Commercial Pressure Washers Explained

Commercial pressure washers are great for removing stubborn stains, debris, and paint on a variety of surfaces. When it comes to choosing a pressure washer for commercial use it is important to make sure it is built with daily use in mind.

Often you can find residential machines with similar properties, in terms of power and nozzles, to that of a commercial pressure washer. However, when you are using a machine every day you need the reliability of higher quality components and materials.

We have reviewed 10 of the best commercial pressure washers to make sure you pick the perfect tool for your application. Whether you need high power, temperature control, portability or just great value for money with have reviewed all of the machines on the market.  

Features to look for when choosing a Comercial Pressure Washer

Pressure

Pressure

Th amount of pressure a pressure washer produces is measured in PSI or pounds per square inch. Depending on the jobs you will be regularly working on will determine how much pressure you need. Most cleaning operations, such as fence and asphalt driveway cleaning need a PSI of 2500 to 3000. If you need to remove paint or graffiti then it will be worth investing in a machine that’s has a pressure of up to 4000 PSI.

Safety

Safety

Always make sure you are wearing the correct safety equipment when using a pressure washer. We recommend a minimum of goggles and closed toe shoes. Overalls and a face mask are a good idea if there is lots of loose debris.

Wands and Nozzles

Wands and Nozzles

Having a great pressure washer wand and the correct nozzle for the job in hand can make all the difference. A commercial wand or lance should be made of a strong non corrosive material such as stainless steel. Connected to the wand are nozzles that restrict and direct the flow of pressurized water. All pressure washers come with multiple different nozzle tips for different applications, make sure the correct tip for your application is included.

Portability

Job sites are often in tricky locations such as back yards or through undulating terrain. It is important to be able to move your commercial pressure washer to where ever it is needed. To help with mobility machines often have a pair of tires attached to the main frame. Pneumatic tires are recommended, though not essential, as they can also help to reduce noise due to vibrations.

The best Commercial Pressure Washer Reviews

Best Overall

1. Simpson Cleaning ALH3425 Aluminum

Stand Out Features
  • 3600 PSI
  • 5 quick connect nozzle tips
  • Aircraft grade aluminium
  • Oil Alert
  • Honda GX200 engine
  • 71 lbs
  • 35 foot hose
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Our Take

The Simpson Cleaning ALH3425 utilises a powerful Honda engine and industrial triplex pump to provide up to a maximum of 3600 PSI. Its frame is made from heavy duty aircraft grade aluminium that provides a sturdy and stable base.

The spray lance is ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip whilst in use. It comes with 5 quick connect nozzle tips that cover 4 different spray angles plus a soap option. The 35 foot hose is more than enough reach for most jobs, plus it’s pneumatic tires make it easy to move around the job site.

It is very simple to set up the machine, requiring only to slide the handle into place and secure then connect the hose to the lance and pump. Once the included motor oil is added and the gas topped up you are ready to go. Make sure to use ethanol free gas as recommended, otherwise you can expect the carburettor in the engine to fail within a year.

Best Value

2. Karcher K 5 Premium

Stand Out Features
  • 2000 PSI
  • Electric motor
  • 25 foot hose
  • Water cooled induction motor
  • 3 in 1 multi-jet spray wand
  • Full control from LCD screen
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Our Take

We wanted to make sure to include a couple of electric commercial grade pressure washers in our review and the Karcher K5 Premium definitely stood out. This really is a top of the line pressure washer, even including an LCD display to show the pressure levels and easily adjust on the go directly from the handle. This works by connecting to the motor via radio frequency and adjusting the power accordingly.

Unlike most of the other pressure washers we reviewed the Karcher K5 has only one spray wand and no additional nozzles. However, it can still be set to three different settings be simply twisting the wand. Select from a flat spray, rotary spray for those tricky corners or the detergent setting.

When it comes to detergents this is where the Karcher K5 really stands out. Just place the soap bottle into the dedicated slot, select the detergent setting on the wand and you are ready to go. Once you have finished your wash you can remove the soap container and leave it safely on a shelf without having to worry about emptying the detergent tank after each operation.

