What’s the Best Pressure Washer for use Around the House?

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Pressue washing red brick

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Searching for the best electric pressure washer? If are you thinking about doing the spring cleaning yourself and are in the market, the right choice can be a little confusing.  Let me share a few facts and recommendations that will make the perfect buying decision for your needs simple and easy. 

Commercial Vs Residential Pressure Washer

The main difference between commercial and residential pressure washers is power. The cleaning power is rated by two factors, pressure (PSI) and flow rate (GPM).  Most commercial pressure washers will also be more durable than residential units, however, the benefit does not outweigh the cost.

Commercial pressure washers are much more powerful and are suited for the toughest cleaning jobs, and they are much more expensive.  Typically, residential pressure washers will be rated between  1,300 and 3,300 PSI, whereas commercial pressure washers can range up to 8,000 PSI and even higher for specialized tasks.

For nearly all the typical jobs around the house, such as cleaning the driveway, lawn furniture, wood or composite deck, a car, house siding, and boat cleaning, a good residential pressure washer is more than sufficient.

pressure washing wood deck

Gas vs Electric:

While both options are available in either residential or commercial units, an electric pressure washer will almost always be the better choice around your home.  The only reason to go with a gas powered unit for residential purposes would be the lack of a nearby electrical outlet.  Electric powered pressure washers are reliable, very easy to use and start, and they are quieter than their gas counter parts. 

Pressure (PSI) vs Flow (GPM)

As I mentioned above, pressure washers are rated by two factors, pressure (PSI) and flow rate (GPM).   It’s important to look at flow rate in conjunction with pressure.  Many consumers will simply go with the higher pressure machine, however, higher pressure with lower flow limits the ability to “rinse” if you are using a foaming cleaning solution, which you will be in almost every instance.  Think of these two factors as a combination unit called, “Cleaning Units” A pressure washer with 2,300 PSI with 2.6 GPM of flow rate will give you 5,980 cleaning units.  Whereas a unit with 3,300 PSI with only 1.2 GPM will give you 3,960 units.  In this case, the slightly lower pressure if probably the better choice.

So yes, pressure is the most important factor, the more pressure, the more cleaning power.  However, don’t discount flow, if you’re using a foaming cleaner, it’s frustrating and time consuming to rinse the surface after you’ve cleaned it.  You may find yourself disconnecting your garden hose from your pressure washer as you get frustrated at how long it’s taking to rinse if you go with a low flow rate pressure washer.


It’s quite simple, for the typical homeowner looking to do those normal cleaning tasks around the house, such as cleaning your deck or patio furniture, I recommend an electric powered unit in the 3,000 PSI Range with a flow rate of 2.4 GPM or higher.  Units in this range will cost $150 – $200. 

Check our our Review of The Top-5 Electric Pressure Washers Here!

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