Pressure Washer Buying Guide (How to Choose the Best?)

When it comes to outdoor cleaning, nothing can beat a quality pressure washer. With the ability to increase water pressure 10 times higher than a normal hose; reduce water usage and clean efficiently, a pressure washer is the solution to all your cleaning needs. However, it takes good research to know which model, size and type of pressure washer will work well for you.

Some pressure washers for example will clean oil and grease effectively but they will have issues cleaning in between tiles and at the corners. Some emit too much smoke but they are real dirt demolishing machines. For the above reasons, the following guide is meant to help you choose the best pressure washer. For a more complete guide on how to choose the best pressure washer for your needs, you can also consult the Top Pressure Washers site.

pressure washer buying guide

Gas versus Electric Powered Pressure Washer

Gas Pressure Washers

It is either you are planning to buy a gas powered or an electric powered gas pressure washer. Gas powered pressure washers are pretty much very common in the market because they have been around long before their electric powered counterparts were invented. Gas pressure washers are also very common among professionals because of their high power advantages. A good gas pressure washer will cruise through gum and grease without chemical solutions and still make the surface spot clean. They will handle a wide variety of areas because they are not limited by cords.

On the downside, gas pressures are really noisy. They are heavy, messy and require regular care like winterizing. The fact that they also emit fumes makes them less appealing to work with.

Electric Powered Gas Pressures

With people adopting environmental friendly technology, electric powered pressure washers are slowly gaining popularity among DIY users. They are cheap and efficient for the small jobs you need done at home. They light, easy to carry and very convenient. A good electric pressure washer will be quiet, easy to maintain and have no emissions.

However, keep in mind that most of these pressure washers are designed to handle light duty and medium duty jobs.

Pressure Washer Features to Consider

Power

While electric pressure washers are considered less powerful pressure washers, below are specific pressure washer power details that will make you know whether they deserve a chance.

  • Power in a pressure washer is measured in terms of “Pounds per Square Inch.” The higher the PSI number, the more pressure the washer can deliver. However, the power is better understood when put into comparison with the pressure washer’s Gallons per minute flow rate. The GPM is the amount of water jetted out per minute. A powerful pressure washer will have both a high GPM and PSI.
  • A quality light duty pressure washer will have PSI of 1300-1800 and 1.5 GPM. A medium pressure washer ranges at 2000-3000 PSI and 2.5 GPM. A professional pressure washer on the other hand has 3000+PSI with a GPM of above 2.5.

Spray Nozzles

It is one thing to have a powerful pressure washer, it is another thing altogether to have a pressure washer that handles the exact cleaning needs you have. Pressure washers clean different surfaces because of the nozzles fitted at the forefront of their hoses. A quality modern pressure washer will have replaceable or adjustable spray nozzles to make it versatile. The following four are the main types of nozzles you should check in an ideal pressure washer:

  • 400 Nozzle. It is the low pressure nozzle you can use when cleaning soft areas with low dirt.
  • 250 Nozzle. Helps you clean general surfaces, at a moderate pressure rate.
  • 150 nozzle. Works well for heavy duty high traffic areas. It also helps reach high fences and clean dirt in between cracks.
  • 00 Nozzle. It is the most powerful nozzle. It jets out water at an extremely high pressure to help clean hard to reach areas and the most affected places.

Convenience

Look for a pressure washer that offers you the most convenience while you clean. Consider the weight, size and presence of features that will reduce fatigue. Settle for a light pressure washer or one with a wheel kit and an ergonomic handle to keep you comfortable as you do your job. Also, pay attention for accessories and high-tech features that could improve your experience working with the particular pressure washer.

How to Use a Pressure Washer?

A garden hose is a good cleaner for an area with little dirt. However, compare it to a pressure washer and you will realize that you should never use a hose to clean your patio or driveway ever again. The cheapest pressure washer for example costs less than $100. Yet, it produces up to five times more pressure than a hose and will deliver far much better cleaning.

But as good as the pressure washer is, it is also dangerous. Statistics show that up to 6,000 people report for pressure washer related injuries every year. Thousands of others pay professionals to do jobs they could easily handle while at home. Below we look at how you should use a pressure washer and tips to ensure that you do it safely.

how to use a pressure washer

Wear Protective Gear

Put on your gumboots, your safety goggles and gloves. Ensure that the gumboots are well treaded to protect you when cleaning in slippery areas. Wearing long pants is not a requirement, but it will help you from getting dirtied by the debris and soil that will fly as you clean your car.

