After a long, wet winter, or several for that matter, your patio is likely looking worse for wear.
This is when most people get out the wire brushes, don the rubber gloves and mix up a concoction of detergents to scrub away the layers of dirt, mold or algae.
Unless you take perverse pleasure from doing things the hard way, there is a much better system to bring life back to your patio and make it look brand new.
Using a power washer to clean your patio saves time, money (in the long run) and actually makes cleaning up fun.
As with most tools, you get the most out of having the right power washer for the job. That’s why I wrote this article to help you find the best power washer specifically for patios.
It’s especially important to find the right power washer for patios as opposed to your car or a barbecue. For some jobs, the washer may not be powerful enough and for others far too powerful. You want to clean your patio, not destroy it.
Here’s a quick look at the top choices.
Must Have Features of a Power Washer for Patio
There are some features that any power washer, in general, should have that are not specific to washing your deck or patio. Namely ease of use, easy to store and appropriate accessories.
For power washing your patio here are some points to consider before buying a power washer:
Registered in bars, the minimum pressure to properly clean a patio is 130 bars. Most power washers for home use will start around 90 bars of pressure, which may not be enough to properly clean your deck or concrete.
On the higher end of the pressure spectrum, you can find power washers that boast 180 bars. That would be too much. Especially if the concrete on your patio is old or cracked, the pressure may cause damage.
Try to find a power washer with pressure somewhere in the middle and you will find the sweet spot that can handle cleaning grime that could be built up over the years without breaking up the concrete.
For the kind of pressure you need to power wash a patio, you will need a good amount of water to blast the debris. The minimum you could get by with is around 360 litres per hour to clean up an average patio that is washed regularly.
For more difficult to dislodge debris, you will obviously need more water flow. The maximum you can expect to find on a non-professional power washer would be 600 litres per hour. That may be too much for most home clean ups. Something between 400 and 500 litres an hour should get the job done.
At the end of the lance, or wand, there is the nozzle. Most power washers made for patio cleaning will likely have an adjustable nozzle.
For really stubborn dirt, you can close the nozzle to concentrate the spray making it more powerful, though in a smaller area. If you want to cover more area more quickly then you can open it up to spray a wider surface, though with less cleaning power to strip away heavy grime. Having the option to adjust according to the job is essential when cleaning an area outside, often with varying surface types.
Besides the nozzle, there are also brush attachments.
Looking like a vacuum floor head with bristles, they can help scrub edges and areas where you need to use a little more effort. The head usually also creates spinning jets to be more gentle on the surface you are cleaning since you are operating at close range.
A surface cleaner attachment is especially helpful if you have a larger area to clean, such as a driveway. It almost feels like vacuuming.
There are also nozzle attachments that spray in an almost laser-like stream to get areas between tiles and stones, for instance.
Is it safe to use a pressure washer?
Though it can be fun to use a power washer (Surely, I’m not the only one that finds seeing the methodical cleaning of a surface oddly satisfying), it is not a toy and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Think of the force that it takes for a stream of water to strip away layers of dirt and what that force could do to soft flesh.
- Never point the spray at another person.
- Never spray it at yourself, even if it seems like it isn’t working.
- Always wear shoes and safety glasses.
- Check with the manufacturer before using an extension cord as you may need a specific kind to reduce the risk of shock.
These are some common sense precautions. If you are not careless when using your power washer, they are perfectly safe. If you are not paying attention you may risk injury.
The Best Power Washers for Patios Reviewed
Nilfisk Power Grip Control
- Adjustable pressure
- 140 bar pressure
- Powerful 2400W motor
- 9M anti kink high pressure hose
- Water flow of 550l/h
- Auto start/stop for longer pump life
- 13.8 kg in weight
- Includes patio cleaner and two nozzles: rotary and fan jet
- Short electrical cord at 5 meters
- Not quiet
Though the name Nilfisk D-PG 140.4-9 P X-TRA doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it is easier to use than to say.
The bells and whistles are not just selling points, they make it one of the best pressure washers for general outside use.
Thanks mainly to the Power Grip adjustable pressure.
With the press of a button on the wand you can switch from low pressure to wash a wooden deck, for instance, and within a second switch to high pressure to blast away algae on concrete.
The accessories make it an ideal power washer for patios. It comes with two different nozzles. A Click and Clean Tornado Nozzle and a fan jet for general cleaning and rinsing. The nozzles are a snap to change out.
For added control, the patio washer brush also has a power knob. You never really run the risk of damaging any surface you are trying to clean since you have so many variables to match what you are cleaning.
For tough jobs that need detergent there is a bottle which attaches to the hose called the Click and Clean Foam Sprayer. It is suitable for any kind of detergent used for outdoors cleaning.
On board storage keeps everything at hand to avoid scurrying about for bits and bobs. The profile is slim for easy storage, as well.
Really the only negative is the electrical cord is on the shorter side.
