Friday, December 9, 2011

Karcher Pressure Washers

These types of electronic pressure washers can be handy.  However, as a consumer-grade appliance, you have to treat them gently.

A pressure washer is a useful tool to have.   Over time, your house may get dusty and dirty, sidewalks and patios stain and discolor, and cars need to be washed.  A pressure washer comes in handy.  You can spend hundreds of dollars on a gasoline-powered "professional" washer, but chances are, it is overkill for the average homeowner.

Karcher makes these cheap electric jobs, and they are more than suitable for homeowner use.  However, they are made of plastic, and so long as you treat them that way, they will last for years.  Yanking the hose to move the unit will snap off the plastic connector and ruin it in short order.  Treat them gently and they will last years and years.

They come in a number of models, my advice is buy the cheapest one, usually under $100 ($89 I think I paid).  The more elaborate models have wheels and a rack to hold wands, etc. and really doesn't add much in terms of value.  The unit I have now looks like the one above.   It was cheap and easy to store on our boat.

I keep it now in a plastic tote, when not in use.  It fits easily, including the wands and hose.

I use mine to wash cars, and it works well.  They have either a soap dispenser bottle, or a pickup hose you can dip into your soap supply.  Turn the wand to low-pressure, and it sprays foamy soap.  Wipe this around with a sponge, and rise off in high pressure mode (which turns off the soap) and you are done.

What kind of soap?  Well the best I have found is this:

This Gel Gloss Wash and Wax soap can be fed through a Karcher to automatically soap your car.  It is like a hot wax treatment at the car wash, and makes even older cars shine - without a lot of work.  It is available at Camper World, but also at other outlets online.  Note:  Do not confuse this with their Fiberglass polish, which comes in a solid white bottle.  That is more like a wax!

I used to, when I was younger, hand-wax my cars, sometimes once a week (!).  It is a lot of work and can create a lot of wax buildup and also cause buff marks in the paint.   It was also a good workout!  As I get older, it is harder to do this so often.  This Gel Gloss, while designed for RVs, creates a very nice shine that lasts a month or more.   Use it like you would any car wash soap.  When you rinse it off, it leaves a hot-wax like shine.

It works on cars, boats, RVs, you-name-it.  Anything with a fiberglass or painted surface seems to glow after using this stuff!

And a gallon jug, like the one above, seems to last forever.   It is the consistency of glue when you get it, so I usually water it down 50% so it goes through the Karcher more easily.

These two products, combined, make washing your car at home a snap - and inexpensive.  And keeping a car clean and shiny not only makes it last longer, it makes YOU less inclined to want to trade it in!

Yea, it is true, so many folks trade in their cars mostly because they are dirty, inside and out...

TIP:  The o-ring on the pressure hose sometimes gets stiff, and it is hard to screw the pressure hose on the unit when putting it together.  Put a little of the car wash soap on the end, first, and it will slide right in!  Don't try to force it, it is plastic and the predictable will happen....

TIP #2:  The unit comes with two wands.  Use the adjustable wand, as it turns the soap on and off when you switch from low to high pressure.  The other "rotary" high-pressure wand is very strong and I would not recommend using it on painted surfaces or fiberglass.  There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!