Pressure washing is an excellent way to remove grime from your sidewalk, siding, driveway, and even your deck. However, your first time using a pressure washing can be a bit intimidating. This is powerful equipment, and it does deserve your respect. With the tips below, you can do a great job your first time using a pressure washer.

Use a detergent.

The water itself is generally powerful enough to clean most surfaces. This might lead you to believe that using a detergent or cleaning solution is just a waste. But here's the thing: using a detergent will allow you to use less pressure on the surfaces, which can be better for them in the long run. For example, if your concrete patio is starting to deteriorate in some places, it is a lot better for you to spray it with a detergent and water at 1,800 PSI than with just water at 3,000 PSI.

Choose the right tip for the job.

Most pressure washers come with a few different tips you can put on in order to eject the water in different patterns and formations. The color-coding is consistent across brands, which makes things easy. The red tip has a zero-degree angle and works well when you really need to focus in on a certain spot to clean away stubborn gunk. The yellow tip has a 15-degree angle, making it a good choice for tougher surfaces like concrete. Green tips shoot the water out at 25 degrees, which is a good choice for cars, siding, and other more delicate surfaces. The white tip sends water out at 40 degrees for a gentler spray ideal for windows and patio furniture. When in doubt, start with the tip with the greatest angle, and work your way down.

Wear eye protection.

You might think you'll never hit your eyes with the water stream, but it is possible, especially when you're getting used to the equipment. Wear goggles just as an extra level of assurance, since a power washer could leave you blind.

Keep the tip close.

You don't want to stand feet away from the surface you're trying to clean and just blast it haphazardly. Get up close; the tip should be about 18 inches from the surface you're trying to wash. Work your way across the surface slowly, keeping track of where you have cleaned and where you have not cleaned.

With the tips above, you can do a better job of pressure washing safely and effectively, even as a beginner. Good luck!