How Does a Pressure Washer Work?

When it comes to the best garden tools, a pressure washer is one of the most versatile.

The first thing that springs to mind is someone cleaning their car at a fraction the cost of a carwash. What else can you clean with a pressure washer aside from your vehicle?

  • Boats
  • Tiled patios
  • Concrete driveways
  • Wooden decking
  • Home exterior
  • Fencing
  • Stairs
  • Walkways
  • Grills
  • Outdoor furniture

As you can see, investing in one of these wonderful appliances is a first-rate cleaning shortcut.

We will look today at one of the most common questions of all: how does a pressure washer work?

First thing’s first, though…

We’ll look at the basics of what makes up a pressure washer then walk you through how this equipment works.


Luckily, pressure washers do not come with a string of difficult, technical language to pick up.

There are really two main terms that you need to be aware of:

  • GPM: Gallons Per minute. This is the flow of water that’s delivered to your spray gun. It’s this which allows you to break down all the dirt and wash it away
  • PSI: Pounds Per Square Inch. This measurement relates to the water pressure measured at the output. This pressure gives you sufficient power to blast through any dirt

Parts of a Pressure Washer

pressure washer

Source: HSS Hire

A pressure washer is a simple yet incredibly efficient piece of kit.

Most of these high-powered cleaners feature a metal frame together with the following primary components:

  • Gas engine or electric motor
  • Water inlet
  • Water pump
  • High-pressure hose
  • Attachments: wand and nozzle

Gas or Electric?

Source: Best Pressure Washer

Light-duty pressure washers strictly for home use generally run from the electric supply. These washers are quiet, maneuverable and very compact.

When you step up a notch to the medium and heavy-duty commercial pressure washers, you will normally find them equipped with a gas engine. These models are bulkier and generate a reasonable amount of noise. The significant advantage, aside from power, is not being restricted to a power outlet. If you are working in hard-to-reach places, there’s no substitute for a powerful gas-engined pressure washer.

Water Inlet

pressure washer

The water inlet is a simple hose that connects up your pressure washer to the supply of water.

Since you will be cleaning up filth, the dirt and debris can pretty easily kick back and end up clogging your jet washer. For this reason, most come with a handy filter to minimize the chance of this happening. Aside from causing problems with your washer, there’s always a risk that any dirt like this will be shot back out at incredible pace.

Water Pump

The water pump is absolutely central to your pressure washer.

This works in the same fashion as a hand-operated pump except it’s driven extremely rapidly by a powerful motor rather than by hand.

Water is sucked from the faucet when the engine pulls the pump in one direction. When the pump is pulled the other way, water will come shooting out of the high-powered jet.

Most pumps are designed to cope with a flow of 1-2 gallons per minute.

High-Pressure Hose

The tube running between the washer and the water supply is reinforced with high-density plastic and wire mesh. This is to ensure that it can deal with the pressure thrown its way. A regular hose would not be man enough for the job.

With hoses, you need to look out for a pressure rating that exceeds the rating of the pump on your jet washer.


Different pressure washers come with different attachments.

These can vary from a straightforward trigger gun through to a rotating brush or wand.

You can change the angle and the force depending on whether you use a pinpoint nozzle or a wider one.

How Does a Pressure Washer Work?

The way in which a pressure washer works is actually very simple.

Here’s a very basic breakdown of what takes place so that you can leave your car or patio sparkling clean…

  1. Your chosen detergent flows in through one of the hoses. This detergent comes from a bottle or container
  2. Cold water from the faucet comes in through a second hose. This water is filtered on the way out
  3. The pressure washer is powered by its electric motor or gasoline engine
  4. The water pump is also known as an impeller. When it’s powered by the motor, this pump draws in the water and detergent and mixes them up
  5. The majority of pressure washers will also heat up the water. A temperature of anywhere between 50 and 70 degrees C is ideal
  6. The hot and soapy water will be squirted out through the exit hose and attachment. A thin nozzle will help to boost the pressure even further

So, as you can see, the mechanics of a pressure washer are pretty simple.

