Gardening tools

How to Safely Use a Pressure Washer Around Your Home Garden

Cleaning the surfaces around your house can get burdensome due to a lot of dirt, moss, mud, and other debris that builds up over time. Once the grime sits for a while, getting good results from cleaning with a garden hose or a broom becomes almost impossible. However, using a more powerful tool like a pressure washer easily tackles those stains with minimal effort.

A pressure washer is a versatile tool that can be used to clean various surfaces around the house. Its main perks are:

  • the efficiency;
  • the ease of use;
  • the health benefits since you wash away any potentially dangerous substances around your garden.

Naturally, since it has so much power, it can cause damage to the surface you are cleaning or even injure you if not appropriately handled. Fortunately, you can easily avoid that by following the necessary safety measures.

Safety measures

Firstly, you should protect any fragile surfaces with a plastic sheet. That applies to windows, doors, shrubbery, decorations, or anything else that might get accidentally damaged in the process.

Next, you should put on the necessary safety gear:

  • protective goggles;
  • earplugs;
  • non-slip footwear.

When using a pressure washer, you should always be aware of which material you are cleaning. It would be best if you didn’t use a pressure washer on surfaces like:

  • asphalt roofing;
  • wood siding;
  • old mortar;
  • old plastic;
  • anything close to electricity.

Other surfaces like concrete, cement, and hardwood, to name a few, are pressure washer-friendly.

Finally, when operating a pressure washer, always keep the hose 60 cm (two feet) away from the cleaning surface, as getting any closer could damage it.

How to pressure wash pavers?

Pavers are extremely prone to getting dirty due to high volumes of traffic and weather conditions, causing dirt, weeds at the joints, or mold. Luckily, it is very easy to handle those with a pressure washer.

Pavers are usually made of concrete, clay brick, or stone; all of those surfaces are entirely safe to pressure wash. To clean it efficiently, you should use a pressure washer with between 1000 and 1500 PSI and the green 25° nozzle.

Before pressure washing, it would be a good idea to sweep any larger debris, like leaves or dirt, so it does not scatter when you switch to the pressure washer. Once you take care of that, start pressure washing the area in a sweeping motion (do not point it at a single spot for more than three seconds). You should be extra careful when cleaning paver joints; they are filled with polymeric sand that can get damaged if not handled cautiously. 

Furthermore, you can use dish soap for a more thorough cleaning, especially if the paver has grease stains. However, avoid using bleach, vinegar, or other chemicals, as they can decrease the stone’s durability.

Finally, you should finish the job with a paver sealant to protect the paver from ice and extreme heat. In addition, it gives a smooth finish and makes the next cleaning much easier.

How to pressure wash outdoor furniture?

Just like pavers, outdoor furniture is exposed to various outside factors that take their toll. Muddy rain, algae, paw prints, and pests can stain the furniture and even permanently damage it if you do not take care of it promptly.

A pressure washer is ideal for this scenario as well. Outdoor furniture is usually made of wood, vinyl, stainless steel, or aluminum – all of which you can safely pressure wash. To do so, just like with pavers, a pressure washer with 1000 to 1500 PSI will do the trick. Regarding the nozzle selection, attach the 40° one. 

On the other hand, there are some cases when cleaning your outdoor furniture is not advisable. For example, if it is made up of softwood, like cedar or pine, you should avoid using a pressure washer as it can damage it. That applies to glass covers on tables as well. Finally, if some termites or wasps build their nests in a furniture piece, you should reach out to professionals to handle those. Trying to do it yourself can be dangerous, and the risk does not outweigh the reward.

Otherwise, cleaning your outdoor furniture with a pressure washer is safe and beneficial as it prolongs its life span.

In summary

A pressure washer is a very powerful tool with which you can effortlessly clean various surfaces in record time. It saves you time and money and preserves the surface, making it last significantly longer. 

You do not need to be an expert to handle it; it is entirely safe as long as you follow the safety procedure. Always apply the safety gear and never point it toward other people or animals. Furthermore, protect any fragile objects in the area with a plastic sheet to avoid splatter or accidental damage, and you are good to go.

Jamey Kramer is the founder of Pressurewashr.com and has led testing and reviewing since 2013. He has also worked as a commercial pressure washer at a rendering plant for 3 years and has been using commercial and residential pressure washers for 15+ years. He is also a mechanical engineer and while working in the mining industry designed several turn-key light industrial vehicle wash pads.

1 comment on “How to Safely Use a Pressure Washer Around Your Home Garden

  1. r/powerwashingporn is and always will be one of my favorite subreddits.

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