Using a pressure washer to clean your car, ground in dirt, a dirty garage floor full of oil stains, and other dirt requires less work than the other traditional methods and is highly effective. Below are five tips on how you can use your pressure washer effectively, safely and keep it in optimal condition throughout its entire lifespan.
1. Use a variety of nozzles
Just like drills have a wide variety of attachments and drill bits for different tasks, pressure washers may be fitted with a wide variety of nozzles to suit each specific job. For example, you can use the 40-degree fan nozzle to clean your vehicle and the 25-degree fan nozzle to remove mold, mud, and dirt from decking, bricks, and paving.
The 0-degree nozzle is the most high-pressure nozzle of all and should only be used for precision industrial cleaning. It is normally used to remove barnacles, rust, tar, glues, and resins.
Some of the nozzles cause the water jet to come out in a fan-like pattern and triangular plane, and others produce a fine water jet, that spirals rapidly in a cone like pattern. In most pressure washers, the nozzles are able to fit directly onto the end of the trigger gun.
2. How to start a gas-powered pressure washer
Electric pressure washers are straightforward and easy to start. Starting up the gas pressure washers and diesel pressure washers is a little more difficult:
- Use a brush to clean off any dirt from the inlet filter.
- Connect the accessories (detergents, chemical injectors etc).
- Run water through the washer for 1 minute so that you can get rid of any trapped air and prime the system.
- Squeeze the trigger of the spray wand so that you can encourage water pressure.
- Pull the starter cord so that you can start the engine.
3. Use pressure washer accessories
Accessories like cleaning detergents, and brushes, can be added to a pressure washer to aid in the process of cleaning.
For the best cleaning results, you should use high-pressure water under a medium spray setting to loosen the dirt. You should then use a wide nozzle setting to apply the detergent, (you may have to leave the detergent for 1-2 minutes so that it can penetrate the thick dirt).
Finish by changing the pressure washer`s nozzle or adjust the pressure to a medium setting, and use clean water to rinse it. You should not use bleach in the pressure washers, since this may damage its internal parts.
4. Conduct regular maintenance
Pressure washers require regular maintenance so that they can last for a long time and work efficiently.
Gas or petrol powered pressure washers may seize or endure other serious damage if they are left unused for over one month. If you know that you will not be using your pressure washer for a long time, you should remove the fuel and safely store it in a jerry can. You can also add a fuel preservative to the fuel tank.
Petrol pressure washers may suffer from damaged hoses and pumps during winter, hence you should put antifreeze in them so that you can be able to maintain their longevity.
To add antifreeze to a petrol washer, start its engine and then pour antifreeze into a funnel until you notice that a steady stream of antifreeze is flowing. You should then seal the outlet and intake with heavy-duty tape so that you can prevent leaks.
5. Follow all the safety guidelines
The most valuable and essential tip about using any kind of pressure washers is to strictly follow the safety guidelines. Apart from the unsafe operation of pressure washers being dangerous and a risk to other people; it is also not efficient.
Pressure washers deliver large volumes of extremely high water pressures and may cause serious injuries if they are not used correctly. To remain safe, while using your pressure washer, follow the following safety guidelines:
- Never point it at pets or other people.
- Always wear safety glasses during operation.
- Never put your hands in front of the nozzle when operating it.
- Never spray water onto electrical outlets or objects.
- Never use it while standing on a ladder. To clean high areas, commercial pressure washers are used with scaffolding, rope access techniques, elevated work platform cars, or extension wands.
- Always engage the safety lock, when the pressure washer is not being used.
- Always maintain a ten feet distance when you are using a pressure washer close to any source of electricity.