Pressure washers in the 3,000-psi (pounds per square inch) range are used commercially for heavy-duty cleaning jobs.

Pressure washers in the 3,000-psi (pounds per square inch) range are used commercially for heavy-duty cleaning jobs.

For example, painters use heavy-duty pressure washers to remove paint from the exterior of an entire home.

For do-it-yourselfers, 1,500 psi usually is more than sufficient pressure.

Easy jobs at 1,500 psi

Ridding exterior walls and eaves of spider webs and insect nests is a blast, and cleaning window glass is a cinch — brightening the metal frame also can be accomplished. The window screen? Dirt disappears instantly. (Naturally, the screens have to be removed before they can be properly cleaned.) Plastic and metal patio furniture, kids toys, "de-charring" a barbecue grill. No mess, no fuss, no bother.

Changes in pressure can be controlled by a regulating device on some machines, but the best control is managed by altering the distance between the tip of the washing wand and the surface being cleaned.

The less distance from tip to surface, the more cleaning power. Increase the distance for a more gentle cleaning power.

Different types of tips also are available. Some spray in a tight circular pattern and others in a wide fan-like spray. The first are better for hard-to-clean surfaces. The latter are better for more gentle work such as cleaning spider webs, furniture, plants and shrubs.

We did not need to use any cleaning chemicals during our day of filming, yet everything we washed sparkled. Had we actually run into a troublesome spot we could have introduced the appropriate cleaning chemical through a inlet tube provided on the pressure washer.

And that's all there is to it. For more home improvement tips and information, visit our web site at www.onthehouse.com, or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474 (ext 59).