To wash your car, the windows, the exterior of your house, the pressure washer is the most effective solution. The water is propelled at a very high speed, allowing you to overcome the most difficult stains without much effort. This machine, largely using air, is economical, a “plus” not to be overlooked. But if it turns out to be an essential tool, its choice deserves special attention.
Pressure, first criterion of choice
As the name suggests, it takes a relatively large amount of pressure. The latter is expressed in bars. A pressure of 120 bar is sufficient if you use the cleaner to wash your car or your terrace. For more intensive use, it will be necessary to increase this index, up to 150 or 160. But the pressure is not the only criterion to be taken into account. Also look at the flow rate expressed in litres/h. Contrary to popular belief, high throughput does not mean more consumption. Indeed, a high flow gives you more jet power and will therefore waste less time. For domestic use, a cleaner with 1800 W, 130 bar and 400 l/h is quite optimal.
Thermal or electric model?
The thermal pressure washer is more powerful, but also autonomous. Its use is not subject to the existence of an electrical source. You will be able to attack your chalet in the mountains for example. On the other hand, it is more polluting since it is fueled with gasoline and it requires specific maintenance related to the engine. The electric is well signposted if you are in town. It is also less noisy.
Traditionally, the cleaner comes with a variable jet gun. But some models offer more varied accessories. The rotating brush can help you clean your patio in minutes. However, users agree that body brushes are not very effective. So you can skip that. There are also longer, pole-shaped heads that are ideal for cleaning the roof and for reaching less accessible areas.
The length of the fittings, for maneuverability
The flexible hose must be long enough to allow you all the movements without being hindered. It can measure up to 4 m in length. It is also possible to add an additional extension hose. But the price of your device may in this case be more substantial. The same is true of the power cord. We do not always have an outside socket which will involve the use of an extension cord. Choose a cleaner that allows you to easily access your electrical source thanks to a sufficiently long electrical cord.
There are also other criteria that can tip the balance. A cleaner equipped with a brass pump is the most robust. Then we find the model with aluminum pump. For less frequent use, you can start with the cleaner whose pump is made of composite. In any case, for more efficiency, make sure that the jet nozzle is as close as possible to the area to be cleaned so that the pressure plays its role well.
Photo credit: Scott Lewis