How To Choose The Right Pressure Washer Attachments

When using a pressure washer, it can be extremely helpful to have the proper attachments. There are many different types of attachments that you can use. How do you go about choosing the right one? 

Choosing the right pressure washer attachments will vary based on what kind of cleaning project you’ll be working on. It’ll also depend on whether you’ll be using an electric or gas-powered pressure washer.

Let’s first survey some common pressure washer attachments to see what’s on the market. Then, we’ll go into more detail about what situations you might find certain pressure washer attachments more appropriate to use than others.

Survey of Pressure Washer Attachments

There are a lot of different attachments and nozzles that you can choose from. I’m sure that there are some on this list below you haven’t heard of. Hopefully, you’ll learn something new and will be able to use what you’ve learned the next time you pressure wash something.

  • Nozzles
  • Extension wands and lances
  • Pivot coupler
  • Gutter cleaner
  • Hose reels
  • Rotary surface cleaners
  • Sand injector
  • Shut-off ball valve
  • Surface Cleaners
  • Brushes
  • Turbo tips
  • Brooms
  • Foamers
  • Spray guns
  • Water filters

Nozzles

There are many pressure washer nozzles that will spray the water where you need it to go. The two main nozzles are multi-function and rotating. These are both designed to improve your cleaning time and cleaning power. 

Multi-function nozzles

If you want control when you are pressure washing, you will want to use multi-function nozzles. These allow you to use multiple settings for every cleaning need you have. You can even soap and rinse with these nozzles, as well. 

Rotating nozzles

If you want to save more time when you are pressure washing, the rotating nozzles are what you need. These boost your power when cleaning and give you great coverage, too. There are many different rotating nozzle models. 

Extension wands and lances

There are many places you can’t reach but you really need to clean. Sometimes the tallest ladder can’t help you to reach these areas. If you have extension wands and lances, you can reach higher places. Maybe there’s mold or grime that’s high up. If you need to clean gutters or a 2-story home, these wands and lances are just what you need. With these attachments, you can get to those dirty spots. 

Here are some examples of extension wands and lances: 

  • A telescoping wand
  • A longer wand with quick connect
  • A steel wand
  • A wand with adjustable pressure nozzle
  • A telescoping lance

Pivot coupler 

There are many areas which are very difficult to reach, no matter how high up you go. These places won’t stand up to a pivot coupler. These couplers can clean high up and at many different angles. If you have a cold water pressure washer, you need to get a pivot coupler. 

Gutter cleaner

Gutters can be a pain to clean. However, there are gutter cleaners which can be attached to your pressure washer. These attachments will give you amazing pressure. They will clean out branches, leaves, dirt, and anything else that is collecting in your gutters. 

Hose reels

If you have had trouble with your pressure washer cord getting tangled up, you need to get a hose reel for your pressure washer. This will keep your hose easily wrapped up and make it easier to pull the hose out to where you need it to be, as well. 

Rotary surface cleaners

There are many different sizes when it comes to rotary surface cleaners. These are very powerful and helpful when you are cleaning larger areas. These cleaners allow you to get every spot without having to worry about a pesky spot not getting done.

Sand injector 

With this attachment, you will get even more power. It can strip away coatings, graffiti, rust, paint, and random stains. 

There won’t be a problem getting these things off your home, vehicle, or other place if you have a sand injector. 

Shut-off ball walve

When you put the shut-off ball valve on the quick connect outlet, you can conveniently and easily switch from your pressure washer gun to the rotary surface cleaner. 

If you just covered some concrete but there is still a stain, this would be the perfect attachment to have. 

Surface cleaners

If you want to clean a flat surface consistently and quicker, then you need a surface cleaner. These cleaners will distribute pressure over a big area while covering the spot you want to clean. The surface cleaners assure that random debris doesn’t spray over the fence or garden area. These are great for cleaning decks, garage floors, and driveways. 

Brushes

Just like the surface cleaners, the brushes will help you clean up faster. They enable the grime and dirt to get brushed off the surface. The pressure from the water will take the dirt away safely. These are wonderful for cleaning patio furniture, trash bins, cars, and boats. 

