Pressure washers can make large cleaning projects a breeze. Whether the task be cleaning the exterior of your home, a fence, or a deck, the job will go faster and yield better results when using a pressure washer. This is because of a combination of water pressure, water flow rate, cleaning solution, and water temperature. Different levels of pressure, nozzles, and cleaning solutions can be used depending on the type of job you are doing.
Before Using a Pressure Washer
Before using the pressure washer, be sure you are familiar with all the components of the machine and the way they function. Be sure to check the level of the engine oil before starting the pressure washer. Check all parts for damage or holes in the hoses and fill the fuel tank. Cover any electrical or lighting fixtures to protect them from the water. Also be sure that you have safety gear, such as protective eyewear and gloves, available to wear while doing this project.
Add your cleaning solution to the power washer solution tank. Put on your protective gear before proceeding. When using the pressure washer, stand back about three or four feet, and turn on the machine. Using low pressure to apply the cleaning solution, hold the wand at an angle and spray with a back-and-forth motion. If area is not coming clean, move a little closer to the surface, and try again. Let the cleaning solution sit for ten to fifteen minutes.
Refill the solution tank with clean warm water. Once the cleaner has had a chance to sit, rinse the entire surface using a higher pressure setting.
PSI refers to the level of pressure when used to clean with a power washer. When applying a cleaning solution, it is best to use a low-pressure setting so that the majority of the cleaner can soak into the surface instead of spraying off. Different levels of pressure are used depending on the type of material you are cleaning. For instance, when cleaning a wood fence or deck, you should use a PSI between 800 and 1,000. When cleaning concrete, you would use a greater pressure, from 2,000 to 2,500 PSI. Consult your owner's manual for more specific pressure references.
The material of the surface to be cleaned can determine the type of cleaning solution that should be used for the project. When cleaning mold and algae from a surface, use a solution with trisodium, household bleach, and warm water. This will remove the mold and algae which can be slippery and unsafe. Note: Do not use bleach if you are cleaning a cedar deck.
Another typical cleaning solution that will remove most grime and debris is a mixture of powdered dish soap and borax. Comet or Ajax may be substituted for the borax.
When you are finished using the pressure washer, let the engine idle for two or three minutes. Once you have let it idle, turn the pressure washer off. Turn off the water and disconnect all the hoses and attachments. Empty out all the liquids from the tank before storing and replace the pump saver. Store your pressure washer in a cool, dry place.
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