Best exterior house wash

Finding the best exterior house wash and best outdoor cleaner can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for especially that there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top house wash products in the category.

Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.

To help you get your house looking pristine, we put together a list of the top 5 exterior house washing tips.

we love to see people getting out there and giving it a go.

5 Exterior House Washing Secrets

1. Use the soft wash method

The best way to wash a house is with the soft wash method. This involves using a water blaster to spray a combination of bleach, detergent and water onto your surfaces. By combining these ingredients, you can rest assured that hard-to-remove dirt and mildew will wash off with ease.

To do this, you will need a water blaster with a chemical venturi. This will enable you to draw a house wash chemical mix through your high pressure hose and onto the house surfaces, saving you hours of meddling with plain water and low-pressure sprayers.

Instructions

  1. For a medium sized house, mix 5 litres of household bleach with 4 litres of water and 1 litre of dish wash liquid.
  2. Leave the solution on the house for 5 to 10 minutes and then wash off completely.
  3. Marvel at your pristine clean house, and tell your friends how great it looks.

This solution will provide a deep clean to a level that water blasting and scrubbing can’t achieve. You’ll be left with a shinier house, that will stay clean for longer. The household bleach is relatively non-toxic, safe to wash around established plant life and water-soluble. It easily washes away, and residue will biodegrade with a little bit of sunlight and heat.

2. Use an adjustable nozzle system to stay safe when washing multi-level homes

Working at heights is one of the most common causes of injury around the home. Ladders are dangerous as is – however when water is added into the mix, the risk is compounded.

Keeping yourself safe when washing your house is extremely important. The best way to do this is to stay on the ground and to avoid climbing a ladder or walking on roofs (it also saves lots of time if you don’t need to continually move up and down).

Which nozzle should I use?

Blue nozzles are designed to shoot the house wash chem mix up to 10 meters high. Red nozzles do the same with water to rinse off. If you need this system set up on your water blaster, you’ll need to see a specialist house wash equipment/water blaster supplier. Scroll to the bottom for a list of our favourites.

3. Spray at an angle to avoid getting water inside your home

When you’re washing and rinsing windows, flashings and fittings, make sure to spray at a sharp angle. Water ingress is a very common problem in the house washing industry – especially when it comes to wooden window frames, roof flashings and light fittings.

However, it is easy to avoid getting water inside your home if you know better. After you’ve applied the house wash chem mix, gently wash off with a white nozzle at a sharp angle to the house (i.e. spray down the side of the house and never straight at it if you can avoid it).

Always spray either above windows or on the window itself. Never spray across the joins in the frame. Use a house wash brush to get into those hard to reach areas around windows if necessary.

Always take a moment and plan before you pull the trigger of the water blaster. It’s much easier to prevent water going inside than it is to clean up after you soak the interior of your house.

4. Soft wash your house annually

An annual soft house wash will generally be recommended by most painters and is often is a condition of the warranty provided by paint manufacturers.

Soft washing is a form of preventative maintenance that helps to prolong the life of your paint and exterior building materials. It is also much gentler on the building than commercial washes. This is because much less pressure and chemicals are required to get the job done.

5. Be patient and methodical in your approach

Before you go ahead with water blasting your house, make a plan for which areas you are going to tackle and how you will access hard-to-reach areas. Break the work up into sections, and start with the all the extras such as paths, decks, furniture, pergolas and balconies. This will save you needing to wash your house twice.

Always use your house wash chem mix as described in point 2 and a soft brush on surfaces before you run the risk of water blasting up close and doing damage.

While vinyl siding is extremely low maintenance, you need to clean it at least once per year. You shouldn’t just use any siding cleaner when washing your siding. It’s extremely important that you rid your home of any dirt and grime.

But why is it so important you ask? It’s because if your siding goes neglected or isn’t cleaned well, that dirt and grime can turn into a far worse problem: mold. Once mold grows on your siding, it’s going to be extremely hard to get rid of it. Not to mention all the health risks associated with breathing in mold.

Mold also attracts bugs to your home, especially gnats. Once you have a gnat infestation, you’re in trouble. Since they breed so quickly and lay so many eggs at once, your home can be overwhelmed quickly.