Turbo tips

Another great attachment is a turbo tip. These rotate quickly and shoot water out very powerfully. The water will come out in a cone shape. These are often great for cleaning driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks. They can remove grease, oil, and tougher objects, such as gum. 

Brooms

The brooms are sort of like combining a surface cleaner and brush. They clean wider areas in every pass. You can clean larger areas much quicker, too. 

In addition, the spray comes out without damaging the surface, and only taking a couple passes to clean up the debris. 

Foamers

You connect a foamer to the end of the spray gun or wand. It will spray out a soapy foam to aid in the cleaning process. 

These are great for cleaning vehicles or boats. Add pressure washer soap or detergent to the mix to aid the cleaning!

Spray guns

Spray guns can be upgraded or replaced. There are different brands, models, and sizes of spray guns to use for pressure washers.

Water filters

If you want to keep contaminants from getting into the pump you need a water filter. 

Finding the Right Pressure Washer Nozzle Tip

The most basic component and attachment is the pressure washer nozzle. It’s sufficient for most cleaning jobs. The problem though, is know which nozzle to use. Selecting the wrong nozzle could damage the cleaning surface you’re working on.

There are 5 universal color-coded nozzle tips. Each nozzle provides for a different pressure application and spray pattern.  

Red tips 

Red tips for pressure washers are 0-degree and very concentrated. They are extremely powerful, even when used on the commercial-grade pressure washers. 

You must be very careful when using these tips because they could easily damage fragile or sensitive surfaces. 

The red tips are best for cleaning metallic surfaces or concrete if they have built up dirt or grime. 

Note: Don’t put the tip near the surface or it will scratch it. 

Yellow tips 

Yellow pressure washer spray tips are 15-degree spray patterns. They are great for heavier cleaning jobs. 

These work well on drains, roofts, garage floors, and concrete. 

Note: They aren’t great when you are cleaning with a detergent. They could push the chemicals into the cracks and crevices of the material you are cleaning.

Green tips

The green tips produce a 25-degree spray pattern. These are great for cleaning furniture, brick patios, walkways, and decks. If you are cleaning cars, ships, or boats with detergent you will use the green tip.

White tips

The white tips are a 40-degree spray pattern. These are great for cleaning glossy surfaces, home siding, and stucco walls. 

The white tips don’t caused much pressure because the spray pattern is more widely dispersed, but they do get your cleaning job done properly. 

Note: White tips can be put on your pressure washer for almost any type of cleaning job.

Black tips

Black tips are a 65-degree spray pattern. They go over the largest area and have a soft stream.

Note: These tips are only used for wetting surfaces and putting on detergents or applying chemicals. 

Finding the Right Pressure Washer Attachment by Function

Besides the general pressure washer nozzles, there are other attachments that are designed to be used for specific cleaning situations. Check out the following attachments and see which one might make easier your next pressure washing project.

Surface cleaners 

There are many sizes and shapes of surface cleaners. However, the purpose for all of them is the same and that is to clean larger, flatter surfaces quicker. 

A popular surface cleaner is disk-shaped and it connects to the end of your wand. There are gas-powered and electric-powered surface cleaner attachments. 

Tip: Moving steadily and consistently will prevent streaks from occurring during your pressure washing job. 

Turbo nozzles 

Turbo nozzles are a must for pressure washing jobs. These are 0-degree nozzles that will rotate in circular motions to clean a wider pathway. 

If you want to get your pressure washing job done quicker with less streaks, this is an attachment that is needed. 

Tip: Use only on harder surfaces since this is very powerful. 

Pivoting nozzle

If you are cleaning wheel walls, gutters, under your deck, or soffits, it may be tough to clean with any one of the 5 tips mentioned above. You may need a pivoting pressure washer nozzle to reach these areas instead. 

Soap dispensers

If you need to get rid of stubborn stains, you will want a soap dispenser attachment. This will improve your washing time and pressure, as well. 

Many pressure washers come with some type of soap application kit. You can get a foam blaster or variable soap blaster nozzle. 

Tip: Don’t let the soap sit for too long on a surface because dried-up soap is difficult to rinse off and may cause streaks when you rinse it off. 

