All too often we see cleaning blogs, guides and tip sites heralding the power of pressure washers and jet washers – without sharing any of the risks and hazards that come along with high-pressure water at the hands of an amateur.

Find the perfect DIY pressure washer

With a range of pressure washers so readily available on the DIY market, it is no wonder that so many are investing in the compact pressure washer and bringing them home to save money on professional cleaning services – however before you jump into using your washer to clean the car or blast stubborn dirt from the exterior of your home and making your patio cleaner, it is essential to understand the risk of damage that comes as a side effect.

How do jet washers work?

Commonly known as pressure washers, power washers and jet washers, all of these different titles do largely the same job – removing dirt and using a water jet spray to create a powerful cleaning tool using a steady water supply which is run using a gas engine or electric motor.

This powers the pump which generates a large amount of water pressure in your water supply, transforming the trickle of a standard garden hose into something which creates between 1,000 and 3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) of water through a narrow jet wand.

The higher the pressure, the more effective the jet is at removing stains – in practice, homeowners will often find that a PSI of up to 2,400 is effective enough for standard home cleaning. Electric pressure washers sit at the lower end of the scale in terms of their power, while gas pressure washers are better for heavy-duty pressure washing cleaning jobs – including outdoor cleaning like algae, moss, mould and cleaning your patio, and commercial cleaning.

For homeowners seeking the right pressure washer for them, our top tip would be to keep it simple with an electric jet washer for the home – and if you need something more powerful for the odd job, consider calling in a professional cleaning company to use their high-level equipment to get the job done efficiently and effectively.

The safety precautions

Using a jet washer safely is not just about protecting yourself – it is also about protecting your surfaces, both for aesthetic purposes and health and safety purposes.
Some of the damage that we have seen caused by pressure washer misuse includes:

· Broken windows
· Damaged paintwork
· Cracked and dislodged patio slabs
· Stripped paint on a car
· Serious injury

Aside from the obvious severity of the injury, all the exterior damages to property are costly and can create their own hazards – for example, uneven and dislodged patio slabs which can become a trip hazard.

As such, it is extremely important that you familiarise yourself with the workings of your pressure washer before picking it up, and that anytime you turn it on or go to use it, you set the pressure setting to the gentlest spray setting and ensure that it isn’t pointing directly at anything that can be damaged.

How to use a jet wash

A jet wash works by channelling high-pressure water through a nozzle – that is something we have already learnt. However, what we have not yet covered is the different levels of pressure which can be generated using different nozzles – and this is where we recommend you get started with your familiarisation of the machine. The thinner the nozzle, the more powerful the jet will be, so to get started, you should make sure that the nozzle setting is as wide as possible.

These nozzles tend to be identified by the colour – red being the most extreme setting, progressing to yellow, then green, white, and black. Black is the low-pressure nozzle and is the best place to start if you are new to jet washing.

Prior to using your jet wash, we recommend protecting your eyes and covering exposed skin – and prep your surroundings by removing breakables and advising others to stay away. Finally, never use a jet wash or pressure washer when you are on a ladder – as the power of the spray can be enough to knock you off balance and can cause serious harm to you and to your home if you’re not careful.

If you’re uncertain on how to tackle your pressure washer and the different nozzle settings, or you would rather bring in a professional to complete a high pressure clean rather than attempt it yourself, your local cleaning company will be able to provide you with a free quote for any cleaning job.

And if you are looking for a way of cleaning your car, you can always fall back on elbow grease and a little manual labour!