How to Use a Pressure Washer: 5 Tips for Beginners

It’s the right time of year for cleaning up the house and yard. If you’re ready to get a pressure washer to do the hearty cleanup, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind.

Learning how to use a pressure washer isn’t hard when you pay attention to the selection process and the safety guidelines during the process. Here are the top 5 tips to help you get the job done.

1. Choose the Right Size

Pressure washers come built for different uses. One of the best pressure washing tips is to select the one that will work best for the jobs you have in mind. For light-duty jobs like small garden fixtures, the patio, or other small jobs, use a light-duty pressure washer around 2000 PSI.

You can also find medium-duty pressure washers and heavy-duty ones. Medium jobs include siding and fencing, as well as short driveways. Larger concrete pads or two-story homes are heavy-duty jobs (up to 3300 PSI).

Anything larger than these types of jobs is something to hire out. Professional power washers have better equipment to handle the large jobs.

2. How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely

Using a power washer requires some safety tips to help you handle the machine, especially if you’ve never used one before. It’s a good idea to use protective gear like goggles and gloves. Be sure to handle it with both hands until you’re sure that you can use it confidently with only one.

Check for lead paint on the surfaces you’ll be washing. Anything from before 1978 will likely have lead in it, so you should have it tested. Let the professionals handle hazardous surfaces with lead.

3. Select a Nozzle

If you’re wondering how to use a power washer, you probably don’t know that there are different types of nozzles. Based on the job, you may want a specialized nozzle. Luckily, they are color-coded to help you choose the right angle.

White nozzles have a 40-degree spray. These are the most popular.

Red nozzles are zero degrees, the narrowest option and harshest stream. Yellow and green are 15- and 25-degree sprays, respectively. Black nozzles produce a 65-degree spray, the gentlest.

4. Shop Around

If you buy the first pressure washer you find, you won’t know if you’re getting a piece of junk or the best pressure washer on the market. Be sure to do your research so you can compare options. Look at reviews for models like the Sun Joe pressure washer and other similar choices so you can be sure you’re buying the right tool that will last for years.

5. Customize Your Technique

Based on the types of pressure washers you choose and the surface you’re cleaning, there are plenty of specific tips for the job. Get help from the experts about which nozzle to use for concrete, wood, siding, and other surfaces. If you don’t get specific, you can damage or destroy the very thing you were hoping would look brand new again.

Cleaning Like a Pro

Now that you know the basics of how to use a pressure washer, you can get more detailed based on the surfaces you’re cleaning. Select the right tool and the right nozzle for the surface you’re focusing on to make sure it’s clean but not stripped.

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Be sure to stick to the safety tips above to help you stay safe while you work on your project.

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