Cleaning in and around your home is a never-ending job, but it can be oh-so-satisfying. If you are fortunate enough to have a pressure washer, you know firsthand the delight of watching a dingy deck or filthy fence look almost brand new in minutes.
This powerful tool can be a versatile addition to your collection. Here are 15 jobs you might not have realized you could tackle with a pressure washer.
Removing paint can be exhausting. A pressure washer can really cut the time it takes to strip paint from concrete, metal, wood and other exterior surfaces. Start with the broadest tip angle and work your way down until you find the one that works best. Then, working in sections, move in a downward sweeping motion as the color gets chipped away.
Cleaning gutters is an essential part of preparing your home for winter. With the gauge on medium-high, hold the pressure washer nozzle about 6 inches from the gutter and move back and forth to remove dirt and debris. You can also spray with a gutter-cleaning solution before you begin.
When done correctly, power washing windows can be an effective way to clean them. Remove any screens and use the 40-degree nozzle to spray from the ground. Start at the top and work downward, keeping the nozzle at least 3 feet from the glass. Spray the wet glass with soap, then rinse again to wash it away.
Rescue Stranded Toys
If you have kids — or have ever been one — you know balls, Frisbees and other toys can get tangled in tree branches during play. Rather than breaking out the ladder or risking your little ones climbing up themselves, pull out the pressure washer and let it rip to loosen the tree’s grip.
If only Charlie Brown could’ve had a pressure washer when he was losing all those kites!
Freshen Car Mats
Cloth and rubber car mats collect dirt, mud and other debris from shoes and pets’ paws. First, remove the rugs from the floorboard and sweep any loose dirt away. Then, place them on a flat surface and clean them with a pressure washer. Be sure to allow them to dry completely before replacing them in your vehicle.
Scrub the Grill
Cooking out has delicious results, but it can also leave a big mess. Clean your barbeque grill with a pressure washer by disconnecting the tank or any electrical lines and removing the grates. Pretreat with a degreasing solution and then rinse the grates clean from the top down. Be careful spraying around gas hoses and connections, electrical components or heating elements.
Create Sidewalk Art
You can use a pressure washer to spray designs into sidewalks, driveways and other concrete surfaces. Then, use the tool to write messages, draw pictures and more.
This method might not be worth the effort if you only need a few potatoes for dinner, but if you are cooking on a larger scale, it could save you a great deal of time and effort. Place the potatoes in a bucket or crate and then spray the skins away. What kind of mad genius first thought of this?
Wash Outdoor Water Features
Birdbaths, fountains and other outdoor water features can accumulate dirt, algae and droppings. After removing the water, fill it with a combination of white vinegar and clean water. Let it soak for a bit and then use low pressure to spray from a distance, moving closer with the sprayer as needed until it’s good as new.
Begin spraying the defaced surface with low pressure about 2 feet from the surface. Then, slowly move closer until the graffiti begins to disappear. Before spraying, you may need to switch to a high-pressure spray or apply a graffiti-removal product.
Removing the bark from logs can help the wood dry more quickly and prevent insect infestations. Hold the pressure washer nozzle at an angle to the wood. Once it breaks through the bark, move in a sweeping motion against the grain. Roll the log to get all sides.
Scour Lawn Equipment
Get mud and residue off your lawnmower, tiller or other outdoor equipment with a pressure washer. Disconnect the spark plug and blades when the equipment is cool (not directly after use). Remove any loose debris manually. Then, spray from the top down. Replace blades and spark plugs only after the machine is dry.
Take your soiled area rug outside, hang it on a fence, or lay it in the driveway. Wet it down, apply detergent and then rinse the carpet back and forth with a pressure washer. Avoid this method on highly sensitive fabrics and always start at the lowest setting.
With a pressure washer, you can strip rust away from some metal objects, such as tools, patio furniture or automotive parts. Applying a rust-removing solution before spraying can make the process even easier.
Sanitize Trash Cans
Outdoor trash and recycle bins can get dirty, smelly and gross, attracting unwanted pests. Pour two cups of water with one cup of vinegar and some dish soap into the can and spray just enough to make some suds. After allowing it to soak, you can use a long-handled scrub brush to remove stuck-on gunk and then spray it clean with your pressure washer.
Of course, it is crucial to put safety first when using a pressure washer. For instance, never point the stream at yourself or others. Wear shoes that protect your feet from the powerful spray and use eye covering when necessary. And always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
With so many uses, you may decide that you need a pressure washer if you don’t already have one. Check out our recommendations on the best pressure washer to ensure you don’t waste your money!
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.