With a maximum PSI of only 2000 this has one of the lowest water pressures in our reviews. But for yard clean ups, washing down trucks and general use it is great and there isn’t a more powerful electric pressure washer. It is light weight, manufactured to a high specification and the Karcher brand Is globally recognised for its products. Don’t forget about all of the fantastic accessories that come with it, including a dedicated deck and driveway cleaner or a rotating wash brush, perfect for car washing.

Best Performance

3. NorthStar Steam And Hot Water

Stand Out Features
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Sight glass to check pump oil levels
  • Temperature control
  • Up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature
  • 50 foot non marking hose
  • Honda GX390 engine
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Our Take

The NorthStar Gas Wet Steam & Hot Water Pressure Washer is built for the dirtiest of projects, easily cutting through grease and grime it is for those looking for serious cleaning power. This pressure washer and the Easy-Kleen Professional are a step up from the others we have reviewed, as they both come equipped with water. Temperature control.

The integrated water heating burner has a thermostat to control the water temperature up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The burner can burn a variety of fuels including fuel oil, kerosene and diesel. It uses a flow switch to turn the burner on and off, plus a fan to dissipate the heat around the heat exchanger and coil. We noticed that over long periods of time it would use a lot of fuel, so make sure you have enough at hand for your job.

Alongside the standard 4 angled quick release nozzles and a detergent nozzle the NorthStar pressure washer also comes with a steam nozzle. All nozzles are stored on the machine and can be swapped in and out depending on the job, big or small. They connect onto the 3 foot rear-entry industrial gauge lance which provides plenty of grip points for control and balance.

Sitting on four very large 14 inch pneumatic tires and constructed with a. very durable steel tube frame you will have no issues moving this around. When in operation the diagnostic lights give you quick feedback to tell you everything is running smoothly and the pump sight glass lets you quickly check oil levels.

The power in the NorthStar Gas Wet Steam & Hot Water Pressure Washer comes from the outstanding Honda GX390 engine. This 390cc, 12 HP engine connects to a premium quality triplex pump with ceramic plungers and fully adjustable pressure settings. The triplex pump provides water at up to 3000 PSI at a flow of 4.0 GPM, plenty of pressure for most jobs especially when used with hot water.

Large extended run fuel tanks for both the engine and the burner make sure you can continue working for long periods of time without worrying about running out. The 50 foot steel braided hose is non marking and allows you to freely move around most objects for cleaning such as yards and digger equipment.

Highly Commended

4. WEN PW3100 Electric Pressure Washer

Stand Out Features
  • 4 stroke engine
  • 30 foot hose
  • Onboard soap tank
  • 2 year warranty
  • 3100 PSI
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Our Take

The WEN 3100 Pressure Washer is an impressive machine. With a powerful 208cc 4 stroke engine that turns its axial pump to supply water at 3100 PSI. It is important to note that this commercial pressure washer has an excellent flow rate as well.

Flow rate is measured in GPM, gallons per minute. The flow rate of the WEN PW3100 is up to 2.5 GPM which gives a large enough level of flow to wash even the most stubborn of dirt away.

It includes five quick connect nozzles including a soap nozzle. The soap nozzle works seamlessly with the integrated soap tank to help with your cleaning activity. Just fill up the 32-fluid ounce soap tank with your preferred detergent and it will help cut through dirt and debris.

The nozzles connect onto a lance that has a quick release collar at the end. The lance, or wand, is as comfortable to work with as any others. It has a nice and sturdy hand grip. This is attached to the reinforced 30 foot hose, providing excellent reach around your work site.

To assist with mobility and movement across various terrain it is built on a sturdy frame and rolls on two 12-inch wheels. The benefit of large solid wheels is you can pull it across the yard without the worry that it may puncture or corrode compare to pneumatic wheels.  

At this price point and with its included 2 year warrant it is a truly excellent pressure washer, especially when you take into account its maximum pressure and flow rate.

5. Sun Joe SPX9008-PRO

Stand Out Features
  • 1800 max PSI
  • Electric 13.5 Amp/ 1800 watt brushless motor
  • 5 quick connect tips
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Detergent tank 1 gal capacity
  • 25 foot hose
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Our Take

One of only two electric commercial pressure washers on our list, the Sun Joe SPX9008-PRO is a good all-round cold-water pressure washer. It comes equipped with a high-performance brushless induction motor that generates up to 1800 PSI through its triplex pump.

