Pressure washers help clean up dirt and grime quickly, but which one is the best? You want one that’s going to help you with heavy cleaning jobs and eliminate blistered paint, grass clippings, mildew, and so on. But the power and features must not come at the expense of functionality.
Going through every single model is impractical, so we’ve gathered the best pressure washers here. If you don’t have time to read the whole post, here’s a quick summary: the Simpson MSH3125-S is our top pick among gas pressure washers, and the Sun Joe SPX3000 is our favorite electric pressure washer.
If you need a quick introduction to pressure washers, however, you may want to give the video below a quick watch:
- Best Gas Pressure Washers
- Best Electric Pressure Washers
- Best Commercial Pressure Washers
- Why You Need a Pressure Washer
- Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers
- What to Look for in a Pressure Washer
- Pressure Washer Accessories and Tools
- Pressure Washer Maintenance
Best Gas Pressure Washers
The Simpson MSH3125-S is equipped with a high quality spray gun and a HONDA GC190 engine. Part of the MegaShot series, this pressure washer is designed for shop and home use. It’s easy enough for first timers to use, and it is equipped with a 25 foot x 1/4 inch MorFlex pressure hose.
The hose comes with M22 connectors and is abrasion proof. There is also storage onboard for the nozzles, pressure hose and wand. The wand also has five nozzle tips: soap, 0, 25, 40 and 15 degrees. The MSH3125-S frame parts are solidly built with 10”: pneumatic tires and welded steel.
The MSH3125-S is designed with versatility in mind, as it’s capable of washing house exterior paint, patio furniture and even cleans patios and decks. For all its power, this pressure washer is still light and compact. A big reason for its performance is the HONDA OHC engine, as it’s designed specifically for use difficult environments.
The MSH3125-S also uses Simpson’s PowerBoost technology, which allows it to generate higher pressure for superior cleaning. A single person can move this pressure washer and it is also equipped with axial cam pumps for more efficient cleaning. Like any new gas pressure washer, an odor emanates the first time it’s used. This is normal.
- Needs very little maintenance
- Flexible design
- Hose provides high pressure
- Doesn’t have a tank for detergent use
- Hose is a bit rigid
The MSH3125-S is a powerful, dependable and easy to set up pressure washer as the instructions are straightforward. Once you’ve put in the oil, just start the washer up and it’s good to go. What it all comes down to is performance, and the MSH3125-S does not disappoint. Like we mentioned above, it’s an all-around cleaning washing solution and it doesn’t make as much noise as other washers.
The OneWash 3 comes with a 212cc engine, which is the biggest in its range and capable of delivering up to 3100 psi pressure for large outdoor cleaning jobs. There are three Quick Change nozzle tips (soap, 25 and 0 degrees) for flexibility, and you easily fit any of these on the 30 ft. hose to get the results you’re looking for.
The PowerDial Control allows you to adjust the spray’s intensity during cleanup. All the controls on the OneWash 3 are in a single control panel so it’s easy to make adjustments. The trigger’s inverted design keeps you from tiring out and the handle makes the OneWash 3 more comfortable to use.
Designed for home use, the OneWash 3 is built to provide maximum water flow and pressure. When set to 3100 psi and 2.8 GPM there’s less need for adjusting. There are four cleaning options on the PowerDial, and the OneWash 3 makes the appropriate adjustment.
The axial cam pump is located above ground so it’s easier to set up the hose connection. The spray gun also has a cushion grip so it’s easier to hold. This might not seem like a serious issue, but if you have to clean for hours the ergonomic design will really come into play.
- Tires are non-flat
- Set up is easy
- Foldable handle is convenient
- A bit of oil runs out when filling
- Hose hanger is low quality
The OneWash 3 is a good choice for homeowners who need a powerful pressure washer. If the standard washer can’t remove the grime on your muddy ATV, it’s going to take a lot more psi and that’s what this power washer gives. This is also worth a look for those who want full control over their pressure washer.
The Cleaning PS3228-S 3300 is powered by a 6.5HP motor at 3500 RPMs, and at 3300 PSI can satisfy the requirements of professionals and households. Its 4 stroke, 196cc X200 OHV engine is good enough for commercial applications, but it’s just as efficient for large households.
An oil alert system notifies you if there is not enough oil, and it shuts the system down automatically. Equipped with a 25 foot hose, the PS3228-S has Quick Connect Nozzle storage and spray gun. You can also use its siphon tube to apply detergent for stubborn grime.
