How to Choose and Use a Pressure Washer

There’s something undeniably therapeutic about pressure washing, and as a homeowner, it probably constitutes my favorite of all of the home maintenance pastimes. At least, it’s right up there with lawn mowing and mulching, both insta-gratifying. Just check out this slo-mo video—if that doesn’t get you excited about pressure washing, I don’t know what will.

We bought a new pressure washer this season, a 2700 max PSI gas-powered model (an upgrade from the little electric 1200 PSI model that I’ve had and appreciated and actually loved for nearly 5 years). The new washer is one tough cookie and a great addition to our outdoor arsenal. After reading many reviews and actually talking with people who own and appreciate more-powerful pressure washers, I was plenty certain in my decision to buy, and I picked up my own at the store last week for spring cleaning.

The Troy-Bilt 2700 max DPI pressure washer from Lowe's.

A pressure washer is great for cleaning any number of surfaces (even canvas and outdoor furniture cushions, but I started out by cleaning the unpainted back wall of my cement block garage, a surface prone to growing moss and unidentifiable grime.

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Step 1

 Open GalleryDirty backside of the cement block garage. Time to use the pressure washer!Start by clearing your working area. I raked free the garden bed that sits at the base of the wall so that the water from the spray would absorb right into the soil instead of soak into piles of leaves.

Step 2

 Open GalleryPressure washing the cement wall.Start your engines. Hook up your pressure washer to the hose. If necessary, load the washer with soap, affix the correct attachment (I used a 15-degree nozzle), and begin to spray down the surface.

Step 3

 Open GalleryCleaning cement block with a pressure washer.Work along the entire surface, keeping the spray of water angled at the surface (think of it as a scraper, and let the stream scrape the residue away). Angling the water also helps with backsplash, keeping you dry and clean of debris as you make your way along the wall. You’ll begin to see the transformation immediately, especially if your wall is as filthy as ours was.

Step 4

 Open GalleryClean cement after pressure washing.Stand back, and be thrilled with the improvement. I think you’ll be as happy as I am after taking a pressure washer to troubled areas on your property, whether it be to relieve chipping paint, clean a dirty sidewalk, or clean a hardwood deck.

Materials

  • Hose
  • Soap (optional)

Tools

  • Pressure washer
About Emily Fazio 

226Posts

I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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