A person using a pressure washer to clean a concrete walkway.

"If you will use a pressure washer three times or more each year, it can pay to own one," says Dave Trezza, a CR testing leader. If you were to rent a pressure washer from a home center it could cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per day. Buying an electric pressure washer can cost you about $100 to $200, and a gas pressure washer will cost $300 to $600.

More on Pressure Washers

You may find frequent small jobs for an electric pressure washer, such as cleaning mildew from your patio furniture. Ownership of a large gas pressure washer—good for long-neglected decks and dirty siding—will require engine maintenance and room for storage, which can make renting more appealing for some.

Whether you choose to buy or rent a pressure washer, Consumer Reports cautions against using a zero-degree cleaning nozzle for any job. And always wear closed shoes, long pants, and protective gear on eyes and ears. 

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the May 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.