Skip Navigation

A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Pressure Washer

A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Pressure Washer


When it's time to spruce up your property during the spring and summer, a pressure washer can clean anything from aluminum siding and vinyl fencing to a deck and driveway. There is a wide variety of power washers available for home improvement projects or commercial-grade jobs. Here are some important factors to consider before buying a pressure washer.

Pressure washing a walkway

Types of Pressure Washers

Electric Pressure Washers

An electric pressure washer is ideal for routine maintenance and runs using power from a nearby outlet or extension cord.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Basic cleaning - An electric pressure washer can tackle many tasks, such as cleaning a garage floor, fences, sidewalks or siding. You can also use it to clean window screens, which tend to trap lots of dust and debris over time.
  • Preparation before staining/painting - Scraping off a layer of peeling paint or washed-out stain is simple with an electric power washer. This device can leave a wooden shed or deck completely bare before you apply primer or stain.
  • Washing your vehicle - An electric power washer provides enough power to wash your car in the driveway. This can help remove dirt and debris from the paint. Remember not to spray too closely because it can damage the finish.
electric pressure washer

Gas Pressure Washers

A gas pressure washer provides ample power to complete on-the-go projects.

Gas pressure washer

Benefits & Uses...

  • Cleaning gutters - When you need to clean leaves or mold from the gutters or downspouts, an electric unit doesn't always provide the required power. A gas pressure washer is able to complete these types of medium and heavy duty projects.
  • Portability - Not all tasks are close to an electrical outlet, and that makes a gas-powered pressure washer a major asset. This unit is ideal for professionals who conduct light home improvement projects or cleanings.

Industrial Pressure Washers

An industrial pressure washer is the most powerful model. This type of washer is available in gas or electric powered models, and is typically used for major worksite projects.

Benefits & Uses...

  • Professional contractors - If you're contracted to clean off industrial buildings, concrete facades and large walkways, a commercial-grade pressure washer has plenty of power to get the job done. This unit is ideal for washing anything from simple dirt spots to slimy algae.
  • Hot-water applications - When cleaning garages, animal cages or areas with heavy grease and oil, it's important to sanitize these areas with some hot water. Unlike a standard model, an industrial pressure washer can provide heated sprays.
Industrial pressure washer

Features of Pressure Washers

Pressure washer features
  • Gallons per minute (GPM) - GPM indicates the rate of water flow from the device. The higher the water flow rate, the faster your machine will work.
  • PSI - This measures the water pressure a power washer yields. The higher the PSI, the more power your device yields. Standard home washers range from 1,300-3,000 PSI, while commercial-grade models typically produce higher than 3,000 PSI.
  • Cold water - Models that use cold water work well with removing dirt from different surface.
  • Hot water - Power washers that use hot water help you clean grease or oil stains with ease.
  • Portable options - Options featuring wheels and handles make it easy to maneuver your machine around the yard or carry it from job site to job site.
  • Aftermarket accessories - If you need to tackle multiple cleaning projects, brushes, surface cleaners and extension hoses always come in handy.