I've owned a pressure washer for over half a decade now, and these are the lessons I've learned

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer
(Image credit: Karcher)

Join our newsletter

All the best features, news, tips and great deals to help you live a better life through technology

Thank you for signing up to T3. You will receive a verification email shortly.

There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.

By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions (opens in new tab) and Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) and are aged 16 or over.

I’ve been reviewing the best pressure washers at T3 now for over half a decade, and during that time I’ve learned plenty of lessons.

Pressure washers are fantastic outdoor cleaning tools and I frequently recommend them to T3 readers as well as my friends, family and colleagues.

However, if you are planning on buying a pressure washer, there are some things I wish someone had told me when I first started using one that I feel it is important to pass on.

As such, here are 5 key pieces of pressure washer info that I feel everyone should know.

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer

(Image credit: Kärcher)

1. Too much power is a schoolboy error

Ok, if there one thing you should learn straight away after buying a pressure washer is don’t use maximum power for all jobs. Just because your pressure washer can fire out water at a ridiculously high pressure doesn’t mean you should use it like that for every application.

Indeed, use a pressure washer such as the Karcher K4 at maximum power while  cleaning your car and you’ll strip the paint of that motor quicker than you can blink. Same is true when, say, cleaning a wooden fence or decking. Walk up to that surface and unleash the full power of your pressure washer and you’re going to be left with stripped, bare wood that will then rot easily.

Own a cycle or motorbike? Well, again, you absolutely don’t want to use full power on these as you’ll degrease chains, blow bearings out and strip paintwork and decals.

The lesson? Turn that power down to a suitable level for all but the most demanding of jobs. You simply won’t need anywhere near full power to really clean most things well.

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer

(Image credit: Future)

2. If your power drops, check your hose

This is a small thing but caught me out badly when I originally experience it. I wanted to pressure wash my front drive and after bringing out my pressure washer and hooking everything up, I proceeded to turn the system on, selected the correct nozzle setting on my spray lance, slotted in a bottle of detergent and then pulled the trigger.

And, far from getting the powerful pressure washer spray that I wanted, I instead got a weak stream that was like using a normal hose pipe attachment. I immediately freaked out, believing the pressure washer’s motor had broken, as I couldn’t hear anything happening from the main unit. I then checked to make sure the power was indeed on, which it was, before doing a quick glance at the hose pipe, which looked fine too.

After 10 minutes of WTF?! I then finally realised that the pressure washer hose had, just under the lip of my upper patio, become kinked out of sight. This meant the pressure washer wasn’t receiving water in the quantity it needed to operate.

The lesson? Make sure you have eyes on your hose from tap to pressure washer, as kinks and coils will affect performance.

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer

(Image credit: Canva)

3. Using a pressure washer is a messy business

Here’s another top tip that was not obvious to me when I first started using a pressure washer – it’s a seriously messy business.

Sometimes you look at something and it just looks filthy, such as a mountain bike caked in mud after a month of extreme off-road usage.

But other things, such as decking and patios for example, can look relatively clean in the grand scheme of things. But, don’t be fooled!

The first time I cleaned my patio with a pressure washer I was dressed in shorts, T-shirt and boots, and while they weren’t my best clothes, they certainly weren’t tatty old clothes I held on to for painting and manual labour.

Within about 20 minutes of use I was covered in mud and detritus that had been blown up off the patio, as well as pretty wet, too from all the back spray. I had to put everything I was wearing in the wash, boots included, just to get them back to some form of usability.

If only someone had told me that using a pressure washer in any situation will result in lots of mess before I used it. Well, now I’ve told you, so you don’t have to make the same mistake.

I advise people to pressure wash in old clothes and, ideally, wearing wipeable water proof outer layer.

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer

(Image credit: Muc Off)

4. Add-in pressure washer detergents are fantastic

If, like me, you own multiple vehicles and have bought a pressure washer primarily to clean them then I heavily advise that you also invest in some detergent add-in bottles.

Top brands like Karcher make many different types of these detergents, ranging from ones specifically for vehicle cleaning through to patio washing, and they make the whole process quicker and better.

Can you achieve the same results just using water and then manually shampooing? Probably in a lot of cases, but while that’s quite easy when cleaning vehicles, when cleaning wood or stone not so much.

A bottle of universal cleaner costs under a tenner and will last you a good while, so speed up your pressure washing and get better results with just a little extra spend.

5 things i wish i'd known before i bought a pressure washer

(Image credit: Karcher)

5. Kärcher is the maker of the best pressure washers

Anyone who has read T3.com over the past 5 years will have seen that the best pressure washers, in my opinion, are made by Kärcher right now.

It’s not just the build quality or features either that make me think this, either, but the fact that the Kärcher range is really extensive and it, literally, has a pressure washer that is probably right for every user.

From the lightweight and compact Kärcher K2, which is ideal if you just want a system to clean small vehicles and facias, through the really strong all-rounder that is the Kärcher K4, and onto the powerhouse flagship Kärcher K7, there’s a great range on offer at a wide variety of price points.

Don’t get me wrong, pressure washers from other manufacturers such as Nilfisk are also quality (the Nilfisk Core 140 is defo worth a look), but I think you can’t go wrong in 2022 when shopping for a pressure washer if you shop Kärcher.

My number one piece of advice when buying a pressure washer

And, if you are looking to buy a pressure washer, my number one piece of advice is to pick up a pressure washer that will suit your needs, and not to buy a piece of equipment that is overkill for you or not up to the jobs you need it to tackle.

If you just want to wash bicycles and small vehicles, as well as do the odd bit of facia, door and window cleaning then plump for a compact, lightweight pressure washer. You simply don’t need the power and attachments on offer by the bigger systems.

But, equally, don’t buy a cheap lightweight pressure washer if you need a system to tackle large patios, areas of decking, heavy masonry work and a large quantity of vehicles. You’ll just spend much longer than you should do on each job and get worse results.

NEWS RELATED

Amazing Sky TV hack upgrades your remote control in seconds – try it today

YOUR Sky TV remote is full of surprises. While most users know that the doofer controls your Sky TV box, few know that it can control your television, too. TikTok tech guru @wadesramsey has a handy trick for your Sky TV remoteCredit: TikTok In addition to changing channels and ...

View more: Amazing Sky TV hack upgrades your remote control in seconds – try it today

Inside the plans of the world’s wealthiest to survive the apocalypse

THE WORLD'S richest people have long been preparing for the apocalypse. Everyone probably has some fears over the world ending, but unlike the mega-rich, most of us can't do much to evade it. Using immense amounts of wealth, members of the world's elite have been building shelters and spaceships ...

View more: Inside the plans of the world’s wealthiest to survive the apocalypse

WhatsApp trick gives you SECRET features your friends can’t access – and it’s very easy

WHATSAPP users are becoming aware of a quick and easy trick that gives them access to the app’s latest features before anyone else. The trick is simple and merely involves signing up to be a WhatsApp beta tester. The WhatsApp beta is a good way to try new features ...

View more: WhatsApp trick gives you SECRET features your friends can’t access – and it’s very easy

FIFA 23 launch times — When you can get your hands on the upcoming game

FIFA 23 officially releases on September 30, but there are multiple ways that you can get your hands on the game starting today. As there are so many different ways to access FIFA 23, we’ve rounded up a guide on when you can start playing. FIFA 23 is out ...

View more: FIFA 23 launch times — When you can get your hands on the upcoming game

iPhone owners warned to STOP using passwords as massive danger revealed

PASSWORDS are going the way of the dodo – at least if Apple has its way. iPhone owners are being urged to try a new system that replaces passwords entirely. You can use Passkeys instead of passwords to sign up for apps and websitesCredit: Apple It was added in ...

View more: iPhone owners warned to STOP using passwords as massive danger revealed

Nasa spaceship SMASHES into asteroid 11million miles from Earth to ‘save mankind’ during groundbreaking DART mission

NASA staff jumped to their feet in delight after a spaceship crashed into an asteroid on Monday, confirming a crowning achievement in planetary defense. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission intentionally smashed into a space rock 11million miles from Earth. A Nasa spaceship purposely smashed into an asteroid ...

View more: Nasa spaceship SMASHES into asteroid 11million miles from Earth to ‘save mankind’ during groundbreaking DART mission

iPhone 15 Ultra concept video shows incredibly attractive new flagship

Our best look yet at what an Apple iPhone 15 Ultra could look like

View more: iPhone 15 Ultra concept video shows incredibly attractive new flagship

Razer Kiyo X 1080p Webcam Drops Price to Just $50: Is It Worth It?

One of Razer’s computer accessories is now being sold at a 38% discount. The Kiyo X 1080p webcam is now selling at just $49.99 including shipping from its previous $80 price. Razer’s Kiyo X is Reportedly the Most Affordable Option within the Kiyo Lineup Razer is no stranger to ...

View more: Razer Kiyo X 1080p Webcam Drops Price to Just $50: Is It Worth It?

iRobot’s New Roomba Combo j7+ Comes with an Automatic Mop: Here’s How it Works

Review Turtle Beach Recon 500

Huawei Mateview SE review: an affordable minimalist monitor for your home office

'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2' PS5 Bundle Pre-Order is Now Available on PlayStation Direct

Tired of Marvel and She-Hulk? Try these 3 superb superhero shows instead

Google is killing all Fitbit accounts soon, but I don't mind

NVIDIA Studio to Receive GeForce RTX 40 Series Acceleration

XPG Announces ATX 3.0 Compliant PSU Models

Here's why people are cancelling Netflix

Your Apple Watch is getting even more great free upgrades

OnePlus leak reveals new Galaxy Watch 5, Pixel Watch and Apple Watch 8 rival

I'm an iRobot expert and this new Roomba Combo j7+ robot vac and mop could be a game changer

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network