All of these problems can be avoided if you choose the right vinyl siding cleaner. It needs to be strong and fast acting while still being delicate enough to not damage your home or landscaping.

Best exterior house wash

1. Krud Kutter Exterior Siding Cleaner

Krud Kutter Exterior Siding Cleaner is a bleach-less, fast acting option that’s perfect for homes with vinyl siding. It’ll remove dirt and mildew which will prevent mold from building up.

Each gallon of Krud Kutter cleans up to 4,000 square feet of siding. Since you only need to clean your vinyl siding once or twice per year, you’ll get a lot of uses from one bottle. With its affordable price, you can’t lose!

Also, Krud Kutter cleans more than just vinyl siding. If you have a dirty driveway, boat or wooden fence, you can use Krud Kutter to clean them as well. It’s a great multipurpose cleaner.

2. Zinsser Jomax House Cleaner and Mildew Killer

If you want clean vinyl siding without having to scrub it, Zinsser Jomax House Cleaner and Mildew Killer is the perfect product for you. This solution is great at getting rid of dirt and grime and all you have to do is spray it onto your home.

Not only that, but Jomax also kills mildew and mold on contact. Even the toughest stains and caked-on grime are no match for this vinyl siding cleaner.

Using Jomax House Cleaner is simple. Mix water, bleach and solution into a jug. Once your solution is created, spray it onto your vinyl siding and let it sit for 5 minutes. You can then rinse your siding to see the results. It couldn’t be any easier.

Learn more about Jomax House Cleaner from this video:

3. Simple Green House and Siding Cleaner

We couldn’t do a best vinyl siding cleaner list without talking about Simple Green House and Siding Cleaner. This cleaner is perfect for vinyl siding and is safe to use around plants, pets or children.

What makes Simple Green different is that it’s non-acidic, non-toxic, bleach-free and phosphate-free. In other words, it doesn’t use harsh chemicals and still gets your vinyl siding sparkling clean.

best vinyl siding cleaner

Simple Green House and Siding Cleaner does more than clean your vinyl siding. It can also be used to remove dirt and stains from your roof, walkway and wooden fence. You’ll have a much cleaner home with Simple Green.

4. Scrubbing Bubbles Fantastik All-Purpose Cleaner

Scrubbing Bubbles is most known for their bathroom cleaning products but their all purpose cleaner,  Fantastik, is a wonderful option for cleaning vinyl siding. It removes dirt, grime and stains from your home’s exterior.

Since it’s an all-purpose cleaner, Fantastik can be used in your home as well. It cleans viruses, bacteria and fungus while smelling great. You’ll be able to clean your home both inside and out!

5. Wet & Forget Outdoor

Have you ever wondered if there was an easier way to clean your vinyl siding? Is there a way where you don’t have to scrub, power wash or rinse it? You questions have been answered with Wet & Forget Outdoor.

All you need to do with Wet & Forget is spray it on your vinyl siding and wait for nature to take its course. That sounds pretty vague – let us explain. You simply need to mix Wet & Forget with water and spray it onto your home. Then, with the help of wind and rain, it will gradually clean your siding over time. There’s no hassle at all.

One of the best parts of Wet & Forget is its unlimited shelf life. It’ll be good to use years later so it’s a smart investment for your home.

6. Mold Armor E-Z House Wash

Mold Armor E-Z House Wash guarantees it’ll get your home cleaner than any other vinyl siding cleaner. This is because it’s made with a bleach base and is at least 2 times stronger than its competition. It’ll get rid of mold, dirt, grime, mildew and stains with no problem.

It also comes in a powerful spray bottle that screws right onto your garden hose. The stream is so strong that you can reach second story siding easily. You’ll be able to clean your entire home from the safety of the the ground.

E-Z House Wash works in minutes. Spray on your home, wait 5 minutes and then rinse it off. No wonder it’s called E-Z because cleaning your home has never been so easy.

Check out this video from Mold Armor about E-Z House Wash:

7. Moldex Instant House Wash

Much like E-Z House Cleaner, Moldex Instant House Wash is made with a bleach base. That means it’s stronger than non-bleach products and gets rid of dirt, grime, mold and mildew with ease.

Moldex also has Active Cling Technology which means that the solution remains on your vinyl siding for a longer period of time. This allows it to really break down and kill any mold and mildew that might be lingering on your siding. Your home will thank you for the thorough cleaning.

