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Why You Should Own a Pressure Washer

Use a pressure washer all around your home.

Man pressure washing a driveway
Virrage Images/Shutterstock.com
A pressure washer is an excellent tool for washing your car, home, driveway, and fence. They're easy to use, preserve water, and are a solid investment for any homeowner.

While most homeowners have a few essential power tools like a drill or impact wrench, another item everyone should own is a pressure washer. Why? Because it’s a multi-purpose tool with many different uses around the house.

You can save money on car washing, keep up on home maintenance, and a pressure washer makes all sorts of jobs easier than ever thanks to different attachments and accessories.

Many people consider buying one for washing a car or cleaning off a driveway, but the investment will pay off in countless ways. So, here’s what you need to know about a pressure washer and why you’ll want one.

What is a Pressure Washer?

Man using a pressure washer on a fence.
ABO PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock.com

A pressure washer or power washer uses an electric motor or gas engine to force water at extremely high pressure through a nozzle. You hook a hose up to the pressure washer, and it pumps water through a hose with enough power for the dirtiest of jobs. It’s like having the power of a “self car wash” at home.

Pressure washer nozzles often come in several different spray angles, which helps blast away dirt, grime, rust, and more. You can use a wide-angle nozzle to spray down the side of a house or something more concentrated to tackle grease or dirt on a driveway.

You can choose between three main styles: a hot water gas-powered pressure washer or a cold water pressure washer that runs on gas or electricity. For most, a regular cold water electric machine is perfect.

Hot water gas options are typically the most expensive and are what you’ll find professionals using. For most homeowners, a regular electric pressure washer is more than enough. However, if you don’t want to use an extension cord, a gas washer will go more places if you have a hose long enough to feed it water.

When to Use a Pressure Washer

Close up of pressure washing a vehicle.
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

So, what would you use a pressure washer for? Well, on everything around the house that is difficult to clean or where you’d typically pay someone else to do it. These little gadgets are great for cleaning anything. I use mine for all sorts of tasks, and you can too.

Get a pressure washer to wash your car, bike, RV, boat, ATV, driveway, gutters, windows, wooden deck, swingsets, or patio furniture. The list goes on and on. You can even spray down and clean up a BBQ, fence, brickwork, or the sides of a home, not to mention those stinky garbage cans. Once you get one, you’ll find a myriad of usage scenarios.

If that long list of suggestions didn’t convince you to buy one, I don’t know what will. I use my pressure washer to power wash my garbage and recycle bins once a month, as our HOA requires them to be in the garage or the backyard, and I don’t want them stinking up the place. That’s on top of regular car washes and cleaning dust from my patio furniture, thanks to living in the desert.

I use my pressure washer for everything mentioned above except to clean an RV, boat, or gutters, as I don’t have any of those. For everything else, a pressure washer is one of the best and fastest ways to get any job done.

Make your old dirty driveway look brand new, or clean your wooden patio and fence to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Again, the possibilities are endless, so buy one and see what you’re missing.

How Much Water Does a Pressure Washer Use?

Person pressure washing a wooden patio.

Depending on where you live, water conservation and drought could be important. If so, you’re likely wondering how much water a pressure washer will use. Thankfully, they’re far more efficient than a garden hose.

On average, a consumer-grade pressure washer will use approximately 1.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). Your typical garden hose will pour out around 7 to 9 GPM. A pressure washer is substantially better in terms of water usage and waste. That’s a massive difference, especially for homeowners or businesses.

The narrow nozzle limits how much water gets used per minute, all while the high-pressure output cleans things easier. Combining the two means you’ll get jobs done faster and use far less water. Ideally, you’ll want a pressure washer with the highest PSI and lowest water usage.

The PSI Rating Matters

Man using a Ryobi power washer.

Next, we want to talk about the different power level ratings for a pressure washer, also known as the PSI, which is an essential factor you’ll want to weigh before buying one.

PSI stands for pounds per square inch, which is how powerful the water can flow from the nozzle. Typically, gas-powered pressure washers offer a higher PSI rating, but they’re also loud, have gas fumes, and are more expensive.

Electric models usually have a lower PSI rating, but that doesn’t mean they’re not up to the task. For most, anything around 1600-2000 PSI is great for light-duty jobs around the house. However, if you plan on cleaning bricks, cement driveways, or other big projects, you’ll likely want something closer to 2500 PSI.

It should go without saying, but a pressure washer is not a toy. Higher PSI models can cause injury and even remove the paint from your vehicle. High-powered options should be used with caution.

Which Pressure Washer to Buy?

Damian Lugowski/Shutterstock.com

Now that you know a little more about pressure washers and realize just how useful one can be around the house, here are a few options worth buying.

Depending on the model or brand, you’ll get different features like wheels for portability, a built-in hose reel for storage, detergent reservoirs, or even extra nozzle heads. Most come with at least 4-5 different nozzles. And yes, you can buy models that’ll heat the water and tackle dirty jobs, but those are even more expensive.

Before you buy a new pressure washer, consider what you’ll use it for at home or on a job site. You’ll want to look for different hose lengths, water usage, and PSI strength. So, try these for spring cleaning, summer car washes, and any other DIY household chores.

All-Around Choice

Ryobi 2300 PSI (1.2 GPM) Electric Pressure Washer

The Ryobi 2300 PSI washer has a built-in detergent tank, a long wand, easy storage for the power cable and water hose attachment, and more than enough power.

Budget Pick

Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Sun Joe is a popular brand that offers pressure washers at varying price points. The SPX3001 has a built-in hose reel and 2030 PSI at an affordable price.

Premium Option

SIMPSON 3400 PSI Gas Pressure Washer

SIMPSON cleaning makes quality pressure washers. This 3400 gas-powered machine comes with a spray gun foam cannon, extended wand, and a 25-ft hose.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »