CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRESSURE WASHER & FOAM CANNON
With the arrival of Polar Blast we have received multiple questions on pressure washers and foam cannons on which are best to purchase and why. This article will look at the benefits of using a pressure washers and what to consider when purchasing one.
Not the top priority for many when cleaning their pride and joy, but pressure washers save a lot of water. The basic job of a pressure washer is to pressurize the water inside the unit and release it through the lance in a far greater pressure than what flowed into the unit. Only by restricting the water flow is this achievable.
A good pressure washer can save you as much as 80% water over using a regular hose and gun, obviously saving money but the amount of water on your drive flowing into the drains is reduced dramatically.
Ever sat there and squirted your car before a wash with a hose wishing the dirt falls off? A pressure washer can give you up to 35 times more pressure than a regular hose pipe meaning it’s more likely to shift the dirt – especially around the wheels. We always recommend using quality shampoo’s to loosen the dirt beforehand, but a pressure washer is more likely to remove the dirt on the rinse cycle. Just don’t make the mistake of putting your hand in front of the lance to feel the pressure – it stings!
When considering your new pressure washer look at the motor power, maximum pressure and flow rate that the machine provides. It’s a personal preference and budget consideration as the higher the pressure and flow rate the quicker the job becomes, and often the better the result when using Polar Blast as more air = more foam.
MORE CONTROL & SPEED
When doing a more detailed clean around the door and boot jams using a regular hose will end up with water splashed through the inside cabin. Using a pressure washer will enable you to accurately target the tighter areas as long as you consider how you stand and aim the gun. Water released from a pressure washer usually dissipates after around two meters.
With the wider jet coming from the lance as well as the extra pressure you can cut cleaning and rinsing time down as much as 70%.
Things to look for are different nozzles that comes with your chosen machine. Different nozzles are designed for different jobs. We always recommend using the least aggressive nozzle on your paintwork however and never stand too close.
If you have come back from a 4×4 trip and looking to work underneath the vehicle or wheel arches, you can change to a more pressurized nozzle attachment.
SO WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A PRESSURE WASHER
THE PUMP QUALITY
The heart of a pressure washer is the pump. Our friends at Gerni have a full range of domestic pressure washers all with durable metal pumps.
THE HOSE LENGTH
Having a longer hose makes it much easier to work around the car while keeping the pressure washer in one location. A short hose forces you to carry the machine around – and with the hose, power cables and pressure washer hose – this can be a pain in tight spaces.
Something that sounds so simple yet fails to make it onto many machines. Having the hose freely swivelling on the gun makes life so much easier preventing the hose from kinking as you move around the vehicle.
Check out the weight of these machines first. If you need to store them on racking or carry them any distance some domestic machines can weigh nearly 20kg.
Look out for what comes with the pressure washer. Different nozzle attachments are good for around the home but we never recommend the brushes be used on a car.
No matter the brand, peace of mind is always a good thing. Usually the more you pay, the longer the warranty lasts. Depending on how you use the machine will sometimes determine the length of warranty however, so always read the fine print.
CHOOSING A FOAM CANNON
Using the chemicals externally from the machine makes it easier to use and keep clean. Foam cannons have been around for many years but we prefer certain designs for the best results.
We prefer the 1L containers as this gives you more options for larger cars or a second coat without having to re-fill. If you don’t need to use all the Polar Blast it then it’s ready for next time.
Buy one with a brass body. These hold the pressure better and are more adjustable with the twist nozzles.
Search by your brand of pressure washer to make sure you have the right fitting to attach to the lance. Each brand has a different fitting.
The one used in the Polar Blast video was less than $50 with all the fittings and everything needed to run with our Gerni pressure washer.
What we don’t recommend are those cannons that fit directly to a hose pipe. Foaming products such as Polar Blast work best when pressurised air is used. These only use water pressure and are not effective at promoting foam.
If you are still unsure where to go to purchase a Foam Cannon check out this link: https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xfoam+cannons.TRS0&_nkw=foam+cannons&_sacat=0
HOW NOT TO USE A PRESSURE WASHER
There are times when we don’t recommend using a pressure washer:
1) On push bikes. It’s tempting to pressure wash the dirty mounting bike but high pressure can damage fragile gear and brake components if the head of the gun gets too close. Also – water can be forced into the gap between the tyre and the rim and damage the beading around the tyre.
2) On cars with damaged or peeling clear coat. If your car has damaged or peeling clear coat – don’t hit it with high water pressure. It will just make matters worse.
3) Bodykits, loose fittings. Just be mindful if you have after market fittings on your vehicle. Go easy around them.
4) Motorbikes. Be careful on some motorbikes that have soft seals on forks or real suspension plus exotic materials in and around the bike. The best way to deal with this is to stand a little further back to soften the pressure the water hits the bike.
5) Water fights – unless you want crying kids and adults swearing, never squirt somebody with a pressure washer. You will be banned from using it!
GERNI PRESSURE WASHERS
We have used and worked with Gerni pressure washers for some years and rate them highly. With multiple locations to purchase, a full range of machines from only $99 upwards they would have the pressure washer you would need. Check out the full range at https://www.gerni.com.au/en/products/Pages/category.aspx?CategoryId=30605485