How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely

A pressure washer is one of the best tools for cleaning off decks, sidewalks, driveways, siding and much more. Compared to scrub brushes and regular hoses, a pressure washer can help you complete the job in a fraction of the time and get the surface sparkling clean.

The only downside of a pressure washer is that they’re not always easy to use.

Continue reading to learn the steps on how to use a pressure washer for beginners.

Terms to know before beginning

Before we get into some of the best ways to use a pressure washer safely, let’s cover some key terms surrounding all pressure washers. Here are some terms you’ll see and hear when searching for a pressure washer:

  • PSI: Pounds per square inch measures how much pressure the machine produces. The higher the psi, the stronger spray it produces.
  • GPM: Gallons per minute is the water’s flow rate. A pressure washer with a high GPM is less water efficient than other models.
  • CU: Cleaning units are calculated by multiplying psi and GPM. Higher CU values correlate to more powerful and efficient pressure washers.

What are the best ways to use a pressure washer safely?

Using a pressure washer isn’t the most difficult task, but using it incorrectly can lead to some serious injuries or even property damage. You can trust that you’ll always be safe by following these steps:

  • Avoid the zero-degree nozzle: The zero-degree nozzle (which is likely the red one) shoots the narrowest water stream. The narrower the stream, the more dangerous the water and the greater the chance of property damage. Plus, very few cleaning jobs require this powerful stream.
  • Wear protective gear: Wearing shorts and flip-flops might be more comfortable while working outside on a hot summer’s day, but you can’t prioritize comfort when it comes to working with pressure washers. Instead, wear long pants, boots, work gloves and safety goggles.
  • Prepare your area: Firing up your pressure washer without prepping your workspace can lead to some poor results or injuries. Cover all windows, exterior lights and vents to protect against water damage. Then move all potted plants, outdoor furniture and other tripping hazards out of the way to avoid tripping.
  • Watch your hands: It might just be water coming out of the nozzle, but the stream from a pressure washer can easily cut through flesh or even sever fingers, so watch your hands, and never point a pressure washer at other people.
  • Stay off ladders: Getting up on a ladder might help you clean a hard-to-reach spot, but if you’re getting on a ladder, keep the pressure washer on the ground. The kick-back from a pressure washer can easily knock you off the ladder, leading to severe injuries.

Rent your gear from East County Rentals, Inc.

The next time you’re looking to rent a pressure washer, come on down to East County Rentals, Inc. We have the best rates on all of our power tool rentals, and our friendly staff members can help walk you through the steps on how to use a pressure washer for beginners.