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Pressure Washing Tips, Tricks And Techniques

February 14, 2020 by Straight

If there’s an outdoor cleaning task that needs to be done, it’s quite likely that a power washer is the right tool for the job. Pressure washers are perfect for washing cars, your home’s siding, lawn and garden furniture, and more.

If you need to repaint siding or a piece of outdoor furniture, a power washer can be used to blast old paint before applying a new coat. They’re also great tools for removing the layer of grime that builds up on driveways and sidewalks. No matter what job you want to do, there are a few basics you’ll need to know, so here are some pressure washing tips to keep in mind.

Avoid Common Mistakes With These Power Washing Tips 

Pressure washers are powerful tools, which means that no matter what you clean, you must take some precautions. First of all, make sure you choose the right nozzle for the job. Different materials can stand up to different amounts of pressure. A zero-degree jet nozzle, for instance, can gouge softer items like wood or fabric. For these types of surfaces, use wider fan nozzles. More powerful nozzles — such as narrow angle fan nozzles and turbo nozzles — can be used on tougher materials including concrete, brick and stone.

There are several pressure washing tips concerning safety, too:

  • Always wear safety glasses when using a power washer to prevent blown debris from getting into your eyes.
  • Be sure to add ear plugs as it will protect you from the sounds of pressure washing and also from flying debris.
  • Long pants and sturdy shoes will minimize impact should you accidentally spray yourself with the power washer or get hit with pieces of debris.
  • Speaking of which, never aim the power washer’s wand at yourself, anyone else or animals. The high-pressure flow will cause injuries!
  • Be careful around electrical equipment and outlets. It’s common to overlook outdoor light fixtures or electrical sockets when power washing, but remember that using water around these can lead to electrical shock.

Tips and Techniques to Operate a Pressure Washer

There’s a knack to using a pressure washer. With the right tips, however, it’s an easy tool to use. Once you have the power washer hooked up correctly and ready to go, here’s what you’ll need to know to start cleaning:

  • Power washer wands have some kickback when activated. Never use them on ladders and use a wide-footed stance to keep yourself from stumbling when starting the wand. Hold the wand with both hands, too.
  • Whatever you’re cleaning, hold the wand at a right angle to the object’s surface. This minimizes the chance of damage while providing the most cleaning power.
  • Work in small sections at a time, moving back and forth in a side-to-side motion, holding the wand’s tip between 1 and 2 feet from the surface. This is the ideal way to get the most from the power washer’s pressure without damaging what you’re cleaning.
  • Don’t let the power washer’s jet hover over any one area for too long. The goal is to blast dirt. If you move too slowly, you could accidentally damage the surface you’re cleaning. It’s better to revisit for a second pass, if needed.
  • Power washing can leave stripes at the outer edges of the spray pattern where less grime is blasted. Use overlapping strokes to avoid these stripes.

Another important step is to determine the appropriate cleansing products, which vary by the task at hand. For simple cleanup tasks, you may not need a detergent. The pressure washer’s power will be enough to remove the dirt. For tougher jobs, a specially designed cleaning agent may be required.

There are specific soaps available for concrete, vinyl siding, cars, etc. — so make sure to choose a power washing detergent solution appropriate for the job and follow the manufacturer’s instructions listed on the bottle. 

Now that you have a few power washing tips in mind, it’s time to get a quality power washer. Feel free to browse SIMPSON’s line of commercial and residential products. No matter what your power washing needs, we have a machine that will work for you.

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