Buying Guide: How To Find The Perfect Pressure Washer For Your Garden

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Decks and patios add a stunning focal point to your garden. It’s perfect for family dining under the stars or parties over the weekend. Cleaning your backyard regularly and giving it some TLC is essential to prevent any dirt and grime build-up.

While you can get the task done using a good old garden hose, a bit of detergent, and a lot of scrubbing, good and reliable pressure washers for home use, such as ones at cleanup.experts, can make this daunting chore a lot easier.  You can use these cleaning machines for a wide range of cleaning jobs, from removing grease on your grill and reviving your patio furniture to getting rid of oil stains on your garage.

If this is your first time using a power washer, going straight to your deck or patio can be a recipe for disaster. These tools come with numerous choices for extra power that can blast away dirt and make your garden area look new. It is crucial to carefully assess which among the available pressure washer types can take care of the job without damaging your patio.

Our guide can help narrow down your choices and ensure you’ll end up with the perfect pressure washer suitable for your garden and cleaning projects.

Before Making Any Purchase

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You can avoid problems and the frustration of choosing the best one for your needs and budget by knowing what you want to get out of it. Keep the following things in mind when choosing a power washer:

  • How often will you use it? If you’ll be using your pressure washer regularly and you think your usage will go beyond 100 hours every year, you may want to consider getting a commercial model. Opt for a cheaper model if you’ll use it only once a month or a few times a year.
  • What type of tasks will you need it for? You’ll need various pressure levels for different applications. Washing a car requires a pressure washer that can deliver 700 PSI. Cleaning your home’s exterior or decking will require 1500 PSI and you’ll need at least 3000 PSI when cleaning a concrete driveway. Look for a unit that can deliver up to 3000 PSI if you are going to be using a power washer for all these tasks.
  • Power source – Pressure washers can be powered by either fuel or electricity. Gas-powered washers are usually utilized for heavy-duty cleaning and are a good option if your backyard doesn’t have an electric outlet nearby. Electric pressure washers are the most common in households. They are more convenient since you only need to plug it into a power source, touch a button, and you’re all set.
  • Are you going to use hot water? A power washer normally uses cold water. If your cleaning job will require hot water, such as cleaning and sanitizing pet cages, look for a unit that features a heating coil. However, these machines are heavier and need gas to run.

Which Pressure Washer Is Right For My Backyard Or Garden?

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You have an option to rent a unit instead of buying one if you don’t have storage space. However, if you do have some space to spare, purchasing a power washer is an investment. With proper maintenance and care, it’ll last you for years and years. You can find more details at Consumer Reports.

Pressure washers come in two basic types:

Gas Pressure Washers

Gas-powered models are portable and extra powerful. They run on fuel, so you don’t need a power source to make it work. You can take care of large areas in your backyard since there are no power cords that limit its coverage. They can deliver high water pressure and clean various areas like paths, driveways, and patios quickly without the help of toxic chemicals. They can also remove chewing gum and other tough gunk stuck on your surfaces.

Gas-powered washers are quite noisy. They’re also heavy and need frequent tune-ups. Make sure it is not running idle for a long time since the pump can overheat, which may lead to its safety valve failing and eventually damaging the unit. Keep in mind that these machines are powerful, which means they can potentially injure you, chip off the paint or splinter wood surfaces. During the cold months, you also need to winterize its pumps before storing the device in the garage (not inside your home).

Electric Pressure Washers

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Electric pressure washers are less expensive, more comfortable to move, and have an engine that you can activate with a simple press of the power button.

These models are great for small cleaning jobs and will work well with your small deck or patio, reviving old furniture, and other cleaning tasks that don’t require removing stains. They are quieter compared to gas pressure washers, do not emit toxic fumes, and are quite low maintenance. You can conveniently start or stop them anytime, and store them inside your home during the cold months without the need to winterize them.

They provide low water pressure though, which can make the process of cleaning longer. Their attachments like nozzle sprays and wands are typically made from plastic materials instead of metal fittings like with their gas counterpart. The area you can clean will also be limited to the length of their hose and cable. Electric power washers normally come with a 23 feet power cord and 25-35 feet hose.

Features To Consider

How a pressure washer operates differs based on the price, condition, and brand. When deciding on which unit will work best on your backyard, you need to consider these features:

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  • Power Setting – An essential feature that you need to take into consideration. There are low-powered units that can do a fine job at cleaning your deck. On the other hand, there are high-powered models that lack power variation. This can lead to disaster, so make sure to look for a pressure washer that allows you to control its power.
  • Multiple Spray Nozzles – These attachments will determine how concentrated the water is during use. It’ll provide you with many ways of ensuring your space gets the correct amount of water.
  • Detergent Tanks – Whether single or dual, detergent tanks allow you to put in your choice of cleaning solution for breaking up stubborn grime and dirt. It’s recommended for cleaning of dirty areas without the risk of causing any damage by water pressure. Look for a power washer with removable tanks, so that you have an option to replace it when it breaks. Adding a cleaning detergent is optional.
  • Long Cord – If you go for an electric pressure washer, make sure to get one with the longest possible power cord. You can use an extension, but having a lengthy cord is a handy feature. Make sure to measure the distance of your patio to the closest power outlet to give you a good idea when deciding on cord length.
  • Mobility and Maneuverability – Even if you have the biggest and heaviest unit, if it has an excellent transport system, you’re good to go. Many top brands make it a point to make the wheels of their products big and mobile. Avoid the frustration of moving your machine from one area of your garden to another by getting one with big wheels. Grips are also helpful for gliding over wet and slippery surfaces, as well as preventing the unit from tipping.
  • Durability – You can finish cleaning your backyard within an hour or less with the help of a power washer. It’s a household chore that you’ll be doing with the help of these cleaning tools for many years. You’ll want a unit that offers maximum flexibility and can handle substantial usage without too many breakdowns throughout its lifespan. The best pressure washer will be able to handle plenty of wear and tear.

Pressure Washing Safety Tips

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Power washers are extremely powerful and have the ability to clean large spaces efficiently and quickly. However, there are various risks associated with using these machines. It is important to follow the safety instructions of your equipment’s manufacturer and the pressure washing safety tips below to prevent injuring yourself and the people around you.

  • The wand should not be aimed at anyone – The want should always be pointed down until you’re comfortable with the pressure. Keep in mind that power washers are not toys, so do not treat them like a squirt gun.
  • Wear protective gear – Protect your eyes, hands, and feet from both flying debris and the high-pressure sprays of water by using protective gloves, long pants, boots, safety goggles, and ear protection if using a gas model.
  • Use the appropriate nozzle – Spray nozzle tips are dangerous, so start with a nozzle that has the widest degree of spray tip, and slowly adjust it.
  • Avoid getting electrocuted – Do not spray on your electrical outlets, and make sure your machine’s electrical cords are not damaged before starting your cleaning project. Always be extra careful when utilizing an electric power washer.
  • Check your surroundings – Before starting, check the area you’ll be cleaning for any possible hazards, from lose objects that can trip you up to pets. Also, cover your potted plants and other furniture to avoid damaging them.
  • Protect your pressure washer – When you’re done, store your equipment in a dry, clean, and well-ventilated area. Ensure that your storage area is unheated and winterize your gas power washer if it’s winter time. Remove any gasoline left from its engine if you’re storing it in the basement, but if you can, store it outside your house.