Now that Spring is coming along it is time to tackle those warm-weather jobs. If your home needs some outdoor cleaning after the rugged winter, you can’t go wrong with a pressure washer. They come in different sizes and perform various tasks based on their power.
What is the best pressure washer for concrete? The best pressure washer for concrete is one that can operate between 2k and 3k PSI or more than 60 times a standard hose. It must also have a range of attachments and be able to accept detergent.
Pressure washers come in a variety of sizes and power levels. There’s also an assortment of attachments and cleaning solutions that you can use. Read on to learn about what you might need for your concrete cleaning project.
Best Gas Pressure Washers For Concrete
The Pujua is a beast. At 3600 PSI, Pujua is more than enough to tackle the heaviest of jobs. It has:
- A 7.0hp motor with a flow rate of 2.8gal per minute.
- Pistol grip handle attaches to a longer than average hose, which makes getting hard to reach spots much more accessible.
- The 10in wheels mean that you can take this washer anywhere that you need it to go.
- Well for detergent means you can seal and clean any surface required.
One of the most efficient motors on the market comes in this unit. It comes in a wheelbarrow tow style and weighs 170lbs but produces 4200 PSI. It comes in 13in double-walled pneumatic tires with a 50-foot pressure hose. It boasts ceramic piston heads and a 10gauge steel frame. Dewalt is a well-known brand and comes with a 2-year warranty.
The Tacklife has a copper engine that makes it more efficient and quieter. At 3300 PSI, the is quite powerful and suits most any job. Tacklife is a newer company, but they have created a product that is sleek and efficient. It has metal insert wheels that give it a more massive clearance. A selection of five nozzles that fit any task from simple deck cleaning to extensive stain removal also comes with the unit. It comes on a steel frame with several places to store the attachments and hose.
The Pressure Pro is for the serious professional. It comes in at over $1000 and has a bulky weight of 88lbs.
- The nozzle pushes about 3gal per minute and comes with 2700 PSI ratings.
- The unit runs much cooler than average due to the aircraft-grade aluminum that comprises the engine.
- The big draw is how simple it is to start and maintain.
- The Honda GX200 engine is known for being quiet and easy to use.
12in wheels are the first thing you notice about this machine. They are bright orange and will get you just about anywhere.
- The frame is high-quality aluminum, and the soap pocket is something every gas operated pressure washer should have.
- The pocket is a tiny tube that leads down to an area where it mixes with the water. Making staining and cleaning a more straightforward job.
- The 208cc engine produces 3100 PSI at only 67lbs total weight.
Though the Champion comes with a shorter 25-foot hose, it makes up for that flaw with a stout 228cc engine.
- It pumps out 3200 PSI at 2.4gals per minute, making it able to clean most anything.
- Comes in a dolly style, which means you can tow it
- Five adjustable nozzles with ease.
- This unit also boasts an ample detergent well for cleaning and staining.
Stanley is another well-known name brand that always delivers.
- 2800 PSI runs at 2.3gals per minute and delivers a powerful set of nozzles along with it.
- The frame is powder-coated and has a set of 12in plastic wheels for easy towing and moving.
- The coolest piece on this unit is the adjustable pressure gauge on the handle. Meaning you can adjust the pressure mid-job with just a twist of the wand.
Best Electric Pressure Washers for Concrete
Electric washers are known for their versatility and ease of use. The Homdox 3500 PSI is not only easy to use; it is powerful.
- Boasting 3500 PSI at 2.6gal per minute, this unit can remove stains from just about any surface you need it to.
- The wheels mounted on the backside of the unit mean that it can move around quickly as well.
- Built-in stop system that will cut power to the unit after several minutes of non-use.
The Teande has:
- A 1800 volt motor that produces 3800 PSI at 2.8gal per minute.
- A jumbo reel dominates the top of the unit. This reel is for the 19.5ft pressure hose.
- Usually, you would have a time with the muddy and wet hose after a job. The coil makes the cleanup simple.
