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Power washer

Anybody have any recommendations for a small power washer? I don’t have a clue but I’m going to start looking for one. Nothing too powerful, car washing, maybe deck washing, easy stuff. Thanks! Rocketman

I’ve been happy with this one for small jobs: deck, gutters, etc. it’s super portable and doesn’t take up much space.

I would recommend getting this brass hose adapter as well, because the one that comes with the washer is plastic and some people have had it break off. (Mine has not broken, though.)

Don’t clean your deck with a power washer if it is pressure treated lumber. The top layer will splinter and you will have to replace the decking a lot sooner. I use a deck cleaner when I restain the deck. I used Behr deck cleaner last time as it worked well. Spray it on, let it sit for 10 minutes, the spray it off with low pressure water. For a car, you want an electric power washer. You don’t need high power for that application. If you want to clean siding, you will net a gasoline powered machine that generates at least 3000 psi. You can reduce the pressure for car washing.

Yes, a deck can be damaged by a pressure washer if pressure is too high or operator is careless. But I’ve used the pressure washer I recommended above for cleaning my deck for several years without a problem.

I spray on a mixture of detergent soap with a little chlorine bleach in water (not using the pressure washer), let it sit, then pressure wash the deck. It comes out great. Yes, experts caution against using chlorine bleach on wood fibers. But I’ve done it for many years, and if used carefully in correct dilution, bleach doesn’t harm my deck surface.

I wouldn’t use bleach on a stained deck, of course. Mine is natural pressure treated lumber, and after cleaning I give it a coat of Thompson’s Water Seal.

I would not use a pressure washer on a car either. I have one, and while I did try to get brake dust off my wheels with it (I failed), I would never use it on my panted finish. I’d be afraid it would use the surface dirt as an erosive while pushing it off the surface. I use only a soft brush, which I clean after every use, with lots and lots of soapy water.

The gasoline powered model that I had was disappointing. The pressure and flow was outstanding but it wouldn’t touch the remnants of ivy left on a brick wall and took much too long to clean a driveway and if held on one spot to clean an oil spot it would actually cut a hole in the concrete. I sold it cheap to get it out of my way.

I bought an inexpensive electric power washer at some big box store. I don’t remember the brand. It did the jobs I needed it to do. I used to power wash the vinyl siding on my son’s house before he put the house in the market. I use it to wash the vinyl fence around our back yard and have used it to remove oil stains from the concrete driveway. However, I had to do a whole section of the driveway to make it look right.
I would advise not using it on a wood deck. I followed the instructions on the stain that I applied to the deck and did the power washing each time before I applied a new stain. Over time, the treated lumber became water logged and won’t hold the stain. I am now having the deck replaced. I would never use the power washer on the car.

I spent $100 at Sam’s 15 years ago, still works fine, had to replace the hose this year. Old model, now they’re about $150.