Cost?
Pressure washer prices can range from $150 – $5000. The pressure washer you should invest in is one that will work for both your needs and budget.
I got mine from this brand. They have a comparison table that helps you see exactly what you’re getting with each model, which will help you find the perfect pressure washer for you! The Giraffe Tools pressure washers are affordable and work really well, and they also have a 2-year warranty, which is so nice to have when you’re making a larger purchase or buying a power tool!
How to Use a Pressure Washer
Here are some simple steps to follow for your first pressure washer use.
First, remember to operate the unit in a wide-open space, not indoors. Make sure that there are no people or animals nearby as they can be harmed by this device! Get familiar with how to operate it and what all of the parts do. Read through the instructions before you turn it on.
- Fill the pressure washer with water. Make sure to use cold water as it will be better for the environment and won’t harm plants or animals.
- Attach a hose to the pressure washer, then attach the other end of that hose to your water source (a garden hose connection, faucet, etc.).
- Determine what type of nozzle you want to use. The options are generally determined by how dirty the surface is that you’re cleaning (i.e., light-duty vs heavy-duty). You’ll need to decide if you want an adjustable pattern sprayer, rotary powerhead, or in some cases, hydro force units could be necessary too!
- Attach the hose end to your pressure washer and turn it on at its lowest setting, letting the water run down and over the surface you’re cleaning. Gradually increase pressure to the desired pressure needed.
- The types of motions you should do with the pressure washer depend on what type of nozzle you’re using. For rotary powerheads, you’ll want to use the left and right motions, while for an adjustable pattern sprayer, it’s best to go back and forth or up and down (depending on what pressure is needed).
- The distance from the object you are spraying is also something to consider. For example, if you’re using a pressure washer to clean your car, it’s best to be close and do back-and-forth-type motions. On other things you’re spraying with your pressure washers, such as a house or fence, you’ll want to be farther away from the object and use less pressure.
Types of Detergent to Use with Your Pressure Washer
Dish soap is a great option to deodorize items that are hard to remove odors from, such as laundry or garbage cans. All you need to do is mix the dish soap with water and fill your pressure washer with this mixture. Or if your pressure washer comes with a soap bottle, fill the bottle with soap and use the foam attachment.
For lighter-duty jobs, you can use just plain detergent instead of a more powerful substance like Dawn or degreaser which could damage certain surfaces or materials. You’ll want to follow the instructions on labels for dilution ratios as well when adding any type of detergent.
For tough jobs, you’ll want to find a solution with degreasing qualities such as Dawn or dish soap mixed in water. This will break down stains and grease very easily without damaging the surface at all.
Bleach can also be mixed with water in your pressure washer so you’re able to clean tough stains on concrete like oil spills.
Always be sure to check your pressure washer manual before you use any type of soap or cleaner to make sure this won’t ruin your unit.
The Benefits of Pressure Washing
Pressure washers are a great tool to have around. They can be used for so many purposes and they are easy to move from location to location when needed. If you want one of your own, make sure you take the right steps in order to get a quality product that will last!
When shopping for pressure washers, consider what you need it for most often because this will help narrow down which type is best suited for your needs. Don’t forget about things like warranties either. If something goes wrong with the machine before its warranty expires, contact customer service as soon as possible.
Find one that works best for you today and start enjoying all it has to offer tomorrow!