- The Wholesun generates 3000 PSI at 2.4gal per minute.
- Wholesun is friendly to the environment.
- There are no oils or gasses that must be used to make it work.
This unit looks like something out of a science fiction novel. The standard pressure washer, gas or electric, has a massive tower constructed of metal or plastic. This one has a single handle with most of the parts covered by a shroud. The trade-off in size is evident as the unit only hits about 1600 PSI.
Once again, a Homdox has made the list. The company makes pressure washers that:
- Range from 2500 to as far as 3800 PSI
- Five nozzles used for different flow options
- Large wheels to accommodate any job
- A functional reel and 20ft hose are mounted on top of the electrical engine
- Ability to choose which color you want your machine to be.
Highsell is a great model that has:
- 3800 PSI at 2.8gal per minute
- 1800watt motor – The 1800 watt is widely used in the electric pressure washer field because it is light and has lots of power.
- Off-brand of Teane – Teane is well known in the electric pressure washer field for making great and efficient washers.
Ryobi is a household name that you can depend on. They made their names in drills and other handheld electric tools before moving on to all electronic home devices. The Ryobi could be the most portable of all the washers. Like the Pohir, it comes without the usual wheels and surrounding cage. A small handle on the top means that you can walk this as far as the cord allows.
Cleaning Concrete Floors
There are several factors to consider before you begin to clean your floor. They are:
Are there stains?
If the floor is heavily stained, you will need a warm water source and detergent or cleanser. The warm water alone could be enough to clean the surface, but having a cleaner ready for those super tough spots isn’t a bad idea. When choosing a cleaner you should get one that meets the needs of the floor. General staining could be cleaned with water and a bit of cleaner but heavier stains could need a combination of cleaners and citric acid.
How large is the floor?
The size of the floor could be the most significant obstacle in the whole project. Most washers come with the ability to move around and tackle rough terrain. If you have an electric handheld or plug-in washer, you could be in for quite the work. Multiple stoppages to find new outlets and clean away excess water from the plug-ins can take extra time. Using a gas washer could mean that you would have to fill the gas tank or make runs to purchase more fuel.
Are you going to be working inside or outside. If you are going to operate a gas-powered pressure washer indoors, it will produce carbon monoxide that will kill you if inhaled enough. Make sure that there are windows open and fans to circulate the noxious fumes. If you are working outside there should be extra attention paid to surrounding landscaping and shrubbery. A clean driveway looks crazy next to a bed of ruined flowers.
Best Concrete Floor Cleaners
Simple Green is one of the best chemical cleaners on the market. It is non-corrosive and non-toxic, which means that it is suitable for the surface you are working on as well as the environment. Simple Green is easy to find and will be found in the hardware section of most big chain stores.
Stanley is a great company that makes a dependable concentrate. Each liquid ounce of fluid used can be mixed with a gallon of water, which can last a long time. Stanley can be used on:
- Grills – Woodwork
- Concrete – Tools
- Equipment – Dishes
Like other large corporations, Amazon has begun to produce low-cost products to help their overall business. This commercial cleaner is non-everything, which means it won’t harm the surface you are working on or the land around it. The industrial cleaner is just one of the many products that Amazon has introduced in the last few years.
Hoover’s concentrated formula is a great option for concrete floors, even if they are sealed. The cleaner has a fresh linen scent that won’t harm the environment. New improvements to the formula mean that it can work harder and clean more with less liquid.
When it comes to removing stains from your concrete or RV, Krud Kutter is an excellent choice. All you have to do is spray Krud Kutter on your boat or camper, give a few minutes to penetrate, then blast away with your pressure washer.
Pressure Washer Attachments
As many choices as there are for pressure washers, there are just as many attachments. The most common attachments are:
A turbo nozzle is an attachment that goes on the end of your wand. The water pressure forces the water to escape via a tiny hole attached to a rotor. This rotor, combined with the force of the water causes the water to come out in a swirling pattern that helps clean concrete.
