Watch: Pressure Washers Are Super Useful, Can Be Super Dangerous

Image courtesy of Consumer Reports

Pressure washers make various outdoor cleaning tasks much easier, but they can also be pretty dangerous when pointed in the wrong direction. That’s why our ever-efficient colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports no longer recommend any pressure washers that come with zero degree nozzles, or adjustable wand tips that can be dialed down to zero. That setting poses a special risk of injury to people, and to carrots. Carrots?

Nozzles and wand settings are labeled according to the width of the spray, measured in degrees. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend using a spray any narrower than fifteen degrees. It might take longer to finish some tasks, but you can still complete them.


The special risk of the narrow zero-degree spray isn’t just that it can tear a hole in your skin: it’s that your body is much more pliable than a concrete patio, and the force of the jet can cause a deep puncture wound, forcing water and bacteria deep into your body.

You still want to take precautions, of course: don’t point the pressure washer at people or pets, wear protective footwear (but don’t clean your boots with your feet in them) keep in mind what happens when you pass a stream of water from a pressure washer over a carrot.


That’s right: an extremely inefficient way to slice a carrot. You can watch that happen in the video embedded below.

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