Pressure washers are the best tools for most outdoor cleaning jobs—far better than your old garden hose and nozzle. Different tasks, however, require different heads or nozzles. To make a good selection, you should ask yourself three questions—how much pressure do you need for the specific job, will water be sufficient to complete the task, and whether or not you need to clean large floor surfaces.

Most Versatile

This super portable, lightweight and compact model will get the grime off you car in no time. Twinkle Star

Use the wrong pressure washer nozzle for the job you undertake, and you can seriously damage your deck, car or even the siding on your house. Nozzles are measured in degree, ranging from 0 degrees up to about 40. A 0-degree nozzle will shoot a direct jet of water about the size of a quarter onto the surface you are cleaning. The higher degree, the wider area the force is spread over, so the gentler the spray becomes. The most popular tip for general use around the home is 25 degrees.

Add Detergent

This unit can blast hot water (up to 104 degrees) at more than 2,000 pounds per square inch. Sun Joe

Some jobs are so greasy and gunky that water, regardless of how much pressure it has pushing it, just won’t do the trick. In such instances, the only way to get the surface completely clean is adding soap or some other detergent to the equation. Pressure washer heads that have a soap reservoir and blend soap with the water as you spray make these kinds of messes much easier to clean.

Also Consider

This 80-pound option has a one-gallon fuel tank, holds detergent, and will shut off automatically if your oil level gets too low. PowerFit

If you are going to be cleaning lots of floors—whether patios, garages, warehouses or driveways—there’s one type of head you should seriously consider. Pressure washer surface cleaners are made by a number of manufacturers and are tailor made for cleaning large flat areas. Because they target the water to the specific area right under the cleaner head, they enable you to get the most efficient use from your power washer with the least amount of effort. If you have flat surfaces you clean on a regular basis, a surface cleaner head will save you a lot of time in the long run.