Gas stations and convenience stores are notoriously dirty, mainly because they are such high-traffic areas and are usually opened for very long periods of time – sometimes even 24/7. Because of this, if you are the owner of a gas station and need to keep the building clean, you can easily do it yourself if you know what type of pressure washer to use.
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A Gas Stains Pressure Washer Needs a High PSI
While the PSI number is what you need to look at first, you should look for a fairly high number to accommodate gas stations. A total of 3,000 PSI is normally considered a commercial pressure washer, and you’ll need one with 2,500 to 3,000 PSI to get the job done right.
What Else to Look for
In addition to the PSI number, you also need one more thing: a pressure washer that accommodates warm water instead of one that only takes cool tap water. This is because you’ll get a lot of dried-on gum, oil, and lots of other gunk and grime stuck to the station building and the pumps, and cool water simply won’t clean it.
In most instances, hot water and a PSI of 2,500 to 3,000 will remove most gunk off of the building and gas pumps, but you have to know what the building is made out of to find the right cleaning wand. A wide cleaning wand usually works best because you can clean large areas at a time. Also check to see what your substrate is made of. If it’s asphalt, you’ll have to check with the manufacturer of the pressure washer to make sure the PSI number isn’t too high or low for asphalt.
For spot cleaning, you might want to use some type of degreaser or solvent, at least on the problem areas. Other than these things, you just have to make sure you have the right items and cleaning materials for the job, which may include a chemical injector, flat-surface cleaner, and wastewater containment tools such as berms, vacuum, and so on.
Why a DIY Job?
Cleaning your gas station yourself is often the best choice because each of these cleaning jobs can cost $200 to $500, and when you’re trying to clean the facility once a month – which is recommended – this can get expensive. If your gas station is owned by a large chain, they may pay for the job to get done, but more often than not, that won’t be the case.
But not to worry because a 2,500 PSI pressure washer is neither difficult to find nor expensive. In fact, the Homdox electric pressure washer offers a 2,500 PSI, 1.6 GPM (gallons of water used per minute), detergent tank, and even four nozzle adapters, all for under $110. Other 2,500 PSI pressure washers offer roughly the same for a very low price.
You can shop around for these pressure washers so you get the best deal, and the cleaning agents shouldn’t cost that much, which means doing the job yourself will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here is a list of frequently asked questions that are fairly common with pressure washers used for gas stations and gas pumps:
Are pumps cleaned differently than gas station facilities?
Yes. Gas pumps are normally cleaned by hand and not with a pressure washer.
Is a pressure-washing job going to take a long time?
Not necessarily; however, after you spray the degreaser or other detergent onto the surface of the building, you’ll need to let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you rinse it off completely. You’ll need to take this time into consideration when determining how long the job is going to take.
What type of wand tip should I use when cleaning a gas station building?
It is suggested that you use a heavy-duty turbo tip because of its power. However, be careful when using it on brick or wood because it can actually be too powerful and therefore cause damage to the facility.
Can I use a gas-powered pressure washer for this job?
Probably not. Remember, you’ll need to use hot water for your gas station job, and it is difficult to find a gas-powered pressure washer that can accommodate hot water. Instead, you’ll likely need an electric one.
If you are the manager or owner of a gas station, making sure it is professionally cleaned once a month is crucial if you want the building and the pumps to look good and work right. A hot-water pressure washer with a PSI of around 2,500 will work best, and fortunately, these are some of the least expensive and most common washers on the market.
It may take you a month or two to get the process down right, but afterward you will be able to keep your facility and gas pumps clean and functional for many years to come.