A spray nozzle attaches to the wand and works similarly to turbo nozzles. The nozzles come in a wide variety of spray ranges from fan spraying to jet attachments.
Some attachments are an add on that allows you to control water flow before it reaches the gun. With a trigger gun, you have a more precise stream which works well for tighter jobs.
An occasional problem with pressure washers is that the wand isn’t long enough to reach your target. Telescoping rods are made of a couple of different pieces of material. The parts will extend and lock, making the wand get even closer to where you need it to be.
A missing item on most of the lower-priced pressure washers are an assortment of gauges. If your machine doesn’t have them, they can always be added. The most popular displays are for temperature and water pressure.
Sometimes, your pressure washer won’t have a place to add detergent or cleaner to the stream. Some nozzles can be added just before the wand that mixes soap into the stream.
The pressure that builds up when the machine is running can make it hard to connect the nozzle to the wand. The pneumatic pressure nozzle will stick, and you could have to use a tool to free it up. The couplers attach between the wand and the hose so that you can make a secure connection every time.
Picking Parts for Your Washer
Depending on which style of pressure washer you have, there could be different size adapters for each. Gas pressure washers have three kinds of attachments they are:
An M22 is a copper connector that has a male and female end. They are rated up to 4000psi and screw together. These are the most common on hoses and guns.
The ⅜” is also a screw-on adapter made of brass. Brass is heavier but more durable than the plastic alternative.
These are the pneumatic connectors that can be hard to get working. They have a ring of ball bearings that make an unbroken seal behind the rubber o-ring. The pressure that is produced by the washer keeps the connectors locked firmly together.
Cleaning Your Driveway
The process for cleaning the driveway is pretty cut and dried. Depending on the severity of the surface or other factors, there could be as few as three and six steps at most. They are:
- Prep Work
- Degrease (optional)
- Switch Nozzles
- Clean Concrete
- Rinse (optional)
- Spray Sealer (optional)
Before you begin your job, you should lay down tarps for parts of the yard that you wish to remain untouched. The pressure is pretty stout and could lacerate your skin if the pressure is too high. Wear the appropriate protection for your limbs and face. By masking parts of the yard that you wish to maintain, you protect yourself from unsightly mistakes: throwdown tarps or sheets of plastic to protect your home and yard.
The pressure from a washer will destroy landscaping and grass. If you are doing a do-it-yourself job you don’t want to make more trouble for yourself. Be cautious of where the stream goes.
If you are cleaning an indoor garage, there could be oil and other tough stains on the floor. With some pressure washers, there are hoses you can dip into buckets and pails to pump a solvent or degreaser with the water. Often there are stains that defy logic. If you have gone over the same spot a few times you might have to break out a brush and scrub the stain before it will be removed by the pressure washer.
If you are cleaning your sidewalks and driveway, there may not be a need for the
degreasing stage. If there aren’t large spots of oil and other fluids leaked onto the driveway, you can skip this step altogether.
Often, your pressure washer will come with a series of attachments. These attachments allow you to work tighter or larger areas all by changing out the bit. There’s usually a sizable flat sprayer that is going to work best for larger areas. The number and types of your attachments will depend on the pressure washer you are using.
Inside the packaging of your pressure washer, there should be a series of colored nozzles that will change the flow rate. The attachments use the red to green scale with red being the highest psi and green being a gentle fan spray.
Now, the fun starts. Using the wand and a back and forth motion chip away at the grime on the surface. The water will create a corona effect around the water. Before moving on to the next area take the time and make sure all stains are removed. Nothing will make you more upset than having a tiger-striped driveway after hours of intensive labor. This part of the job will take the longest time but is also the most rewarding. Take breaks. Your neck and shoulders will thank you later.
Go over the area one last time to make sure that you have removed all the slime from the concrete surfaces. Attach a nozzle with a less forceful spray and take one last trip around looking for problem areas. If you had to use a degreaser ensure that the puddles of bubbles are washed away safely.