For a gas powered pressure washer:

  • Put the pressure washer on a flat surface and check its water restrainers for debris or dirt.
  • Connect the washer to the garden hose and the garden hose to the water source.
  • Assemble the different parts of the pressure washer. Connect the high pressure hose to the water outlet in the machine’s outlet. Install the right nozzle for the job by pulling the collar in between the gun and wand assembly.
  • Turn on the water source.

Don’t start the machine yet. Check if the pressure washer has enough oil and fuel. Ensure that all of the pressure washer’s parts are attached onto place. Check that the fuel valve is open. Push the choke to the left, the throttle and then turn the engine on. If the machine is modern, it will have a push button for easy starting. However, the traditional method involves pulling a recoil start.

  • Prepare the area you need clean. When cleaning walls for example, shut the windows. The pressure from a pressure washer easily gets through small surfaces, which can mess the inside of your house. Remove small plants and flowers that could easily get damaged by the pressure.
  • Hold the gun firmly on one hand and the machine’s handle on the other. Push it near your target cleaning surface. Point it onto the area you want to clean and engage it. Note that you shouldn’t place the trigger too close to the surface. By contrast. Have a 2 feet distance with the surface you want to clean and only get closer if need be.
  • You can now clean your car, siding, driveway, patio, fence, gutters or anything that needs pressure washing. Always points the nozzle at 45 degrees or lower. This is meant to help push the debris away from you.

Cleaning Efficiently with the Pressure Washer

  • Clean one section at a time

    Different surfaces ask for a different nozzle. Know which nozzle should be used where and handle the area first. If you decide to start with greasy driveways, insert the zero degree nozzles. Clean thoroughly without having to use solutions and until all grease is eliminated. Adjust the nozzle to the medium 25 degree nozzle for cleaning normal areas or increase to 40 degrees when handling light areas.

  • Don’t use a ladder

    Modern pressure washers feature pretty long pressure hoses and power cords. They are also powerful to reach high fences; which is why no one needs a ladder to pressure clean anymore. Simply stand at a comfortable location and point the gun where you need clean.

  • Clean side to side

    Instead of focusing on a single place, move the spray side by side especially when cleaning on easily breakable materials.

Finally, observe safety measures whenever you use your pressure washer. Don’t use a gas pressure washer in an enclosed area for example. Always ensure that the power cord or its connection to the electrical source does not come into contact with water. Never point the pressure washer onto you, no matter how tempting it might be. And as always, store the machine in a safe place.

How to Steam Clean your Carpet?

Steam cleaning your carpet can do wonders on its overall appearance. Steam cleaning also eliminates stains completely, sanitizes and leaves your carpet neat and safe to step on. However, how you steam clean matters. Using the right cleaning solution, the right steam cleaner and using the right techniques is what brings a difference in the appearance of your carpet. The following guide explores the tools you need and the step by step guide to efficient steam cleaning.

Tools:

  • Steam cleaner
  • Cleaning solution
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Water
  • Debris collecting spatula

Step-by-Step Guide

how to steam clean your carpet

  1. Step One: Remove furniture and other items from the house

    Choose some quality time to clean your carpet. Preferably, consider steam cleaning on a sunny day or when it is not too humid as to affect your cleaning. Remove the furniture and all other pieces in there that may interfere with the cleaning process. Dust the baseboards and counters to prevent dust from bouncing onto the carpet as you clean them.

  2. Step two: Collect Debris and Vacuum clean

    Collect any visible debris that can easily be eliminated with the help of a spatula. After that, vacuum clean to further eliminate dust and stains that can be eliminated through vacuum cleaning. This will make your work very easy because you will simply pass the steam cleaner over the surfaces fast and do a great job.

  3. Step Three: Pretreat the Carpet

    This is a fairly debatable process if you have already vacuum cleaned the house. But when dealing with grease and really hard stuck gum, simply pretreat the area with your ideal cleaning solution. Depending on your carpet needs, use the right amount of cleaning solutions. Add water to the steam cleaner and prepare to steam clean.

