Steps on How to Use a Pressure Washer to Clean the Garage
The garage protects our cars and keeps them more secure while doubling as a storage room and even a hangout. For what it’s worth, it does take quite a beating. Leaked oils, grease stains, efflorescence (if your garage has a concrete floor), and other types of dirt and grime could quickly accumulate in its floors. What’s more, most of us do not even pay attention and end up cleaning the garage once or twice every few years.
How should you clean your garage floor if it needs one? You generally have two choices: do it manually or buy/rent a pressure washer. Because of the merit of saving time and energy, we highly recommend the second option. And for this article’s purposes, we’re going to discuss how to make your garage floors squeaky clean by using a pressure washer.
Is it “Pressure Washer” or” Power Washer?”
Many people interchange these terms, but technically they are different. The most significant difference between the two machines is that a power washer has a mechanism that heats the water up. Hence, it cleans up caked-up dirt more effectively than a pressure washer would. Price-wise, it’s also more expensive. However, for everyday cleaning purposes, a pressure washer’s cold water is often enough.
Tips in Choosing a Pressure Washer
Here are some of the basic things you need to know about pressure washers:
- It can either be gas-powered or electric. In cleaning enclosed spaces like a car garage, electric pressure washers are the recommended choice. They are lightweight and compact, whereas gas-powered pressure washers are heavy and could fill the room up with an annoying smell. It may even emit harmful carbon monoxide.
- Pounds per square inch. The water pressure when it comes out of the pressure washer’s wand is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the PSI, the stronger the pressure. In cleaning concrete floors, a pressure washer with a maximum pressure of 3,000 PSI can get the job done in a breeze. However, those with lesser PSI, perhaps running from 1,600 to 2,300, could still clean concrete floors, but it takes longer. Brushless electric pressure washers (1600 to 2000 PSI) may not be that powerful, but are much cheaper, more reliable and less noisy.
- Gallons per minute. Gallons per minute is simply the amount of water in gallons coming out of the pressure washer in one minute. It is sometimes called rinsing power, while PSI may be referred to as “stripping power.”
Steps in Cleaning the Garage Floor With A Pressure Washer
- Clear the Area
If you’re like everybody else, your garage is not just a shelter for the vehicle. It houses many other things such as tools, boxes, and old stuff while even doubling as a hangout. If it’s the latter, you may also have some furniture lying around. The first thing to do is to remove all of the stuff that takes up floor space so you can clean the whole area. Cover the electrical outlets and the lower part of drywalls. Sweep the floor lightly to get rid of dust.
- Wet and Pre-treat the floor
Using a garden hose or the wide nozzles of the pressure washer, wet the floor thoroughly and cover the entire area. This is the first part of the cleaning process and preparing the floor for the pre-treatment. You may use a detergent cleaner or a strong degreaser for the pre-treatment if there are oil or grease stains present. Lightly scrub the stains with a brush so that the degreaser or detergent could penetrate. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes so that the stains soak the cleaning agent. This procedure will make it much easier for you to remove the stains later.
- Rinse the Entire Place Clean
After 20 minutes, it’s time to rinse off the soap and the detergent off the floor. To do this, operate the pressure washer to its highest level or the 0-degree nozzle. But if you have a painted floor or some other floor coating then definitely use a much wider nozzle to protect it. Target the corners and spray the entire area. You may need to repeat over the areas where the most stubborn stains reside. Wash over the whole area thoroughly, depending on the degree of contamination.
- Wait a little bit more
By this time, you now have cleaned your garage floor very well. And, of course, you can’t wait to put everything back and bask in the glory of a clean environment. A word of caution, though: you still need to wait and be patient! Let things run their course, and so, let the water dry before you put things back where they belong. If you are a little bit of a perfectionist, you may use a surface cleaner for a deeper clean. Any dirt that comes off may be washed down the driveway by a regular garden hose.
- Additional Reminders
A pressure washer is not a toy and, therefore, should be handled with caution and respect. Please remember to:
- pay attention to the strength of the water coming out of the nozzle, especially the 0-degree and 15-degree ones.
- wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, thick clothing, and work boots.
- never test the water pressure by spraying on your hands.
- be mindful of electrical sockets.
- warn people, especially children, to stay out of the way.
Using a pressure washer is the easiest way to clean off a garage floor. What’s more, it’s not even that difficult and requires minimal effort, and the whole process doesn’t have to be agonizing! Just follow the simple steps outlined above (including the safety tips), and your garage will become squeaky and sparkly clean in no time.