A power washer is the ultimate tool for outdoor cleaning. It uses pressurized water to clean surfaces and objects, removing grime, paint, mold, dust, dirt or even algae. It’s a great tool, but it’s a tool that must be used properly. That’s why FRED is here to help with the Do’s and Don’ts of power washing.


Respect its Power

A power washer uses high-pressure to clean, meaning it’s very powerful. The first thing you need to understand is that the water in this tool has a great force. Highly-pressured water can tear through and ruin the coating of whatever you are cleaning if you aren’t careful. Respect the strength of the power washer and know that not all pressure cleans equally. Make sure you know the manufacturer guidelines for cleaning, and how much power is needed to do the job properly.


Power washers come with a variety of different nozzles to handle tasks. Make sure that the nozzle is secured to the tip of the power washer, or it may shoot off once the pressure builds behind it, which can be extremely dangerous. It’s also important to know which nozzle is right for the job. Different nozzles can alter the pressure and spray pattern, which is essential for jobs such as cleaning a car. Know which nozzle does what and use them accordingly.

Wear the Right Gear


Power washers are tools that require a bit of preparation including the protective gear that you should wear. Make sure that you wear noise-canceling headphones to protect your ears, as power washers are extremely loud. You will also want to wear clothing that can stand a little dirt. In addition, do not wear open-toed shoes. Your feet are the most as risk while power washing, and it will really hurt if you accidently run a pressurized stream over them.


Aim at an Upward Angle


This has to be the number one item on the “do not” list: never aim the power washer upwards. You always need to point the nozzle at a downwards angle. This way, you are washing the grime off without damaging whatever you are cleaning. Shooting upwards tends to chip off coating, like paint on a house.

Refill the Fuel Tank While On


Power washing jobs generally take a while, such as cleaning the house or surrounding sidewalk. During this process, you will more than likely run out of gas mid-project. Absolutely do not refill the fuel tank while the machine is hot. Turn the power washer off and take a break, waiting a few minutes for the tank to cool down. Filling the tank with gasoline while the device is on could result in a very dangerous situation.

Injure Yourself or Others

A power washer is not a toy, and should not be treated as a regular hose. Do not aim the pressurized stream at yourself, or at others. Even though it is water, the pressure creates a force that can easily break human skin. Always keep the end facing down if the device is on. Also, use two hands when you are pressure cleaning, as it is easy to lose control.

A power washer is the perfect tool for outdoor cleaning, but it requires familiarity and caution to be used effectively. If you ever have any questions or need professional help for any cleaning project, you can always schedule FRED, the first name in home improvement.