The Simpson PS3228-S has five nozzles so you can pick the right one for the job. Whichever you choose, the MorFlex hose should get the cleaning job done. Like the other Simpson pressure washers, the hose is resistant to abrasion and kinks. The rest of the pressure washer is made from welded steel with the frame molded from heavy components.
There are also safety features built into the PS3228-S. Apart from the low oil level indicator, there is a thermal relief system so the washer does not overheat when it’s running. The pistons are also ceramic so it will have a longer lifespan. The PS3228-S also uses Simpson’s PowerBoost technology to generate more pressure. The greater the pressure, the more impact the washer is going to have, allowing it to clear more dirt.
- Good fuel consumption
- Detailed manual
- The washer is easy to start
- Replacement part deliveries can take time
- The relief valve doesn’t look too durable
The PS3228-S is the kind of pressure washer for households that need a heavy duty cleaner. If you’ve got a large house or the area around your property requires maintenance, the PS3228-S is a more suitable option than other washers. Even though it is more powerful, it doesn’t take as much space.
The G3000 delivers up to 3000 psi of water pressure and 2.5 GPM water flow. The unit runs on a Honda GC 190, with a 0.5 gallon fuel capacity and 190cc engine volume. The G 3000 also has a heavy duty brass head pump to extend its lifespan.
The G 3000 is designed for home use, and a comparison with other units shows that it’s got more muscle. A typical pressure washer has a psi limit of 2000. With the G 3000 you get up to 3000 psi, and that makes all the difference when you have to clean heavy dirt.
The G 3000 has a welded steel frame for extra durability and it has Quick Connect nozzles (0, 15, 25, 40, 65 degrees). The 65 degree nozzle is for detergent use. If the dirt is really stubborn and won’t come off, just add some soap or other cleaning solution and it should do the trick.
The G 3000 has metal wheels so you can move the unit around with little difficulty. The motor doesn’t make a lot of noise, but it’s just as effective as other power washers. Because of its power and features, the G 3000 is capable of washing an entire house. At 3000 psi, the G 3000 won’t have a problem going through homes with multiple stairs.
- Engine oil included
- Dependable performance
- Pump is commercial grade
- You can only adjust the pressure from the tips
- Not as compact as other pressure washers in this class
The G 3000 is a solid, well-designed pressure washer. It doesn’t have the fancy features of other washers, but it removes dirt and grime well. At 3000 psi, the G 3000 has more power than the typical psi pressure washer, giving it an advantage over the rest.
The WEN PW31 is equipped with a 4-stroke, air cooled, 208 cc OHV engine and this enables the WEN PW31 to generate up to 2.5 gallons a minute. That is more than enough to remove dirt off vehicles, decks, the driveway, outdoor furnishings and house siding.
The 4 stroke engine packs a lot of power, but it doesn’t make a lot of noise even at full power. There’s also a soap tank onboard, so you just have to add soap or detergent to remove embedded dirt. Sometimes even if you increase the water pressure it’s just not enough, necessitating the use of detergents.
The PW31 has 12 inch fortified wheels, allowing you to use the washer on rough surfaces. Quick connect nozzles are standard in pressure washers, and the PW31 doesn’t disappoint. There are 5 nozzles, and you just need to move the lance collar back and put the nozzle in.
The high pressure hose is 30 ft., longer than the standard 20 ft. used in most pressure washers. The combination of the wheels and long hose improves mobility even when on rough grounds. The nozzles and hose are often used for cars and patios, but they’re versatile enough for other uses like cleaning fences, driveways and decks.
- Versatile cleanup capabilities
- Easy to use
- Manual instructions are easy to follow
- Doesn’t come with psi adjustment, as the pressure is controlled by the tips
- The wheels wobble sometimes
The WEN PW31 is a good solution for homeowners who have to do a lot of cleaning. It is not without shortcomings, but having this makes outdoor furniture maintenance easier. By using the tips provided, you’ll be able to clean the driveway and other areas of your home in minutes.
Best Electric Pressure Washers
The SPX3000 is capable of reaching a water pressure of 2030 psi, and its water flow is good for 1.76 GPM, providing the power necessary for thorough cleaning. The SPX3000 also has a dual detergent tank container. Each container has a 0.9 liter capacity that has room for two types of detergents.