Similar to the E-Z Cleaner, Moldex Instant House Wash can reach second story siding with ease. This is because it comes in a powerful spray bottle that fastens onto your hose. No more using a ladder or a power washer to clean hard to reach siding.

8. Scotts Outdoor Cleaner Plus OxiClean

If you’re looking for the best vinyl siding cleaner, Scotts Outdoor Cleaner Plus OxiClean™ is a great place to start.  It’ll remove mold or mildew from your vinyl siding. The OxiClean™  in the solution will help fight tough stains that other vinyl siding cleaners can’t remove. You’ll see a difference with your vinyl siding immediately because Scotts Outdoor Cleaner starts working on contact.

Another major advantage of Scotts Outdoor Cleaner is that it won’t harm fabrics, lawns, plants or patio furniture. Your home and possessions are safe when using Scotts Outdoor Cleaner.

You’re also able to clean walkways, driveways, wooden fences and concrete with Scotts Outdoor Cleaner. You’ll see a vast improvement in your home’s curb appeal thanks to Scotts.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Pressure Washer

pressure washer buying guide

Pressure washers have come a long way. Over the last ten years the quality has increased as prices have become more affordable. The cleaning ability of a pressure washer is great, removing dirt, grime, and algae quickly, efficiently and effectively. A pressure washer can greatly increase your ability to maintain and clean your property and equipment giving it greater value. If your time is valuable, a pressure washer could be a good investment, but if you get the wrong machine, you will be frustrated and you could waste a lot of time and money.

The goal of this buying guide is to help you understand what a pressure washer does and what you need to look for when deciding to purchase one. If you’re ready to start shopping, check out the pressure washers at kmstools.com. Or keep reading to learn more about the following:

  • How a Pressure Washer Works
  • Pressure Washer Pumps
  • Direct Drive or Belt Drive
  • Gas or Electric
  • Pressure Washer Accessories
  • Choosing the Right Pressure Washer

How a Pressure Washer Works

A pressure washer is actually a fairly simple piece of equipment. A motor or engine turns a pump, pushing water through an orifice (tip). The water accelerates as it goes through the small hole, much like a river flows faster in a narrow gorge, and that fast-moving water is very useful for blasting dirt and grime. The math is quite simple. Each time the pump turns over, a specific volume of water is pushed through the tip. The more water you push through the tip, the more pressure is developed, and therefore more power is required. The higher the pressure, the faster the water moves, and the harder it hits the dirt, removing it from the surface you want to clean.

What to Consider

The two most important considerations when buying a pressure washer are size, which determines how long it takes to do the job or how many jobs you can do in a day; and life expectancy, which determines how many hours of work you can do per dollar spent during the life of the machine.

Understanding Ratings

Here are some basic ratings:

Horse Power (HP)

This is how much power the engine or motor produces. This rating is important because it directly relates to how much pressure and volume the pump can produce.

Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI)

The pressure generated by a pressure washer is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. Pressure contributes to the cleaning force.

Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

The water volume produced by a pressure washer is measured in gallons per minute or GPM. Volume also contributes to the cleaning force.

Cleaning Power Units (CPU)

Cleaning Power Units quantifies a pressure washer’s cleaning ability. To determine CPU, multiply GPM x PSI. The greater the CPU, the greater the ability the machine has for cleaning deeply and effectively.

Often consumers are so focused on the PSI rating of the machine, they do not consider the CPU. For example, a pressure washer may have a rating of 2,800 PSI and 2 GPM, giving it a CPU of 5,600. Another pressure washer is rated for 2,400 PSI and 4 GPM. That’s a CPU rating of 9,600. In this example the lower PSI machine has more than 40% greater cleaning power than the higher PSI machine. The result is that the 2,400 PSI machine will be able to clean an area 40% faster than the 2,800 PSI machine.

Now consider this: A garden hose typically provides 6 GPM at 10 PSI giving it 60 CPU. With a standard spray nozzle attached to the garden hose you can get around 5 GPM at about 40 PSI generating 200 CPU. We all have seen the difference of how much more effective a simple spray nozzle is at cleaning dirt off surfaces. Trying to clean your driveway with your garden hose spray nozzle generating 200 CPU is fairly ineffective. However, if we take a mid-range pressure washer rated at 2.0 GPM and 2,500 PSI (5,000 CPU), the CPU rating represents a staggering 25 times increase over a typical garden hose spray nozzle.

