I found this article at http://www.ultimatewasher.com/how-to-washing.htm and thought I would share it:
The easiest way to learn how to use a power washer is to first understand how the power washing systems work. There are four basic elements of the powerwashing process regardless of what machine or method you use. The four elements and power washer tips are: pressure, water flow rate, cleaning solution and heat. If we take out just one of these four elements, the cleaning characteristics will change. For example, if you can only afford a cold water pressure washer instead of hot water washer, you will have to compensate for that loss. In other words, pressure washer basics tell you that you will have to add more chemicals, apply higher pressure and use more water to achieve better powerwash results. Therefore, you will always have to make adjustments combining these four elements in order to achieve the ideal cleaning atmosphere for your particular job. Nevertheless, when learning how power washing systems work and how to power wash, keep in mind that detergents emulsify the dirt better and faster as the temperature increases. This is especially true when cleaning oil and grease from a concrete surface. That's why hot water power washing systems are perfect for such jobs.
So, how does the high pressure washing work? It is in fact the process of breaking the bond between the dirt and the surface being cleaned. As we mentioned earlier, for the best results you will combine four essential elements. However, shortfalls do exist. Here is another example of how pressure washers work: let's say you notice you have a little detergent left and you decide to decrease the amount injected through pressure washer. A cleaning solution decrease in this case will have a less effect on the debris being cleaned. Because of that, now you must work with other elements to make up for that loss. You have to increase the pressure, water temperature and the water volume. Even though, you are less likely to reach the same level of efficiency (by decreasing the amount of detergent), you will somewhat neutralize that loss.
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