Helpful tips to avoid injury and surface damage
Using residential-grade pressure washers is a great way to refresh the appearance of your home and surrounding landscape throughout the year. However, the amount of pressure provided by these powerful cleaning solutions should not be taken lightly. As many models produce enough pressure to damage soft surfaces and even cause injury, abiding by the following tips will help keep you and those around you safe and your desired surfaces looking clean.
Prior to Operation
When using a pressure washer, the most important aspect of operational safety is wearing protective gear. Wear goggles to guard your eyes from spray or detergent applications. Leather gloves and boots are also recommended to keep your hands and feet shielded from inadvertent spray.
When the washer is in use, it is imperative that you stay aware of potential hazards while cleaning:
As water conducts electricity, keeping the washer’s spray pattern clear of electrical wires or power lines is the easiest way to avoid potential electrocution while preventing damage to your home’s utility power connections.
When using a pressure washer, maintaining focus on the task at hand is important. However, also be aware of those around you to ensure their safety. Keep pets and small children out of the spray’s path during operation. If someone approaches you during use, lower the spray gun and release the trigger until they have returned to an area outside of your cleaning zone. Never take your eyes off your application site while pulling the spray gun’s trigger, and keep the pressure washer directed towards desired surfaces at all times during use.
From concrete and brick to home siding and automobiles, residential-grade pressure washers are capable of cleaning a variety of surfaces. When held too close to an application site, a pressure washer’s spray pattern can potentially cause damage. Be sure to keep the high-pressure stream at a consistent distance of one to two feet for even cleaning. While a wide-angle spray tip — 40 degrees or greater — will provide sufficient pressure for most outdoor cleaning applications, you should use higher-pressure nozzles with caution, as their enhanced pressure is intended for more porous surfaces like brick or concrete. Refer to the owner’s manual to ensure you are using the proper nozzles and applicable settings for your desired cleaning tasks.
The pressure washer’s muffler will increase in temperature during operation. Refrain from making physical contact or allowing the pressure washer’s hose to touch the muffler’s hot surface to avoid potential injury or accessory damage.
A hot muffler can also burn or ignite combustible objects within its storage area. To avoid damage to your home and other valuables, allow your pressure washer to cool down for at least 30 minutes before returning the unit to storage after use.
Understanding pressure washing hazards that can jeopardize the safety of your home and those around you is essential when completing your cleaning tasks throughout the year. As different product models produce varying levels of pressure, another easy way to avoid damage to your belongings is to ensure you are using a product with the ideal pressure ratings for your desired application sites. For help identifying the right pressure washer model for your needs, we recommend referring to our online pressure washer selection guide
or contacting an independent authorized dealer
in your local area.