Under Pressure: Spring Cleaning Made Easier

As winter slowly begins to wind down, spring is waiting right around the corner. Spring is the season of renewal, but it also means it’s time for spring cleaning. If you have a house, there’s even more work to be done after the toll that winter takes on your exteriors. When spring arrives, there is always something outside to clean. A bucket of soap and water, a cloth, and a garden hose can take care of some cleanups, but you may spend all day doing so if you want to get the job done properly. Most likely, you probably have something better in mind to do with your time. To speed up those heavy-duty home maintenance tasks, you might want to consider using a pressure washer.

What Is It?

Powered by an engine, pump, or motor, the pressure washer uses a concentrating nozzle to boost water pressure from your hose connection. Pressure washers come with either an adjustable wand tip or interchangeable nozzles, allowing you to modify the flow of the water. There are many different pressure washers on the market, so consult a review site such as washwisely.com for more information about specific models.

What Does It Do?

If you enjoy cleaning, or even if you don’t, you will literally have a blast with a pressure washer in your hand. It is a valuable and versatile piece of equipment that can handle a variety of indoor and outdoor cleaning projects. This handy tool is geared towards removing unwanted debris from buildings, vehicles, and other surfaces around your house. When operated properly, the pressure washer can remove the buildup left on homes following the winter season. It can improve the look of your home almost instantly by eliminating dirt, dust, grime, and mold from exterior siding. From blasting away stains off your driveway to cleaning a deck or patio, the pressure washer is very convenient and more efficient than scrubbing by hand. You can spruce up your outdoor furniture and gazeboes, and safely knock down wasp nests and spider webs. By keeping your house exteriors and outdoor areas clean, you are helping the environment and adding to your quality of life.

Pressure Washer vs. Power Washer

Although most people assume that pressure washers and power washers are the same thing, any industry professional will tell you they are much different. They both use high-pressure water sprays, but the pressure washer is better for some jobs than the power washer and vice versa. As the name implies, a power washer provides a much stronger stream of hot water at a higher velocity, while a pressure washer employs a lower velocity at cooler temperatures. Because of these differences, a power washer can sometimes be too extreme in certain situations such as roof cleaning. It would be like using a sledgehammer to pound a nail into your wall. Pressure washers are the preferred choice for indoor projects as well as cleaning outdoor surfaces like patios and walkways made of brick or concrete.

Color Coded Nozzles

The most important piece on a pressure washer is the nozzle, which adjusts the pressure used in washing. Depending on the task at hand, different nozzles produce different types of sprays. To keep it simple, the nozzles are coded by color to designate the degrees, so you know which nozzle to apply for a certain project. Regardless of which nozzle you use, always begin by putting a fair amount of distance between yourself and the item or surface you’re cleaning. Closer distances can cause serious injures or damage fragile surfaces.

  • Red: Zero Degrees. Intended for ultimate impact as opposed to wide coverage, the red nozzle produces the most direct spray and is designed for removing dirt and tough stains from cracks and crevices. However, it may damage delicate materials such as tile or wood.
  • Yellow: 15 Degrees. Producing a fan pattern, the yellow nozzle is known as a chiseling tip. This one is ideal for breaking strong bonds like paint, mildew, and grease.
  • Green: 25 Degrees. This fan pattern allows general cleaning of broad surfaces and larger areas with moderate pressure. Green nozzles are perfect for clearing leaves, mud, and grass clippings from decks, patios, driveways, and exterior siding.
  • White: 40 Degrees. For the widest spray with the least amount of pressure, the white nozzle’s fan pattern is useful when you need to clean fragile surfaces and materials. In addition to sweeping away leaves and light debris from sidewalks and driveways, you can also use this one for washing your vehicle’s windows, wooden decks, and children’s playsets.
  • Black: Low Pressure. Referred to as the soaping tip, the black nozzle is used for cleaning agents only. If your pressure washer can dispense soap, this nozzle reduces pressure and triggers soap injection into the water supply.

Safety Precautions

Pressure washers make quick work of a wide range of indoor and outdoor tasks, but cleaning with one can be dangerous. Although not as strong as the power washer, pressure washers are very potent tools that should be used wisely. The jets are powerful enough to break windows, take paint off surfaces unintentionally, and cause serious injures. A pressure washer’s mighty spray is hazardous when misdirected and can damage skin in a heartbeat. To avoid eye injuries, punctures, and bruises, always practice thorough safety precautions no matter which spray tip or setting you’re using. Store the pressure washer in a dry place free of moisture, grime, and dirt. When operating your pressure washer, wear long pants, gloves, goggles, and sturdy footwear. Flip-flops are definitely a no-no while handling the washer because you must have full protection at all times. By following these guidelines, you can make your spring cleaning safer and easier.