How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely and Efficiently

Pressure washers can efficiently remove the hard work of any cleaning task – and they do that by blasting out a water jet that is powerful enough to knock away any dirt from any surface. Plus, they will do that by using less water than any other garden hose – allowing you to save on water while you are at it as well.

Still, in order to reap the most out of a pressure washer, you will have to learn how to use it properly. To prevent any danger and damage, you might want to familiarize yourself with this guide before turning the unit on.

Preparations When Using a Power Washer

Preparations When Using a Power WasherWhen you are using a power washer, it is not all about how you use the actual unit – turning it on and doing the actual washing. It’s also about how you prepare for it. When preparing to use the power washer, here are the steps that you should follow.

1. Use the Correct Attire

Pressure washers use a fair amount of force – which is why you need to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate safety gear. Protective footwear is a must, as are safety goggles.

When it comes to footwear, make sure that you have a pair of boots with the rubberized sole. This will help minimize the risk of falling when you are slipping on a wet surface. Ideally, you should also have a pair of long pants and a shirt with long sleeves, in order to keep your limbs protected from flying debris and dirt.

2. Protect the Breakables

If you have any breakable objects or plants nearby, you may want to take them out of the way during the cleaning process. This will keep them from being damaged by stray debris, dirt – or even water. If you cannot move them, try to find a waterproof cover that can keep them protected.

3. Ready the Power Washer

If you are using a gas power washer, take it and fill it with gasoline and engine oil. After that, hold onto the start grip, after which you pull it in order to get the engine going. Depending on the unit, you might have to check a gas pressure washer buying guide or two – just so you know how you’ll have to start your unit.

On the other hand, if you are the owner of an electric power washer, you need to plug it into an outlet that has been properly grounded.

4. Connect the Garden Hose

Take a garden hose and connect it to the water inlet of the pressure washer. To avoid any damage to the pump, you may want to turn the water supply on first. You may do so either by connecting directly to the tap or a bucket.

If you want extra cleaning power, you may also fill the bucket with detergent. Some units will have special tanks designed for soap, so make sure that you do your homework first.

5. Attach the Spray Tip

When you’re setting up the power washer, you may want to use the right spray tip. First of all, if you are planning on using detergent, there are certain spray tips that will allow you to do so. Similarly, depending on the object that you are planning on cleaning, you might want to choose the correct spray tip.

For instance, if you want to clean a more delicate object, a wider spray tip will be much safer compared to a 0-degree one.  Generally speaking, the spray tips are color-coded so that you know whether you may use them for heavy-duty or light-duty work.

Operating the Pressure Washer

Now that you have safely set up your pressure washer, you must learn how to use it correctly. Not only will this protect the actual pressure washer, but it will also protect the surfaces that you plan on cleaning.

1. Position the Spray Tip

When positioning the spray tip, you should leave at least two feet (0.6 m) between it and the surface that you are planning to clean. You may gradually “test the waters” after that and see if you may move closer as you go. Bear in mind that if you keep the tip closer than 12 inches (0.3 m) to the surface, you risk damaging it beyond repair.

2. Place the Nozzle at a 45 Angle

It might be very tempting to keep the nozzle in a straight angle – but this may only send the debris flying your way. To avoid this from happening, hold the nozzle of your power washer at a 45-degree angle. This will knock any flying debris away from you. Once you have achieved the correct position, pull the trigger and begin spraying the water on your surface.

3. Move the Spray

While spraying, move the nozzle in a side to side motion. So as to not damage the surface or clean it unevenly, make sure that you are not spraying for too long in the same place. Try to spray everything evenly and swiftly. The pressure should help you get rid of the dirt rather quickly.

4. Apply the Detergent

Now that everything is nice and wet, it is time for you to apply the detergent. Start low, and then move upward. Once it has soaked the surface for about 3 minutes, rinse it off. Don’t leave it for too long, as it might dry and be more difficult to remove.

5. Flush the System

Once you have finished using the power washer, make sure to flush the system to prolong its longevity. Each manufacturer will have its own instructions.

Summing Up

A power washer might seem intimidating in the beginning – but as long as you follow the correct steps, you should not have any problems using it. Read the manual provided by the manufacturer, and you should be able to get your start. For more information, you may also visit our home page.

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