Consumer Reports

Debating Whether to Buy Or Rent Pressure Washer for Your Home

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

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The beginning of the year is a great time to clean up your deck, walkways and patio furniture – but if you’re considering using a pressure washer, how can you decide whether renting or buying is the right answer?

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 to $100 per day. But you can buy a good electric model for about $150 and a gas model for about $350,” said testing expert John Galeotafiore. 

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, like patio furniture or a smaller deck or a smaller patio,” added Galeotafiore.

Consumer Reports recommends this 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 there is 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,” said Galeotafiore.

If you do opt for a gasoline pressure washer, you’re advised to throw the zero-degree nozzle out right away to be sure you or anyone else in your home doesn’t use it. 

In Consumer Reports’ tests, this Generac performed excellent for cleaning a range of different surfaces and offered very good pressure for about $350.

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.

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