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How do pressure washers work?

Pressure washers connect up to your garden hose and use electricity to power a pump system, which then accelerates the water at a high pressure. Despite being a lot more powerful, they actually use less water than your hose, making them incredibly efficient.

 

What can you clean with a pressure washer?

They're great for removing dirt, moss and mould growth from decking, paths and patios and for cleaning sheds and other outbuildings. But you can also clean your car, bike, bin and garden furniture with one too. They aren't suitable for everything though - cleaning brickwork or windows could cause damage.

 

What is the best pressure washer to buy?

This all depends on the type of cleaning job you want one for. Use the table below to find pressure washers best suited to particular tasks.

 
Cleaning task Light duty Medium duty Heavy duty Shop all...
Patio   X X Best pressure washers for patios
Cars X X X Best pressure washers for cars
Driveways   X X Best pressure washers for driveways
Decking   X X Best pressure washers for decking
Fences X X   Best pressure washers for fences
Garden furniture X     Best pressure washers for garden furniture
 

Pressure washer specifications

Find out what all the jargon means to make an informed decision.

Power

A pressure washer's power is measured in watts. The higher the watts, the more powerful it will be. And higher power means it will be easier to shift dirt and grime.

Flow rate

Flow rate is measured in litres used per hour (l/h). The faster the flow rate, the quicker you will get your cleaning done.

Max bar

This is the maximum amount of pressure that your machine can reach. This amount of pressure is usually only achieved when it is first turned on; it isn't possible to maintain it consistently.

Rated bar

This is the average amount of pressure your machine will provide, making it more of an accurate measure than max bar. Lower pressure is good for more delicate surfaces and higher is better for tougher jobs.

 

Helpful pressure washer features

These will help to make pressure washing a little easier.

Accessories and tools

Most pressure washers come with additional parts to help you carry out different cleaning tasks. These include patio cleaners, brushes and foam nozzles to make deep cleans easier.

Wheels

Most pressure washers come with wheels at the base, but some models also have additional wheels at the back for maneuverability while cleaning.

Universal hose fitting

Ensures that your pressure washer will be compatible with most garden hoses.

Built-in detergent tank

Enables you to add detergent straight into the machine so you can get to work quicker.

Cable tidy

Prevents cables getting in the way while you work and is good for easy, tidy storage.

Adjustable power lance

This will allow you to control the power of the spray so you can adapt the pressure to different surfaces.

On board storage

A handy storage area on your pressure washer, which allows you to be prepared for any task by having the right tools and accessories to hand.

 

More pressure washer advice

 

How to jet wash a patio

Learn the best way to use a pressure washer to blitz your patio with step-by-step instructions.

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