Whether you are a boy or a girl, no doubt you got roped into washing the family car as a kid on weekends. When it came to my turn, I embraced the assigned toil. I knew that I had no choice and it was a chore that was handed down from generation to generation. You could not balk lest you reap the punishment of rejection. We did not waste money at the car wash, even though they did a superior job and threw in a waxing on top for mere dollars. On Saturday morning, after cartoons, we got out the bucket and a giant sponge. You were lucky if you had siblings to help. It’s hard for a five-year-old to cope alone. The best part was the detergent. Suds were the saving grace of the nasty task.
Mind you, this job could take hours. If there had been rain or snow, the tires were caked with mud and some major brushing was called for. Chrome work was dreaded, especially if an application of buffing cream was required. Tiny hands were taxed and tired. Mom knew that rewards were to be expected: hot cocoa, home-made goodies, a quarter, etc. You do have to bribe the young ones. You can’t fool them into thinking it’s fun, can you? It became rote, however, and moaning and groaning ceased rapidly when you got harsh looks. The repercussions of disdain were to be avoided at all costs.
Years later, I am grown up and now sincerely regret not having an electric pressure washer for the recurring job. Even quite small, I could have handled a portable model. It would have been better than the alternative and I went to bed many a Saturday night with seriously weary muscles. Did they exist then? Of course. Dad preferred the real thing, however. Not me. Given the hearty nature of the chore, I say go for the power. I think he had some kind of moral issue in mind.
Even the basic, low-priced power washer models have brush attachments and multiple nozzles. You can choose what you need and you are ready in an instant. There are types that use gas if you don’t have an outlet. This is a car-washing must and a device of first resort.
I was taught to use a power washer by my uncle who took pity on me, but I was already a teenager by then and fairly strong. I didn’t care anymore having been worn down into compliance. I was used to the bucket method and squeezing a dripping sponge was par for the course. The power unit was a marvel, however, and I never looked back. I could use it on the greasy garage door, the oily driveway, the leaf-covered sidewalk, the filthy windows, and more. If you clean regularly, you can attack it once and then just touch up. Some families let things go until spring cleaning time. Whatever the practice you have established, you will find this item of the essence.