When you stow your outdoor gear away for the winter, you want to make sure that it will be clean for you when you use it next spring or summer. Power washing is one of the most efficient ways to get the job done.
Here's a quick guide to help you power clean your favorite outdoor toys:
If you're renting, buying, or borrowing a power washer, it's important to make sure that you have the right equipment. When it comes to power washers, two numbers reign supreme: PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) and GPM (Gallons Per Minute).
To power wash outdoor equipment like boats, trailers, and ATVs you will need a machine that generates 2000 to 3100 psi and dispenses water 2 to 2.5 GPM. Although some electric powered pressure washers can achieve these marks, gas engine machines are more likely to reach the upper end of the aforementioned PSI and GPM ranges needed to clean your boat, trailer, or ATV.
You will need at least two types of attachments to clean your outdoor gear.
- Lance Nozzle Kit: A lance nozzle kit allows you to adjust the pressure washer's spray pattern. For things like your trailer or ATV's rims and foot-pegs, you will want a tightly concentrated spray pattern with maximum psi. For more delicate surfaces, however, like your boat's hull or your ATV's motor housing, you will want a wider spray pattern, which reduces psi.
- Floor Brush: A floor brush attachment looks like a small deck brush. Your power washer's nozzle screws into what would normally be the handle. The water is dispensed through the middle of the brush. Floor brush attachments allow you to scrub, dislodge, rinse dirt, hard water deposits, and grease from hard-to-reach places.
Most pressure washer manufacturers sell proprietary licensed cleaning products. Regardless of what cleaning product you choose, you should look for a cleaning product with one specific factor: Degreasers.
- Degreaser: Grease and oil deposits allow dirt and grim to stick to surfaces like glue. Regardless of what type of cleaning agent you choose, it's important to look for a product with an alkaline cleaning agent. Common alkaline cleaning agents include: detergents, salts, surfactants, emulsifiers, and chelators. When you buy a cleaning product, look for one those alkaline cleaning agents in the product's list of ingredients.
When power washing your boat, you should divide the job in half.
- First, you will want to clean your boat's interior. After removing all electronic equipment (depth finder, radio, GPS, etc.), spray from bow to stern (front to back). You should spray first with just water and in a relatively concentrated spray pattern. After making the first pass, you will want to make another pass with your floor brush attachment. As you scrub down your boat's interior with your floor brush you will want to dispense your cleaning agent as well. After thorough brushing and dispensing soap, you will want to make one last pass to spray out the remaining soap.
- Second, you will want to repeat this pattern with boat's hull and trailer. It's important to angle your spray pattern to avoid damaging the hull with too much water pressure.
Power washing an ATV should also be completed in two stages.
- First, you will want to spray your ATV's pegs, rims, tires, and trailer with a highly concentrated spray. Next, you will want to dispense the cleaning agent, allow it set for a few moments, and then spray it again.
- Second, you will want to spray your ATV's engine housing, seat, handlebar, and other components with a wider, gentler, spray pattern. Next, you will want to apply your cleaning product with your deck brush. Lastly, you will want to spray it off with wider spray pattern you used to start.
It's winter, which means that it's probably time to stow away all of your favorite outdoor toys. Boats, trailers, and ATVs, even if cleaned regularly, likely have a layer of dirt and grim that has accumulated throughout the year. Power washing is an any easy way to make your outdoor toys look new again. For more information about using a power washer, contact a company like Ben's Cleaner Sales.