Using a Pressure Washer

The spring cleaning ritual is as much a part of the season as baseball, rain showers and tulips. Tackling winter-weary home exteriors and yards covered with layers of dirt, salt, moss and mildew is at the top of the spring cleaning to-do list, and timesaving tips and efficient products are key. That's why more and more do-it-yourselfers looking for the right tool to make the job easier and faster choose pressure washers to clean up outdoor dirt.

Pressure washers wash away dirt and grime in a fraction of the time it would take using a traditional hose, bucket and scrub brush. What is a pressure washer and how does it work? Simply put, a pressure washer combines an electric motor or gas engine with a pump to turn an ordinary garden hose into a high-powered cleaning machine. An injection system adds cleaning solutions to the mix for even more effective cleaning action. In addition, adjustable spray wands allow pressure washers to adapt to different cleaning applications and fixed or rotating brush kits help loosen stubborn dirt.

For example, aluminum or vinyl siding looks better and lasts longer when it is cleaned regularly, but an ordinary garden hose does not do an effective job, and getting up on a ladder to scrub it by hand is exhausting, time-consuming and dangerous. A pressure washer does the job better, faster and easier and, as a result, it even becomes fun.

Another benefit is the multitude of uses for this tool. "Homeowners find that once they purchase their pressure washer, it has many more uses than they ever imagined, from dousing the dog kennel to cleaning the lawn mower to blasting the garage floor," says Lemont. Following are favorite uses according to a January 2000 consumer focus group conducted by Generac Portable Products:

The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Jobs for a Pressure Washer

  1. House exterior cleaning/Painting surface preparation
  2. Deck/Patio
  3. Driveway/Sidewalk
  4. Car/Motorcycle
  5. Garage floor
  6. Fence
  7. Outdoor furniture
  8. Lawnmower/Garden equipment
  9. Garbage can/Recycling bin
  10. Dog kennel
  11. Boat
  12. All terrain vehicles

This helpful article was provided by community member Christopher Schulteis.