Car pressure washers

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Old Chippy

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Hi I am 75 years of age and not in the best of health and I now find it harder to clean the car. I have been paying to have the car cleaned now, about 3 times a week. I would like to purchase a pressure washer so I can do it myself. I would appreciate any advice from members who have had experience using them. I don't need to have the latest all gadget does everything type that costs a fortune, but one that will with a bit of my effort make a good clean job of the car. I've been persuaded to by one by the people who are building 400+ houses about a 100 mts from my home. I never new how much dust and filth the wind can carry from a building sight.
 

Spectric

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You clean the car three times week! Our cars get cleaned once a year if lucky and as we get older we find better things to do than clean a car. A pressure washer may get the dirt off but to get a nice finish will still require elbow grease, so you may still struggle even with a pressure washer. I have one to clean garden paths etc and would recomend Nilfisk as being really good.
 

Old Chippy

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You clean the car three times week! Our cars get cleaned once a year if lucky and as we get older we find better things to do than clean a car. A pressure washer may get the dirt off but to get a nice finish will still require elbow grease, so you may still struggle even with a pressure washer. I have one to clean garden paths etc and would recomend Nilfisk as being really good.
I am not the only one here at the moment doing it. The cars can't be driven as you can't see out of the windows, the dust is stuck to everything. Thank you for your sarcastic remarks
 

J-G

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I'm running a 57 plate Honda which I've had from new. The first year it got cleaned probably 3 times but it hasn't been cleaned at all for the past 5 years o_O

It only gets dirty again on the way from the car-wash!
 

akirk

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A jet wash will remove some stuff, but not all and will often leave a smeary finish.
I have a Karcher 4 which works well

For a very easy way to keep a car clean:
- buy Optimum no rinse (Optimum No Rinse Car Wash & Shine **946ml LARGE BOTTLE**Rinseless Car Washing** : Amazon.co.uk: Automotive)
- buy a simple pressure spray such as those used for the garden
- mix some optimum no rinse with water as per instructions
- spray onto a section of the car
- leave for a moment to let it do its bit...
- wipe off with a microfibre cloth
- use another microfibre cloth to dry

perfectly clean car with minimum effort

there is some very clever tech out there and it is all about dwell times etc :)
pop over to detailingworld.com to find out more
 

Richard_C

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I have a decent pressure washer which gets used for patio and paths but isn't much use for car unless you use a brush attachment and get yourself wet. You also have to "manage" the hose from tap to machine, the electric cable and the hose to the lance, each of which has a life of their own. It only gets used on the car rarely, to get winter mud out from under the arches.

I wonder if something simpler and much cheaper like a brush on a stick on a hose would be better, have a look for caravan washing brush. Or maybe if you don't drive out that often get a cheap and cheerful car cover for the duration of the works. Even a half cover which will keep the seeing out bits clear and be easier to get on and off.

If it's a 400 house build it will be a biggish company, depending on mix of houses at least a £100m site so maybe write to their head office and ask for some goodwill gesture. I don't think housebuilders understand goodwill but you never know.
 

Inspector

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If it's a 400 house build it will be a biggish company, depending on mix of houses at least a £100m site so maybe write to their head office and ask for some goodwill gesture. I don't think housebuilders understand goodwill but you never know.

I would think getting all the affected neighbours together to put up a little money each to have their names on the letter drawn up by a good lawyer would have a better chance of them footing the bill for cleaning. A copy to the building/permit department and the councillors and mayor etc too. Waste or pollution is not supposed to spill over to surrounding areas which might prompt the developer to have watering trucks spraying the roads and lots etc to control the dust, or the cheaper alternative, pay to wash the cars until their activities in the area are done. Dust all over the outside and inside of the houses could also be part of the letter just to drive the point home. If all that fails get a TV news crew to do a report on it. Might not change anything but satisfying to you and embarrassing to the town if they did nothing especially near election time.

I'm one that doesn't wash my truck often, especially in winter, with the salt and dirt everywhere. Besides nobody wants to wash their car in subzero weather. I do have a Honda powered gas pressure washer that puts out 2,000PSI/138bar. It is too high as is to blast the truck but by putting the next size bigger nozzle tip in the wand the pressure is dropped by a quarter to a third. Two sizes up would probably be in the range of the wand washes at the self clean car wash. A wider fan will reduce the overlapping you can get with the little electric pressure washers. You have to like and be able to yank on the pull start rope though.

Hope you come up with a solution.
Pete
 

Richard_C

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. A copy to the building/permit department and the councillors and mayor etc too. Waste or pollution is not supposed to spill over to surrounding areas
That makes a lot of sense, except here in UK the post 2010 Osborne local government cuts, the small government/low regulation ideology and the central government love of the big builders all mean that there is no chance of any enforcement action.

