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Pressure washer can finish jobs that usually take a long time & are very hard to do. It’s a pretty simple concept, if you can clean something well by spraying it with water, you can clean it better by shooting water at it under very high pressure.
In this guide we are going to cover a few things that will keep you wasting a bunch of money, or pressure washing the paint off of your car. Read this very carefully because if you buy the wrong machine for your needs you could either be left with an eternally dirty car & house, or you could end up stripping the finely groomed facial hair right off of your face.
Pressure Washing Buying Guide
Let’s assume that you do in fact have the cash & ongoing need for a pressure washer. Here are some handy tips for buying one.
1) Assess your needs.
Are you cleaning a house? A boat? What type of material is it & how often will it be cleaned. Metals & plastics that are found on things like cars, bikes, boats, and jet skis are pretty dirt resistant and easier to clean. While things like stones and wood can be more porous and take more pressure to get 100% of the way clean. So metals & plastics=less pressure, stone & wood = more pressure
2) Assess your budget.
If money isn’t an option then skip this section. Otherwise realize this even the least powerful, least expensive gas pressure washer is stronger than the most expensive, most powerful electric pressure washer. So if you need power, you will definitely be looking at a gas washer. If you don’t need as much power, then electric is the way to go.
3) Calculate cleaning power(CP).
CP is the GPM multiplied by the PSI. This will help sort out any potential models you may be looking at buying. The great the cleaning power, the better the buy.
4) Check for additional features.
These include interchangeable or rotating nozzles. Sensors or warning lights that help prevent damage. Additionally look for any options to inject chemicals or detergents. Combine all of those factors to find a washer that meets your needs.
So now the ultimate question:
Best Pressure Washer
find out the answer with these in-depth pressure washer reviews!
How it was decided:
A pressure washer is about more than just raw power. There are several factors to take into account including price, power output, noise level, usefulness, reliability, and more. So when this was decided it was a combination of all of the above factors.
The Best Pressure Washer: AR Blue Clean AR383 Pressure Washer
This AR Blue Clean AR383 is the best all around washer in our review. The power output is on the high side for electrics, but when stacked up against gasoline powered washers it’s a little low.
That’s OK though. Remember, we said it’s not all about power. This machine has tons of different uses around the house which means you’ll get the most cleaning bang for your buck. It’s got an external casing that makes it look almost like a vacuum cleaner, but manlier.
Overall this machine will throw out H2O at 1900 PSI around 1.9 GPM. That’s plenty for the average home/jet ski/car/boat/ 4 wheeler owner. It’s easy to handle which means you won’t be making any costly mistakes like stripping paint off of the side of your house.
Best Value Pressure Washer: The Sun Joe SPX 3000
The SunJoe SPX 3000 is one of the best pressure washer available online. The SPX has 2030 PSI combined with a 1.79 GPM pump & you’ve got one effective power washer. This one weighs a little bit more & costs a little bit more which knocked it out of the top spot.
It also comes with a a wand, and female hose coupling attachment. This machine is perfect for outdoor jobs that may be a little too big for the AR 83. If you have need some concrete or other porous material cleaned, but don’t want to dump several hundred dollars into a gas powered beast. The SPX is the way to go.
Best Gas Power Washer: Generac 6922
This machine is combines a strong engine with a fast pump.
The Generac 6922 is the bees knees when it comes to gas powered pressure washers. It has a 2.4 GPM pump and a 2800 PSI engine which give massive cleaning power, especially when stacked next to the electric machines we talked about earlier.
This machine is welded together on a sturdy frame, easy to move around due to wheels on the set up, it comes with a holster for the wand, a pedal for easy start, and multiple nozzle tips which makes operating it & modulating it’s spray a breeze.
The only draw back to this machine is that it’s a little bit noisy. However, for the ease of use, price, and effectiveness of this machine we are willing to look past that.
Best Commercial Power Washer: Briggs & Stratton 20507 Elite Series
The Briggs & Stratton 20507 Elite Series is ideal for the commercial work place. To put this in the simplest terms possible, this thing does work. It puts out a ridiculous 4000 PSI which is why it is made for the commercial market. This is one of the strongest machines available & comes with an adjustable pump so decide how strong you want your clean to be. It also features a bonus turbo nozzle which makes cleaning & directing your spray a breeze.
Be careful though, this bad boy can do some damage if you aren’t careful.
Now with all of these different machines taking over the top spots for different categories you may find yourself wondering.
