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August 20, 2022  |  Home

Universal pressure washer attachments to take your cleaning to the next level

When you have a large outdoor cleaning task, such as washing down your driveway or making your deck look new again, you need the right appliance to get the job done effectively and efficiently. A pressure washer fits the bill. However, different attachments fine-tune this powerful machine to make it perform even better.

When shopping for these attachments, many claim to be universal. But this might not be the case. Before using a pressure washer attachment, you need to make sure it is right for your machine.

What is a pressure washer?

A pressure washer is exactly what it sounds like: an appliance that uses a high-pressure flow of water (and sometimes detergent) to clean. These units connect to a standard garden hose. Using either a gas-powered engine or an electric motor, the water flowing from that hose is directed through a water pump where it is pressurized. This powerful stream hammers away at grime, loosening it and carrying it away. It can turn a task that might take hours or days into one that can be accomplished in minutes.

What kind of attachments do pressure washers have?

There is a wide variety of pressure washer attachments that can be used for numerous cleaning tasks. You can get gutter cleaners, brushes, brooms, guns, conversion kits and more. In general, however, the four main types of attachments to consider are nozzles, surface cleaners, extension wands and detergent reservoirs.

Nozzles

The nozzles determine how focused (and strong) the spray is. You must match the nozzle to the cleaning task. Besides turbo nozzles, which are reserved for the heaviest duty, there are five basic nozzles: red, yellow, green, white and black. 

  • The red nozzle (0 degrees) delivers the most focused spray, which is good for removing paint and mildew, but you must be careful not to damage the surface you are cleaning. 
  • The yellow nozzle (15 degrees) is one step down from red and is still fairly strong. This nozzle is best for removing stains from concrete and other heavy duty applications. 
  • The green nozzle (25 degrees) is a general purpose cleaning nozzle. It is suitable for outdoor furniture, decks and patios.
  • The white nozzle (40 degrees) has the widest spray, making it best for light-duty rinsing. 
  • The black nozzle (65 degrees) is the only nozzle that can be used with detergent.

Surface cleaners

A surface cleaner is designed to evenly clean flat surfaces, such as a deck, without leaving streaks or having splashback that typically occurs from using a standard nozzle.

Extension wands

If you have a two-story house, an extension wand can be used to clean the parts of your house that are high up while you remain safely on the ground. Never use a pressure washer on a ladder. The kickback can make you lose your balance.

Detergent reservoirs

If your pressure washer does not have a built-in detergent reservoir, you may need to purchase one that attaches to your machine. This reservoir holds the specially formulated cleaning detergent, so it can be mixed in with the high-pressure spray to deliver a better clean.

Are pressure washer attachments universal?

Because most pressure washers accept one-quarter-inch quick connect attachments, they fit on almost all machines. However, different pressure washers operate at different water volumes and pressures. Not all attachments are universal — even if they are advertised as being such.

When purchasing a pressure washer attachment, make sure the one you are choosing is suitable for the pressure of your machine. For example, a nozzle that is rated up to 2,000 psi should not be used on a 4,500 psi machine. Luckily, this information is usually easy to find in the product’s description.

Best pressure washer attachments

Simpson Cleaning Universal Pressure Washer Nozzles

This kit includes five standard nozzles (red, yellow, green, white and black). The nozzles feature a one-quarter-inch quick connect and are rated for up to 4,500 psi.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

DeWalt Universal Turbo Nozzle

This one-quarter-inch quick connect turbo nozzle is rated for use up to 4,500 psi. The powerful oscillating jet stream is designed to clean faster than standard nozzles. It is best for brick, concrete and vinyl.

Sold by Home Depot

Karcher Universal 15-inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner Attachment

If you have a flat surface to clean, such as a deck or driveway, you need a surface cleaner. This model features the standard one-quarter-inch quick connect and is best for 2,600-3,200 psi pressure washers with a flow rate of 2.7 gallons per minute.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Greenworks Surface Cleaner Universal Pressure Washer Attachment

For lighter-duty cleaning tasks, this 11-inch surface cleaner is suitable for electric power washers up to 2,000 psi. It features the standard 1/4-inch quick connection.

Sold by Amazon

Powercare 36-inch Wand

When you need to reach higher surfaces, an extension wand is the attachment you want. This one fits between the trigger handle and the original wand and comes with a coupler for quick-connect convenience. It is rated for up to 4,500 psi.

Sold by Home Depot

Greenworks High-Pressure Soap Applicator

If you need a reservoir for detergent, this model has a 1/4-inch quick connection and is rated for up to 3,100 psi with a maximum water flow of 1.4 gpm.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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