Does a Pressure Washer Have Any Drawbacks?

Like any appliance, a pressure washer is not perfect. There are a few minor disadvantages to using one.

  • Pressure washers can be very noisy. The sound level kicked out is usually 75 decibels or above
  • They use a great deal of water. If you’re using a jet washer, you could easily get through 2 gallons of water in a minute. The key here is to make sure that you use your washer in an area where there’s adequate drainage
  • Beware of the ever-present danger of using water and electricity together. Pressure washers are well-insulated and safe to use but it always pays to be on your guard
  • The way in which pressure washers get things clean is by blasting the dirt very forcefully. Be methodical to make sure you don’t make so much mess that you will be cleaning up after you have cleaned up! The idea is to save yourself time.


We hope you have found this look at how a pressure washer works useful and informative.

If you have any comments or feedback then please get in touch. We are always delighted to hear from our readers.

Now happy cleaning!

How to Efficiently Use a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers, whether you go for a gas or electric model, will clean pretty much anything you throw their way. You’ll get the job done in a fraction of the time and with far less effort than cleaning by hand.

Not only do they get the job done quickly, they can inject a bit of fun into the mundane task of cleaning.

Knowing how to use a pressure washer efficiently is not rocket science.

If you associate pressure washers with cleaning your car, think beyond that as they have a wide number of applications. Whether it’s cleaning the site at work or washing down your patio, blasting the decking or hosing down your boat, jet washers are extremely versatile.

An electric model is quiet, environmentally friendly and man enough for most normal residential cleaning needs. On the downside, you will obviously be restricted to cleaning within easy reach of a power supply.

For heavier-duty commercial cleaning jobs, gas-powered pressure washers are the obvious choice. You can roam freely untethered by any power issues. They are noisy, though. Gas jet washers can also give out fumes so be certain that this is in line with what you want from your pressure washer.

If you are aware of certain simple methods and techniques, you can use your pressure washer more efficiently and effectively. We’ll give you some handy hints for maximum cleaning results.

But before that, why are pressure washers so good?

What are the Benefits of a Pressure Washer?

Here are some of the benefits of pressure washers which combine to make them indispensable when it comes to a wide range of cleaning duties in the home and at work.

  • Highly Versatile: You can keep all your vehicles pristine. From bikes and motorbikes through to cars and boats, with a pressure washer you can get them all gleaming. They are also perfect for patios, decking, concrete and brickwork as well as commercial cleaning projects
  • Easy to Use: These devices are very user-friendly. With a pressure washer, you can clean even hard-to-reach areas like walls or windows fuss-free. Operation is as simple as pulling a trigger. Anyone can use a pressure washer with ease
  • Environmentally Friendly: Pressure washers are a green cleaning solution as no harmful chemicals are used. Electric models are the most eco-friendly. Get things clean without worrying about your footprint
  • Target Cleaning: You focus on one area and clean it. It is as simple as that. The pressure applied by these devices helps you clean your driveways, a section of your outside wall or anything else that needs attention
  • Cost Effective: Pressure washers, if you buy wisely, are a one-time investment you can use for years. You’ll have no need to keep buying expensive cleaning solutions. Choose the right model and you’ll enjoy free cleaning for a long time

How to Use Your Pressure Washer More Efficiently

When you use a pressure washer for the first time, it can seem slightly intimidating.

If you think carefully about a few basic elements, you can use your pressure washer more efficiently and get maximum benefit from your purchase with minimum effort.

Make light work of your cleaning duties and have some fun at the same time.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

If you think ahead to what you will clean, you can make more efficient use of your pressure washer.

Examine any potential weak points around windows or eaves, any flowers or other delicate objects. Check for any spots where water could leak in.

Think carefully about how you will clean and you can get superior results.

Water Supply

It’s absolutely crucial to check your water supply before investing in a pressure washer.

You need to make certain that your designated water supply will deliver the GPM (gallons per minute) required by the pressure washer.