Extension accessories

If you need to clean a surface that is higher up, you may need extension accessories. You should never use a ladder, as that can be very dangerous when using a pressure washer. There are generally 9 ft. and 18 ft. telescoping wands. These are also great for cleaning under a vehicle. 

Tip: In addition to the extension wand, you may need a pivoting nozzle to help clean the surface fully. 

One-touch adjustment accessories

It can be very helpful to switch between one task to another without needing to stop and keep switching things out. The one-touch adjustment accessories help to make things easier. 

Some of the one-touch adjustment accessories include a pressure control valve and a 5-in-1 nozzle. 

Tip: When you are adjusting your pressure level or nozzle, these attachments can help you in all types of pressure washing cleaning projects.

Pressure washer hoses

There are many things that are important about pressure washer hoses. It is more than just going to buy a new hose. You might need one that is smaller, longer, or a different material. 

Length 

It is important to know the length of pressure washer hose you need. For electric-powered pressure washers you will need to keep it near your home or power supply. If the place you need to clean is on the other side of your yard or home, you will want a longer hose. 

If you have a gas-powered pressure washer, which can be moved easily, you may not need a longer hose.

Diameter

Hoses aren’t a one-size-fits-all. There are different diameters you need to know about. Mostly the diameter will vary based on your PSI. The most common and largest hose is ⅜”. These can handle a maximum of 5000 PSI.

Connection type

There is a connection at the end of every hose. One end is the place you connect your trigger or wand to. You want to see if your screw or snap in the pressure washer connections. Is there a female or male connector? This matters. 

Material

There are 3 main types of pressure washer materials. These are polyurethane, rubber, and PVC plastic. PVC is the one used most often. Rubber is more flexible. However, they are a bit heavier. Polyurethane hoses bend quite easily, but they are coated well. 

Finding the Right Pressure Washer Attachment For Different Surfaces

There are pressure washer attachments designed for situational tasks such as large surface areas and hard to reach places.  Using a regular nozzle under these situations might be challenging and time consuming. The following attachments and miscellaneous accessories can help you get the job done more efficiently. 

Cleaning large surfaces

If you’re cleaning something large like a driveway, it’s easier to have something that’ll cover a big surface area. This will allow you to make fewer passes and will ultimately save you time. Consider the following surface cleaning pressure washer attachments for your next job. A couple utilize multiple nozzles to expand the spray fan and coverage of what’s being washed.

  • Surface cleaners
  • Water brooms
  • Spray rollers

Washing hard to reach areas

There might be a time when you need to clean a surface that’s situated much higher than you are able to reach. Fortunately, the following attachments can facilitate the task. Not only that, they can provide a level of safety. Pressure washing while standing on a ladder or ledge is dangerous.  Wouldn’t you rather be firmly planted on the ground while operating your pressure washer? Consider these attachments for your next job.

  • Extension wands
  • Telescoping wands
  • Gutter cleaners

Finding the Right Attachments for Gas and Electric Pressure Washers

If you are looking to get a new pressure washer spray gun, hose, or quick connect, you may find it doesn’t fit quite right. In these instances, you are going to need a new adapter. 

Whether you are trying to find new adapters or finding a new component, you need to be aware of what connection your pressure washer has currently. 

The gas-powered pressure washers are generally more universal. This makes it a bit easier to find the couplings you need for it. With electric-powered pressure washers, you will need a brand-specific coupling. 

Attachments for a gas-powered pressure washer

You will find 3 main connection types for gas-powered pressure washer units. There are the M22, quick connects, and ⅜” threaded. However, there are exceptions with the lance and the gun. Those components can be ¼” or M22. 

When you are choosing attachments or a coupling, you will need to figure out if you need a ¼” or M22. 

Each of the M22 connections used with gas-powered units will be 14mm. You can only use the M22 fittings that are 15mm on electric-powered pressure washers. 

It should also be noted that the ⅜” threaded connections look very much like the M22 fittings. However, they aren’t the exact same. ⅜” threaded connections are thinner, so they can’t be used on the ports or adapter that M22 connections do. 