The detergent dial makes it easy to choose between the two. In many cases it’s necessary to use detergents to remove dirt and grime, and the SPX3000 makes this process easy. The rear wheels simplify transportation and we also like its 34 inch spay wand extension as it allows you to clean hard to wash areas.
The Pressure Joe SPX3000 has five Quick Connect spray nozzles so you can customize the water pressure. Not all cleaning tasks require the same amount of pressure, and the tips allow you to go from high to pressure quickly. The SPX3000 TSS automatically goes off when the trigger is no longer active, and a garden adaptor and power cord are included.
Of all the features on the SPX3000, its flexibility is the most appealing. For auto cleaning, house cleaning and other tasks, you can set the pressure at the level you want. For large amounts of dirt, stains, tar, rust, you increase the water pressure and use the detergents.
- Very little assembly required
- Has enough power to clean boats
- Consistent spraying power
- Lightweight design means you have to be careful not to tip it over
- Plastic components have sharp edges
The SPX3000 pressure washer is versatile and does what it should. For homeowners, you’ll be able to use it to wash the dirt off garden equipment, driveways, patios and boats. It’s easy to adjust the pressure so you’ll be able to use it for your home and even commercial structures.
The AR383 pressure washer is being marketed for outdoor cleaning, and its 13 amp, 1.5 HP motor removes dirt and grime effectively. You can adjust the pressure level up to 1900 psi and at maximum power, the AR383 wipes dirt embedded on ATVs, trucks, cars, bikes and other vehicles. It also removes mildew and leaves without the need for other cleaning solutions.
You can use the same approach for patio furniture and reduce the pressure if necessary. Even at a low pressure level, the washer removes dirt off the surface, removing the need for sanding and scraping. As a CSA certified product, the AR383 is built for long term use without compromising safety.
Some assembly is needed, but it’s a straightforward process thanks to its Quick Connect for the pressure hose, turbo lance and spray. The washer gun is professional grade, and a 14 oz. detergent bottle is included for easy mixing. The AR383 is also eco-friendly like other AR Blue Clean pressure washers.
The 20 ft. high pressure hose is just the right length for most outdoor cleaning, and the two high pressure wands provide versatility. The instruction manual also does a good job detailing the functions of each attachment and how to best use them. While the AR383 is easy to use, we still recommend you read the manual.
- Easy to transport
- Adjustable spray leads to better cleaning
- Cleans surfaces as well as vehicles
- Plastic hose adapter is vulnerable to leaks
- Soap mixer is just adequate
The AR Blue Clean AR383 is an efficient electric pressure washer. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. Whether it’s a car or your patio furniture needs a serious cleanup, this power washer removes dirt safely. AR Blue Clean has manufactured a number of pressure washers, and this is one that can bring back the luster on wood and other surfaces.
The 2030, 1.76 GPM SPX3001 pressure washer is equipped with several tips for heavy, medium and light cleaning jobs. This CSA approved washer also has a Total Stop System (TSS) that shuts the pump off when the trigger isn’t active. This not only prolongs the pump life but cuts down energy use as well.
The 20 ft. hose is study yet flexible, and combined with its 14.5-amp/1800W motor produces optimum cleaning power. After you’re done washing, use the onboard reel to keep the hose tidied up and stored. While the SPX3001 is often used for exterior surface and outdoor furniture, it’s good enough for use on other surfaces.
The SPX3001 has sufficient power for a comprehensive car cleanup. Set at high power, the hose removes vehicle grime, gunk and mud. The SPX3001 also gets rid of stains caused by rust and oil as well as grease deposits. If you don’t need the full 2030 psi power, you can adjust the spray using any of the five tips.
Its detergent tank has a 1.2 liter capacity. This is larger than those that come with most pressure washers, so you’ll be able to clean up more dirt in less time. The extension wand is 34 inches, giving you the flexibility to clean furniture, gutters and other hard to reach areas.
- The quick connect tips work great
- Powerful and consistent spray
- Easy setup
- Hose reel is a little difficult to use
- Hose caddy feels too light
The SPX3001 is a capable pressure washer. It’s not perfect, but with psi pressure over 2000, there is enough muscle for most outdoor and auto cleaning. The inclusion of a detergent tank is a nice touch and the onboard storage makes storage convenient. Even for a first time user, the setup is easy to follow.
