Do you guys have a favorite tool in your home? I am talking anything from a cordless drill to a toaster over (2 of my personal favorites, mind you...)
I was reminded yesterday, however, about a tool that I am very grateful that I have and would not trade it in for anything. That would be my pressure washer. Any of you who have used a pressure washer probably would agree in some way that they rock.
Do you like instant gratification? Hell, who doesn't? A pressure washer gives you SERIOUS instant gratification! Being that it made it up to close to 70 degrees here in the seattle area yesterday, I decided to tackle a serious job while my son slept. Mindi took the baby, and I dug out my tried and true little electric pressure washer and went to town on a VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT. The house we moved into back in October, came with an awesome wooden swingset and play tower with slide thing, but MAN OH MAN it had seen better (cleaner!!) days. I am fairly confident that the swingset had only been there for maybe 3 years or so, but it looked like someone had dug it up from the bottom of a swamp, and plopped it in the back yard. Yeh. Gross.
The second that motor started running, my heart started racing! Of course, I forgot to take a before picture, and I have not taken an after picture either. Sorry folks.
Pressure washers are awesome machines. You can use them for a TON of stuff, from patios to garden equiptment, sidewalks, cars, bicycles, fences, outdoor toys. You get the picture. They don't require any nasty chemicals to run (but you can add soap to most machines if you want). I have seen them start around $100 and go up from there. Mine is electric. I love it. An old neighbor of mine gave it to me- he was such a nice guy...
Here are some tips about pressure washing:
1. Plan to get drenched. Even during the times that I tried to be the most careful, I still got drenched. If you ever have the passing thought of "Oh, I will just pressure wash the steps really quick before I meet my friend for lunch" (no showering included in this thought process) you had better think twice. This little tidbit would also prompt me to tell you that you should do pressure washing on a day that is not blustery or cold.
2. Keep your mouth shut. I know, this sounds funny, but really, keep your mouth shut. Shit will be flying everywhere, and everywhere means straight into your mouth- assuming it is open. This has happened to me more than I care to admit.
2.5. Wear some sort of safety glasses. You might look like a dork, but at least you won't get shit in your eyes too!
3. Work from top to bottom. I know that this sounds pretty obvious, you know, with the concept of gravity and all, but the last thing you want to do is wash the steps, and then go up to washing the siding, resulting in a slimy sludge oozing onto your freshly washed porch. This has also happened to me many times, but I think that it almost makes sense as to why people do this. The ground is typically the dirtiest, and folks (like myself) are looking for that instant gratification, by get enthusiastically to work on the dirtiest part.
4. Start Low. Most pressure washers have the ability to have their pressure turned up or down. I highly reccomend starting your project at the lowest pressure, and then raising it up just enough to get the job done. I say this because when I washed my old painted front stoop, and I didn't bother to turn the pressure down, all of the moss came off, as did a few layers of paint... oops. This is also a good tip if you are going to wash your car with it. Turn down the pressure to avoid damage.
5. Resist the remptation to rinse your dirty hands with the sprayer. This is another 'duh' tip, but you wouldn't believe how many times I caught myself about to do it. Your hands are wet (as is the rest of your body) and you get a big schmear of whoknowswhat on your palm- your pants are covered in crud, so you can't wipe them there- lets just rinse them off! YOWSERS! Pressure washers can BREAK THE SKIN PEOPLE! Which brings me to number...
6. Refrain from washing your pets, children, and spouses with pressure washers. It would really hurt. Really.
7. Do not wear open toed shoes. I recommend rubber gardening boots, for the same reason as number 5. OUCH! I personally learned this one the hard way... *sob* It took my toenail polish clear off as well...
8. Give yourself time. Plenty of time. Pressure washers give that awesome, chemical free, instant gratification clean, but the sprayer is only so big, and if you are going to take the time to do it, all the while risking your limbs and dry clothing, for pete's sake, do it right. A sidewalk with pressure washer "clean skid marks" all over it looks no better than a dirty one, in my opinion.
Any questions? Please ask. *By the way, I am no PW expert, I just love using one*
Do any of you have a favorite tool?