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Pressure washer safety tips

You've got a big mess, but before you set the power washer to blast take time to learn a few tips that might help prevent damage to what you are washing.

A man pressure washing a patio

Did you know a pressure washer can spray water up to 4,000 pounds per square inch (PSI)? That's 80 times the force of a garden hose. These pressure washer safety tips will help you handle that extra power.

What should I wash with a power washer?

As tempting as it is to pressure wash everything, some surfaces are not able to handle the force. You should avoid pressure washing these surfaces:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Outdoor fabrics
  • Resin or plastic furniture
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Painted surfaces (unless you want to remove the paint)
  • Roof
  • Car (if you need to use the pressure washer, set to a lower PSI level)

How should I clean and store my power washer?

Keeping your pressure washer in good condition can help improve safety. Always check it before use and follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your model has been approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Never attempt to repair a damaged hose. Always replace it.
  • Don’t clean the machine with its own gun — water can damage the machine and increase risk of electric shock.
  • Have a qualified electrician check the unit if it trips a circuit breaker.

How to use your pressure washer safely

Use the tool responsibly by following these important pressure washer safety tips.

  • Never operate a gas model indoors.
  • Use only extension cords designed for wet conditions, and always plug the unit into a grounded outlet.
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and rubber boots for protection.
  • Do not spray others, animals or yourself — power washers can easily penetrate skin.
  • Don't let children operate the machine, and keep them a safe distance away when you're using it.
  • Use only cleaners approved for your model, and never use chemicals such as pesticides.
  • Be cautious around power lines, service feeds and electric meters.
  • Stand three to four feet from the surface you are cleaning to prevent harmful ricochet.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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