The AR blue Clean runs on a 1.6 HP motor. This 14 amp pressure washer goes up to 1.4 GPM and 2000 psi, which gives it the power to flush away grime, dirt, dried leaves, etc. on surfaces, giving it a fresh look.
The AR Blue Clean comes with detailed instructions so assembly is easy. You link the high pressure hose on the gun and join the water inlet and garden hose together. Once you have plugged in the power cord, pull the trigger and it’s ready to go. Even at maximum power, the engine doesn’t make a lot of noise.
The AR Blue Clean also does a better job at water conservation, using 45% less compared to regular hoses. We have already mentioned that it’s easy to use. But in addition, the AR Blue Clean has 4 Quick Connect nozzles, a 48 oz. detergent tank, the washer wand, washer gun and 30 ft. hose.
For surfaces, outdoor furniture and vehicles, the AR Blue Clean should get the job done. Even at full power the washer doesn’t cause damage. Aside from wood, the hose also removes dirt off concrete, stucco and different types of stone surfaces. Its power level is adjustable so you can use the necessary pressure level.
- Hose works great for various cleaning chores
- Eco-friendly design
- Assembly is straightforward
- The wand holder sometimes falls off when the wand is taken out
- The hose reel doesn’t look too durable
The AR Blue Clean is a dependable pressure washer for home outdoor use. It’s got the power to remove surface dirt, and it’s ideal for decks, patios, fences, walls and other surfaces. This is a power washer but it doesn’t cause damage to the surfaces you use it on.
The 1500 psi, 1.2 GPM GPW1501 is designed to go through house cleaning jobs with little effort. Its 13 amp motor generates up to 1.1 gallons of water flow a minute, and the design helps prolong its life while providing consistent results. There are a couple of Quick Connect nozzles included, 25 and 40 degrees, for faster and more comprehensive cleaning.
The GPW1501 is not the most powerful pressure washer, but at 1500 psi, there’s more than enough power here to remove dirt on house and vehicle surfaces. This is also one of the few pressure washers that can be used horizontally or vertically for greater convenience, ideal when washing hard to reach areas.
The hose is 20 ft. long, durable but not too rigid. It’s long enough to handle most house cleaning applications, and its high pressure capability means less need for repeated washing. Apart from the easy to use tips, the soap applicator helps remove embedded dirt on surfaces.
There is a 35 ft. power cord included, and you can hook it up to faucet spout or sink water if necessary. There is some assembly out of the box, but the instructions are easy to follow. There are also cases when the motor produces loud sounds, but this usually disappears as it runs.
- Universal wand and nozzle connectors
- Easy assembly
- Works great for various cleaning tasks
- Doesn’t have a water tank, but you can connect it to one
- Soap dispenser leaking has been reported
The GPW1501 is for light to medium tasks. Don’t let the word “light” fool you, because the GPW1501 washes cars, windows, patios and other areas around your home. The washer also conforms to the standards set by the PWMA. If commercial pressure washers are too much, the GPW1501 may be a better alternative to those units.
Best Commercial Pressure Washers
The direct drive PS4240H is built for use by professional contractors. Part of the PowerShot series, the PS4240H is powered by a Honda GX390 Commercial Grade Engine. Available in various GPM and PSI configurations, the PS4240H also comes with an AAA triplex plunger pump and a downstream injection system.
Its 50 foot hose is fitted with Quick Connectors, and its spray wand has the standard tips found in other Simpson commercial grade pressure washers. When set at 4000 psi the PS4240H carries enough power for tough, commercial level cleanup jobs. The tips are easy to use and the design makes refueling straightforward. Once you’re done, the onboard storage keeps the hose, nozzles and spray gun in one place.
Residential homes and commercial structures will benefit from its power. Cleaning the gutter, fence and other exterior surfaces takes a lot of time, but the PS4240H simplifies things. The tips allow you to use various spray patterns. This might seem like too much power for home use, but it’s adjustable.
This pressure washer is solidly built, with 13” pneumatic tires and the axle, engine plate and frame all made of steel. The welded steel frame provides the support required for heavy duty jobs.
- Not as loud as other commercial pressure washer engines
- Powerful cleaning
- Low maintenance
- Relief valve design could be better
- The frame doesn’t have a handle
The PS4240H is one of the better pressure washers that Simpson has churned out. At 4000 psi 4.0 GPM, it’s got enough juice for commercial cleaning jobs, but it can do more. Apart from the standard deck and patio cleanup, the PS4240H removes dirt, mud and grime off vehicles. If you’re looking for a powerful pressure washer, the PS4240H is a good choice.
The Hausfeld is equipped with a Honda GX390 engine, giving it the power to do commercial level jobs. It has a 50 foot hose, a spray gun and its GPM maxes out at 3.5. The 4000 psi Hausfeld also has high pressure seals and ceramic plungers for belter performance.
There are Quick Connect tips and the welded steel frame has powder coating for extra longevity and there are pneumatic tires for easy maneuvering. This is a commercial grade washer, but it’s flexible enough for home use.
The hose and spray gun are made from high quality materials, and this extends to the pump and engine. All the essential pump components like connecting rods, ball bearings and crankshaft are made from solid parts. There’s also a safety valve so the pump does not overheat.
The 11.7 HP engine has plenty of power, but it runs smoothly and works nicely with the wand. Starting the machine is quick, and you can adjust the settings to use as much or little power as needed. The frame is well-designed and it handles heavy loads well. While a lot of the focus is on the engine and pump, the rest of the machine is well-built and should last a long time.
- Durable engine
- 4000 psi for heavy duty work
- Has a high quality hose
- Extensive operation uses up a lot of gas
- Has not received a lot of customer feedback
The Hausfeld pressure washer is a worthy investment if you do a lot of cleanup jobs. It has the power for a construction job site but it’s not out of place in a yard or garage. For all its power the Hausfeld is compact for its class and the tires make it easy to transport. Overall, its construction and performance is top notch.
The 6565 power washer runs on a 420cc engine, giving it the power to clean concrete stains, industrial paint and dirt. While it’s powerful enough for commercial applications, the 6565 can also be used in homes to wash outdoor furniture and decks. Five Quick Click nozzle tips are provided: soap, 25 degree Clean, 15-degree Strip, 40 Degree Wash and 0 degree Blast. All are easy to use with its 50 foot hose for heavy duty cleanup.
This Generac 6565 is capable of 4200 psi, but there are 3100 psi, 3600 and 3800 psi versions available. These models do share common features such as an axial cam pump, gun holster and built in step. The 6565 is also built for extended use as it has heat reduction features.
The pump is high up so you don’t have to exert too much effort connecting the hose. The pump is Pro Grade Triplex, four times superior to the ones used in other pressure washers.
Operation is straightforward, and from the feature set it’s no surprise the Generac goes through cleanup jobs easily. Apart from commercial and industrial cleaning jobs, the 6565 also makes short work of driveways and exterior surfaces. You can reduce the psi to a lower level, ideal if you don’t need that much power.
- Powerful engine
- The washer is easy to move
- Setup directions are straightforward
- The start handle location is a bit tight when it’s first used
- The handle lock pin can vibrate after extended use
The Generac 6565 is a dependable pressure washer, as effective for commercial as it is for home use. The Triplex Pump and the OHV Engine combine for optimum performance, and its oil indicator lets you know when a refill is needed. The large tires make maneuvering easy, complementing its other features.
The Simpson 60205 is designed for heavy duty use for industrial and commercial applications. It runs on a Honda GX390 OHV engine and is equipped with a high grade quality spray gun. Like the other Simpson commercial grade series, the spray has a safety lock out. There are five types of nozzle tips you can connect (0, 15, 25 and 40 degrees and a nozzle for soap).
Engine oil is bundled with the product, and the frame is built for long term use. Its plunger has a thermal relief valve and ceramic pistons for reliable performance. Other notable features on the 60205 are its dual belt drive and reliable connectors.
Its dual belt system acts as a divider for the pump and engine, reducing the possibility of pump fatigue and overheating. This is one of the most important features on the pressure washer because these machines are used for hours.
The 3/8″ x 50′ hose is designed for high pressure and resistant to abrasion and kink. As part of the Water Blaster Series, the 60205 is meant for the toughest cleaning jobs, and it does not overheat as quickly as other pressure washers. Each component is made from high quality components and integrated for optimum performance. You can run the 60205 for 8 hours a day and it won’t have problems.
