Feel the power

I had no idea it was so addicting.

I know – that’s what the junkies always say when they are strung out and have lost everything they own to support their habit.

But this is different. I just didn’t know that when I fired it up and pulled the trigger I would be so fascinated, so enthralled. So … happy.

No, I haven’t taken up drugs or anything else illicit. I am talking about feeling the magic of using a power washer.


My husband Eric was gone over the weekend and I had Friday off. My plan was to power wash the deck. I didn’t even know we had a power washer until I mentioned last week that it needed doing. He told me there was one in the back shed. Kinda makes me wonder what else is back there.

About mid-day I got everything dragged off the deck (that took a bit of perseverance) and hooked stuff up the way Eric had told me to. I pushed the power button and it started, ran for about 30 seconds and quit. Hmmm… I checked the outlet, tried plugging it in someplace else. Nothing worked. So I did what any logical, grown up person would do when confronted with this type of problem. I called my daddy.

He came over and checked it out. It wouldn’t work for him either. So he brought over his gas-powered power washer. I didn’t know he had one either. These guys have been holding out on me.

It took me several hours to clean off the deck. It was really grimy. By the time my 17-year-old son Matthew came home from work, I had it about two-thirds done. I heard him come out the front door and turned around, knowing exactly what I would see — a teen-ager who saw a thing with a motor that blew water out really hard and desperately wanted to play with it. He would have worn the same look at age 4.

Mindful of his million-dollar shoes, he stepped closer to see the dirt and grime separate from the wood, leaving a clean path. He looked closer at the gas-powered motor, checked out the length of hose and eyed the trigger. Then held out his hand.

“I have to try,” he said.

Feeling a bit Tom Sawyer-ish, I handed over the power. I made a few brief comments and left him to it. I finished sorting out the veggies I had picked earlier, chatted with the dog for a few minutes and headed back to the front deck. I had left Matt alone with the power washer for about 20 minutes and knew his attention span would be travelling. I walked back up on the deck just as he gave up on methodically cleaning off dirt and had started writing his name all over.

I sent him on his way and went back to cleaning. After finally finishing the floor of the deck, I did the top rail, a bit of the cedar siding of the house, the wooden deck chairs and table, the plastic chair and the inside, outside, top and bottom of the Weber. I had power washed through the brief rain burst, a longer rain burst, through the comings and goings of the kid and a second visit from my dad. I even briefly eyed my kitchen floor with speculation, but decided that was going too far.

I power washed for at least six hours. The only time I stopped was to make the sauce for a cucumber tomato salad because Matt was going to a potluck and needed a dish to pass. I made him cut up the veggies.

By the time I was done power washing I was covered head to toe is grime. Cleaning is a messy business. So I throttled things on down and power washed my legs.
Several things I learned during the experience:

I can shoot one of my rubber Croc shoes quite a distance across the front lawn with a power washer.

The dog does not like the power washer.

If I compensate for gravity, I can hit my mailbox from my front deck with the power washer.

The neighbor’s cat moved too fast for me to hit it with the power washer.

Most importantly, I need my own power washer.

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