Certain stubborn stains cannot be removed no matter how hard you try to clean a surface. But thankfully, pressure washers exist. I feel blessed to use this machine every time I need to clean my vehicles, driveway, patio, and even walls.
Unfortunately, however, this machine has proved to be a curse in disguise too. Are you wondering why? Well, because it can damage surfaces and cause harm to the operator as well if not used properly.
Are pressure washers strong enough to cut through skin and bones? And what are the safety precautions that one must keep in mind while using a pressure washer? If you also have these questions in mind, I am here to answer them.
I have conducted several real-life experiments to find out the adverse effects of using a pressure washer wrongly. Gladly, I also know the ways of preventing such accidents.
So without delaying further, let’s dive into the blog now!
Here is what you will read in this article:
- How much PSI is harmful to the Operator
- Can a Pressure Washer Cut through Skin and Bone
- Safety Tips while Using a Pressure Washer
- Safety Equipments to Use While Pressure Washing
Are Pressure Washers Safe?
The first question that comes to mind is whether pressure washers are safe? Honestly, the answer to this depends on how you use the machine. If you are following all the safety precautions, there is no need to worry about getting injured. It also depends on your expertise level. Professional cleaners do not face as many accidents as a beginner does. Lastly, you must remember that high PSI pressure washers are more dangerous than low PSI ones.
Therefore, you need to follow three basic rules to stay safe while using a pressure washer:
- Follow the safety guidelines.
- Practice well to gain experience.
- Use a low PSI pressure washer if you are a beginner!
How Much PSI Pressure Washer is Harmful to the Operator?
Most people use a pressure washer whose PSI ranges from 1500 to 4000; but do you know what PSI level can be dangerous for the operator? Experts believe any pressure washer having a PSI of above 2000 can harm humans if not handled properly. That is why professionals mostly use high-level PSI pressure washers. Hence, if you are not experienced in pressure washing, do not go above 2000 PSI.
Are you wondering what harm can be caused if you use a higher PSI cleaner? I have discussed that right below. Keep reading!
Can Pressure Washer Cut Through Skin and Bone?
This is where I discuss the most important topic of this blog. I have wondered whether a pressure washer is destructive enough to penetrate through skin and bone. Obviously, I couldn’t wait for an accident to happen to confirm my doubts. Hence, I carried out a few experiments.
Before trying on skin or bone, I carried the experiment on a few fruits. Even though it is unrelated to skin and bone, I would still like to share the results for your better understanding.
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First, I took a 2000 PSI pressure washer and penetrated the water through three fruits- orange, apple, and watermelon. To my surprise, the pressure washer was able to penetrate through all of these three fruits successfully. Yes, it took a bit longer to damage the watermelon shell, but it did. Once I was satisfied with the experiment results on fruits, I took a pound of pork as my next sample.
When I allowed the water through the pressure washer to fall on the skin, I saw that it penetrated through that as well. I also observed that the damage was inversely proportional to the distance between the cleaner and the skin surface. Hence, when I moved closer, the injury was more. This proves that if you are not careful enough while using a pressure washer, it can easily cut through your skin and cause lifetime damage. Some experts also believe that a high PSI pressure washer is strong enough to cut off a finger.
Once I knew that a pressure washer could cut through skin, my next question was whether it could penetrate bone.
So this time, I took a pound of pork with a strong bone covered in the flesh. I repeated the same experiment on this sample. Fortunately, the results this time were less threatening. Like before, the water penetrated through the flesh, causing harm to the skin. However, it was not able to cut through the bone. This shows that a pressure washer is only strong enough to damage your flesh, but the operator is safe when it comes to breaking bones.
I know all of this sounds dangerous, and you might be a little too scared of using the pressure washer ever again. But calm down because such dangers can be easily prevented if you take proper safety precautions. So read on to know how to protect yourself from pressure washer mishaps!
Safety Tips While Using a Pressure Washer
I have learned a lot about maintaining safety while using a pressure washer in the past few years. If you are wondering what safety tips you should follow, I have listed down a few below!
Never Aim the Wand at Anyone Including Yourself
No matter how playful your mood is, please do not aim the wand of a pressure washer at anyone ever. Remember, this also includes you. Instead, try to keep the angle of the wand downward, focused on the cleaning spot. If you are using a 0-degree nozzle, remembering this safety point is even more important because the water coming out of a 0-degree nozzle can easily harm humans!
Do Not Operate the Machine at Heights
When you start a pressure washer, the kickback is really strong. However, most people cannot manage the kickback when they work at heights, due to which they fall and end up getting injured. Hence, instead of climbing to heights, use an extension wand or attachment to clean high places.
Be Careful While Selecting the Nozzle
As said before, a 0-degree nozzle is more harmful to the skin and bone of the operator. That is why if you are a beginner, use the highest degree nozzle available as it comes with the lowest risk factor. Then, slowly as you gain expertise, you can change the nozzle degree to your liking.
Take a Look at Your Surrounding
Make sure you take a good look at your surroundings before starting pressure washing. Please keep your children and pets out of the area because they are more fragile than such machines. Also, beware of any obstacles or slippery floors so that you do not trip over while cleaning.
Avoid Operating a Gas Powered Pressure Washer in an Enclosed Area
If you are working indoors, please do not use a gas-powered pressure washer because it releases carbon monoxide, which is harmful. Instead, replace your gas-powered pressure washer with an electric one when cleaning indoors.
Store the Pressure Washer in a Protective Place
Once the cleaning is over, ensure that you store the pressure washer in a dry and well-ventilated place. It should also be safe from any sort of electric sparks. While storing the machine, other things to keep in mind are removing all gasoline from its engine and protecting the pump with AR Pump Saver if you intend to keep it stored for more than three months.
Safety Equipment to Use When Pressure Washing
Besides maintaining the above-mentioned basic safety precautions, you need to wear effective safety equipment to protect yourself. Wearing your regular clothes will not help when pressure washing. Hence, please add on these safety equipments to your attire the next time you use the machine: Boots, Gloves, Safety Glasses, Long Pants, Hearing protection
I hope that my blog has answered all your queries related to whether a pressure washer can cut through skin and bone. Moreover, I have tried my best to note down all the possible safety precautions that one must take to avoid accidents during pressure washing. Hence, don’t be scared! Keep in mind everything I shared today, and let me know your experience using a pressure washer.
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