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How to Choose the Right Pressure Washer

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Have a pressure washing project you want to do yourself? Here is our quick guide on how to choose a pressure washer. You may be amazed at how many uses you can find for one around the home. However, picking the wrong pressure washer can not only make for an ineffective tool, but could also damage your home. So how do you decide on the right pressure washer? In this article we will help walk you through your options

Pressure Washing Machine

PSI, GPM? What are these?

Before choosing a pressure washer there is some basic vocabulary we must understand.

Power washer pressure gauge


PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch. In other words, this measures how much pressure the machine can produce. A higher PSI means it is able to break up stains with a stronger bond. However, a higher PSI can also increase the risk of damage to your property if not handled properly.


GPM stands for gallons per minute. In other words, how much water the pressure washer will pump out every minute. A higher GPM means the pressure washer will clean faster than one with a lower GPM. We have found that the average homeowner is satisfied with a machine around 2-4GPM

What are you cleaning?

One of the first questions you must ask yourself when choosing a pressure washer is what do I need to clean? This will influence the machine you ultimately choose. Are you washing your car? A machine with a lower PSI would be a much safer option. How about your driveway? You will need a machine with a high PSI and high GPM to complete the job efficiently.

Gas vs. Electric?

- Electric

Many homeowners prefer electric pressure washers as they are lighter, easier to carry, and are much quieter than gas powered units. If this is a priority for you, an electric pressure washer may be your best option. However, electric units tend to have a much lower PSI and GPM rating than their gas powered counterparts. If you will be using the pressure washer for light cleaning such as rinsing a patio or washing a car; an electric pressure washer may be the best option.

- Gas

Gas powered pressure washer are typically more expensive, however they will usually have a much higher PSI and GPM rating. This is essential for heavy-duty cleaning such as pressure washing a driveway or patio. Although noisy and much heavier than their electric powered counterparts; if heavy-duty cleaning is on the agenda a gas powered machine may be your best option.

I have decided on Gas vs. Electric.. whats next?

You made up your mind on what type of pressure washer is best for you. What's next?

Look at the PSI and GPM

Pressure washing a driveway? We would recommend a pressure washer above 3000psi with a rating of at least 2.5gpm. How about your homes siding? In this case much lower pressure is needed and higher flow with the ability to inject soap would be important. There are many possibilities when it comes to choosing the best pressure washer. It is best to consider your needs and research what the best PSI and GPM would be for that application.

You get what you pay for

When choosing a pressure washer you typically get what you pay for. Do two machines have the same GPM and PSI rating and different prices? The cheaper one, more often than not, will have made sacrifices when it comes to pump quality, engine performance, or other important factors. Keep this in mind when shopping.

Still not sure?

Are you still undecided on what the best pressure washer is, or if you want to do the project at all? There are many risks involved when taking on any pressure washing project as most surfaces can be easily damaged if using the wrong equipment or technique. It can be rewarding when done properly. However if you do not want to take the risk, many professional service companies are available to do the work for you. If you are in the Colorado Springs area, we can help! At Colorado Springs Pressure Washing, LLC we can save you the cost and headache of purchasing a new machine and spending countless hours behind the wand. Give us a call for a free estimate on your pressure washing project. We are here for all of your exterior cleaning needs!


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