A commercial pressure washer rated at 4 GPM and 4,000 PSI is an incredible 16,000 CPU. It is not difficult to see the difference in efficiency. However, this is all true within a range. If you have extremely high pressure and low volume, you can cut steel or concrete (water jet cutter), and if you have extremely high volume and low pressure, you have a river. Neither of these would be very good for cleaning your house or driveway.

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pressure washer buying guide
Pressure washer pumps have pistons and valves similar to a gas engine or an air compressor. On some pumps the pistons are driven by a wobble plate. On others, the pistons are driven by a crankshaft. Crankshaft-driven pumps are generally built better and will last longer.

Pressure Washer Pumps

This is the part of the pressure washer that receives water from your hose, and pumps it through a tip at high pressure. There are several common types of pumps that you will see in commercial and home-owner type machines. All pressure washer pumps have pistons and valves similar to a gas engine or an air compressor. On some pumps the pistons are driven by a plate on an angle (wobble plate), and in other cases the pistons are driven by a crankshaft. Crankshaft driven pumps are generally built better and will last longer.

Pressure washer pumps are equipped with bypass valves, so that when you let go of the trigger, or when the tip gets plugged, the water will bypass and go back to the inlet side of the pump. If left in this mode for longer than the manufacturer recommends, the water will get hot and cause damage to the pump. On a gas-powered pressure washer, the pump includes a thermal relief valve that dumps hot water into the bypass loop. Most bypass valves are adjustable so you can dial down the pressure when cleaning sensitive materials

Low-cost pressure washers have pumps with very low life expectancies—some as low as 60 – 100 hours. When buying a pressure washer, make sure you find out the life expectancy of the pump. If the information is unavailable, stay clear because it is very likely that the manufacturer does not want you to know how low it is.

Another very important factor to consider is parts availability. KMS Tools was a warranty/service centre for some low end brands, however lack of parts availability and unreliability of these machines were such a problem that we decided to no longer provide this service.

Before buying your machine, ask where you can get parts if you need them. KMS is often referred to by other retailers as a source for parts and repairs for numerous brands that are pretty much disposable. If you are buying a new machine for $200.00 or less, expect it to be a disposable machine that might last you only one season, and be prepared to spend a lot of time to get the job done.

pressure washer buying guide

Direct Drive or Belt Drive

The drive describes how the motor is connected to the pump. Direct-drive systems are most common. The pump is bolted directly to the motor or engine with a shaft coupler. Compared to a belt-drive system, direct drive requires fewer parts and space, resulting in a more compact design. Direct drive is also considerably more economical than an equivalently rated belt-drive machine.

Belt-drive systems are typically seen on industrial platforms. The pump on a belt-drive unit turns at a much slower speed. The belt absorbs vibration that would wear out a unit faster. Since the pump turns at a lower speed all the pistons and valves in the pump are larger. All this adds up to a cooler running machine that will last considerably longer than an equivalent direct drive version. However, there is slightly more maintenance and considerably more dollars involved (10 – 30% more). If you are using your pressure washer on the job, then you want to consider buying a belt-drive machine. However, an equivalent direct-drive machine will have the same performance for a lot less money.

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pressure washer buying guide

Gas Engine or Electric Motor

On a pressure washer, the engine or motor powers the pump. The more powerful the engine or motor (rated in HP), the greater the PSI and GPM the pump produces. Gas engines are typically designed to last between 300 and 3,000 hours. The motors on electric pressure washers usually last longer than the pumps.

Electric Motors

Electric motors are very low maintenance and fairly quiet. There is also no exhaust so they can be operated indoors or in poorly ventilated areas. A typical electric pressure washer that is 115 Volt and 15 Amps will be fairly light duty because it is built for the low-price market. The motor is not strong enough to generate much pressure or volume. While electric pressure washers are compact and usually portable, most jobs take longer with a light-duty electric pressure washer.