It is easier to identify quick connect couplings. However, you must make sure the end of the adapter fits with your ⅜” or M22 connection. There aren’t threads on each end. They snap into each other and you don’t have to twist them. 

To join the parts together you need a female and male fitting. The female fittings have threading through the inside and the male fittings have threading on the exterior. The quick connect couplings won’t have threading, however, the male still goes into the female.

Attachments for an electric-powered pressure washer

When choosing accessories, adapters, or couplings for an electric-powered pressure washer, you must make sure to pay attention to the brand, as these attachments are brand specific. 

In some cases, you can purchase off-brand accessories that will work with your pressure washer. However, this isn’t recommended because of possible leaks or pressure loss. 

You should always check the accessory or attachment details that are required for your pressure washer before you get new ones. 

Tips When Using Pressure Washer Attachments

Pressure washers are great additions to your outdoor cleaning tools. However, it is important to know that attachments can make your pressure washer that much more effective. 

Using the best attachment for each job

You can save wearing of a piece of equipment, in addition to saving water, effort, and time, if you make sure to use the correct attachment for every job. Know what you need to get done and spend time picking out the right attachment for that particular job.

Matching the correct detergent to each task 

It is important to make sure you are using the correct detergent for the task you are trying to achieve. There are many different kinds of detergent you can get for a pressure washer. Multi-purpose cleaners can be used for heavily soiled spots. Heavy-duty degreasers get rid of grease, gas, and oil stains. You can get wood surface cleaners, as well. 

The detergent you are using is going to make a difference to how well your pressure washer performs for any given task. 

Letting your detergent soak in

If you are trying to clean up difficult stains with your pressure washer, you will want to make sure you are letting the detergent soak in for about 5 minutes before rinsing it off. The detergent needs time to bond with the stain before it will pull it out. 

Using a rotating surface cleaner

By using a rotating surface cleaner, you can be assured you won’t have stripes left on the area you are cleaning. 

Sometimes when just using a pressure washer, without any attachments, you won’t get all the spots that you are trying to clean. Using the rotating surface cleaner will help to clean up all the dirt and grime, without leaving those streaks behind. 

Extending your reach

Many people will stand on a ladder to reach up high. However, that is very dangerous when you are using a pressure washer.

You can get extended reach with attachments. There are extension wands and lances which can be used for this purpose. These attachments will allow you to reach gutters, second story windows, soffits, and other harder-to-reach spots. 

Using a multi-tip nozzle 

You can get areas better cleaned when you use a multi-tip nozzle. This allows you to spray at different patterns, just by adjusting the nozzle. These nozzles reduce the chance of damaging an area because you didn’t spray it with the right pattern. You can also change from higher pressure to higher flow with these nozzles, as well. 

Getting Deals on Your Pressure Washer Attachments

Many people want to save money on everything. While you can get affordable pressure washer attachments, it may not be best to get the cheapest ones you can find. There are many great attachments, at a reasonable cost, that allow you to get the job done. 

Getting deals on your pressure washer attachments can be a good thing. However, just keep in mind you don’t want to skip out on the quality and efficiency of the pressure washer attachments. It is important to make sure you have the attachments you need, in the condition you need them to be in. 

Getting Everything At Once 

You may want to go out and buy all these attachments. However, looking for them all in different places may take some time and cost you more money. You can get pressure washer attachment and accessory kits. 

There are many places where you can get these kits. They often come with at least a few of these attachments, sometimes more than that. It depends on the type of accessory kit you find.

Just keep in mind, when it comes to electric-powered pressure washer accessory kits, you will want to stick with brand specific kits. These should match the brand of your pressure washer. This way you won’t have any issues and you can make sure the attachments will work with your pressure washer. 

Conclusion

If you have a pressure washer or you are using one, it can be helpful to have a multitude of different pressure washer attachments and accessories. You have just read about many of these options including hoses, nozzles, wands, lances, and more. 

You have read about the purpose of the different attachments, nozzles, and how to use them. There are different nozzles and attachments for different pressure washing jobs. 

When you go out to get your pressure washing attachments, keep the above mentioned tips in mind. You can get an accessory kit or you can get the attachments you need separately. 

There are many places you can get these attachments and many brands you can get, as well. 

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