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Tips for Using a Pressure Washer

A man using pressure washer
Pressure washing is an excellent way to clean the exterior of a business. It can also work on parking lots and sidewalks too.

Whether you rent a pressure washer or are planning on buying one, these tools can take some getting used to. Thus, before you get your pressure washer all set up and ready to operate, consider a few tips that can make your washer more effective and efficient.

Clean the Filter First

If you're working with a gas pressure washer, it will have an inlet filter.

You must find and clean out this filter before you begin operating your pressure washer. If you don't clean the filter, you may find it difficult to get water to exit the pressure washer. Even worse, the water that does come out might be dirty.

Don't Use Narrow Nozzles Up Close

With most pressure washers, you will have several different nozzles that you can attach to the washer. This allows you to control the flow and stream of the water that comes out.

Familiarize yourself with what each nozzle does and when to use each nozzle. Reading through the manufacturer's manual can help on this front.

Don't use very narrow nozzles in close range to the item you are cleaning. A narrow nozzle means that the water will come out very strong and at a high speed. Thus, having the pressure washer too close to a surface with this type of nozzle can easily cause damage.

So, while you should be careful with all of your nozzles and with your pressure washer in general, be especially mindful when working with a narrow nozzle.

Pre-Soak Your Surface

While pressure washers can do an amazing job at cleaning any surface, they often need a little help to do their job. This is especially true when the surface to be cleaned is very dirty and has a lot of layered-on grime and grit.

No matter what your surface looks like, a good way to make cleaning more effective is to pre-soak the surface to be cleaned. Many chemicals have been created just for this purpose. You can find some that are just general detergents for cleaning or degreasers and other specially made pre-soak mixes.

Choose the one that's best for your needs and then apply it to your surface according to the directions on the cleaner. As long as you do everything correctly, you should find that presoaking often means you don't have to wash the surface for as long, saving you time and water costs.

Also, when you pre-soak, you will generally need less cleaner throughout the washing process, which also saves you money.

Let the Washer Run for a Minute or So

Often, when using a pressure washer, people are so eager to get the job done that they assemble the system and then start cleaning immediately.

However, a little patience can go a long way with this job. When setting up your washer, always allow water to run through it for at least a minute before you start cleaning. Letting the water run for a minute gets your system primed and ready. This process also gets rid of excess air in the system for better, more effective use.

You play a big part in how well your experience with a pressure washer goes. By following these tips closely and by following all manufacturer instructions, you can ensure your pressure washing session goes smoothly.

For more help with pressure washing techniques or general information on pressure washers, consult the experts at Industrial Cleaning Equipment & Supply. We work with residential, commercial, and industrial clients.