8 Ways a Pressure Washer Can Save You Money

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Man pressure washing the patio steps
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Spring (and summer) cleaning doesn’t happen only inside the house, it’s an outside chore, too. But thankfully, one power tool can tackle outdoor dust, rust, grime, and slime with ease — the pressure washer.

Pressure washers work by accelerating the force of water through an electric or gas-powered pump. Water hits surfaces with a force of 1,400-4,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Compared with a garden hose, which delivers water at 40-60 pounds PSI, pressure washers are the “nuclear option” for tough outdoor cleaning jobs.

And with great power comes great savings. Here are several ways a pressure washer can save you some serious cash.

Safety first

Man shaking his finger. No don't do it
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All that hydro-power makes pressure washers highly efficient — and potentially dangerous. Before you buy or borrow one, check out this pressure washer how-to guide from CNET, and follow these pressure washing safety tips from Bob Vila:

  • Wear goggles and choose footwear with good traction (sorry, no sandals).
  • Until you get a feel for the machine, start on the lowest pressure setting.
  • Grip the pressure wand firmly and expect some recoil.
  • Never point the wand at people, pets or delicate vegetation.
  • At the end of a project, resist the temptation to wash your hands with the wand. Even low-pressure settings have enough power to damage skin.
  • As with all electric tools, unplug when not in use and store away from children.

Now, on to the savings.

1. Minimizes water usage

Old man watering garden with hose
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By compressing the force of water, pressure washers produce big results with less resources. Consider this: A standard backyard hose uses 20-24 gallons of water per minute. A pressure washer uses 10 times less — only 2-4 gallons per minute.

If you live in an area with water consumption limits, that reduction not only cuts your water bill, it can help avoid costly fines.

2. Saves time and energy

Man drinking coffee
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Pressure washers make short work of most household projects. Last summer, I cleaned the stoop at my home’s entryway. It would have taken 30-40 minutes to clean the 4-by-6-foot concrete pad with a hose, brush and cleaning solution.

But my pressure washer did a more thorough job all by itself in less than 10 minutes.

3. Maximizes product life

Pressure washing a rug
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When things are clean, they last longer. Use a pressure washer to blast away rust from backyard grills, corrosive salt from cars and snow blowers and mildew from outdoor furniture and rugs.

4. Preps surfaces for renovation

Worker pressure-washing a deck
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Take one big (and expensive) step out of home renovation projects: prep time. With a pressure washer, it’s easy to strip loose paint from wood siding, clean wood decking prior to re-staining, or blast away mildew from in-ground pools before resurfacing.

5. Restores value

Homeowner pressure washing a house
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As a longtime collector and reseller, I rely on my pressure washer to make old things look new again. I’ve used it to clean vintage birdbaths, large planters, antique rugs and countless architectural salvage pieces.

6. Boosts your home’s curb appeal

Pressure washer
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Getting ready to sell your home? Use a pressure washer to spruce things up. Here are just a few labor-intensive projects it’s perfect for:

  • Removing algae and mold from walkways and oil stains from driveways
  • Cleaning dirt, cobwebs and wasp nests from brick and wood siding
  • Washing dirt, mold and algae from pressure-treated wood decks and fences
  • Removing moss from roof shingles

Not convinced? These amazing before-and-after pressure washing photos might change your mind.

7. Makes a great side hustle

Happy woman holding cash
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The flip-side of saving money is making money, right? If there’s an industrious teenager in your household, suggest a pressure-washing side hustle.

According to HomeGuide, professional pressure-washing services charge $50-$160 per hour. Just think of the customers who would line up for the bargain rate of $35 per hour!

8. It’s convenient

Porch power washer
Virrage Images / Shutterstock.com

The power is literally in your hands. With a pressure washer in the garage, you get to decide when to tackle projects. No need to battle the line at the carwash on Saturday afternoons or work around a contractor’s tight schedule.

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