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The Pressure’s On: Five Things You Never Thought to Pressure Wash

The Pressure’s On: Five Things You Never Thought to Pressure Wash
  • Opening Intro -

    We all know that pressure washers can be used to clean your home’s siding.

    And with spring right around the corner and the weather on its way to warming up, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be seeing pressure washing picking up very soon.


But did you know that there’s a whole wonderful world of washing potential out there that you never thought about? As long as you follow the proper safety guidelines for the particular washer you use, the sky is the limit to the things you can clean. Here are five projects to get you started, along with some basic tips to keep in mind while you wash.

Safety First!

Before beginning any outdoor power project, make sure you have all of your bases covered. Proper safety equipment is essential to keep you safe and give you the best cleaning experience possible. After all, even though cleaning is not necessarily the thing you most look forward to, if you are absolutely miserable, it just won’t get done! So, be sure you have appropriate safety glasses, gloves and ear plugs.

As well as sufficient safety gear, make sure you follow the instructions that come with the individual washer you use. Which brings us to our final point as we prep our pressure washers: there are several different types of washers that are “project specific” and choosing the right one can make or break your pressure washing experience.

The most appropriate washers for light duty, less frequent jobs are “consumer electric motor models” which provide between 1300 – 1800 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). The PSI rating describes the power of the stream of water coming through the washer and greatly determines the types of jobs you can tackle with the particular washer.

You might also consider a “consumer gas engine model” if you plan on using the washer more frequently. The extra investment really pays off in the long run as you have more versatility with choice of project. However, either consumer model (electric or gas) provides the perfect amount of water pressure to give that squeaky clean shine we’re all looking for.

Car Parts

There’s a reason those automated drive-through and DIY car washes use pressure washing hoses – they deliver maximum power to clean off grit and motor grease from our cars. Along with cleaning the body of the car, they work wonders on dirty wheels, rims and greasy engines.

Before you clean the engine, be sure to cover all of the surrounding components with a trash bag or plastic tarp. Applying a cleaning solution to the engine itself can aid in loosening grease, oil, mud and other grime from the road and speed up the washing process significantly. Keep in mind that the distance away from engines of any kind is important: don’t get too close or you may damage some of the surrounding components.

Boat Trailers

In keeping with the transportation theme, boat trailers are also a great item to clean with a pressure washer. Sure, people clean their boats but they often overlook the trailer, which can become just as gunky with algae and water scum as the boat itself.

Start this process by using a pressure washer-appropriate cleaning detergent and spraying it on the trailer. For extra tough grime, use a scrub brush before your final rinse. Additionally, be sure to stay at least six inches away from the tires to avoid damaging or even popping them.

Trash Cans

As well as pressure washer-specific cleaning detergents, you can also use sanitizing solutions. This is a great way to clean and disinfect our garbage receptacles. As well as destroying nasty germs, you are also eliminating those noxious odors and that’s always a good thing!

Be sure to clean both the inside and outside of the can, as well as the lid, and maintain proper distance from the tires. Make sure you will not need to use the can immediately as it will need sufficient time to dry and always dry it by turning it upside down.

Outdoor Grills

Now that spring is coming, summer’s not far behind. That means outdoor barbecues and days out in the yard! Get your grill in fighting shape with a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.

Before you apply any water or cleaners, be sure to empty any ashes from the grill’s last use. Take out the grate and spray a cleaner on the surface – a grill brush will help you to scrub away any remaining grease or food particles. Undertaking this process on a sunny day will aid the drying process and shorten the time until you can reassemble the grill and get cooking!

Lawn Furniture

Our final project is also one you will want to undertake on a day with plenty of sunlight. Whether you have wood or plastic lawn furniture or portable beach chairs that need a fresh rinse, your pressure washer can handle the job.

Remove any cushions before you start your wash. For plastic furniture from your porch or lawn, a sponge with a simple cleaning detergent can get those hard to reach areas. When you spray your beach chairs, make sure to leave them out in the sun to dry before folding them back up and putting them away. Along those lines, try to wash your chairs after each trip to the beach to remove salt water and prevent rust from developing during the off-season.

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Now that we’ve “wetted” your appetite for power washing and all of the options at your disposal, what are some of the things you’ve seen power-washed? Can you think of any other unique ways to create some outdoor power this spring?

Author Information

Mike Tuma is regular contributor to the Home Depot blog. He has been a store associate at a Chicago-area Home Depot since 2005. Mike provides tips to customers on products ranging from lawn mowers to chainsaws.

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Categories: Exterior Home

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".