Unfortunately, it isn’t fitted with pneumatic tires although its large all terrain wheels are more than strong enough. Not having pneumatic tires may be a benefit in the long run as you don’t have to worry about the chance of punctures.  

The Sun Joe comes with 5 quick connect spray tips to easily sap in and out the correct tip for the job in hand. Ranging from 0 degrees to 40 degrees plus a soap option which can apply detergent directly from the built in 1 gallon tank.

Not only can you swap out different nozzles, as standard with most commercial pressure washers, it also allows for you to set the required water pressure. Use a lower pressure setting for small jobs that you need to be careful of the surrounding area or crank it up to full power for larger areas.

Although the maximum water pressure of 1800 PSI is a lot lower than we would normally recommend for a commercial pressure washer we take an exception it is electrically powered in a mainly gas powered market.

6. Generac 6565 Commercial Pressure Washer

Stand Out Features
  • 4200 PSI
  • 420cc engine
  • Low-oil shutdown sensor
  • 5 quick click nozzle tips
  • 3 year warranty
  • 50 foot hose
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Our Take

If you are looking for something with a. bit more punch then the Generac 6565 is the commercial pressure washer for you. Utilizing a professional grade triplex pump, know to outperform axial cam pumps by up to 4 times longer life span and a huge 420cc engine to maximise pressure output. Talking of output the Generac 6565 provides up to a maximum water pressure of 4200 PSI at a whooping 4 GPM, gallons per minute.

This truly is a professional grade machine that is ready to take on almost any commercial job. Another one of its highlights is its 50 foot non marking rubber hose. Not only is this the joint longest hose on the machines we reviewed it is also made to not damage or mark the areas you have already cleaned.

Oversized 12 inch pneumatic tires make it a breeze to manoeuvre this around, even if it is on the heavier side compared to some of the other pressure washers we have reviewed. However, with the extra weight you are provided with a more powerful engine and higher quality pump.

As standard it comes with a lance and 5 quick release nozzles that are all stored on the machine. It’s well thought out and compact design make it a pleasure to use. Mixed with the quality of materials Generac uses and its high performance you really can’t go wrong with this for your commercial pressure washer.

7. Briggs & Stratton ELITE4000

Stand Out Features
  • 4000 PSI
  • 50 foot hose
  • 5 quick connect tips
  • 420cc engine
  • 2 year warranty
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Our Take

Briggs & Stratton is a well-known and highly trusted brand by millions of people around the world and the Elite 4000 series pressure washer doesn’t disappoint.

When it comes to the engine it comes equipped with a powerful 420cc Birggs and Stratton 2100 Series Engine. Briggs & Stratton are well-known for being one of the worlds leading small engine producers, using their own engines in their products helps them standout form the competition. It is a top of the line engine, including the specialist Overhead Valve technology that allows for the engine to run cooler and longer. This feature makes it exceptionally good for warmer climates and serious cleaning operations.

Its triplex pump has an adjustable pressure regulator to fine tune the PSI depending on the task at hand. With up to 4000 PSI and a maximum of 4.0 GPM available you are sure to be able to find a setting for every job.

As is common place it comes equipped with 5 quick connect nozzles that range from 0 degrees for those intricate high power jobs, all the way to a soap nozzle. The soap nozzle has a detergent injection system that allows cleaning solution to be mixed into the water stream by siphoning directly from the detergent.

Unlike some brands, the Briggs & Stratton Elite 4000 comes with 12” never go flat wheels. You will never find yourself stuck with one flat tire when moving across the yard. The 50 foot steel braided hose allows you to clean further without moving the power washer and rests out of the way at the back of the machine when not in use.

Easy start up by following the included instructions. As soon as we had it off the pallet it arrived on and topped it up with fuel it was pretty much ready to go. Make sure to keep a firm grip on the lance as it really packs a punch when turned up to full power!    

8. Pressure Pro E4040HC

Stand Out Features
  • 4000 PSI
  • 13 horsepower GX390 Honda engine
  • Thermo sensor prevents overheating
  • 50 feet of non-marking hose
  • 5 quick connect nozzles
  • Low Oil shutdown
  • 50 mesh inlet filter protects engine
Our Rating

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Our Take

Pressure Pro specialise in their pressure washer machine range. The E4040HC built by Pressure Pro is a heavy duty professional pressure washer that is built to last and put up with all the needs of a commercial task.

Built with a professional triplex plunger pump that is pressure adjustable for any job. The pump uses ceramic components to run cooler and last longer. It is also made to be easy to maintain and rebuild for cleaning.

A 390cc 13 horse power Honda engine powers the triplex pump, providing a reliable and smooth operating power source. The included thermo sense and low oil shutdown protect the engine and pump and increase its life span.

It is worth noting a few of its stand out features. This includes a 50 mesh inlet filter to stop debris before it enters the pump, potentially causing damage. A siphon tube assists in adding detergent to the flow when using the soap nozzle. The 4 other included quick connect nozzles come in a range of angles to direct the water flow as needed and under the correct pressure.

With a maximum of 4000 PSI at 4.0 GPM you will have no limit to the power provided and easily remove even the toughest stains. 3 feet of wand plus a 50 foot non marking hose make this pressure washer as manoeuvrable as the some of the best we have reviewed. Its frame is made from aircraft grade aluminium which means it will never rust or corrode. Plus, it even comes with an oil pump for the engine before you start the pressure washer up! As we always try to remind our readers, don’t forget to hold on tight with both hands as 4000 PSI is a lot of pressure.

9. Simpson Cleaning MSH3125

Stand Out Features
  • Honda GC190
  • 25 foot hose
  • 5 quick connect nozzles
  • 2 year warranty
Our Rating

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Our Take

Another excellent commercial pressure washer from Simpson Cleaning is the MSH3125 MegaShot pressure washer, it is a great alternative to the ALH3425 for those not needing quite as much power.

The MSH3125 has a lot of similarities to the ALH3425. Both have 5 quick connect nozzle tips with a range of angles that store neatly on the front of the machine, within reaching distance of the handle. They also both have 10-inch pneumatic tires, making maneuvering across undulating surfaces no issue.

The engine is where they start to differ, the MSH3125 comes installed with the Honda GC190. This is a powerful motor that supplies water at a pressure of up to 3100 PSI. It uses an axial pump to supply the flow at a reasonable 2.5 GMP.

The Honda engine benefits from being very easy to start, with only one pull, and comes with a container of engine oil to add before you start it up for the first time. Its steel chaise does make this pressure washer a bit heavier than some of the others we have reviewed, but this wasn’t seen as a drawback unless regularly unloading from a truck. The sturdy frame also means that the hose and lance mounts will not get damaged easily.

We found that the included 15 degree nozzle was prefect for most jobs. Quickly cleaning patio and yard surfaces, whilst not damaging the surface, and often found we didn’t even need detergent to get the job done. Like many of these devices the Simpson Pressure washers come ready assembled which is a big plus and shouldn’t be overlooked when ordering your own.

10. Easy-Kleen Professional Pressure Washer

Stand Out Features
  • 13 HP Honda engine
  • 4000 PSI
  • 50 foot hose
  • 5 quick release nozzles
  • 185 – 195 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Needs a battery (not supplied)
Our Rating

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Our Take

The Easy-Kleen Professional is the second of our two reviewed hot water pressure washers. Similar to the NorthStar Pressure Washer it uses a diesel fuel burner to heat up the water. With the ability to raise the temperature up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient temperature. A stand out feature of the heating element is the increased number of coils that increase its heat transfer efficiency. The stainless-steel water container is sealed with a ceramic blanket to reduce heat lose in even the coldest environments.

Unfortunately, this machine doesn’t offer a steam option, but it does include 5 quick connect nozzles at a range of sizes. Plus 50 feet of high-pressure hose means you can work over a large area or around objects such as farm equipment.  

A 14 HP Kohler commercial grade engine provides plenty of power that used with the triplex plunger pump provides 3.5 GPM at a maximum of 4000 PSI. The adjustable pressure allows you to select the correct pressure for each job. We found that 3000 PSI used with the 25 degree nozzle was more than adequate for most applications.

It should be noted that this is quite a heavy machine, especially when full of fuel. However, with its 4 wheel frame and 13 inch pneumatic tires you will never struggle to move it around your yard.

Unless it is vital for you to have up to 4000 PSI we would recommend the NorthStar Pressure Washer over this one. They both have similar features, however the Easy-Kleen doesn’t offer a steam option, plus the quality of components didn’t seem to be as high.

Commercial Pressure Washer Buyers Guide

Engine Power

Pressure washers use an electric motor or a gas-powered engine to turn a pump that forces water through a nozzle. When picking a commercial pressure washer it is important to understand what size engine you are buying and what its requirements are for maintenance.

Electric pressure washers are becoming increasingly popular as they are much easier to use. Just plug directly into the power source and you are ready to go. They also require less maintenance as they are a self-contained unit. The limiting factor with an electrical engine is how far you can be from a power source.

If you need an option that allows you complete freedom of movement then we recommend a gas-powered pressure washer. There are a few more factors to take into account when using a gas engine, notably fuel and oil usage. Make sure you always have enough fuel to complete your job and keep an eye on the oil levels inside the machine. The highest quality pressure washers come with an oil warning system to stop the engine from running out of oil completely.  

Water Pressure

As already mentioned, in our features to look for, understanding the water pressure that can be supplied by the engine and pump is essential. PSI or pounds per square inch is the measurement in which water pressure is measured. The higher the force of the water supplied the higher the PSI.

For most commercial jobs you want a PSI of between 2500 – 3000 PSI. This is enough to clean surfaces such as decking, asphalt driveways and other cleaning jobs. However, if you are looking to strip paint or remove graffiti then we would recommend a pressure washer with 4000 PSI.

Hose and Nozzle

Commercial pressure washers often come with interchangeable nozzles that attach to the end of a wand or lance. The lance is attached to the pressure washer via a hose that carries the pressurized water. If you find yourself needing a longer hose you can often get extension hoses.

Depending on the job you are undertaking you will want to select a different nozzle as they each have their own properties. The standard 0-degree nozzle shoots out a direct jet of water onto a surface, this is great for maximum pressure but is rarely used as it covers such a small area. The 15-degree and the 25-degree nozzle are our two go to nozzles as they are great at removing dirty and grime but also cover a wider area.

If your pressure washer has a detergent setting it will come with a specific soap nozzle. The soap nozzle is often around 65-degrees wide helps apply soap to the intended surface and assist in aerating the soap. Once a layer of soap is applied, we found switching to the 25-degree nozzle made it much easier to clean.

Other specialised nozzles include the rotary nozzle that may not come as standard with your commercial pressure washer. However, we would recommend investing in one as it combines the high pressure of the 0-degree nozzle but as it rapidly rotates it covers the area of a 25-degree nozzle.

Water temperature and detergents

As highlighted in our reviews a hot water pressure washer is much more effective at removing grime and grease. But it can also be a life saver for cleaning in cold or freezing temperatures where a cold-water pressure washer would be completely ineffective.

Commercial pressure washers that can provide hot water are considerably more expensive than a standard cold-water pressure washer. This is because they need to have the additional heating element and tank required to supply the hot water. However, they often come with powerful engines to provide a high pressure and make cleaning large equipment much easier.

Even if you don’t have a hot water pressure washer adding pressure washer detergent can make a job a lot easier. Detergent is often used with cold-water commercial pressure washers as it can help break up grease and lift particles away from the surface. We would recommend if possible, to use an environmentally friendly soap that is natural and biodegradable.

You have to make sure you use the correct soap depending on your application. Where your pressure washer adds detergent is important to note as well because only certain chemicals can be added upstream of the pump. This is because they can cause damage to the seals on the pump.  

Portability and Tires

As mentioned in our main features to look out for, the portability and weight of the machine you pick are important to consider. If you are going across uneven ground to get to your work site then pneumatic tires are recommended. Pneumatic tires also help in reducing vibrations caused by the pump and engine, these also help in lowering the noise level of the machine.

Solid and puncture resistant tires are great for lighter machines that you might be lifting in and out of a vehicle regularly. It can be a pain to go to use your pressure washer only to find you have a flat tire.  

Accessories

There are many after-market pressure washer accessories that can make a job a lot easier. From dedicated patio and yard cleaners that include a brush and rotate to cover a large area, custom car cleaning kits to clean your car without damaging it from too much pressure and even drain cleaning rods!

There are also plenty of different nozzle attachments that can clip onto your current lance or quick connect to your hose.

Living in California?

If you live in California you will have heard of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations that have set regulations on Small off-road engines (SORE). These regulations have led to the emissions-reducing by 40-80% compared to when the program began.

This makes it much safer to work with machines that have been proven to be CARB compliant. When choosing your commercial pressure washer make sure you check that it is CARB compliant, especially if you live in California where it is a requirement.

FAQ’s

How do you effectively use a pressure user?

To effectively use a pressure washer first remove all loose dirt and debris from the area using a brush and a leaf blower. Make sure you are wearing all of your safety equipment before starting your job. Proceed in moving your pressure washer to a sensible location in the middle of your work area. Connect it to the garden faucet and turn it on fully to allow a constant stream of water to your machine.

Adjust the choke and throttle on your gas pressure washer before starting. Allow water to run through the machine to prime the system. Start with a low-pressure nozzle such as a 45-degree nozzle to get used to the power of the water and work your way up the nozzles until you find the perfect nozzle for the job.

Starting slowly about a foot and a half away from the surface, make continuous movements from side to side. Make sure you don’t stay in one position as you can damage the surface. After you have loosened all of the debris from the area you may have to wash the area down at very low pressure or use a garden hose.

How much is a commercial power washer?

A commercial power washer can range from around $350 up to $3000 depending on the features that it comes with. More powerful pressure washers require larger engines and higher quality pumps and are therefore more expensive. The most expensive commercial pressure washers include a water heater to be the most effective at removing grease and grime.

How do you price commercial pressure washing jobs?

When estimating a commercial pressure washing job there are a couple of factors to take into account. Firstly, determine the size of the area that needs to be covered. This is the main factor as you can work out how much square footage is going to be required to be cleaned. We would recommend a pricing structure that is based around ‘per square foot’ rather than per hour, but you have to be accurate with you price otherwise you can find yourself working hours you didn’t charge for.

Secondly, what is it that needs to be cleaned. If it is a fence, wall or patio area then you can easily work out the square footage and quickly see results. However, if it is a fleet of commercial vehicles or boats then it is more difficult to judge and you might have to use specific accessories to complete the job.

Thirdly, don’t forget your overheads. It’s easy to forget to include the costs of gasoline, cleaning products, equipment, and vehicle loan.

How often should you have your house power washed?

We wouldn’t say that there is any fixed time span to how long you should leave it between having your house pressure washed. We would say that a good rule of thumb to follow is 1 to 2 years between each wash. There are many benefits to keeping your house clean on the outside, it removes mold, mildew and bird droppings that can be not only unsightly but also damaging.

However, make sure you use and expert with trusted reviews as you can easily damage window screens, damage siding and even rip of paint if not done correctly.

Can pressure washing damage windows?

A high power pressure washer can easily break windows. Not only can they break windows but also the seals around the edge of the windows. This can lead to the windows getting moisture ingress between the laminate layers and fogging up.

We would recommend that only specialists with the correct knowledge and experience attempt to wash an area that is close to windows. You can sometimes have flying objects coming off a yard hitting a window and cause it to smash if not careful.

What is the best commercial power washer?

We would recommend the Simpson Cleaning ALH 3425 for basic commercial jobs such as cleaning yards and fences as it provides plenty of power and is built using high-quality parts. If you are looking to cover a larger area or regularly wash heavy greasy plant equipment, we recommend a heated water pressure washer such as the NorthStar Gas Wet Steam and Hot Water Pressure Washer. This is a very powerful machine that will easily cope with any job day after day.

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