All You Need to Know About Pressure Washers

All You Need to Know About Pressure Washers – Types & Benefits

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Pressure washers are useful tools for maintaining properties, vehicles, furniture, and more.

Sometimes soap and water aren’t enough to remove a stubborn stain; you need force. Pressure washers have the power to remove some of the most persistent stains and grime.

Consider this the ultimate guide to pressure washers, including top uses, different types, cost, and more!

What Is a Pressure Washer?

A pressure washer is a gas or electric motor connected to a water pump. It forces the water out of the pump at high pressures using a concentrated nozzle. It forcefully blasts water, washing away stubborn grime and dirt on surfaces.

It’s essentially an incredibly powerful and pressurized hose with a motor. You can use a cleaning solution in a pressure washer, but many people use pressure washers with nothing but water.

How Strong Are Pressure Washers?

Pressure washer power is measured in PSI or pound-force per square inch. Commercial gas pressure washers use a minimum of 2,000 PSI up to 3,500 PSI, while residential electric models start as low as 1,300 PSI and go as high as 2,200 PSI.

Pressure Washer Vs. Power Washer

People often confuse these two tools, but they are different. A pressure washer uses a high-pressure jet stream of water, while a power washer uses pressurized steam. Typically, power washers utilize super hot water, while a pressure washer can use hot, lukewarm, or cold water.

Types of Pressure Washers

The different types of pressure washers and their best uses are listed below to help you choose the best pressure washer for your needs.

1. Residential Pressure Washers

These are milder pressure washers suited to small jobs and areas. These washers often do not use any solution and are not ideal for frequent use. They’re perfect for homeowners who want to maintain their property.

2. Commercial Pressure Washers

Commercial pressure washers have way more power and are ideal for heavy-duty jobs. They often work with cleaning solutions to loosen stubborn dirt and grime. These washers are best for large-scale, frequent use. They’re best for professional cleaners and large businesses.

3. Electric Pressure Washers

Electric washers are excellent for smaller jobs, usually for residential properties. They require little maintenance and use less power than gas, so they’re more energy-efficient and affordable. However, they require a power outlet or source, so they’re not very portable.

4. Gas Pressure Washers

Gas washers are more powerful and portable than electric ones. They’re ideal for high-intensity jobs, so are most commonly used by professional cleaners. They can kick back aggressively, so only trained professionals should use them, and they require substantial maintenance.

5. Cold Water Pressure Washers

Cold water washers are better for residential jobs than heavy-duty commercial cleaning. The cold water washers are more gentle, so they’re ideal for delicate materials like wood or thin plastic. They can be used to wash cars or clean siding, generally, any small, quick cleaning jobs.

6. Hot Water Pressure Washers

Hot water pressures are intense and powerful, making them ideal for stubborn stains and heavy-duty jobs. They’re ideal for industrial cleaning and use a lot of power, so use caution. They’re commonly used in the construction, trucking, automotive, and food service industries.

Top Uses for a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers can be immensely helpful for maintaining your property and vehicles. You may buy a pressure washer to clean your sidewalks, but there’s a list below of the most common pressure washer uses to show you the full potential of this tool.

Consider using your pressure to clean the following areas:

  • Sidewalks, parking lots, driveways
  • Windows
  • Exterior doors
  • Drains, ducts, gutters
  • Siding and brick
  • Patios, decks, stoops, stairs
  • Garage floors, door, siding
  • Chimneys
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Grills
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Bikes, motorcycles, boats, lawnmowers, trailers, ATVs
  • Cars and trucks
  • Fences and gates
  • Roof and shingles
  • Garbage cans and recycling bins
  • Awnings and umbrellas
  • Farming equipment
  • Bird baths and fountains
  • Heavy-duty blinds

You can also use pressure washers to strip old paint, debark logs for firewood, and remove graffiti!

Cost of Pressure Washers and Where To Buy Them

Pressure washers can be quite affordable, ranging from $100 to $500 depending on the model you choose. Most people pay between $250 and $300 for a quality pressure washer. Electric washers are typically cheaper than gas models, so consider that when budgeting.

You can buy pressure washers online or purchase one at most hardware stores. Places like Ace, Home Depot, and Lowe’s have pressure washers in stock, so you can go buy one at any time.

Choosing the Right Pressure Washer

When selecting the perfect pressure washer for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Portability
  • Power
  • Maintenance
  • Purpose 

If you need to move around a large area and cover a lot of ground, a gas washer is usually best. But if you just need to clean a few small things, like a bicycle or patio furniture, an electric residential washer should be sufficient.

Typically, commercial properties require gas-powered hot-water washers, while residential jobs can use electric-powered cold-water washers.

With the right pressure washer, you can make your property sparkle!

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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