- Hose is easy to connect
- Made from quality components
- Designed for heavy duty performance
- Not a lot of customer reviews
- Might be overkill in some situations
The 60205 is one of those pressure washers that live up to the hype. You can leave it running for hours and perform industrial and commercial level cleanups. The 60205 is good enough for fleet maintenance, paint removal and job site cleanup. The gas odor by the way, is normal for these kinds of washers.
Why You Need a Pressure Washer
- More Effective Cleaning: a pressure washer generates more water pressure and water flow than a garden hose. With a power washer you don’t need to scrub the floor or your car to remove dirt.
- Cleans Large Areas: a pressure washer can clean driveways, walls, and in the case of commercial grade pressure washers, construction sites and parking areas.
- Easy to Use: pressure washers are easy to use: you just hook up the hose on the water unit, power it up and begin spraying.
- Reduces Cost of Repair: too much grime and dirt can weaken a building’s structure as it traps moisture. Too much moisture leads to mildew and other problems. The situation is even more serious with vehicles, as dirt buildup in critical parts can lead to accidents.
- Saves Time: regular garden hoses takes too long. However, you only need a few minutes to do the job. Even on a dirty ATV, it shouldn’t take that long to clean.
- Provides Protection: high temperature and too much sun exposure may damage the structure. With regular washing you’ll be able to counter those effects effectively.
- Works on All Surfaces: pressure washers work on wood surfaces, concrete and just about any surface. With high enough psi, you’ll be able to remove dirt, oil deposits, mold, moss etc.
Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers
- Electric Pressure Washers: electric pressure washers are suitable for vehicles, outdoor furniture and small projects. Electric pressure washers weigh less than their gas counterparts and you turn them on by flipping a switch.Depending on the design, an electric pressure washer may have to be plugged into a power source directly, or an extension cord may be needed. Follow the instructions in the user guide to avoid accidents.
- Gas Pressure Washers: gas pressure washers often have more power than electric pressure washers. This makes them more suitable for heavy jobs like large patios, exteriors of multi-story buildings and decks. Gas pressure washers are also portable because they don’t rely on an electrical cord.Some gas pressure washers have an electric starter, but most are manually started. Gas pressure washers have to use the proper fuel, so follow the instructions on the manual.
- Commercial Pressure Washers: these are made for commercial and industrial applications, though they can also be used in large households. They have larger hoses, more powerful engines, bigger motors and more powerful pumps than standard gas and electric pressure washers.
What to Look for in a Pressure Washer
- PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch): this determines what type of jobs the pressure washer can handle.
- 2000 PSI and below: these pressure washers are for light duty use. You can use these to clean boats, trucks, cars, siding and patio furniture. They’re also capable of washing decks, fences, driveways and patios.
- Between 2000 and 2800 PSI: these are medium duty pressure washers. They can clean the same stuff as the light duty pressure washers, but more effectively. Medium duty pressure washers are also more effective on fences, patios and siding.
- 2900 to 3000 PSI: these are heavy duty pressure washers. These are among the most versatile and ideal for large driveways, sidewalks as well as multiple story cleanup jobs. A heavy duty pressure washer also helps ready surfaces for painting.
- 3300 PSI and up: commercial level pressure washers are at this level. These units handle the same tasks as the other washers, but they have more power.
- GPM (Gallons Per Minute): deep cleaning needs high psi, while higher GPM translates to better rinsing and cleaning, which makes it easier to clean hard to reach areas. You need to look at both GPM and psi to determine which pressure washer to buy.
Best Brands that Make Pressure Washers
The higher the GPM and the psi, the more effective and the larger the area it can clean. But you have to consider how you intend to use it. There’s no need to buy a 3,300 psi power washer if you just need to wash the patio furniture.
You may want to look at multi-duty pressure washers for customizable options. You can set the flow rate higher to clean delicate areas or set the psi pressure up for deep cleansing.
Features to Look for in the Best Power Washer
- Power Output: power output on electric washers is measured in amps, while on gas pressure washers it is in cubic centimeters (cc). The higher the numbers the more powerful the pressure washer.
- Pump Types: the most common are triplex and axial cam. Majority of home pressure washers use an axial cam and it’s sufficient for most tasks. Technological advances have led to the development of maintenance free axial cams for easy operation. Commercial and heavy duty pressure washers are equipped with triplex pumps, as they are more efficient and have a longer lifespan.