  4. Step Four: Steam Clean

    Steam cleaning is a process. Choose your cleaning starting point wisely so that you don’t walk on it again. Clean as much as you can with the tricks and techniques you know. For example, pay more attention to high traffic areas. Run the machine slowly in such areas, removing the stains and grease slowly. Move faster in softer, cleaner areas but make sure that you have steam cleaned all the cleaning solutions prior applied. If possible rinse out the carpet with clean water to ensure that chemical solutions are effectively removed from your carpet. If left untouched, chemical solutions will basically appear like dirty surfaces at the end of your job, making it appear like you did a shoddy job.

  5. Step Five: Dry out the Carpet

    If it sunny, open the windows and allow sun rays to help dry the carpet. If your steam cleaner has a powerful suction power, use it to ensure you leave your carpet dry. Leaving your carpet wet will attract mold and odors you wouldn’t want in your house.

Steam Cleaning Tips for Special Carpets

Although steam cleaning is easy and uncomplicated, you have to know several things to do it right. For example, you have to test a new cleaning solution before using it for the whole carpet. No matter how well rated the solution might be, it could be a nightmare for your carpet

  • Push the steam cleaner faster to lay water faster on the carpet but pull it back slowly to extract dirt more efficiently. Laying water slowly will lead to water wastage and a lot of time taken to extract it back.
  • When cleaning specific regions within the carpet, clean outward going inward. Do it in a circular motion to help prevent spreading the stain.
  • Steam Clean high traffic areas twice. Most people consider steam cleaning a two-step process. The first process is for laying in water and solutions while the second is for rinsing out water and sanitizing the carpet. The two-step process is more effective because it does not stop at rinsing water out. It ends with sanitization, at which point you can see that your carpet is all clean and beautiful.
  • Slide in pieces of aluminum foil under the legs of heavy furniture. This is meant to prevent water absorption by carpet-which can cause molds to develop in the long run.

Finally, learn how to keep the carpet clean. You can’t steam clean every day but you can keep your carpet all-looking fresh and attractive every day with good care.

How to Choose the Best Steam Cleaner?

Steam cleaning has been growing in popularity in the past few years. A recent study notes that most people today prefer using steam cleaners to eliminate grease and bacteria over everything else. The most common types of steam cleaners are those that don’t use detergent. But as popular as steam cleaners are, finding the one that best suits your home or business’s needs is not easy. There are many brands and types of cleaners you have to choose from.

Steam Cleaner Types

steam cleaner typesBasically, steam cleaners are categorized into three: handheld, mop and cylinder. However, the steam cleaners can go by different names depending on additional attachment fitted on the device

Handheld Steam Cleaner

Handheld steam cleaners are small and easy to carry. They are also cheap; which is why you should check them out. In most cases, manufacturers design handheld cleaners in a compact design for easy transportation and storage. The best thing about these devices however is their ease in eliminating dirt and minor stains in your house. They will make your carpet cleaning process effortless and leave it spot free most of the time. If you decide to buy a low budget handheld steam cleaner as your first cleaning device, keep the following in mind:

  • They are best suited for small areas.
  • They are easy to store and use
  • They are not efficient in eliminating hard stains and grease.

Steam Mops

If you want a steam cleaner for the floors only, buying a steam mop may not be a bad idea. Featuring a long stick-like handle and a steam powered mop on the lower end, these cleaners are simplistic in nature. Using a steam mop is also easy. For the most part, a steam mop will have a water tank attached onto it or work with an external steam bucket attached to its handle. The best steam mop features an on-board water reservoir.

Like their handheld counterparts, steam mops are often light and cheap. They are great eco-friendly cleaners, noting that most of them don’t use chemical cleaners. Depending on the brand however, you may find an expensive steam mop that also features extra parts and accessories.

Features to Consider:

  • Affordable and eco-friendly
  • Lightweight and small
  • Great floor sanitizers
  • Not good for cleaning counters and hard to reach areas.
  • Hold small water reservoirs need to be refilled frequently for large cleaning projects.

Cylinder Steam Cleaners

Larger and heavier than most other steam cleaners, cylinder steam cleaners are a professional’s best cleaner.  They are very efficient at eliminating dirt and grease, hard stains or virtually anything that needs to be cleaned at your home. The reason for their heavy nature lies in their big water reservoirs that are designed to help you handle large areas without refilling the tank too frequently. On the other hand, cylinder steam cleaners tend to feature multiple accessories to aid in cleaning different surfaces. Some of these accessories make them really good at cleaning the dirt at hard to reach areas while some accessories will help you clean under the beds without having to strain your back.