HP is rated differently on electric motors compared to gas engines. A typical low-price electric pressure washer is rated around 1 to 1-1/2 HP and would be equivalent to a 3 HP gas pressure washer. (Electric motor HP has to be doubled to equal gas engine HP.)

Heavy-duty electric pressure washers are available for applications where power is available and portability isn’t a factor, and exhaust from a gas engine would be a problem.

Gas Engines

Gas pressure washers are larger and heavier and mounted on a cart with wheels. Some are better balanced and easier to maneuver. Gas engines can produce more power and are a lot more mobile as they do not need to be plugged in to an electric power source. Since gas engines can be more powerful, the pump can generate considerably more PSI and GPM so that they can clean faster and deeper than any 115 Volt rated electric pressure washer could. However they do take a little more maintenance and cost more to operate. They must be used in well-ventilated areas because of the emission of carbon-monoxide fumes.

pressure washer buying guide

Pressure Washer Accessories

Without accessories, your pressure washer is fairly useless. It would be like having a drill without any drill bits.

Pressure Washer Hoses

You probably want a 50 ft length hose. If you go shorter, you will have to keep moving your machine. Make sure you get a quality hose with the proper PSI rating to match your machine. A poor quality hose will break down faster, is more susceptible to leaks and kinks, and will usually be less flexible and harder to work with.

Pressure Washer Wands and Tips

The wand includes a handle with a trigger valve, and different lengths and angles of wands are available for different applications. You can change the spray pattern by changing the tip at the end of the wand. Most pressure washers come with a selection of tips—from a very narrow spray to generate higher force at the tip for deeper cleaning to a wider spray that has less force but covers more area. Most tip sets also include a low pressure tip for applying cleaning solutions.

In addition to tips, other, very useful attachments are available:

Dirt Blasters

A dirt blaster or rotary nozzle attaches to the end of your wand. It has a very narrow spray that spins in a circular motion very rapidly. Dirt blasters are effective because they can quickly clean hard surfaces very well and, when used properly, avoids the tiger striping effect on your driveway that happens with conventional spray tips.

Extension/Telescoping Wands

For cleaning out-of-reach areas, look for an extension wand that’s adjustable up to 24 feet in some cases. Extension and telescoping wands are beneficial if you need to reach up high. They can save you from trying to pressure wash while standing on a ladder.

Gutter Cleaners

A gutter cleaner is a simple hooked extension that affixes to the end of your wand. It lets you get into your gutters to clean them out.

Whirl-A-Ways

A Whirl-A-Way is an accessory that looks a little like a lawn mower and has two rotating nozzles inside. They are available in sizes from 12” to 24” and excel at cleaning large flat areas.

Hot Water Pressure Washers

Hot water pressure washers are commercial machines with built-in water heaters. The cleaning effect of the machines is considerably better than a cold water machine with comparable PSI and GPM because hot water simply cleans more effectively than cold water. Hot water pressure washers break down and remove dirt and grime faster than cold water pressure washers, and often eliminate the need for expensive chemicals. Do not feed hot water into a normal cold water pressure washer pump. The heat will damage seals and o-rings.

Detergents

Detergents can greatly increase the speed of cleaning and help remove tough stains. Most pressure washers come equipped with a venturi tube that will draw in the detergent from a bottle or pail and add it to the water stream. The detergent should be first applied with a low pressure spray, given some time to do its work to break down the dirt, and then washed off with a normal high pressure spray.

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Choosing the Right Pressure Washer

When it comes right down to it, you need to buy a pressure washer that fits your application. There are many different types of pressure washers—from very low-end machines to extremely powerful industrial machines. Before you buy a machine you need to sit down and ask yourself these questions:

  • “How will I use a pressure washer?”
  • “How often will I use a pressure washer?”

If you are a home owner, you will probably use a pressure washer less than 50 hours per year. In this case getting a machine rated for 500 hours will last you up to 10 years if properly maintained. However, if you are using it on the job, you will want something rated for 2,000 hours or more. If time is important to you, buy as big a pressure washer as you can justify. A 13 HP gas pressure washer will clean your driveway about 10 times faster than a small electric unit. It will also last longer because it doesn’t have to run nearly as long to do the job. Finally, plan in advance what attachments you will want in the future and make sure that the pressure washer you buy has enough power to support them.

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