What is the Best Gas Pressure Washer?
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If you ever wondered: ‘What is the Best Gas Pressure Washer?’, then you are not alone. Sometimes Power Equipment can be a little intimidating if you have never purchased it or used it before.
First, let us look at the different kinds of Pressure Washers. They come either in Gas Powered Models or Electric Powered Models. I will tell you right off the bat, stay away from the Electric versions. They are not powerful enough for many uses. Gas Powered Models are, by far, the best. Purchase one with at least 2500 psi and you should be completely happy with whatever you choose to clean with it.
These Gas Powered Models usually come with 4 – 6 various Tips which regulate the water flow. They range from a gentle spray Tip for washing Windows, to a fine point powerful spray Tip for cleaning stubborn Oil or Grease Spots from Concrete. They are easily interchangeable with the Quick Connect built into the Spray Wand.
Keep in mind, that these are very powerful Tools.
Tip: Never point one at any bare skin or in someone’s face. Always wear Full Body Protective Rain Gear or you will probably get soaked, and of course, Safety Glasses or Goggles, Waterproof Gloves, and Waterproof Boots.
Pressure Washers hook up to your Garden Hose, and they come with about 25’ of hose already attached to the Pressure Washer Wand. You will need to lay out your Hose in the area that you intend to work in, so that you can easily maneuver the Pressure Washer where needed.
Pressure Washers usually come with a Soap Tank, so that you can use a Liquid Cleaning Solution, if you so desire. This will usually enhance the cleaning process.
Pressure Washers can be used to clean just about anything outdoors, from Patio Furniture to your Car, and from Windows to Concrete. In the Step-by-Step Instructions that follow, I will teach you the best way to use a Pressure Washer on different types of surfaces.
Tools & Supplies Needed:
- Safety Glasses or Goggles
- Waterproof Gloves
- Waterproof Boots
- Full Body Rain Gear
- Gas Powered Pressure Washer (at least 2500 p.s.i.)
- Gas Can with Gasoline
- Pressure Washer Soap of your choosing
- Garden Hose (length determined by your needs)
- Tarps (to cover plants & planting beds if removing peeling paint from home siding)
Step 1 – Assess the Project
First, if you are purchasing a Pressure Washer, make sure that it is Gas Powered Model (not Electric) and will provide at least 2500 p.s.i. of pressure. Click on any of my Recommended Suppliers’ links above to view their offerings.
Next, take a walk around your Property and look at all of the items that you could use your new Pressure Washer to clean. Check your: Home Siding and Gutters, Driveway, Walks, Patios, Hardscape (bricks, flagstone, timbers, blocks, etc.), Vehicles, Patio Furniture, Decks, Sheds, etc. Your choices are many, and you will clean these items regularly.
Step 2 – Create a Materials & Tools Needed Sheet
Be sure to check the list of Tools and Supplies Needed for any items that you currently do not own. The Safety relate items are very important: Safety Glasses or Goggles, Waterproof Gloves, Waterproof Boots, and Full Body Rain Gear (including Hood). Add any needed items to your sheet.
Step 3 – Calculate Project Cost
Step 4 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed
Step 5 – Inspect Your Delivery
After reviewing the information here, additional information to complete these first (5) Steps is found in the page: 5 Steps for Project Management. Simply click on that link and you will be directed there.
After completing those first (5) Steps, return to these Instructions and continue on to Step 6 or the appropriate Step to address your issue.
Step 6 – Read the Pressure Washer’s Manual
Before attempting to operate your Pressure Washer for the 1st time, or if you have not used it in awhile, it is best to read the Operating Manual that came with the Unit. Improper hook up and/or operating sequence could cause damage to the Unit.
Step 7 – Setup and Test Your Pressure Washer
Complete the following Steps, in order, to Setup and Test your Pressure Washer before actually using it on any surfaces:
- Check the Oil in the Unit to make sure that it is full.
- Fill the Pressure Washer with fresh Gasoline.
- Set the Unit on a Hard Surface, such as a Driveway, Patio, or Sidewalk.
- Stretch out and hook up your Garden Hose to the Unit.
- Put on your Safety Glasses or Goggles, Waterproof Gloves, Waterproof Boots, and Full-Body Rain Gear.
