Windows can be washed using a pressure washer. You need to do so with care. The windows, sidings, and frames can be damaged. Another consideration to be made is the condition of these structures. If they are in poor shape, water can easily leak into these.
You look at your windows and contemplate cleaning them with your power washer. Is such a thing possible? There is a slight hesitation on your part due to the pressure being applied to the glass.
When it comes to washing windows on two-story or higher structures, don’t use a ladder. The pressure being applied can cause you or the ladder to fall. For situations that require a long reach, get an extension attachment for your washer.
Let’s take you through how to pressure wash your windows.
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A Guide to Cleaning Your Windows With a Pressure Washer
When using your pressure washer, always start with the lowest pressure possible and then raise the level. Also, start from a safe distance and move closer to the window when you’re comfortable.
Have a look at the state of the windows and the frames. If there is rot or other damage to the window surrounds, then you need to take care of this before you start with the cleaning.
Wood that isn’t protected by paint or other sealants can be damaged by the water of the pressure washer.
Always begin your pressure washer cleaning with a lower PSI. This prevents you from mangling the window surrounds or smashing the glass. Start at 1200 PSI and use a 40-degree tip. Test the pressure on a harder surface away from the window, such as the ground.
For those of you who have double-hung windows, remove the screens before you start cleaning. These screens can be cleaned using either a garden hose or your pressure washer at a lower pressure setting.
In regards to cleaning your windows, slowly increase the pressure until you reach a level you are satisfied with.
Wash away the dirt, grime, and any spider webs. Commence at the top of the window and work your way towards the bottom.
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Once you have completed the initial cleaning stage. Go back over the windows with a soap solution. You can either make your own or buy a commercial detergent.
When using soap, you need to make sure it isn’t too foamy. Suds can build up within your washer and block the internals.
Swap out your 40-degree tip with a soap nozzle. Don’t aim the tip directly at the glass. Washing at a 45-degree angle will prevent you from smashing the window.
Clean the windows in batches. Apply the soap, starting from the edge of the pane and work towards the middle.
Change out your soap tip with the 40-degree nozzle. Keep at least 3-feet away from the glass and spray down your windows. Use an angle of 25 to 40 degrees to protect the glass from being damaged by the water pressure.
Wash the glass from the top down. Make sure that the soap and dirt are thoroughly washed away. Then allow the windows to dry.
Reattach the screens if you have double-hung windows.
Precautions to Take When Washing Windows With a Pressure Washer
Before you start the cleaning job, there are precautions you need to take. This will keep you safe and prevent any damage to the window or its frame.
The first thing to do is to thoroughly read your pressure washer’s instruction manual. That may seem dull to some people, but it’s essential. You need to understand how to operate your machine and adhere to the manufacturer’s usage recommendations. This will ensure that your cleaning task goes smoothly.
Wear personal protective gear. Goggles and earplugs are a must whenever you use your pressure washer.
If you are using an electric washer, make sure that it’s plugged into the appropriate socket. The wrong power plug can mean that your pressure washer struggles to start, or cuts out on you during your cleaning.
Having the machine properly grounded is vitally important as it protects you from shocks. Also, make sure that the cord is long enough to reach the areas you want to clean. Extension cords should be constructed from 12-, 14-, or 16-gauge wire, as this will deliver the power you need over longer distances.
After a period of use, your washer can start to get hot. That means there is a risk of you getting burnt if you place your hand on the unit. If you are concerned about this, let your washer cool down for 30-60 minutes.
Children are naturally curious. Don’t allow them to play or explore near the washer while you’re using it.
With these precautions in mind, it’s time to start with the window cleaning.
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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use a Pressure Washer to Wash Windows
Pressure washing windows can speed up the job. However, as we have mentioned, there is the risk of smashing the glass or ruining the framing.
Usually, these mistakes are made by those who are inexperienced at using pressure washers for cleaning. That’s why we recommend approaching the task with care.
