Whether or not you’ve personally used a pressure washer, you’re likely already aware of their cleaning ability. YouTube videos like this one boast over 4.3 million views. There are entire channels devoted to the pleasure of watching things go from utterly filth to pristinely clean with nothing more than a forceful blast of water.
John and Sherry Petersik of the blog Young House Love demonstrated some pressure washing projects on their Instagram, and before they knew it, their devoted followers began tagging the couple, which led to this awe inspiring collection of pressure washing videos that blow past the normal expectation of clean driveways and brick walls. This is all especially impressive since their recommended model costs around $100.
Seriously, just check out this doormat:
Before you start your own pressure washing project, it’s important to follow a few simple safety rules. Consumer Reports published this informative article, which includes the precaution to “Wear goggles, long pants, and sturdy footwear—never flip-flops—to protect yourself while using any pressure washer.”
You already know that pressure washers can work magic on driveways, sidewalks and brick patios, but there are so many other items that can be brought back to life through pressure washing.
Don’t replace these things — clean them with your pressure washer!
1. Outdoor cushions
Even if you’re disciplined about covering your outdoor furniture, chances are it’ll still get buggy and grubby eventually. However, a quick spray with a power washer can brighten colors and remove that inevitable green gunge that nature has to offer.
Tip: Make sure to start on the lowest setting and do a test spray on an inconspicuous area as to not rip into the fabric.
2. Plastic play equipment
If your backyard is home to a plastic play house or similar structure, you know how filthy these items can get. It can be tempting to toss these things and start over after a few seasons, but a pressure washer can get into all those nooks and crannies that a regular hose cannot.
Tip: Disassemble the equipment first so you’re not in the playhouse while using the pressure washer. Snap a photo first to remind yourself how it’s put together.
3. Outdoor (and even indoor) rugs
Outdoor rugs are great for creating cozy conversation areas. However, they’re notorious for their filth, as trapped moisture has nowhere to go, thus creating an inviting environment for moss, mildew and various creepy crawlies. Introduce the power of a pressure washer and rugs that may have been landfill bound can look as good as new.
Indoor rugs can also be rejuvenated using a pressure washer, although this suggestion is just for inexpensive mass-produced rugs, not hand knotted Persian masterpieces.
Tip: Start this project in a sunny spot on a hot day to give your rug the best chance to dry by day’s end.
4. Baseball pants
If you’re a little league parent, you’re already aware of how hard it is to remove those brown stains kids get from sliding into second base. A popular solution — and for good reason — is to use a pressure washer to drive the dirt from the fabric.
Tip: Don’t have easy access to a pressure washer? Use the washing wand at a self-serve car wash.
5. Plastic furniture
Those inexpensive stacking chairs and tables that once were so shiny and clean inevitably devolve into filthy pieces of junk. However, a few minutes with a pressure washer can transform them back to like-new condition.
Tip: This one is so easy and satisfyingly cathartic, you might want to increase your social capital and offer to clean your neighbor’s plastic furniture as well!
6. Wood furniture
That wooden bench or table may look ready for replacement, but a pressure washing session may be all it needs. This YouTube example of a greyed and lichen-encrusted bench is the perfect example of what may seem beyond redemption, but can actually be transformed back to a beautiful and practical piece.
Tip: Wood is a soft and porous material, so begin with the lowest setting and then inspect the wood afterward to determine if it requires a light sanding.
Whatever it is that you choose to aim your pressure washer towards, just make sure to take safety precautions and to start with the lowest setting. And that thing you had budgeted to replace? You can put that money back into your pocket while avoiding a contribution to your local landfill — and that’s Clark Smart!