When you have a machine like a power washer that isn’t going to be used very frequently, I think having the Nilfisk is the way to go. Having so many options means you will use this pressure washer more often since you can use it for other applications besides just the patio or on concrete.
Bosch High Pressure AQT 37-13
- 130 bars pressure
- 360 litres per hour waterflow
- Powerful 1700 W motor
- Includes 3-in-1 spray nozzle, detergent nozzle, PC2 patio cleaner, underfloor nozzle and brush head
- Simple click system to attach hose to water supply
- No assembly required
- Energy efficient autostop
- Lightweight at 6.9 kg
- Quite loud
- Confusing instructions
As is the case with the previously reviewed Nilfisk, you get a lot of extras here which make this a versatile power washer ideal for cleaning patios, concrete and just about any other outdoor area.
With many attachments and accessories, you have just about everything you need for a total Spring cleaning, for example.
The 3-in-1 nozzle gives you a fan jet to cover a large area, quickly blasting dirt and grime away. The rotary jet does the same thing, but in a more gentle way, while still ploughing through tough to clean surfaces. Then the pen nozzle uses laser-like focus to get into the nooks and crannies like between tiles or edges. It also includes a detergent nozzle for easy detergent application.
The bristled patio cleaner head has a power control knob on top to give you more control over the amount of pressure you use depending on what kind of surface you are cleaning.
130 bars of pressure is high enough to do some difficult jobs but not too much that you are in danger of ruining your cleaning area. 360 litres of water flow seems low to clean concrete, but the motor is powerful enough that it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
It is very lightweight, one of the lightest that I have reviewed in fact, so it is very easy to move around. The slim profile is resistant to tipping over and storage is a breeze. The accessories are all stowed on board, as well.
Bosch has a lot of years behind the brand so it is easy to trust that you get a good machine when you purchase this pressure washer.
If all you need it for is to clean up your deck or patio, then it is worth it for that. What makes it a great value is the fact that you aren’t limited to only cleaning up concrete.
VonHaus 2200w Pressure Washer
- Powerful 2200W motor
- 370 litres per hour waterflow
- 110 bars pressure
- Adjustable spray nozzle
- Attachments include: rotary patio brush, soft bristle window brush, turbo nozzle
- 5 m long hose
- 5 m long electrical cord
- Cable tidy system with hose reel
- Lightweight at 9.7 kg
- Quite loud
If you are looking for the best budget pressure washer for patios, then the VonHaus should top the list.
Known for great vacuums at a good price, the power washer for patios is no exception.
The rotating brush makes it easier to clean concrete patios than you would imagine. Since this unit is on the lower end with regards to pressure, the rotating brush head scrubs away dirt and mildew with little effort. You can cover a big area in a little time using this handy attachment.
For a compact pressure washer, it does have some versatility. The adjustable nozzle can lower the pressure for more gently cleaning and then turn it up for a power surge to blast off grime. A soft bristle brush is great for windows or your car.
The turbo nozzle is also excellent for cleaning wood decks, tile and stucco surfaces.
It is also very manoeuvrable with a top handle and big, solid wheels. The compact profile means it is easy to store. And the hose reel keeps everything tidy to make it a quick process to put everything away after cleaning up.
It’s really nice to know you don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds to keep your patio tidy and neat. If you’re short on space as well as cash, then there is no need to skimp with this smart little power washer on the market.
Kärcher K4 Full Control
- 130 bar pressure
- 1800 watt motor
- Rotating patio brush
- 3 in 1 stone and facade cleaner
- LED display trigger gun
- Telescopic pull handle
- Ergonomic trigger
- 6 m hose
- Can be used with a water butt
- Adjustable pressure
- Not easy to assemble
- Large profile may be difficult to store
No review of the best power washers is complete without Karcher making an appearance!
If you have some serious work that needs doing on your patio, driveway or anywhere outside, then this top of the line power washer will fit the bill nicely.
Not only is the pressure perfect for removing tough dirt and mildew, but the included rotating patio brush is the best attachment for cleaning up flat surfaces. In less time, with less effort than simply spraying.
The turbo brush makes short work of caked on mud, algae or any other stubborn debris from your patio or even your car tires. It can handle your house siding, gutters, anything really.
The pressure is adjustable so it can work on your car without stripping it of its paint. The LED display will ensure that you are on the right setting for the job. You don’t want to find out that the pressure was set too high by seeing the paint on your car chipping away!
The full control gun is one of the easiest lances to use as it fits well in your hand with a large trigger.
There is a dedicated slot for the detergent to simply click into place. If you need to soak a surface with a cleaning solution it doesn’t get any easier. The downside is that you need to use Karcher’s own detergent since other bottles won’t fit into the slot.
The onboard storage does make it easy to keep everything to hand, but the large profile means you will need a dedicated space for it. Another negative is that the assembly is not very intuitive and there are some small pieces that require some patience.
If you have a large area that needs frequent cleaning, or just like to keep things very tidy then you have a great all in one power washer that excels at patios.