Every year I pressure wash our large flagstone patio, front stairs and walkway. The entire job with a pressure washer without a surface cleaner takes 5 hours. Just after I finished doing it this year, I discovered that you can buy pressure washer surface cleaners that not only get the job done faster but does a better job.
When shopping for surface cleaners, you might feel lost because they all look very similar. This article sets out and explains the different types of pressure washer surface cleaners.
Or maybe you don’t have a pressure washer and are stuck using a hose to clean your surfaces. Sometimes traditional cleaning just doesn’t get the job done. By combining a pressure washer with the surface cleaner, you will never worry about getting your space clean again. A surface cleaner is a tool that attaches to your pressure washer for efficiently completing power washing tasks, because sometimes even pressure washers don’t do the job well enough. And they can be messy.
We will here talk about elements from size to durability, and even highlight special features like overspray protection and streak prevention. We will also provide you with the specific compatibility levels of each product, to make sure they will work with the pressure washer that you have. You will finish this article with no questions left and a crystal clear understanding of which surface cleaner is the right one for you to purchase. Surface cleaners are the perfect solution to high-power cleaning in a short amount of time. They are efficient and effective.
We are going to explain the various features that are available in the market, along with suggested products that fall under that category. This way, you will read about desirable characteristics, and then be given the best product options with those specifications. Keep reading to find out which features are most important to you and you will be introduced to your ideal surface cleaner.
Table of Contents
Related: 14 types of pressure washers
1. Streak-Free Cleaning
All of the surface cleaners in this list clean efficiently, but some are specifically made to be streak-free. These are the brands that take extra care to design a tool that won’t leave a pattern behind when cleaning surfaces. Buy a streak-free surface cleaner if the appearance of the space after cleaning is especially important to you.
This 15-inch surface cleaner is suitable for outdoor areas like driveways, sidewalks and patios, and doesn’t leave streaks. A unique feature of this model is that it gives the exact speed of the rotating spray nozzles. The tool rotates at 1,500 RMP. Given this number, you can be sure that this product is going to deliver high-speed cleaning. It works with two rotating nozzles and can be connected to a pressure washer wand for cleaning that is four times faster than a standard spray nozzle.
2. Vertical Use
If you are looking for a product that can complete unconventional tasks, choose vertically compatible ones. While some surface cleaners work best when used on flat surfaces, these are the ones that can also be used vertically. The products in this category have been selected for compatibility with surfaces like garage doors and house exteriors. Considering choosing a vertical use model if you know you will be cleaning your garage doors, or even if you want to have the ability to use the pressure washer on a wide range of projects.
If you are looking for an all-around smart cleaner, this is the one for you. This pressure washer is well-equipped with various favorable features. Karcher has developed a 15-inch surface washer that delivers professional quality cleaning in a timely manner, without making a mess.
Firstly, the model is made with two spinning nozzles that remain at a fixed height in the machine, which helps to eliminate streaks. It also cleans up to four times faster than standard spray nozzles and is compatible with a wide range of gas power washers (almost 20 PSI versions)
Another added benefit of this product is that it can not only can be used on flat surfaces like driveways, but it also works on vertical surfaces like garage doors and even house exterior walls, like sliding. On top of all of these great features, this pressure washer is splash free, so it promises to keep the user dry while cleaning. There is not much more that you could want in an exterior surface cleaner, on top of the benefits of streak prevention, splash prevention, speed, and versatility.
This PEGGAS product aims to deliver professional quality cleaning, DIY style. With an efficient technological combination of two spinning nozzles and a brush surface, this model takes extra care of areas that need to be cleaned. The nozzles spin at high speeds to increase cleaning effectiveness, and they’re up to four times faster than standard nozzle tips.
The 15-inch gas pressure washer is quite versatile. As a surface cleaner is a home-essential investment, it’s important to purchase one that will work in different environments. This multipurpose cleaner can be used in many outdoor areas, including vertical ones. This way, you can use the same tool to clean your driveway and your garage door. Moreover, this surface cleaner has a universal attachment that enables you to use this product simply if your wand has a quick connect adapter.
Overall, this PEGGAS surface washer is an essential household tool that helps do the dirty work without getting yourself dirty. With a product that works well in different areas, there is not much more that you could need.
3. Overspray Prevention
Just because you’re power washing the patio doesn’t mean you want to power wash the garden too. Overspray prevention helps ensure that your flowers don’t receive the same treatment as your concrete. If you are concerned about water splashing all over the place while you’re cleaning, get one of the surface cleaners with this prevention feature. Even if you just don’t want to get your clothes wet while cleaning, overspray protection is a helpful tool.
