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Consumer Reports: Buying or renting a pressure washer

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Posted at 4:00 AM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 09:38:04-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A pressure washer can make light work of tough jobs around your home. Consumer Reports says renting a pressure washer has its perks: you don’t need the space to store it and you don’t have to worry about taking care of it. But it might not be the most economical choice.

"You can rent a pressure washer at a home center for about $40-100 a day," says Consumer Reports Home Testing Expert, John Galeotafiore. "But you can buy a good electric model for about $150 and a gas model for about $350. So, if you’re gonna use it a lot you may be better off buying one."

Using it just three times per year could pay for the cost of a rental depending on whether you need an electric or gasoline powered pressure washer.

“Electric pressure washers are good for smaller jobs," says Galeotafiore. "Say you want to do your patio furniture. Say you have a smaller deck or a smaller patio, some small walkways.”

Consumer Reports recommends the Greenworks pressure washer for $190. If you’ve got bigger areas to clean like a large deck that needs sprucing you might want to spend more money on a gasoline powered pressure washer. But, CR says there’s an important safety concern to think about when it comes to gasoline pressure washers.

“We currently don’t recommend any gasoline powered pressure washers because they all come with a red, zero-degree pressure nozzle and that creates a pin-point stream that we really don’t feel is necessary for cleaning and it also can be dangerous," says Galeotafiore.

Consumer Reports says whether you rent or buy a pressure washer it’s important to be safe. Wear closed toe shoes, safety goggles and hearing protection whenever you’re using a pressure washer. And never use a pressure washer to clean your roof. Not only is it dangerous to operate a pressure washer on a ladder, it can also cause damage to your roof.