How to spring clean outside areas with a pressure washer
Hint: they do far more than just patios
04 May 2020
The annual spring clean is a great time to give the house a clear out, but don’t forget about outside areas too. And in the same way that you can’t beat a good vacuum cleaner for interiors, a jet washer should be an essential part of your outdoor cleaning kit.
Jet and pressure washers let you add detergent so you can get surfaces extra clean, and often have a range of nozzles and brushes depending on what you’re cleaning. Check out the Bosch AdvancedAquatak 140 High Pressure Washer as a great example.
Here’s how they can help you cut through the dirty jobs.
Patios get all kinds of dirty – whether that’s spilled oil to leaves. Fortunately, a pressure washer will soon sort that out.
- Before you start, move any outdoor furniture or pots you have and use a broom to move away loose material – like leaves or dirt. Apply some patio-friendly detergent to make it easier to clean.
- Connect your hose and allow water to flow through the machine to remove any air locks. Also, make sure your hose is free of tangles or kinks.
- Now connect your pressure to the mains and turn it on. Your jet washer should remove most of the dirt from your patio.
- Stubborn dirt and lichen can be removed by switching attachments to a smaller nozzle. This will give you more power to concentrate on a smaller area.
Follow the same advice for patios and you won’t go far wrong. But since you’re trying to clean a different material – i.e. wood rather than stone, there are a few things you should be careful of.
First of all, make sure the detergent you use is suitable for wood. One that protects your decking from UV damage is a good bet.
And second, be careful about what attachments you use. While the thinner nozzles are fine for patios, you could do real damage to your decking if the jet spray is too powerful. Be sure to stick to lower pressures when working on wood and you should be fine.
Cleaning outdoor walls
No matter how clean the inside looks, dirt, moss and grime on your brickwork isn’t very welcoming. But a spray with a jet washer makes all the difference…
- If you have any damaged mortar, you should either patch it up or avoid washing that area – or you might get water seeping into the brickwork and damaging the wall.
- Give the area you intend to clean a light spray. You’ll want to get it wet before applying brick-safe detergent.
- Let the detergent soak in for 10 minutes. Cleaning bricks is less about blasting them with water and more about letting the detergent do its work.
- If an area is particularly dirty, use a brush attachment.
- Finally, apply a brick and mortar sealant to protect your outside walls.
Yes, you can pressure wash bicycles. It’s a super speedy solution to an often time-consuming job. But remember that bikes are far more fragile than patios or even decking.
- Remove any attachments or accessories – pumps, water bottles etc.
- Focus your attention on areas like the frame and bracket which will be able to handle jet washing. Likewise, avoid the bottom bracket and headset. Position the pressure washer nozzle from the top down and also from the front and back. This will help you avoid more delicate areas.
- Focus in on rims and tyres – where you will have picked up a lot of grime from the road.
- Use degreaser on the chain and cogs and the use the jet washer to wash off – but make sure it’s on the lowest setting.
- After you’re done, dry off your bike to avoid rusting and apply oil to chains etc.
You can also use pressure washers on barbecues, outdoor furniture, front entrance stairs and fencing. Just remember that jet washers can be extremely powerful, so it’s always best to start from a low pressure and work up from that.