If you decide to buy this cleaner, keep the following in mind:

  • The cleaners offer a lot of versatility and can help you clean numerous areas with great efficiency.
  • Comes with multiple accessories to make your work easier
  • They are more expensive than other steam cleaners
  • Not the best cleaners in offering mobility and ease of storage.

Tip to Buy the Best Steam Cleaner

steam cleaner buying guideSize and Weight

Steam cleaners can vary greatly in terms of weight and size. Settle for a light and easy to carry steam cleaners if you can’t manage to push around a heavy device for hours.

Pressure and Temperature

The amount of steam pressure your ideal cleaner generates can help you know if it will suit your needs. The same goes with temperature reach. If you want to buy a fast cleaning and efficient device, go for one that has a high temperature reach and can generate more steam pressure.

Noise Production

Consider buying the quietest, efficient cleaner you can find. They will make the maintenance of your carpet a breeze. You will know the device’s noise production by checking for its decibel levels or by going through online reviews of the product.

Finally, considering the mentioned features to look for, also go for an easy to use device that offers you the convenience of cleaning your floors without having to make frequent refills.

Other useful guide we recommend checking out if you’re looking for the best steam cleaner is the Top Steam Cleaners site. There they have a handful of guides of how to choose the best unit for your needs and also they feature reviews of the best rated products.

Carpet Maintenance and Cleaning Advice

Every time you step on your dirt ridden carpet; you grind sharp dust mites onto one another, forcing them to tear the fibers that make up your carpet one step at a time. If your carpet is still new, dirt and dust will rob it off its beauty-making the once beautiful carpet dull and ugly. Fortunately, you can protect your carpet by following these maintenance tips.

Cleaning Advice

carpet cleaning advice

Vacuum Often and Correctly

Vacuuming is the one thing everyone knows need to be done to keep a carpet in the right condition. Don’t ignore it. Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner and make it a habit to clean your carpet regularly. Learn a few vacuum cleaning tricks to ensure that you adequately clean out dirt from high traffic areas with great efficiency. Vacuum slowly where there is grease and stuck stains and increase your vacuuming speed in low traffic areas.

Use Mats

Invest in coarse-textured mats for use outside your doors. They will help keep soil and debris away from your carpet; easing your carpet cleaning work. To ensure you prevent as much dirt from getting onto your carpets, avoid getting into the house in shoes. Keep pets away from your house if possible. Pets are especially notorious at are dragging dirt back to your carpets.

Invest in a Steam Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner alone is not good enough to help keep your synthetic carpets clean. This is because vacuum cleaners only tend to eliminate the dirt on the surfaces, leaving the stains stuck inside the fibers intact. A steam cleaner on the other hand offers a cheaper and more efficient solution for maintaining your carpet. With a good detergent tank, the cleaner treats your dirty carpet and uses steam to clean out any dirt or dust wearing your carpet out.

Consider Professional Cleaning

While buying a steam cleaner and doing the job seems like the most cost-effective option, it may not e the best decision for your carpet. How well you clean depends a lot on the type of steam cleaner you have. Unfortunately, different types of carpets respond differently to steam cleaning. Some require cleaners with special attachments, while others will need to be handled with special chemicals. Cleaning a carpet efficiently is therefore a complicated process. It asks for a professional with the right steam cleaner and the right skills to do it well. Call a professional cleaner at least twice in a year therefore, and have them handle your carpet in the most efficient way.

Carpet Maintenance Tips

carpet maintenance

  • Treat dirty and stain affected areas immediately. With liquid stains especially, treat the area immediately before they get absorbed by carpet fibers. Cleaning dirt immediately tends to make the carpet stay new and beautiful for longer.
  • Remove solid stains physically with a spoon and then vacuum clean the area for complete cleaning.
  • Use approved carpet treatment solutions only. Use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning solutions if possible. Alternatively, research to find out what solutions work well with your specific type of carpet. Again, follow carpet treatment procedures whenever possible.
  • Use the right vacuum cleaner for the job always. Cut pile carpets, for example, require an upright cleaner.
  • Always pretreat high traffic areas. If you use a steam cleaner, pretreat high traffic areas to make it easier to remove hard stuck dirt and grease. Pretreating also saves your energy as you don’t have to dwell on the same area for long.
  • Avoid dragging furniture around. Besides cleaning, maintain your carpet by avoiding damages caused by furniture dragging. Always lift the chairs when you want to move them around. If too heavy, install Aluminum foil squares underneath the legs of chairs and tables. This will also help prevent the transfer of metal stains and finishes from dampening your carpet.
  • Never over wet a carpet. Never overestimate the power of your steam cleaner’s suction power. Most low budget steam cleaners are weak in suctioning steam, which will often leave your carpet wet. This in turn exposes the carpet to molds and bacteria that could affect it in the long run.

