10 Most Common Uses for a Pressure Washer
Got a pressure washer collecting dust in your garage that you're just not sure what to use for? Here are some ideas.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
How to Use a Pressure Washer
The right way to use a pressure washer depends in part on what kind of surface you’re washing. After adding the detergent, select the nozzle that is best suited for your task. If you are cleaning a car or concrete surface, scrub it with your other cleaning supplies first to loosen up the dirt. Then, begin washing your surface using small, even strokes to avoid streaks. Here are some unusual uses of a pressure washer.
Pressure Washer Safety
Because pressure washers utilize high pressure to work, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind:
- Never direct the nozzle at people or animals
- Never use power washers while on ladders.
- Always wear safety gear while operating a power washer
- Always exercise caution around power lines or electrical outlets
Lawn Mower Blades
It doesn’t take long into summer before the blade housing of your lawnmower is all sorts of gunked up by mud and tightly-packed grass clippings. One quick way to remove all that debris is to blast the underside of your lawnmower with a pressure washer. Take care to only hit metal surfaces with the water jet, especially if you’re using an electric lawnmower.
Whether you’re breaking it out of storage after a long winter or getting it ready for a summer gathering, it’s probably a good idea to give your outdoor furniture a thorough rinsing with your pressure washer. Try and stick to a lower setting, though. Too much water pressure could easily damage fabrics or chip paint, quickly leading to rust.
One excellent surface to use your pressure washer on is fencing. Pressure washing a dingy fence can strip away years of grit and grime, giving an automatic boost to its appearance. And if you want a completely revitalized look, stripping the boards bare with a pressure washer is an important first step in wooden fence renewal.
Charcoal grills — or really any grill without electrical wiring — can be cleaned quickly and easily with a pressure washer. Just remove the fuel source, tug the grill onto a patch of nearby grass, scrape away the more stubborn sediment, then point and shoot with your pressure washer.
There are more than a few ways for homeowners to give the outside of their home a new look, like installing new siding or applying a few fresh coats of paint. But if those projects seem like too much, pressure washing the exterior is another, less work-intensive way to freshen up your home’s appearance and add to its curb appeal.
Driveways and Patios
It might seem pointless to clean a surface that gets walked on and driven over every day, but don’t discount what an annual pressure washing can do for your driveway. Really, any concrete or stone surface around your home would benefit from a high-pressure scrubbing. And the results can be extremely satisfying.
Pressure washers are essentially the same as the hoses that hang from the walls of self-serve car washes. So if you’ve got a pressure washer in your garage, you can give your vehicle a professional-level scrub-down without ever pulling out of your driveway.
This is another instance where you need to be extremely careful your pressure washer isn’t on too high a setting, or you could end up with another car repair project on your hands.
If you’re already spraying down your home’s siding, why not hit the window screens as well? Keep your pressure washer on a low setting to clean this surface; too high of a setting and you’ll shatter the windows instead of cleaning the screens. A good pressure washing will knock free any dust or dirt that’s clinging to your window screens and scrub away any dirt from your window casings. Again: Keep the setting low.
Just like fences, the first step in refinishing a deck is cleaning the deck boards as thoroughly as possible, and there’s no better tool for that surface than a pressure washer. The pressurized jet will strip dirt off the boards and leave just the bare wood surface behind, ready for a fresh coat of whatever deck finish has caught your fancy.
Gutters can be tricky to clean. While you might be tempted to lug your pressure washer onto your roof and start blasting the gutters clean, that’s generally not a good idea. Instead, many pressure washer companies now make curved attachments for the ends of their hoses. Using this pressure washer attachment makes it easier to position the pressure washer head correctly to clean your gutters while keeping both feet firmly on the ground.