The Power of Power Washing
I’m going to make a crazy declaration here. Every homeowner should own a power washer. There, I said it! After using our power washer at the new house multiple times over the last few weeks, I’ve realized how amazing this little tool is and I’m pretty sure power washing is my new favorite household chore.
I’ve used power washers in the past and always loved the satisfaction I would get from cleaning a sidewalk or a porch with this powerful sprayer. Our condo building did spring cleaning every year and Finn and I would always volunteer to rent a power washer to clean up the sidewalks and back area. It was always a huge pain to rent the machine, throw it in the car, use it for hours, and then bring it back that same day. So last year, when I stained our deck, I decided to buy a power washer.
I ended up going with this model and it has been great for us! It’s not too bulky and really wasn’t that expensive. When I shared my escapades power washing at the new house, so many of you guys reached out asking if we owned or rented the machine. And I pretty much told everyone that I think it’s worth it to buy one. A power washer is not terribly expensive and you’ll get a lot of use out of it (from cleaning your patio furniture each year, to giving your garbage cans a good clean, to cleaning dirty sidewalk and siding).
My Tips for Power Washing
Our sidewalks, front porch, and garage door were all absolutely filthy and I was itching to get everything looking a little cleaner. Since we can’t really do much work inside (our renovation is underway), Finn and I have been using this time as an opportunity to tackle the outside area. I’ve been a power washing machine over the last few weekends, so I figured I would share some of my best tips for using my favorite tool.
Wear Boots & Sunglasses
You’re going to get filthy when power washing. That’s just a part of the fun! But I highly recommend rocking rain boots when you work. I’ve worn sandals in the past, but if you accidentally spray your foot it can be painful (and you could actually really get hurt). I wear my Hunter boots and it works like a charm (even though I look a little crazy on a hot & sunny day!).
Also, wear sunglasses (or safety glasses). I didn’t wear them when I first started power washing the back of our house and I quickly realized that they’re a must! Dirt and mud can fly right back at your face and you don’t want to get anything in your eyeballs! So don some crappy clothes, your rain boots, and sunglasses and you’ll be good to go.
Use the Right Nozzle
Most power washers come with various nozzles that you can easily swap out as you work. When I was power washing, I went with the slimmest, and most powerful nozzle to really get the dirt out of the sidewalk. But if you’re just hosing something off you can go with a nozzle that isn’t quite as powerful. My nozzles are stored right on the machine which is super helpful!
Try a Cleaning Solution
My power washer has a little area where you add soap or a cleaning solution. I had some leftover patio and deck cleaner from when I stained our deck last year, so I just went with that one. It worked like a charm and really helped to clean our sidewalks and get them looking bright and fresh again.
Carefully Clean your Siding
While I’ve mostly spent my time power washing sidewalks and porches, I also used ours to clean off the siding on our garage and the garage door. You could tell that our garage has not been maintained at all, so it was nice to give it a good scrub down. It’s amazing what a little soap and water can do to bring something back to life! Just be careful when power washing siding because you don’t want to damage it with the powerful stream of water. This might be a good time to test out a different, less intense nozzle.
I thought I would be able to get all of the power washing done in the new house in about an hour. Boy, was I wrong! Each square of sidewalk took me at least ten minutes and we had a lot of squares to do! My back started to get pretty sore from bending over and my hand hurt from squeezing the trigger so hard.
I took breaks and Finn took over a few times to give my body a rest. We had a lot of ground to cover and it took us an afternoon to get it all done.
Enjoy this Super Satisfying Project
It’s crazy how satisfying power washing can be. There’s just something so fulfilling about seeing all of that dirt go away. And we definitely had some fun writing messages in our dirty sidewalks. Just shows how dirty everything was before we got our hands on it. Yeesh!Even though it’s tedious, you really don’t want to stop when you get results like this! I took my time going over every inch of our concrete until it was all looking fresh and new.
Our New Clean Home
Here are a few before and after pics.
I’m not putting the power washer away for the summer just yet. My plan is to power wash the deck before we stain it (in a few weeks!) and I want to give our garbage cans a good clean out when we’re done with our renovation. There are just so many uses for this awesome tool.
If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift or housewarming gift, I highly recommend a power washer! It’s a tool that every house needs and I definitely stand by that statement!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.