It is impossible to live inside a house and never dirty the carpet. However, always acting quickly on stains and dirt can help you ensure that your carpet maintains its beautiful looks for a very long time.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

Wondering what carpet cleaning method you should use on your carpet? Here is a guide to help you out. Carpet cleaning is basically divided into two: Dry cleaning and wet cleaning. Each of these methods has its own pros and cons-and areas where it is best applicable. Below we look into these details to help you understand when and where you should use a particular carpet cleaning method.

Wet Cleaning:

carpet steam cleaning

  1. Steam Cleaning

    Often associated with steam cleaning, wet cleaning is any method where water/steam is used in the cleaning process. Usually, the carpet is first treated with a cleaning solution before the carpet is cleaned using a steam cleaner. Note that the water has to be heated to produce steam. It is also pressurized to enable it get absorbed into the carpets before it can then be extracted.

    Pros

    • Efficient for removing hard stuck stains and grease off the carpet.
    • Cheap and recommended by carpet manufacturers.
    • Involves the extraction of cleaning solutions to leave the carpet sparkling clean.
    • Uses less water than a normal mop or brush.
    • Steam cleaners are cheap and easy to maintain.

    Cons

    • Weak steam cleaners have long drying time and tend to leave your carpet wet. However, stronger steam mops have high suctioning power to extract all the water from your carpet.
  2. Bonnet

    Cleaning carpets with a solution absorbent pad was a common method before the advent of steam cleaners. It is still popular in some homes-often used as a backup carpet cleaning method. Basically, the method involves first vacuuming the carpet or eliminating any visible dirt. A solution is then sprayed on the affected regions. The carpet is allowed to absorb the solution before a rotary machine with the absorbent is run over to do the cleaning.

    Pros

    • Cheap and easy to use.
    • Efficient at eliminating lightly dirty carpets

    Cons

    • Inefficient at removing hard stuck stains
    • Leaves a lot of dirt and debris inside the carpet fibers.

Dry Cleaning

carpet dry cleaningDry cleaning is a newer carpet cleaning technology and another good method for carpet maintenance that is yet to reach the popularity of steam cleaning. It involves the use of biodegradable materials that can absorb dirt and grease from your carpet. To ensure that the materials reach the dirt and stains stuck into the fibers of your carpet-you use a motorized machine with counter-rotating pads on the lower end. Afterwards, you can vacuum clean to remove the biodegradable materials that have already absorbed dirt.

  1. Powder Cleaning

    Instead of using a chemical solution, this method applies a non-liquid cleaning solution to clean carpets. In most cases, this solution is usually powder. The powder is spread all over the affected area once visible debris is collected from the carpet. After a few minutes of letting the carpet absorb the powder, dirt and invisible stains are cleaned using a machine attached with counter-rotating brushes. Afterwards, vacuum cleaning is done for an efficient cleaning job.

    Pros

    • Easy to do even when you’ve never used the machine before.
    • Has a fast drying rate because of the absence of wet cleaning solutions.

    Cons

    • Tends to cause dust buildup.
    • Powder often gets trapped in some carpets.
    • Can’t clean hard stuck stains.
  2. Dry Shampoo Cleaning

    The method works almost the same as with powder cleaning. It involves the use of a dry shampoo cleaning agent which is spread across the carpet after you remove visible dirt. You then using a machine attached with counter-rotating brushes to whip it into the carpet. After several minutes, you vacuum clean your carpet for a better, stain-free appearance.

    Pros

    • Fast and easy to do method.
    • Has a fast dry time due to lack of liquid cleaning solutions.
    • Easily removes top surface dirt and stains.

    Cons

    • If shampoo is not properly whipped, it can cause excess wetness on the carpet.
    • Does not offer thorough cleaning especially for hard stuck stains and grease

Which Method is better?

Technically, both dry cleaning and wet cleaning are efficient carpet cleaning methods. What differs however is the degree of efficiency. Dry cleaning is inefficient in removing hard stuck stains-which is why it is better off used for routine cleaning. Wet cleaning on the other hand can be tedious, but it is efficient to clean your carpet when it matters the most.