However, there is the possibility that the water from the pressure washer could leak into the walls through the siding, insulation, or flooring. When this occurs, you have a situation in which mold and mildew can form. Additionally, the moisture can affect the plaster of the wall, and you may find it starting to crumble.
If your house contains lead paint, there is a risk of this flaking away while you power wash your windows. These flecks of paint could land in your garden and contaminate the soil.
What Types of Pressure Washers Can You Use To Wash Windows?
Pressure washers come in two different models, gas-powered or electric. The performance of each one will largely depend on which one you purchase (or have available to use) and what the intended use is for.
When selecting an appropriate pressure washer to wash your windows, it is important to understand the power behind a gas-powered pressure washer and an electric-powered pressure washer and the attachments available to use.
- A nozzle or wand is a long tube that ejects the water at a high rate of pressure
- A motor (gas or electric-powered)
- A tank for gas ( if using a gas-powered pressure washer)
- Water or detergent well
- A hose that connects the nozzle or wand to the body of the pressure washer
You may also find that there are extra components available for purchase as add-ons to a pressure washer such as special tip caps (used to direct the stream of water that comes out of the nozzle) and telescopic nozzles or wands that can fit onto your pressure washer to help extend your reach.
Most pressure washers come with a water well or detergent well for you to add a cleaning detergent of your choice. There are a variety of detergents available for purchase, but most commonly you will find either residential, small containers of pre-mixed detergent, or commercial, un-mixed detergent for larger-scale products.
Gas or Electric Powered Pressure Washer To Wash Windows?
Generally, the higher the psi, the stronger the output will be from your pressure washer. If you are looking to wash your exterior windows, you will want to keep an eye on this measurement to prevent any possible damage.
|Electric Pressure Washer||Or||Gas Powered Pressure Washer|
|1,500 to 3,000||Psi||2,500 – 4,000|
|1.5 to 2.5||GPM||2.5 to 4.0|
|All types of outdoor furniture, exterior siding, wood and synthetic material||Best Used To Clean||Concrete, heavy-duty trucks, and farm vehicles|
The GPM, the flow rate or volume of water moving through the pressure washer nozzle, is another measurement you can use when selecting the right pressure washer for the job. Generally, the higher the GPM, the faster it will be to clean a surface.
What Pressure Washer Is Right for Washing Windows?
A few disadvantages of a gas-powered pressure washer are that it will require the purchase of petrol for every use, maintenance will have to be completed on it such as oil changes and you will need a safe space to store it when not in use.
The disadvantage of using an electric power washer is the short length of use time you will have with them due to the electrical components potentially overheating. There is also the issue of lack of adequate power to tackle harder cleaning jobs due to their low psi.
An advantage of an electric power washer is the cheap cost to run it (no petrol purchase needed!) and the ability to store it inside when not in use without having to sacrifice too much space.
How Do I Keep Safe While Using a Pressure Washer on Windows?
Before you turn on the pressure washer, check that the nozzle and any nozzle tip caps that are attached are twisted tightly so they do not blow off once you turn on the pressure washer. Double-check all connections if using an electric pressure washer or if the gas cap for the gas-powered washer is tightly secured.
Never point the pressure washer at anyone or yourself. If you spray yourself or someone else with the pressure washer, you could cause more harm or damage than what meets the eye (as was the case of this unlucky construction worker who accidentally sprayed his forearm with a high-pressure nozzle).
While you are using a pressure washer to clean on a second-story house or higher level where windows are located, safely set up a ladder for hard-to-reach windows. Most pressure washers will have a nozzle or wand extenders available for purchase if you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Cleaning your windows using a pressure washer is possible. Yet, you need to be careful that you don’t smash the glass or damage the framing. Starting with a lower pressure, such as 1200 PSI, will allow you to approach the task with caution.
Use a nozzle that is set at a 40- to a 45-degree angle. This prevents the pressure from being applied too heavily to one spot.
If you think carefully about your strategy, you will find that pressure washing your windows is a great way to spruce up your house.