Whether you buy your own pressure washer or rent one from the local hardware store, it’s an undeniably powerful tool for removing built-up dirt and algae from your home's exterior and other outdoor surfaces. Before you use any pressure washer, however, always read the instructions carefully and use the appropriate nozzle for the job at hand. Ready to blast away debris? Here are the eight best things to clean with a pressure washer.
If your vinyl siding is looking discolored or downright dingy, a good pressure-washing session is in order. Just be sure to adjust the pressure washer to a lower psi (pound-force per square inch) so you don’t accidentally damage your siding. You can also pressure-wash wood or aluminum siding, but keep the pressure low to avoid denting aluminum siding or splintering or chipping paint off wood siding.
Related: How To: Pressure Wash a House
Sticky shoes, pounding rain, dripping automotive fluids, and dust kicked up from nearby roadways can leave the driveway dirty and mottled, and can over time actually weaken the surface. To get rid of accumulated dirt and oil, start pressure-washing at the top of the driveway and work your way down to the apron.
The Garage Floor
Even if you’re not constantly tinkering around in your garage, chances are its floor is spotted with oil stains and dirt that have built up over the years. Give the floor a good cleaning by using the pressure washer at a low setting to apply a degreasing solution. Let the solution sit for a few minutes (check the manufacturer's instructions) and then switch to a higher setting and rinse it off.
Have dirt, dust, and debris diminished your deck's appeal? Pressure-washing can bring it back to life. Use your pressure washer at a relatively low setting (anywhere from 500 to 1,200 psi, depending on the type of wood) so it doesn’t harm the surface.
Related: 6 Simple Steps to a Refreshed Deck
An attractive wood or vinyl fence can really amp up your home's curb appeal, but as the years pile up that fence can collect a fair amount of mud, mildew, and algae. Whether you’re planning on putting your house on the market or you’re just looking to do a spring spruce-up, a pressure-washing can take years off your fence's appearance. Use a lower setting for softer woods to avoid splintering and other damage; hardwoods and vinyl can stand up to more pressure.
If you don’t have the space to store your outdoor furniture in the garage or a shed over the winter, come springtime it's bound to look a little rough. Before barbecue season kicks into gear, reinvigorate your patio furniture with a pressure-washing at a low setting—and be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure you don’t damage the surface.
All those meat scraps, past-their-prime vegetables, and other smelly debris can really stink up your garbage cans. While this task is tempting to put off, you eventually need to give them a good cleaning. Make quick work of the chore by using a pressure washer—ideally one with a scrub brush attachment—at a low setting to apply detergent and then rinse it off.
Moss, algae, and dirt can make your once-tidy garden paths look less than inviting. Before you spray them off with your pressure washer, protect any nearby plants with a tarp or other covering.
Clear It Away
Blast off the dirt and grime with a pressure washer.
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