Pressure washers all have different specifications and varying requirements. They all need a certain quantity of water in order to create the desired pressure.

Therefore, make sure you check this out and get the right jet washer for the job. Whether you want a gas-powered beast for the construction site or the quieter if less powerful electric power washer, look closely at the GPM rating.


Tighten all the all the hose connections properly so that air cannot enter in the lines.

This is one mistake made by many beginners. There is a tendency to keep the hose connection loose which simply doesn’t generate the desired pressure.

Put your back into it and secure all fittings very tightly for superior performance.

Choose The Right Nozzle For The Job

If you want to use your pressure washer efficiently, you’ll need to get the nozzle or tip right.

There are two core purposes for the interchangeable spray tips you’ll get with your pressure washer:

  • Lower the pressure then draw in the detergent
  • High pressure rinsing

Color-coded tips vary from 0 degrees through to 45 degrees.

The smaller the angle, the more powerful blast you will get.

For stubborn stains, stick to 0. If you need a lighter touch, simply widen the angle.

Getting the right nozzle for your needs is key to effective use of your pressure washer.

Prevent Kick Back or Recoil

When you start the washer, make sure you set the spray wand to a no-pressure or low-pressure setting. This is will help you prevent you any kind of recoil or kick back.

The last thing you want when you are cleaning is an unexpected blast of power pushing into you. Start slowly and ease your way in.

Being steady as you operate the pressure washer is crucial for efficient use.

Position the Spray Properly

To begin with, position the tip of the spray at least 2 feet away from the surface.

Once it’s up and running, slowly bring the tip closer to the surface. Go gently and ease your way in.

If you have it too close to the surface from the get-go, you might end up damaging the nozzle.

Get The Angle Right

Make sure you position the nozzle at an angle of 45 degrees to the surface. This will help to wash the loosened debris away.

Once it’s comfortably at this angle, press the trigger and away you go.

Using the proper angle is key to using your pressure washer efficiently.

Get Maximum Coverage

Don’t stick one particular point unless you are specifically focusing on it. In general, move the nozzle from one side to another.

The idea is to cover as much area as possible with the least effort.

Applying Detergent

Apply detergent on the surface.

You need to wait for at least 3 minutes for the detergent to soak and then start rinsing.

Make sure, you don’t wait for too long or the detergent will dry out.

Spray water from a top-down position to rinse the surface.


These are some general tips which will help you to get the very most out of your pressure washer.

Please make sure you refer to the user manuals for the guidelines specified by the brand you have purchased.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or feedback. We’re always very happy to hear from our readers.

Happy cleaning!

AR Blue Clean AR383 Review

Pressure washers make a great cleaning standby. If you invest in one of these for your garden, you really will be able to make light work of any cleaning duties.

Whether it’s blasting mildew from your decking, zapping dirt from your patio or hosing down your vehicles, the best pressure washer is a superb addition to your toolshed.

For light cleaning at home, electric pressure washers are your best bet. Sure, gas-powered beasts can certainly pack a punch. They are also extremely noisy and can give off fumes. If you don’t need an excess of power, electric is the way to go.

Annovi Reverberi (AR) is an Italian high-pressure pump company that’s been around for almost 60 years. AR brings all that heritage to the 383 meaning you can buy in complete confidence.

We’ll now walk you through the good and bad elements of this awesome electric pressure washer. You can see at a glance if this looks like it would be a good fit for your cleaning needs…


  • Easy to assemble so get cleaning right out the box
  • 1900 PSI water pressure is reasonably powerful for an electric pressure washer
  • 1.5 GPM flow rate gives you adequate water flow for most cleaning needs
  • Spray gun with adjustable spray nozzle for total flexibility
  • Choose from 2 wands
  • Very lightweight at just 27 pounds so you won’t strain yourself cleaning
  • Total Stop System (TTS) stops and starts rotary nozzle as needed
  • Mounted on a handy two-wheeled trolley for your convenience
  • Capable 120V universal electric motor
  • 20 foot high pressure hose is abrasion-resistant
  • 14-oz detergent bottle for a sparkling clean
  • Environmentally-friendly so get your cleaning done without causing any noise or damage
  • Hose reel at top of unit for easy storage
  • Very good value for money


