Is the exterior of your home looking a bit grimy? Has someone written, “Wash me” on the dust on your car? Then it is time for a wash but that doesn’t mean waiting for the rain or heading to a car wash. A pressure washer can provide some amazing cleaning power all around your home. Once you’ve mastered the power washer you’ll wonder what took you so long to utilize this popular device. Many hardware stores will rent you a pressure washer. This can give you a good chance to try them out before investing in one of your own. Here’s what you need to become a pressure washing pro:

Two Kinds

There are two kinds of power washers: Electric or gas. They both operate on the same physics principle of having a pump pressurize way as it flows through a hose. That water source will be your own garden hose. To make a pressure washer work, it needs that steady flow of water. Most folks find that a washer that has a PSI range between 1,300 to 2,400 is all that is needed for most cleanup jobs.

The Nozzles

If you use a nozzle on your garden hose, then you understand how the spray nozzles for a pressure washer works. Each one has a different task and pattern. Wider sprays are great for using detergents while the narrow blast is for knocking off stains. Because most manufactures know that pressure washers will often be used by first-timers, they make switching between nozzles easy.

Cleaning the Home Exterior

Despite what you might think, a pressure washer isn’t meant for stripping paint. In fact, you want to use it in such a way that you’re not going to damage whatever siding you have up. If you have paint that is already peeling, then you might be better off getting a fresh paint job.

To clean the house, you should lay a tarp around the foundation to protect any plants and catch any debris that might wash off. You don’t want to have the washer wand directly blasting your siding. Instead, hold it at a 45-degree angle and find the best distance from your home to be effective with the spray. You can use an extension on the wand to reach up to the high parts of your home.

Even at a low setting, pressure washers aren’t meant to cleaning windows. They could break with a single blast.

Using Detergents

Pressure washers are great to use with detergents. You just want to make sure you’ve got the right type of detergent for your washer. The place who is selling/renting your washer will have the best recommendations. Your pressure washer can come with a brush attachment to help disperse the detergent. This is good for washing cars, boats and RVs.

You might first want to loosen the dirt with some water and then tackle it with the detergent. Once the foam is active, let it sit there for a few moments before rinsing off with the water.

It is always a good idea to run a small test with the washer so you can get a feel for it before taking on the project. Wearing goggles is recommended. And it shouldn’t be used as a toy. Don’t ever spray someone with a pressure washer or put your hand in front of the stream. Happy washing!