Before using a pressure washer, review the manufacturer's guidelines about operation.
Every pressure washer model is different and following the directions for your model
will help you operate it safely and effectively.
Assess your project and develop a plan. Consider the flow of gravity: if you're pressure
washing siding or a fence, work from top to bottom, for decks and driveways, work
downhill. Consider breakable and delicate objects such as windows, vents or light
fixtures that you'll want to avoid pressure washing.
Select a nozzle, or tip, for the project. Nozzles attach to the end of the pressure-washing
wand that is connected by a hose to the pressure washer pump and motor. The nozzle
determines the water pressure; like putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose.
The smallest angle, or opening, will deliver the most power. Most models include
several different nozzles and the owner's manual will provide information about the
most appropriate use for each one. Attach any accessories, such as extension wands
for reaching high places or water brooms for large flat areas, when you connect the
Decide if you'll use chemicals. Most models have an injector or special nozzle that
allows you to add detergents or degreasers to the pressure spray. Adding chemicals
can make some cleaning projects easier. Consult the owner's manual for help selecting
the appropriate chemical solution and about how to add chemicals to your pressure
Put on protective eyewear and gloves before you begin. If the motor is loud, you
also might want ear plugs or protective headphones.
Before starting your pressure washer, check that all connections are tight, a loose
nozzle can become a projectile that will hurt people and damage property when you
turn on the power.
Start the pressure washer and test the spray. Begin by spraying away from the surface
or object you want to clean and then slowly point the wand toward it from 3 to 4
feet away. Make a few passes and then stop for a moment to see if it is clean. If
not, move closer.
After determining the ideal spraying distance, continue making slow, methodical passes
over the surface until you've cleaned the surface or object to your satisfaction.