  • Leakage can occur from plastic hose adapter
  • Using the hose reel can be awkward for some
  • Electric pressure washers can be more restrictive than gas-powered so make sure this is the type that best suits your needs

At 1900 PSI, the AR has more than enough pressure on tap for an electric model. While it might not have the raw power of a commercial gas-powered model, if you’re buying a jet washer for home then you don’t need it.

With a water flow rate of 1.5 GPM, the AR383 is more than fit for purpose. The pressure and flow combine to deliver a highly capable unit.

The 120V universal electric motor will let you take care of our your cleaning duties fuss-free. Although you will be restricted to being close to a power supply with an electric pressure washer, you’ll enjoy a generous 30-foot cord to maximize your mobility. Add in a 20-foot hose and you should be able to reach most things you need.

You’ll get a nifty accessory kit with an adjustable jet nozzle, foam dispenser and high-pressure hose.

The Total Stop System (TSS) is a superb feature. The rotary nozzle will stop and start as needed automatically.

If you are looking for a lightweight residential pressure washer that will cope with dirty jobs, the AR Blue Clean AR383 is well worth popping on your shortlist. This jet washer is a consistent best seller with just cause.

Get the AR383. You won’t be disappointed.


We hope you enjoyed our brief review of the AR Blue Clean AR383 pressure washer. If you want the advantages of a quiet, economical electric jet washer then take a good, hard look at the AR383.

Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any queries or feedback. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Now get blasting away with your AR383!

Simpson MSH-3125-S Review

Pressure washers are extremely versatile cleaning tools. Investing in a durable and high quality model could be the smartest investment you make.

Keep your vehicles gleaming. From bikes and motorbikes through to cars or boats, having a pressure washer at home cuts the cost of cleaning. It’s also highly convenient.

If you only need to clean gently and occasionally, electric pressure washers are a worthwhile consideration. If you want something with a bit more grunt, though, opt for a gas jet washer.

Simpson MSH-3125S Review

Simpson has a reputation for making no-nonsense appliances that deliver maximum cleaning capability without costing the earth.

We will examine the good and bad points of this superb gas-powered pressure washer. A glance at this list should show you exactly what this jet washer can do for you…


  • The poky Honda engine gives you all the cleaning power you demand
  • 3100 PSI maximum water pressure extremely powerful so exercise caution
  • 2.5 GPM a highly respectable flow rate
  • 5 nozzles offers plenty of choice: 0-degree, 15-degree 25-degree, 40 degree and a handy soap nozzle
  • Professional spray gun and spray wand
  • Downstream Detergent Injection System for a sparkling clean
  • 10-inch pneumatic tires mean moving the 65 pound powerhouse is simple
  • Heavy-gauge steel construction and solid components built to last
  • 25 foot high pressure hose affords you an extended reach
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Commercial cleaning results at residential price


  • Hose can be fragile
  • As with any gas jet washer, it’s very noisy and best used outside
  • Sometimes shipped with missing parts so pay close attention

The Simpson boasts an incredibly impressive 3100 PSI which is extremely impressive. It pays to be very careful when operating a jet washer capable of this much power. Go slowly and be aware of the extreme force at your disposal.

Generally, the water flow of gas-powered washers outstrips that of their electrical counterparts. At 2.5 GPM, the Simpson is man enough for most cleaning jobs, however much dirt there is to shift. From a filthy trail bike through to a well-used boat or SUV, get the 3125s into action and feel its raw power…

The Honda engine is powerful, reliable and also a breeze to clean and maintain.

With 5 nozzles, to choose from, you can tweak the power of this pressure washer for all your different cleaning needs. Choose from angles of 0, 15, 25 or 40 degrees. This will deal with everything from mild and gentle cleaning through to the dirtiest, most demanding jobs. A soap attachment completes the set.