- Place the Tip with the largest Orifice (hole) into the Quick Connect at the end of the Spray Wand. This will be the weakest Spray Nozzle. The smaller the Orifice, the greater the pressure.
- Attach the other end of the Spray Wand to the Pressure Washer.
- Attach your Garden Hose to the Pressure Washer.
- Turn on the Spicket that is attached to the Pressure Washer to the fully opened position.
- Pull out the Choke on the Pressure Washer, and prime the Unit according to your Manual, if it is equipped with a Primer Button.
- Squeeze the Trigger on the Wand until Water comes out the end, clearing all Air Pockets.
- Pull the Cord to start the Unit. If it does not start on the 1st pull, you will need to repeat the process of squeezing the Trigger on the Wand before each pull on the Cord.
- Once the Unit starts, let run for about 15 – 30 seconds before pushing the Choke back in, or sooner if the Unit starts running roughly.
- Hold the Wand firmly with both hands, pointing the Tip away from your body, and holding it about 6” – 12” away from the Hard Surface Area.
- Pull the Trigger to operate. You should only be experiencing a soft Spray if you are using the correct Tip.
- Turn the Pressure Washer OFF. Squeeze the Trigger to release any residual pressure. Remove the Tip, and replace it with the next Tip with a slightly smaller Orifice. (Tips are usually Color Coded with different Colors. Remember the pressure for each different Tip, so that you will always be able to install the correct one before cleaning a new surface.)
- Once the next Tip is firmly installed, restart the Pressure Washer. It will not be necessary to apply the Choke, since the Unit is already warm, but you will need to squeeze the Trigger each
time before starting.
- Test the new Tip for pressure in the same manner as you did for the 1st Tip. Repeat this process for all of the Tips (Steps 11, 12, 14, 15, & 16), so that you can get a feel of what each Tip can do. Make a mental note of the Tips that you intend to use on what surfaces.
Tip: Using the wrong Tip could cause damage to the Item that you are trying to Wash.
Step 8 – Adding a Soap Solution
Adding a Liquid Soap Solution can increase the efficiency of your cleaning. Use the appropriate Soap for each surface application.
- Each surface, and the degree of dirtiness will affect how you will apply the Soap. Certain surfaces may benefit from applying the Soap with a gentle Spray Tip and allow it to penetrate the surface for a small period of time before Pressure Washing. Other surfaces may not require the same pre-soaking. You will need to read the label on each type of Soap that you use and follow the recommended instructions, testing your results as you go. The closer you hold the Tip of the Wand to your surfaces, the more pressure that is applied.
Step 9 – Cleaning Patio Furniture
Attempt to clean your Patio Furniture without a Soap Solution 1st, using the recommended Medium Pressure Tip and holding the Tip at least 6” from the Surface. If it does not come clean to your satisfaction, then try to add the Soap Solution of your choice.
Tip: Be careful not to use too much pressure to clean Patio Furniture or damage to your Items could occur.
- When cleaning more delicate surfaces like Patio Furniture, be sure to use the correct Tip, and hold your Tip at least 6” away from the surface when Pressure Washing, in order to avoid any damage. If you are using a Soap Solution, apply it to all of the Furniture at once, then detach the Pickup Hose from the Soap, and use straight water to Pressure Wash the Furniture, thoroughly rinsing all of the Soap away.
Step 10 – Cleaning Cars
You can clean your Car with a Pressure Washer if you so choose. Using a Medium Tip, keeping it about 4” – 6” away from the Car, rinse the entire Car with straight Water 1st. Then, add a small amount of the Car Soap of your choice into the Soap Reservoir. Soap the entire Car, then disconnect the Soap Pickup Tube, and Rinse the Car. You may need to go over hard to remove Areas with a Sponge to get the Car really clean.
- It is better to clean hard to remove dirt with a Sponge, rather than changing to a more powerful Tip, or you could damage your paint. Do not get too close to the surface. Make sure that you stay at least 4” – 6” away when Pressure Washing your Car. Remember, rinse 1st with just water, then add your Car Soap and soap up the entire Car. Detach the Pickup Hose from the Soap dispenser, then rinse the entire Car. Use a Shammy to dry the Car, then Glass Cleaner to clean all of the Windows.