Best Pressure Washer Brands
What’s one brand that I can trust to deliver outstanding value time and time again? The answer is simpson power washers. While no simpson machines took the very top spot in the categories we’ve talked about, they’ve certainly been in the top 5 for these categories and more.
Simpson has a strong line up for both commercial and residential use. Simpson washers have been around for nearly 50 years. They are not only reliable machines, but they are backed by reliable people. Not only is it easy to register and protect your simpson product, but they are active on social media which adds another layer of accessibility onto an already open brand. On top of that they continually do give away and contest. There’s nothing better than scoring a free power washer or parts.
How Does a Pressure Washer Work
Pressure washers are essentially just a few parts: an engine, a pump, a nozzle, and a hot/cold water option.
The engine in the pressure washer is what gives it the pressure. There are two types electric motors & gasoline motors. The general rule of thumb is that gas power pressure washers are more powerful than electric, but electric motors are more quiet and typically cheaper. Don’t worry about which you’ll need right this second we will cover that in more detail in our pressure washer buying guide. The main thing you want to pay attention is the PSI(pounds per square inch, but you knew that already I’m sure).
The pump is what sends the water out of the reservoir. The important thing to pay attention to is the GPM or gallons per minute. That number measures how fast all that high pressure water is going to flow. If the a pump can’t move sufficient gallons then it doesn’t matter how bad your engine is, the pressure washer will be useless. So when shopping around be sure to check out both the PSI & the GPM of different washers
The nozzle is essentially the business end of the pressure washer. It’s where the what comes out. Now these vary based on the degree of the nozzle. The bigger the degree the wider the spray of water. So 45 degree nozzles cover a wider area than a 0 degree nozzle, but do so at the expense of pressure. So keep that in mind, if you covering a wide area then a high degree nozzle may be desirable if you aren’t covering that large of an area & need a deeper clean then you need a more narrow nozzle.
Most power washers will take water at room temperature. Some even take hot water up to 40 degrees celsius. Depending on the model & options you want some will even heat the water up for you. This is a handy feature as hot water typically cleans better than cold, but be careful models that heat up the water typically put it around 160 degrees farenheit which can make for some nasty mishaps if used carelessly.
The Guide to Power Washer Rental
If you don’t have the funds to buy a power washer or only need one for a short while pressure washer rental is the perfect option for you. Here are some basics you need to know about renting a pressure washer.
Where can you rent a pressure washer?
Typically the best place is going to be a local hardware store or construction equipment. Home Depot, Lowes, and other big chain stores have them, but often will jack up the prices when compared to smaller stores. Additionally, an option that may not be entirely nice, but good is to buy one with an Amazon Prime membership, use it & then return it. You will get free shipping both ways. Be sure to check any return policies before pursuing this option though.
It usually costs anywhere between $30 & $135 per day. This often depends on the model you get, how powerful it is, any extra equipment that you want with it. It will also often depend on the availability of the pressure washers the store has.
Be sure if you think the cleaning may last more than one day to ask about their closed door policy. If your clean doesn’t take as long as planned, or takes longer than planned it would be a pain to pay for a day you didn’t use it for.
Additionally, check any policies the store has on the condition of their machine on returning it. For example gas powered cleaners may need to be refilled with gas, and both electric and gas pressure washers may need to dry before they can be returned as to prevent molding while it is sitting in the store.
How to Use a Power Washer
Using your power washer correctly can truly length the life of the machine by a lot. Pay attention to these steps:
Warning: If you are using a gas powered washer, check to make sure that it has fuel and oil in it. If either run dry you run the risk of throwing money down the drain.
Once you’ve checked all fluids, make sure there is water in the reservoir.
Turn on the machine & ensure that the nozzle is switched to off.
Adjust any pressure settings your machine may have to the appropriate amount for the job you are about to do.
The washer is ready to rock and roll. Make sure anything you don’t want sprayed by high pressure water is either moved or protected.
Whenever you are using a power washer you want to be sure that you are holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle from the surface being cleaned. If you are holding it straight on, you will be driving dirt and grime further into the material. In addition, holding it at an angle helps prevent gouging(trust me, this can happen especially with more powerful machines)
Start with small areas and use wide overlapping strokes for the most effective clean. Be sure that as you are working you are going from bottom to top to prevent streaking. When you are rinsing off everything you have either knocked loose or pushed around, go from the top down. Hopefully this video will be helpful: