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Author Topic:   Can I use power washer?
Milepost43 posted 05-26-2005 09:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for Milepost43   Send Email to Milepost43  
Recently bought elec power washer, about 1200psi, for around the home. Can I use it to help clean non-skid etc in/on my 220 Dauntless? thanks.
LHG posted 05-26-2005 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Use Starbrite's Non-Skid Deck cleaner instead. Wet floor, pour some on, spread it around and let sit for a few minutes, scrub and rinse. Floor will look like new, with no harmful bleach being used. Use mineral spirits first if there is any oil/tar based dirt.
bigjohn1 posted 05-26-2005 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Milepost 43, I'll defer to LHG's wisdom on the Starbright as I haven't tried it yet. I can only assume with a new "man-toy" like a pressure washer, you're probably itching to use it. I bought one a few months ago (3,000psi) and love using it on whatever needs cleaning....what fun. With a 1,200psi unit, it should be plenty safe on your boat. I have used mine on the boat but ALWAYS use the wide pattern low pressure tip - never the concentrated narrow tip - that thing will strip paint and anything else in its way. All of that said, many have chimed in here saying Starbright is tops so they can't all be wrong.

LHG posted 05-27-2005 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Why do people use pressure washers to wash their brand new boats, but not their brand new autos?
jimh posted 05-27-2005 05:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It has been reported that following use of a pressure washer to clean a hull osmotic blistering appeared, considered to be evidence of water penetration into the laminate. See:

2manyboats posted 05-27-2005 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
Try it on the cat first , then the boat next.
bigjohn1 posted 05-27-2005 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Respectfully, I think you're going with a "shotgun" approach against using power washers. I totally agree they can and will cause severe damage to a boat, your new car's finish, and plenty will paint thinner, strong cleaning agents, and so forth if used improperly. Most of these units come with multiple plug-in "tips" for the end of the wand to vary pressure and spray pattern. If you are not thinking straight and use the high power tip to clean your hull, my 3,000psi unit will easily cut into gel coat. Of course that is not a god plan so you would use the low pressure tip (30 degree tip on mine) for delicate surfaces like gel coat and your car. I have a new truck that I am quite particular about but I have used the wide tip on the finish after playing in the mud and it does not damage the paint at all. Also, you don't place the tip closer than about 2-3ft from the surface being cleaned. In the link Jim provided, I would be willing to bet the owner who power washed his hull to the point of breaching the gel coat was likely a bit over zealous with his power washer and either got too close or was using the wrong tip. Maybe not and maybe I'm dead wrong but I have seen too many of these units used for cleaning everything under the sun and if used properly, they don't generally damage what you are working on.
WT posted 05-27-2005 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
My BW dealer uses power washers on their boats. They clean mine with a power washer when I get my boat serviced.

I recently bought a 2650 psi power washer from Costco and have been using the 40 degree head. (It comes with 5 different heads). I tried it last weekend and doesn't seem too powerful. (The 9 degree head can probably blow paint off you house.)


David Pendleton posted 05-27-2005 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I blast mine at point-blank range, 2600 psi. Really.

It hasn't harmed anything yet.

Now, if I had cracks, holes or blisters, I wouldn't be doing that.

What's even better is I can hook a gallon bottle of Simple Green directly to the pump so it's included in the flow.

Knot at Work posted 05-27-2005 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     

It is a felony in the Yankee states to use Cats as attachments on most appliances. Except in New York, or San Francisco. In that case it is obligitory.

highanddry posted 05-28-2005 02:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Please do not spray animals or people or yourself with a power washer. This is potentially fatal or at least serious and painful results can happen.
As to feral cats I understand that several states are considering hunting seasons on them with a bounty. They probably don't envision your using a power washer however.
Boboe posted 05-28-2005 09:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
I bought a 2200 psi a while back and left my teenage son to clean the deck. When I returned a couple of hours later the deck was ruined with deep gouges everywhere. I remember when I bought it the guy at Home Depot saying “you guys and these power washers, they’re way overkill for what you need”. I didn’t listen to him as I was determined to spend my money. I used to use it to clean my driveway but noticed that it takes off the sealant I spent so many hours putting on three months before. Now it kind of just sits in the shed. Use it on a new boat? Never.
2manyboats posted 05-28-2005 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
While most cats don't like power washers, ours seems to like it better than the weed eater.
HuronBob posted 05-28-2005 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    
Not having a cat, I'm forced to use my neighbors, at least while he had them.. They worked well with the leaf blower and you could actually do a little foosball thing if you had two blowers and two people, but then I used them up with the chipper/shredder...

I'm going to watch "Fargo" now...

I don't use my powerwasher on either the boat or the cars... I don't think it is necessary and it can not be good for the finish/wax...

mikeyairtime posted 05-28-2005 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
All the major motorcycle manufactures warn against using a pressure washer on their dirt bikes. Go to any national motocross and watch what the same factory mechanics do first thing when a bike pulls off the track. They put it on a stand and pressure wash it. The manufactures have to warn against it becayse there's always sone knucklehead that hold the thing 1/4 inch from a bearing to get all that pesky grease out. Same applies to boats.
pvonk posted 05-28-2005 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
So... it seems that the posts in this topic that advise against using a power (pressure) washer mention a disaster that involved "user error." Wrong tip used, using too close, etc. - however using the pressure washer "properly" doesn't seem to have a true negative effect.

Does that pretty much sum it up?

- Pierre

Milepost43 posted 05-28-2005 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Milepost43  Send Email to Milepost43     
For better or worse used my p-washer to clean the non-skid yesterday. Had quite a few black mark areas from a friend's boots. Really worked good with the Starbrite. Only used it on the non-skid and can't believe I did any harm. Thanks for all the comments.
bigjohn1 posted 05-29-2005 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Pierre, you nailed it buddy...if used properly, they will not hurt a boat, a car's finish, or whatever else they are used on.
mccomas posted 05-29-2005 12:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for mccomas  Send Email to mccomas     
Another word of warning! Do not use the high-pressure soap from one of those self-service car washes. It turned my vinyl seats pink!!!!! The pink is just now starting to wear off a month later.
Boboe posted 05-29-2005 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
The point is do you really need a power washer or would the Starbrite have worked with a garden hose?
Royboy posted 05-29-2005 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I spent a little over two and a half hours today scrubbing the deck on my 13 Sport. I used Starbrite for the first time, and it worked well, although not as well as I would have liked. No matter how much elbow grease I used, there were still marks that wouldn't come out (even after letting it sit for over a half hour). For the tough spots, I had to use one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Those things are just amazing, and now my deck is again Bristol. I don't know what's in 'em, since they have no odor, but they sure do work. Perhaps it is magic.

Ironically, I would have used a 1400 psi powerwasher that my daughter borrowed for me (for another purpose), but it was missing its special hose adapter.


HAPPYJIM posted 05-30-2005 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I use my 3500 PSI washer for just about anything that needs a good cleaning. With a 30 degree nozzle, you hold no closer than 2 feet away and the dirt will disappear. With a 0 (zero) degree nozzle, I can bore a hole in concrete if I want. It it also much better than a blower for blowing leaves in the fall. I clean my new $60K truck with it weekly, staying at least 2 foot away.
montaukman posted 05-30-2005 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     

Have you noticed any discoloring or dulling on your non-skid from the Mr Clean eraser? I went on the web site and it says to test an area and that it is not meant for glossy (and daqrk)surfaces.

I to am unhappy with Star Bright Deck cleaner as it only works marginally on my non-skid deck stains. In reading the reviews of this product, most are amazed by how it cleans but i am nervous due to all the chemicals in it. Can it harm the gelcoat on the non skid, as well as the gelcoat on the hull if I was bold enough to attempt it.

I was at west marine and discussed these stains with a salesman there and he said tht the "west marine" brand cleaner was better. I tought he was doing a sales pitch but then he told me not to even bother with the cleaner and to use bleach undiluted.

I asked him about harm to the gel coat and his reply was, "gasoline on the deck doesn't hurt it....why should bleach".

Also, curious as to whether anyone has used these erasers on their vinyl seats
Any comments? Thanks,


DWE posted 05-30-2005 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for DWE    
I, too, have recently been using the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for quick spot removal on the non-skid deck of my 1976 13-Sport and have witnessed no negative effects. It works, like Roy mentioned, very effectively.
LHG posted 05-31-2005 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The guy at Theft Marine sounds like an idiot. The BW website specifically says that chlorine bleach will damage gelcoat. Perhaps someone here who is a chemist could explain why. All I know is that I did some permanent degradation damage to my non-skid using the stuff. Never again.

The Starbrite cleaner will not remove heavy oil/tar/blacktop based stains, rust stains, or some black sole rubber marks, or teak oil/varnish spills that bond to the non-skid. It's for just plain ordinary dirt.

If you get hardened teak oil spots (which are actually diluted varnish) on the floor (or on SS fittings), use one-step teak cleaner. Let it soak for a while, then use an SS wire (tooth type) brush. More than one application may be needed.

Mineral spirits dissolves petroleum based spots.

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