Should You Buy or Rent a Pressure Washer?

February 14, 2020

Should You Buy or Rent a Pressure Washer?

A pressure washer can blast away years of grime from a deck, patio, or walkway in a single afternoon. But the question of whether to rent or buy really comes down to how many surfaces you'll need to tackle—and how often you'll need to revisit the chore.

"If you use a pressure washer three times or more each year, it can pay to own one," says Dave Trezza, a CR testing leader.

If you rent a pressure washer from a home center, it could cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per day. Buying an electric pressure washer can cost you about $100 to $200; a gas pressure washer will set you back $300 to $600.

You may find frequent small jobs for an electric pressure washer, such as cleaning mildew from your patio furniture. However, ownership of a large gas pressure washer—good for long-neglected decks and dirty siding—will require engine maintenance and room for storage, which can make renting more appealing for some.

Whether you choose to buy or rent a pressure washer, Consumer Reports cautions against using a zero-degree cleaning nozzle for any job. If you buy a pressure washer, toss the nozzle entirely so you won't use it accidentally. And always wear closed shoes, long pants, and protective gear on eyes and ears.

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