Near me someone is building a huge house extension wholly out of keeping with the area and overshadowing neighbours. He got planning permission after a legal battle, local authority said they couldn't risk the cost of a court appeal. Now it's going up, 2m higher and 10m longer than the approved plans. People have complained but the planning authority have taken no action, not even an order to pause work, because they are so under resourced.

A non-building example, we have minimum wage regulations. If you run a business, statistically you will get one inspection every 500 years.

I know this is now wildly off topic and a bit of a rant but the OP and neighbours are "on their own" even if rules have been broken.

Back to car washing, yes your post reminds me that you can do some damage with a pressure washer if you don't take care.
 

Geoff_S

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Yep, Karcher is what I use, but, on it's own it does not clean a car. It removes and loosens some dirt but will leave any dried on dirt and just soften it. But it then makes the elbow grease part a bit easier.

But as a thought, would it be easier just to get a car cover? The faff and time of taking it on and off will far outweigh that of cleaning your car 3 times a week.


Others are available.
 

PerryGunn

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The OP is unlikely to be as particular as me but, as a reasonably enthusiastic home car detailer, the idea of a brush attached to a pressure washer gives me the shivers as using it on a car covered in abrasive building dust is likely to scratch the paintwork to b'ggery.

If the car is getting dusty enough to require washing three times a week, I would suggest the following as a simple way to get the car 'clean enough' with the minimum of physical exertion.

- Buy a relatively cheap pressure washer (Nilfisk, Karcher or similar), hopefully with a variable fan lance
- Buy a snowfoam bottle or lance for the pressure washer
- Buy 5L of snowfoam (stuff in the £15-£20 range will be good enough)
e.g. Ultimate Snow Foam (5L)

Wash the car by
- Initial pressure wash to remove loose dirt & dust
- Mix snowfoam in the application bottle (ratio according to instructions on container)
- Spray the car with a thick layer of snowfoam (this helps break adhesion between any 'sticky' dust and the paint)
- Leave to dwell on the car for 5-10 mins (depends on the foam and time of year)
- Pressure wash again to remove the snowfoam
- Leave it to dry

it's a contactless wash method that should minimise any paint scratches from the building dust. It won't give you a perfectly clean car, but it'll be good enough especially if you're doing it three times a week.
 

Graham Brazier

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Karcher k4 from karcher direct
Others are
Nikfisk or Krenzal

I can highly recommend bilthamber products 5L bottles cost effective

Auto foam
Surfex HD - all perpose cleaner
Auto Wash
Touch on
 

J-G

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What about Bob a Job….
anyone remember…..?
Certainly do - I won the prize for most earned every year. I recall one year when the concept was reversed - we were given a 'Bob' (one shilling) and charged with using it to buy, make & sell whatever. Again I won the challenge :) started by buying orange boxes and selling as fire kindling :unsure: it was in the late 40's / 50's
 

Linwoodjoinery

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I agree with PerryGunn. Avoid the brushes. Rinse with jet wash. Snow foam. Leave for 5-10 mins and rinse. This won’t be like a full wash but if you’re doing this 2-3 times a week it will keep the dust off certainly. I’ve had a karcher K2 and K4. Both do the job. Screw fix and tool station both had some cheaper versions in the other day when I popped in too.
 

MikeJhn

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In the first instance go and see the Site Agent and explain the problem, they usually have a site float to pay for such things, if that does not work then the Environment Enforcement Officer at the Local Council who can't ignore these sort of issues should get a result.
 

pe2dave

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A jet wash will remove some stuff, but not all and will often leave a smeary finish.
I have a Karcher 4 which works well

For a very easy way to keep a car clean:
- buy Optimum no rinse (Optimum No Rinse Car Wash & Shine **946ml LARGE BOTTLE**Rinseless Car Washing** : Amazon.co.uk: Automotive)
- buy a simple pressure spray such as those used for the garden
- mix some optimum no rinse with water as per instructions
- spray onto a section of the car
- leave for a moment to let it do its bit...
- wipe off with a microfibre cloth
- use another microfibre cloth to dry

perfectly clean car with minimum effort

there is some very clever tech out there and it is all about dwell times etc :)
pop over to detailingworld.com to find out more
A much better bet than a pressure washer. As others say, they don't do more than get rid of surface dirt.
ONR loosens the dirt, making it so easy to remove. Try once a month?
 

Garden Shed Projects

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In the first instance go and see the Site Agent and explain the problem, they usually have a site float to pay for such things, if that does not work then the Environment Enforcement Officer at the Local Council who can't ignore these sort of issues should get a result.
As Mikejhn suggests. You could also try the HSE as the control of dust is something they are very interested in, the house builder won't like having them visit. If dust is landing on your car it is in the air and you are probably breathing it in. Is the site registered with Considerate constructors, they don't really have any teeth but it will be an extra avenue of hassle for the developer.

Suffice to say if the dust they are generating is causing you a nuisance then they have a responsibility to sort it out and would prefer to not have the negative publicity or hassle. An estate with 400 houses will likely be operating for a number of years so would be worth nipping in the bud early.
 

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