As an optional last step, you can apply a sealer that will weather the coming year. This sealer cuts down on cracks and other imperfections in your surface. A sealer works like a varnish. When you apply a coat it can improve the looks and defend your concrete surfaces.
When it comes to sealing the surface you should err on the side of caution. Adding a thick syrup, like a sealer, to your soap dispenser will ruin it. Take a sprayer that you would use for weed control or lawn maintenance and get a fine coat down all over the surface. Once it dries you have a seamless block of concrete that will last a lifetime.
How A Pressure Washer Works
A pressure washer is a kind of souped-up water hose that you use to clean your concrete surfaces, car, or whatever you have. The water is pushed into a pump where it builds pressure. The pump is powered by gas or electricity and can reach 5000 PSI with your most heavy-duty machines. When the PSI is over 2000 it begins to eat away at dirt and grime. Take caution when using a higher-powered pressure washer as the force from the water can cut the skin.
Water is pumped from your source into the machine. Inside the washer, the water is compressed inside a powerful water pump. The water flows down a compressed line and reaches the gun where the water is sprayed onto whatever you are cleaning. The pressure from the water scours the ground of dirt and stains, which would usually require scrubbing with a brush and detergent. The list of things you can clean with a pressure washer is pretty vast. They are:
There are a few washers on the market that have a soap dispensary. A soap dispenser is perfect for cleaning things that will need more than just a blast of water to clean. If there’s no way to introduce soap into the stream, there is a whole world full of attachments that will get the job done.
Electric vs. Gas
There are two main types of pressure washer: electric and gas.
Typically the first question you should ask is, what is the purpose? Each of the types has its advantages/disadvantages. The tool you use should depend on the job. In the end, which washer you use could make all the difference.
Electric Powered Washers
The most advantageous part of the electric pressure washer is usability. This is more of an around the house job model. If you need to clean your:
- Pool Area
These are also very quiet compared to their gas-fed neighbors. Since the unit is so simple, the lack of moving parts means there isn’t an investment in oil or gas to keep it running, making it economical as well. Since there are so few parts, an electric pressure washer can be used for years with little or no maintenance.
The biggest drawback to these is the power cord. Having the unit always connected to an outlet or extension cord can be a hassle, not to mention dangerous. There are battery alternatives that are made by giants of the industry like DeWalt that can provide an extra boost of power. The bad thing is the battery design means that power is used quickly. That means you have to have other batteries ready or leave a job that is half done. I don’t leave jobs half done. Ever.
Another serious flaw is its limited power. The range that you need to work on concrete begins at 2000psi, but when you work with a porous material like concrete, you need all the power you can get to make the surface clean. You don’t want to buy an electric pressure washer unless you know it has the appropriate strength to do the job. Though electric washers can be powerful, they never reach the power threshold of their gas counterparts.
Gas Powered Pressure Washers
Gas-powered pressure washers are the workhorses of the pair. They are commonly used for:
- Boat Docks
- Farm Equipment
- Vinyl Siding
The gas-powered pressure washer is the one I most commonly see. Like the electric version, a series of nozzles can be applied to fit most any job you would need. A big draw of the gas version is the higher psi that can be reached. There are units on the market that can pump out over 4000psi. The portability of a gas-powered pressure washer shouldn’t go unmentioned. The wheels that are attached to the unit make it easy to get into almost any environment.
Gas washers will require oil and gas on a regular basis. This is a minor task that will only take a few minutes, but it is extremely important. If there is no oil in the machine the engine will lock up and in essence, ruin the machine. Taking the time to properly service the machine will make it last for a long time.
The most glaring shortcoming of the gas-powered washer is the noise. These things make a racket that could wake the dead. There is always a trade-off for power. The money that has to be spent on upkeep for the gas units is a turn off to some. Keeping fluid levels maintained and checked helps make the machine function much better.