- Nozzle Tips: pressure washer nozzle tips allow you to change the flow and pressure. The wider the spray, the lower the pressure but the greater the coverage. The narrower the spray, the higher the pressure but with less extensive coverage. Nozzle tips come in different degrees, 0, 40, 20 degrees etc. There are also detergent and soap tips available.
- Wands: an adjustable wand lets you modify the spray pattern from wide (low pressure) to narrow (high pressure) without replacing the nozzle tip.
- You may also want to look for rotating nozzles as it generates a circular spray pattern. This is more powerful than regular sprays and useful for heavy duty jobs.
- Some pressure washers have a detergent or chemical injection so you can use chemicals and other cleaners. These are placed in a siphoning tube or an onboard tank. An onboard tank is the more practical solution if you have to use cleaning chemicals frequently.
- Thermal Relief: a thermal relief system or unloader is designed to lower heat buildup and pressure. It’s normal for pressure washers to generate heat, but too much of it – and pressure – could damage the unit.
Pressure Washer Accessories and Tools
Most models, and not just the best pressure washers, can do the job without the need for extra tools. However, there are some accessories and tools you may find useful under certain situations.
- Extension Wand: an extension wand is used to wash siding, speeding up the cleaning process and produce better results. Combined with spray tips, extension wands make cleaning of second story building easier.
- Pressure washer brushes add scrubbing capabilities, which helps remove stubborn dirt.
- Angled wands may be combined with extensions to clean hard to reach areas like gutters.
- If you clean sidewalks and driveways regularly, you may want to try a spinning jet equipped surface cleaner.
- There is an assortment of detergents, soaps and cleaning chemicals you can use. Be careful and use only cleaning solutions that are compatible with the surface. Wood in particular is sensitive to harsh chemicals as is car paint, so use only what the manufacturer recommends.
Pressure Washer Maintenance
Maintenance requirements vary, though gas powered washers need more upkeep than their electric counterparts. The user manual should have information on the maintenance schedule.
- Do not use a gas pressure washer indoors or any location without sufficient ventilation.
- The exhaust has to be directed away from vents, windows and doors.
- If you’re using an electric pressure washer, keep the electrical connections off the ground, and it must be dry.
Prior to Using a Pressure Washer
- Check the fuel and oil levels before using it.
- Do not overfill, but do top the level.
- Examine the water inlet screen where the garden hose hooks up. Wash with water if the screen is clogged or dirty.
- If the washer has a wand extension inline screen, ensure it is not clogged. Replace the screen if damaged or clean with water.
- Inspect the spray tip, wand extension and spray gun. Ensure the connections are secure.
- Test the trigger lock and spray gun trigger.
- Look at the hose for signs of bulges, leaks, abrasions and cuts. Examine the couplings as well. If there’s damage, replace them. Perform the same inspection for the siphoning tube and unclog if necessary. Clean the filter too.
After Using the Pressure Washer
- Once you’re done cleaning with an electric pressure washer, take out the detergent siphoning tube and set the pressure to low. Allow water to through it for a couple of minutes.
- Turn the washer and water supply off. Unplug from the power source and direct the spray gun away from animals and people. The trigger lock may be engaged when water no longer flows.
- Allow the pressure washer to cool off. Disconnect the hose, and extension, spray gun and the garden hose. Drain the water from the pump. Keep the machine on until all the water has left the pump before shutting down.
- Gas powered pressure washers have specific instructions in the user manual, and you should use that as a guide. Part of the maintenance includes engine oil replacement, spark plug inspection and cleaning the air filter. The fuel system also needs to be taken care of, but the steps vary according to the model.
- Don’t use fuel that is more than 30 days old as they’re prone to varnish and corrosion. Some gas pressure washers recommend a fuel stabilizer to keep gas fresh and stop engine corrosion.
- Both electric and gas powered pressure washers should have their nozzle tips inspected regularly. The connections for the wand extension, spray gun and hose have to be lubricated on a regular basis for optimum performance.
A pressure washer can take a lot of the load off you, but only if you picked the right one. If you’ve never used a pressure washer before or want to replace what you have, it’s necessary to do some research to get the most value for your money. Reviews of the individual pressure washer models come in very handy while you’re doing this research, as it presents all the potential positive and negative points of a model that a beginner might miss at first glance.
As to which product is best, it’s a matter of personal preference and requirements. Electric power washers are easier to maintain, while gas power washers have more power. Of course for heavy duty, daily use, commercial power washers are the best option.