Renting vs Buying a Pressure Washer

Need a pressure washer? We've got advice. Learn when buying a pressure washer is better than renting one

Decide whether renting or buying a pressure washer is the best option

Pressure washers can be lifesavers when it comes to cleaning off deep dirt and grime that just won’t budge with a mopping or hand wash. However, they can also be pricey. So should you invest in buying a pressure washer, or should you rent one?

Of course, there are benefits to both options. If you’re contemplating buying a pressure washer, here are some things to consider before taking the plunge.

What Can a Pressure Washer Be Used On?

Pressure washers can be used to clean a range of surfaces, including metal, concrete, wood, and vinyl. They are often used to deep clean outdoor furniture, vehicles (including cars, trailers, boats, tractors, snow mobiles, jet skis, and ATVs), fencing, decks, patios, home exteriors, walkways, stairways, driveways, pathways, tiles, windows, and even grills.

When used carefully a pressure washer can be used on any number of surfaces and objects. The main two things to be wary of are whether the object or surface can be damaged by water and whether the object or surface is fragile to pressure. If neither of these circumstances pose a problem to the surface or object, then a pressure washer can provide a safe, deep cleaning.

Benefits of Buying a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers generally fall within the range of $100 to $300 dollars. The higher end models, including gas pressure washers, can reach anywhere from $300 to $600 dollars. That being said, purchasing a pressure washer is no small thing.

However, if you are able to purchase a pressure washer, the benefits of owning one are nearly endless. Because you’re not paying per day, you’ll likely use your pressure washer much more often than if you were renting one. This means that it can be used on smaller jobs as well as big jobs. It also means that you can regularly be cleaning your dirty surfaces to ensure less dirt build-up and a cleaner-looking home.

Another aspect to take into account before purchasing a pressure washer is that you’ll be responsible for its maintenance. However, most pressure washers will last an average of ten years when used for less than 50 hours a year and stored properly. If there does turn out to be a mechanical problem somewhere down the line, and your warranty is expired, you will need to factor in the cost for fixing the water pressure.

Benefits of Renting a Pressure Washer

When it comes to renting a pressure washer, there is also a rather large range in prices. On average, a pressure washer will cost you $40 to $100 a day to rent. While this price is significantly more affordable than purchasing a pressure washer, it does limit your use. If you do the math, you’ll find that renting a pressure washer for two or three days might equal the cost of buying a pressure washer.

Hiring a Professional to Pressure Wash Your Home

If you’re not confident in your own abilities to use a pressure washer, another option is hiring a professional to pressure wash your home for you. Professional pressure washers generally charge by square footage, meaning that the larger the area you want cleaned, the more it will cost you. Prices can range anywhere from $0.08 to $0.80 per square foot.

The main benefit of hiring a professional to do the pressure washing is that they will know exactly which surfaces can safely undergo a pressure wash, leaving you with less likelihood of any of your surfaces being damaged. The downside, of course, is the cost, which can add up.

The Final Verdict

So should you rent a pressure washer, buy a pressure washer, or hire a professional? Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, and it will come down to your budget, your comfort level with a pressure washer, and your desire to do the work yourself.

For those looking to get the best financial deal, purchasing a pressure washer is the smartest move, as it will allow you to have access to a deep cleaner whenever you need. While renting a pressure washer may save you money in the short-term, if you end up needing to rent a pressure washer more than once, it will likely end up costing you more than if you simply buy a pressure washer.Resources — Pressure Washr, Consumer Reports, KMS Tools, Angie’s List