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Pressure Washers 101: What You Need to Know

With spring on the horizon, all of us will be spending more time outdoors. In pretty weather our patios, decks, and outdoor spaces become extensions of our homes. Does your outdoor space look musty, dirty, mildewed, or in need of a cleaner surface? If so, you might be in the market for a pressure washer. But pressure washers come in several varieties. There are electric and gas-powered pressure washers, and there are different strengths as well.

Different pressure washers for different jobs

The pressure in pressure washers is measured in pounds per square inch, abbreviated PSI. What kind of pressure washer you need depends on what you will use it for. For instance, different surfaces require different amounts of pressure, and using too much pressure can damage a surface. For washing a boat you can use a higher pressure between 1600 and 2000. Cars and houses are more delicate and require lower pressure. The mortar between bricks or sections of concrete should be washed with less pressure than some other surfaces. So it’s important to know what you need in a pressure washer.

Pressure washing a deck

Pressure washing a deck can transform its look

Selecting between electric and gas

For washing a car or a deck or furniture, a PSI of 1200 to 1500 is ideal.

Pressure washing removes mud

Pressure washing removes mud from off-road vehicles

According to, electric pressure washers are easy to use and can be purchased at most any hardware store or online.

Gas-powered pressure washers are a bit more complicated and take more preparation before use. However, they do have a higher level of pressure, so removing dirt and grime can be easy. Gas pressure washers are more powerful and tend to be better for commercial use.

Electric pressure washers are best suited for occasional use and shorter runtimes. They’re built for tasks like washing patios, fences, and vehicles. On the other hand, gas-powered washers are intended for more frequent use and heavy-duty tasks like stripping paint.

Dewalt electric power pressure washer

Dewalt 2400 PSI 1.1 cold water electric pressure washer

Westinghouse 3200 PSI 2.5 pressure washer

Westinghouse 3200 PSI 2.5 GPM deep cleaning pressure washer

If you’re considering purchasing or renting a pressure washer, do your homework first. Shop around, seek information, and read up on the many choices you will have.



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