Components are heavyweight and the steel frame rugged and durable wherever you take your pressure washer.

It’s a bulky 65 pound unit but the wheels mean that you can maneuver the Simpson anywhere you need to go. Free of the need for an electrical supply, take full advantage of the gas-fuelled MSH-3125S.

If you’re looking for a residential jet washer which will cope with even the grimiest cleaning duties, take a close look at the Simpson MSH-3125S. If you choose the right pressure washer, it should last you for many years. Make a smart decision and cleaning will seem less of a chore.

With a 1-year limited warranty, the Honda engine covered for 2 years and a generous 90 days on the nozzles, you can buy in complete confidence.


We hope our review of the Simpson MSH-3125S pressure washer has given you some useful information.

If you want the flexibility and power offered by a gas-fuelled jet washer, the Simpson will not disappoint.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or feedback. We are happy to help in any way we can.

Happy blasting!

Sun Joe SPX3000 Review

Keeping your patio and car sparkling clean has never been easier. Snow Joe are an outdoor tool specialist who offer the Sun Joe SPX3000 as part of their comprehensive range.

Electric pressure washers are fairly standard for residential use. The drawback is that you will be limited by the need to be close to a power point. With only a 20-foot hose, you might find that your progress is hindered slightly.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Review

On the plus side for an electric model, the motor is pleasingly potent at 14.5 amps. If you want a great deal of raw power in a dinky, compact unit, the SPX3000 is a smart choice.

We’ll take a glance now at the major advantages of the SPX3000 pressure washer along with an honest look at the handful of downsides reported by users.


  • Superb cleaning power rating at over 3000 to keep things gleaming
  • 2030psi maximum water pressure handles even heavy stains
  • 1.76gpm adequate flow for most home-based cleaning
  • 5 nozzles to choose from with varying pressure levels and spray widths for complete versatility
  • 34-inch extension wand allows you to access any hard-to-reach areas with ease
  • Outstanding accessories offer great value for money: soap reservoir and soap level selector, lengthy cord and hose, spray gun holster
  • Compact and lightweight for convenient cleaning
  • Very powerful 14.5 amp (120 volt) motor for maximum cleaning capability
  • Total stop system for your safety
  • Very cheap and awesome value for money


  • Plastic connections are not so durable
  • Cold water only (standard for electric pressure washers)
  • 20-foot hose is slightly limiting

The two main things you want to look out for with any pressure washer are the water pressure measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and the water flow in gallons per minute (GPM).

The SPX3000 can kick out 2030 PSI at full tilt. This is a higher maximum water pressure than you’ll normally get with an electric model.

The water flow is equally impressive coming in at 1.76 GPM. While this is certainly not on a par with industrial pressure washers, it’s more than respectable for a unit intended for home use.

You’ll enjoy 5 color-coded quick-connect nozzles with this jet wash. The colors relate to the angles measured in degrees. Angled at 40 degrees, you can get a gentle clean when you need it. 25 degrees caters for most general cleaning duties. If you have a particularly stubborn job, the 15 degree nozzle works a treat. For any awkward and hard-to-reach areas, dial it back to 0 degrees. The fifth nozzle is specifically designed for applying detergent. You are spoiled for choice with the Sun Joe pressure washer.

In addition to this wide choice of nozzles, you’ll get a 34-inch extension wand thrown in too. This fits neatly into the spray gun to maximize your reach.

You will get two removable detergent tanks with this model. This allows you to use different detergent in each tank. You can adjust the suction volume of your cleaning solution with a handy dial.

With a full 2-year warranty, you can buy with absolute confidence.

If you want an environmentally friendly pressure washer that gives out zero emissions at the point of use, think long and hard about the Sun Joe SPX3000. It’s worth a place on any short list of the best residential jet washers.


We hope you have found this review on the Sun Joe SPX300 pressure washer has given you some handy information.

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our users.

Happy cleaning!