Pressure Washer Buying Guide

A pressure washer helps you tackle tough dirt and grime that might be hard to scrub away with a soap and sponge. This pressure washer buying guide can help you find the right tool for the job.

Pressure Washers 101

When it’s time to wash away months of grime left by sleet and slush, a bucket, sponge and some elbow grease alone might not cut it. Enter: the pressure washer. A pressure washer can help to get the job done quickly and efficiently, saving you hours of scouring and scrubbing. Whether you need a powerful clean, or something a little lighter, there’s a pressure washer that can get the job done. Not sure what to look for? Use the tips below to help find a pressure washer for the job.

Types of Pressure Washers



Need to do some heavy duty cleaning? A gas-powered pressure washer might be your best bet. This type of pressure washer typically offers higher water pressure than electric washers, which makes them perfect for heavy-duty jobs. Gas-powered pressure washers are also portable; they don’t need to be plugged in, so you can use it anywhere. If you don’t have many outlets outside, a gas-powered pressure washer might be the more convenient option.


If you don’t need to do much heavy cleaning, an electric pressure washer might be perfect for you. This type of pressure washer is lighter and more compact than gas versions, so they’re easier to move around. You’ll need access to an outlet, but unlike gas pressure washers, electric washers don’t ever require oil changes or extra fuel.

Pressure Washer Cleaning Tips:

Using a pressure washer is fairly simple, but there are some things you can do to really bring out the best in what you’re cleaning:
• Use a detergent: there are different chemical formulas available for different jobs, including car washing or waxing. Choose the detergent that’s right for the job.
• Don’t stand too far away: the closer you are to what you’re cleaning, the more concentrated the blast of water hitting the surface will be.
• The pressure: make sure your washer has the right pressure for the job. Too light, and it won’t clean properly, but too heavy could create damage.
• Choose the right spray angel: the spray angle of the nozzle (the part of the washer that performs the actual cleaning) can make all the difference. A straight stream will give a powerful clean, but a wide spray will be gentler.

Safety Tips:

There are a few things you should always remember when using your pressure washer:
• Always use the right nozzle for the job. The wrong nozzle could damage the surface you’re cleaning
• Before adding any suds to your washer, make sure you’re using a detergent that’s approved by the manufacturer for use in your particular pressure washer
• If you’ve chosen a gas-powered washer, check the oil-level indicator on a regular basis and keep your washer lubricated so that it runs smoothly and efficiently

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Gas vs. Electric

There are two basic types of pressure washers: gas and electric. Both types will get the job done, but one might be better suited than the other for certain tasks. Before you make a decision, think about where and how you’ll be using your pressure washer.

Cleaning Power

Before your make a final decision, consider the cleaning power. There are a few key metrics that measure cleaning power, including:
• PSI: The washer’s water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the PSI, the higher the cleaning power.
• GPM: The volume of water delivered through the washer’s spray gun is measured in gallons per minutes (GPM). The higher the GPM, the more water you’ll use while cleaning.
• CU: The cleaning unit (CU) is the combination of the pressure washer’s PSI and GPM, which is the washer’s total cleaning speed and power. The higher the CU, the more options you have in terms of what you can clean and how quickly.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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