This Briggs & Stratton product is 14-inches in diameter and made for gas pressure washers.
The model has dual high-pressure rotating jets that clean quickly and don’t leave streaks. The spinning jets allow the surface cleaner to remove dirt with ease. This product is only compatible with pressure washers from 2200 PSI to 3400 PSI, so you would need to make sure that yours is not too high or too low in pressure. This surface cleaner functions four times faster than a 40 degree nozzle.
One of the most useful features of this model is the dome shape of the body, which provides overspray prevention and makes it the perfect tool for areas with sensitive items surrounding them. Since the water will be contained within the surface cleaner, you won’t have to worry about getting your clothes or your garden wet. If you’re looking for an efficient and clean tool, this is the one for you.
4. Heavy-Duty Build
If you mean business when you clean, you’ll want to purchase one of these heavy-duty surface cleaners. These products either have a tough outer shell or a powerful interior, but they all get the job done well. The more powerful duty surface cleaners are the ones that are compatible with a higher PSI, which determines the pressure of the tool through pounds per inch. The upper limit of this power index is about 4000 PSI, so those above 3000 are considered very powerful. If you are facing extremely dirty areas, or if you just like tools that look like don’t mess around, choose one of these heavy-duty surface cleaners.
This 15-inch Generac product can clean large areas quickly. It’s one of the more powerful washers on this list, with compatibility of up to 3100 PSI. Aside from being high pressure, the 6132 is composed of sturdy materials for an extensive lifetime. Its outer shell is made of stainless steel and durable plastic. The rotating nozzles produce a fast and uniform cleaning path, and the tough yet flexible bristles protect the surface that’s being cleaned and control over-spray.
Example: Yamaha ACC Surface Cleaner
This product is manufactured by a well-known brand for added security and functionality. Yamaha is a Japanese multinational corporation that has been around since 1897, and sells a wide-range of electronics and equipment. A surface cleaner from such an established brand is sure to function well.
The 15-inch model displays a more industrial look, and would be suitable for those who prefer heavy-duty tools. It cleans up to four times faster than a standard nozzle, and the rotating nozzle gives streak-free, even cleaning. As the product is 15 inches in diameter, its large size allows for much faster cleaning, and it easily attaches to any quick connect capable pressure washer. This Yamaha product is compatible up to 3300 psi.
5. Locking Joint Function
This is an added feature that can allow for more efficient storage and make taking breaks more feasible. These products have a joint that can be locked when not in use, which enables the surface cleaner to stand up on its own. For large areas, having the locking joint function means that you can stop and catch your breath every once in a while. It also means that the product will easily fit into small spaces for storage purposes. The locking joint is a bonus feature that makes pressure washing run smoothly.
This small tool specializes in big tasks. If you are in need of a compact tool that will get the job done well, this is a great option. The modern-looking Karcher T300 is 11 inches in diameter and quite powerful. While this machine is one of the smaller models, its convenient size does not compromise quality. This T300 is not too big, but it’s still able to tackle substantial projects, which is a great combination of characteristics.
As if this product didn’t have enough desirable qualities, the exterior shell was also carefully constructed. The product has an innovative and attractive black and yellow design that will not only make your neighbors wonder what is the cool new tool they’ve been seeing you use in the front yard, but also keep your space tidy, without having to add a bulky, industrial-looking tool to storage.
The company behind this product, Karcher, prides themselves on their simple yet impressive promise, “Cleaner, Quicker.” Needless to say, this model tackles large projects in no time and aims to make it easy to clean your outdoor surfaces comfortably. Additionally, the T300 includes a locking joint feature that enables the cleaner to lock when not in use, so that you can easily take a break from cleaning and store the product more efficiently.
Each of these products has a handful of desirable qualities, but sometimes all you need is something that’s small enough to fit in your garage. If you already own many backyard tools and tidiness is the most important factor for you right now, then you should go with one of these smaller versions. Around 10 inches in diameter, these surface cleaners hardly take up any space.
Are you looking for a small but efficient tool? This Sun Joe cleaner offers versatility and ease of storage, as it can be used on many different surfaces. The small tool can even be applied to a BBQ pit, for keeping your most personal items clean. Aside from functionality, this model features a bright green exterior which helps you to not gain another bulky tool in your garage. Instead, it adds a fun accent to your belongings. At just 10-inches in diameter, this product is the most compact of our selections, yet it has a multitude of helpful properties to offer to your cleaning process.
A fun green surface cleaner, this product hardly looks like a maintenance tool. The compact attachment specializes in making your driveways, sidewalks, patios and decks good as new, at a short diameter of 11 inches. The surface cleaner attaches to your pressure washer by the quick-connect feature, which facilitates big cleaning jobs.
