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.
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.