Best Surface Cleaners of 2018: Buying Guide and Top 5
Pressure washers are versatile machines that can be used for cleaning any and all outdoor surfaces. But let’s be honest; using the 0° or even 40° nozzle to blast your patio or driveway clean of dirt and grime, though quicker than using a bucket and scrub, can take a long time to finish.
If you have a pressure washer on hand, then consider investing in a surface cleaner attachment for your machine. They can clean a wider area than your 40° nozzle attachment and have quick rotating jets combined with outer bristles to tackle the toughest stains.
Most pressure washers do not come with a surface cleaner attachment, so you’ll need to pick one up separately. The good thing is that even if you own a Sun Joe, surface cleaners from any company can be fitted for use with your machine. To help you decide on which surface cleaner to get, take a look at our brief buying guide below.
Surface Cleaner Buying Guide
Most pressure washer models don’t come with their own surface cleaner, giving you the freedom to choose between a wide range of different models. The good thing is that most of them can be fitted onto any pressure washer. It just takes a bit of research to find which surface cleaner offers the best bang for your buck. This is a quick buying guide if you’re interested in purchasing a surface cleaner.
The larger the surface of the head, the less time it’ll take to complete cleaning your driveway or patio. Obviously, larger area-coverage means more efficient work, but it also means having to deal with a somewhat hard-to-control tool. In general, a 15-inch area should do the trick, though you might find a larger tool works better for straight, smooth paths.
The rule of thumb is to look for a surface cleaner that has a PSI rating that is about the same as the power your pressure washer can provide. The PSI rating indicates the maximum power that the surface cleaner can support. If your pressure washer can do 4,000 PSI while your surface cleaner can only do 3,300 PSI, then it could lead to irreparable damage on the surface cleaner later on.
One of the most ingenious things about surface cleaners is that apart from delivering tons of PSI of pressurized water, the jets that spray water onto the surface rotate at high speeds to help tackle even the most stubborn stains. We recommend looking for a surface cleaner that generates at least 1,000 RPM, though there are plenty of models that exceed this minimum.
Even though most of the time you’ll be cleaning surfaces such as your driveway or patio, there may be the odd time where you’ll want to clean vertical surfaces like the side of your home or outdoor furniture. Either way, the weight of the surface cleaner will play a role in the overall comfort of using the tool. Most surface cleaners are lightweight – less than 8 pounds – so finding something that glides and lifts easily shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Best Surface Cleaners
Now that we have a general idea of what to look for in a surface cleaner, we have to decide which model to get. Of course, if you have a Simpson Cleaning pressure washer, you can always go for a Simpson Cleaning surface cleaner, but we can find excellent surface cleaners that work on all pressure washers across the board. To assist you in your hunt, we’ve made this list of the five best-performing surface cleaners that’ll work on most – if not all – pressure washers.
5 Simpson Cleaning 80166
The first item on our list is the 80166 from Simpson Cleaning. This attachment is able to fit onto all ¼-inch quick-connecting wands so most pressure washers will be able to support it. It has a PSI rating of up to 3,600, making it usable on all electric pressure washers and most gas-powered models.
It has a 15-inch diameter for making quick work out of cleaning large surfaces with each pass. This surface cleaner only supports cold water which isn’t a big problem since most pressure washers can only handle cold water (up to 80° or so). Underneath the head, you’ll find two high-speed jets that spin up to 1,500 RPM.
4 Karcher 15-Inch Surface Cleaner
This surface cleaner from Karcher is another 15-inch tool that’ll help in cleaning large surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and porches in no time. It comes with twin jet nozzles that can support up to 3,200 PSI. It is also able to connect to ¼-inch quick-connect wands, so there’s hardly any cause for worry that your machine isn’t compatible with this surface cleaner.
Although it’s fitted for most standard wands, this tool is designed to work best on any gas models of up to 3,200 PSI as well as the electric K1700 to K2000 models from Karcher. The nozzles spin at a speed of 1,750 RPM for supreme cleaning power.
3 Briggs & Stratton 6328
The 6328 from Briggs & Stratton is a 14-inch surface cleaner that is designed for use on gas-powered pressure washers only. It is usable on machines that deliver up to 3,200 PSI, so you know you’re getting awesome cleaning power with this attachment. The 6328 comes with dual high-pressure jets, but something that most consider a disappointment is that the jet nozzles rotate at a speed of less than 100 RPM.
Although it still delivers great cleaning power, you’ll most likely have to make multiple passes over a single spot to get that spotless surface you’re looking for. However, one thing we consider a tremendous plus is its dome design which prevents water from splashing around needlessly.
2 Yamaha ACC-31056-00-13
Yamaha is perhaps one of the most popular manufacturers of basically everything, and their ACC-31056-00-13 is a testament to the company’s superior ability to design amazing cleaning power. This attachment is designed for use on gas pressure washers that generate up to 3,300 PSI. Its 15-inch cleaning area coupled with high-speed (1,500 RPM) dual jets makes cleaning even the moldiest, oiliest surfaces a cinch.
The ACC-31056-00-13 can be attached to any ¼-inch quick-connect wand from any brand. However, the jets are rather PSI-sensitive, and many users found pressure washers with less than 2,500 PSI have had difficulty in providing a sufficient spin of the jets.
1 PowerFit PF31023B Surface Cleaner
The final surface cleaner on our list is the PF31023B from PowerFit. This attachment is number one on our list for many reasons, but the simplest reason is that it simply performs the best. First of all, it can be attached to any gas pressure washer that provides up to 3,100 PSI of pressurized water. It has a 15-inch clearing path to make quick work out of restoring even the grimiest surfaces to their former glory.
This surface cleaner is best used on flat surfaces such as paved walkways and driveways, though it has been found that even on uneven, rocky surfaces, this tool still performs excellently. The dual jets spin at up to 1,500 RPM to enhance cleaning ability.
We all know how pressure washers make quick, easy work out of cleaning our cars and outdoor furniture, but like any tool, you need the right attachment for the right job. When it comes to cleaning driveways, patios, and sidewalks, the wand with a 0° to 40° fan just won’t do. For this type of work, we need to employ the help of a surface cleaner. One of the best things about surface cleaners is that they can be used on most gas-powered pressure washers, regardless of its brand and model.
Many pressure washers don’t come with a surface cleaner attachment in the box, so we need to do some independent research to find a working model. There are several features and specs to consider when looking at surface cleaners, including how wide of an area the surface cleaner can blast clean in a single swipe, how much PSI it can support, how quick the jets spin to provide enhanced cleaning ability, and the weight of the surface cleaner to simplify cleaning vertical surfaces.
In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the five best surface cleaners available, but our number one spot belongs to the PF31023B from PowerFit. Its features aren’t exactly unique when compared to other models, but in terms of performance, nothing else comes close. Its 15-inch dome combined with high-speed dual jets makes lifting and clearing mold, moss, and oil a breeze.