This surface cleaner is compatible with most pressure washers up to 2000 PSI. With this pressure index limit, it’s not the model for the most powerful pressure washers. Models with an index around 3,000 to 4,000 PSI should consider a heavy duty surface cleaner. Another factor to consider is that this is one of the products that is more suitable for horizontal use, meaning that if you may want to clean your fence every once in a while, you should consider another pressure washer. This one works better when kept flat on the ground. The attachment is powered by electric cord, so there is no need to charge it or add batteries, but it does need to be plugged in.
The Greenworks tool also works smoothly and doesn’t make much noise, so that you can clean your space in peace. Greenworks prides themselves on the consistency of this tool, which provides dependable power time after time. This is an extremely valuable trait when searching for reliable products online.
7. Temperature Sensitivity
Some surface cleaners require a specific temperature range for proper functioning, while others don’t specify a preference. The following models are the ones that have temperature specifications for proper use. Choose one of the models below if you have a specific need with respect to water temperature. These are the models that won’t work well with extremely hot water.
The most powerful of our selection, this 15-inch Simpson Cleaning product is black, bold, and works with pressures up to 3600 PSI. Although this model has the highest pressure compatibility, it is temperature sensitive. It’s important to note that this surface cleaner can only be used with cold water. If your yard hose doesn’t give hot water, then you can safely use this powerful product.
Another strong quality of the Simpson Cleaning model is its construction. The outer shell is powder coated, made of stainless steel, and includes stainless steel nozzles in the interior. If you are looking for a durable product with high-pressure capabilities, this is a solid purchase.
This rotary surface cleaner is another temperature sensitive model, but it doesn’t strictly require cold water. The product just can’t be used with temperatures above 180ºF. Since most hoses don’t give very hot water, the temperature limit shouldn’t be a problem. This 14-inch surface cleaner from Mi T M Corp comes with both a quick connect socket for wand attachment and two 25-degree nozzles.
The surface cleaner is on the more powerful side, as it is only compatible with power washers that have a PSI of 2600 or greater. That means that your pressure washer should have a moderate to high level of pressure (PSI) to be compatible. A notable characteristic of this surface cleaner is that it’s manufactured in China. This is a surface cleaner that works with substantially powerful pressure washers being used with moderate temperature water.
8. Domestic Assembly
It’s not everyday that we encounter USA-made products. Typically, the tools we buy come with little golden stickers that say, “Made in China”. It’s nice to support your country by buying domestic products, and sometimes these are the ones that are built to your liking. If you are a patriotic consumer whose number one priority is buying homegrown products, there’s even a surface cleaner here for you.
Some people care most about the origin of their product. Buying American-made products means supporting our nation. If that’s something that interests you, you’ll like this American Hydro Clean product. The name tells the most unique feature of this 15-inch surface washer; it’s assembled in the United States.
This is a powerful tool, with a pressure limit of 3400 PSI and utilizes 3.5 gallons of water per minute. The tool is made out of stainless steel inside and out, so its powder-coated exterior resists rust and chemicals, and the double interior nozzles are strong and effective. The surface cleaner has a quick-connect socket for inserting the wand, which is not included in the purchase.
Wrapping it up
After reviewing these eight distinct features of surface washers on the market, you now have a better idea of what’s out there and are better able to buy a good pressure washer surface cleaner that meets your needs. While all surface washers look the same upon first glance, they actually all have unique characteristics. Hopefully, you are now well-informed of the different features that you have to choose from. This way, you can choose the ones that are most important to you and make your purchase accordingly.
We learned that there are both gas and electric pressure washers, and that the type of pressure washer that you have will determine which surface cleaners correspond to your machine. Additionally, we saw that most all surface cleaners attach to your pressure washer through quick-connect, a feature that makes installing quicker and easier. Another common characteristic of these surface cleaners is a cleaning speed that is four times faster than a standard nozzle, which means that you should have no trouble getting your space clean.
Size is another defining feature of the different surface cleaners in this article. These products range from 10 to 15 inches in diameter. Depending on whether you want lots of power or compatibility, you can choose your surface cleaner based on its size. Additionally, some of these surface cleaners have other added features like overspray protection, streak-free cleaning, and a locking joint function. Another defining factor is that of these models specialize in vertical compatibility, for completing various tasks.
Knowing everything that’s available for purchase, you are more than ready to shop for your very own surface cleaner. Having read this, you will be able to make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Whether you prefer a small but powerful machine or a durable one that will last a long time, there is a surface cleaner here for you. Simply evaluate what’s most important to you during your cleaning process and then choose from among the different types above and get ready to have a sparkling clean space in no time. Happy cleaning!
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