Sunday, June 04, 2006

Adventures in pressure washing

When your brick walkway is growing more plants than your garden, it's time to get out the pressure washer.

Last year Consumer Reports identified a small, efficient pressure washer, the Campbell Hausfeld PW1310 - 1300 PSI Electric Pressure Washer, available on Amazon for $90. This looked like a great alternative to our traditional approach to pressure-washing. (That had involved going to Rent-A-Tool and lugging home some huge, gnarly machine, dripping oil and reeking of gasoline, that we'd have to wrestle with for the better part of an hour before it blasted into operation at 100+ decibels and the neighbors began slamming doors and windows.)

So I bought the Campbell Hausfeld, and today I tried it out. It's a very small machine, smaller than a cannister vacuum cleaner, and has everything you need to clean: its own long power cord, a long hose, and two cleaning wands. All you do is attach your garden hose, and plug in the power cord.

It had no trouble blasting off all the dark green moss, and did a great job of cleaning the dingy concrete on the raised beds. Of course, flying moss and sand ended up all over the nearby plants, various planters, the recycle bins, and the front steps. That's when I discovered the pressure washer does a wonderful job of cleaning cedar steps! I began seeing all sorts of uses for it, and tried it out on the weeds in the cracks in the driveway asphalt.

It's a fairly quiet machine, similar to a vacuum cleaner, so the neighbors didn't mind. Amazingly, the cats were happy hanging out on the front porch as I worked.

After putting away the pressure washer, I used a regular hose to wash the overspray of sand and moss off the plants, the planters, the steps, the garage door, and my shoes. All that remained was to get the sand and moss off me -- I was covered head to toe, including my glasses. Sorry, no pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:47 AM

    You didn't mention your husband's car, which now has more mud on it than the garden! :)