Step 11 – Cleaning Wood Decks
Use the correct Tip for cleaning Wood Decks and Railings, being careful not to get too close so that indentations are not made in the Wood.
- Cleaning Wood Decks usually requires a Medium Tip, holding the Tip about 4” – 6” from the surface.
- You should Pressure Wash the Wood away from you at all times, always slowly moving the Wand, and going over the same area until you are satisfied with the results. If you have a scrap piece of Wood that is similar to the Decking, you can test just how close you can go to the surface before grooving will take place.
Tip: Too strong of a Tip or holding the Tip, too close to the Wood Surface can cause grooving in the Wood.
Step 12 – Cleaning Home Siding, Gutters, Sheds, and Garages
When cleaning your Home’s Siding & Gutters, you usually will not need a Soap Solution, but that is surely your choice. Use a Medium Tip on Hardboard Siding and Wood Trim, or slightly stronger Tip on Aluminum Siding, staying about 4” – 6” away from the Surfaces. This will also apply to cleaning Sheds and Garages.
- When Pressure Washing Hardboard Siding, use a Medium Tip, staying about 4” – 6” away from your surface. If you are cleaning Aluminum Siding and/or Gutters, you can use a slightly stronger pressure Tip.
- If you are getting ready to Paint the outside of your Home, and your Paint is peeling, your Pressure Washer can greatly reduce your scraping time. Using a Medium Tip, and being careful to stay at least 4” away from your Wood, you can Pressure Wash 60% – 80% of all peeling Paint right off. This will save you tons of time scraping your Home, especially if the peeling Paint is excessive. You will still need to go over all of the edges in the areas where the Pressure Washer removed the Paint with a Scraper, but it will still be a lot less scraping than if you did not Pressure Wash first.
- It is best to cover all Plants and Planting Beds that contain Mulch and/or Decorative Stone with Tarps before Pressure Washing peeling Paint. It will make cleanup much easier. You can rake remaining areas easily with a Bamboo or Plastic Rake to clean up any remaining Paint Chips.
- Use the same Tips and techniques for cleaning your Sheds and/or Garages, depending on the type of Material that they are made from.
Step 13 – Cleaning Asphalt, Concrete, & Other Hard Surfaces
A Pressure Washer can make Asphalt, Concrete, Patio Stones, and Other Hard Surfaces look nearly like new. Apply a Degreaser to any Oil and Grease Spots on your Driveway, straight from the container, letting it pre-soak the Stain. You can put Degreaser into your Pressure Washer Soap Tank to clean larger, slightly stained areas.
Use a small Orifice, High Pressure Tip to clean the stained areas, then you can reduce to Medium Tip for general Pressure Washing. You can keep the Tip about 2” – 4” away from the Stained Areas, and 4” – 6” away from the Surface during general Pressure Washing. You may need to treat these Stained Areas several times before getting adequate results.
- When cleaning Stains on hard surfaces like Concrete, it is best to apply a Degreaser directly to the spots, rather than adding it to your Pressure Washer Soap Tank. Let the solution soak into the Stain for several minutes before Pressure Washing. You may need to go over some areas several times for good results.
- Use a High Pressure Tip to clean the Stained Areas, keeping the Tip about 2” – 4” away from the surface. Then, change to your Medium Tip for general Pressure Washing, staying about 4” – 6” away from your surfaces.
- If you are intending to reseal your Asphalt Driveway, or apply a Concrete Stain to a Patio or Walkway, it is always a good idea to clean these areas with a Pressure Washer first.
- Flat surfaces like Driveways, Patios, and Walks usually tend to get dirtier than other surfaces. Also, Block Retaining Walls will often collect Mildew and Mold, especially if they are located primarily in the shade. Using a Pressure Washer on these types of surfaces can nearly make them look brand new.
Tip: When using a more powerful Tip, you need to take extra care never to point the Tip at any Body Parts, regardless if they are covered or not.
In closing, I will tell you this: Pressure Washing can be come addicting! Once you see how nice and clean things can be made to look with a Pressure Washer, it’s hard to stop!
I Hope That All of Your Pressure Washing was Successful!
Please take the time to leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below. Let me know how your Project went.