A good-value pressure washer that is more than up to the task of a wide range of cleaning jobs. From cleaning patios and paths to cars and walls, this will keep your outdoor space looking its best all year long.
Easy to use
Simple to switch between cleaning functions
A more powerful model might be better for larger gardens
By Beth Murton
The Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer claims to provide 'fast, flexible, and effortless cleaning' for a wide range of cleaning tasks. Whether you're looking to remove grime from patios, garden furniture, cars or gutters, it offers different settings to handle each task. It also comes with a high-pressure detergent nozzle to make cleaning jobs even easier.
All of the above sounded like music to my ears as after a winter and spring of lots of rain and muddy weather my patio was in desperate need of a deep clean this year before summer finally arrived. Although I've used a pressure washer before, this is the first one I've used for any length of time and I was keen to see if attacking the dirt and grime with a pressure washer really would make a difference to my outdoor space.
Find out how the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer performed on my patio and other surfaces, then check out more options in our buying guide to the best pressure washer.
Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer specifications
- Motor power 1900W
- Max pressure 135 bar
- Max flow rate 410L per hour
- Hose length 7m
- Power cord length 5m
- Nozzles 3-in-1 nozzle
- Weight (without accessories) 7.9kg
- Detergent system high pressure foam
First impressions of the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer
The pressure washer comes in a relatively compact box, which was light enough for me to carry through to the garden on my own. It was easy to lift it out of the box using the sturdy handle at the top of the pressure washer. The wheels were already attached so I could simply stand it on the floor, unpack the rest of the box and start reading the manual - always my least favourite part of using garden tools!
The pressure washer feels quite sturdy and the big, chunky handle and large wheels certainly makes it easy to manoeuvre it to where you want it on your patio.
Much to my husband's annoyance, I tend to be a little gung-ho about reading instructions and prefer to just get on with the job as quickly as possible, which typically ends up with me getting stuck 10 minutes down the line and having to start all over again, usually with his help.
On this occasion, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was very little to assemble as the main body of the pressure washer is already complete.
The manual comes with simple instructions that are really easy to follow. A series of diagrams illustrates how to adjust the handle, attach the lance, high pressure hose, water supply hose and the detergent attachment if you are using it (more on that later).
Within a few minutes I'd gone through the instructions and fitted the attachments. I already had the garden hose ready and attached to the outside tap too, so it was simply a case of hooking it up to the fully assembled pressure washer, turning on the tap and I was ready for some cleaning action.
It's worth noting that you can also use the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer with water fed from a water butt or tank, so you don't necessarily need to have an outside tap.
What is the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer like to use?
Once you've assembled the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer, you need to make sure that it's on level ground to ensure that it works correctly. Placing it on a paved area such as your patio, rather than on the lawn at the edge of the patio is the best option.
It's easy to move the pressure washer to where you need it by lifting it using the large handle on top of the machine. It has large wheels so you can also pull it along. The handle is extendable for complete ease of use, so even if you're tall like I am, it's easy to reach down for the handle and pull it along behind you. Don't try and pull it by the hose as you could risk damaging the attachment, plus it could topple over and damage the main body of the machine.
Cleaning the patio pavers and pathway
I'll be upfront here and say that our patio has certainly seen better days! It's on the list to be replaced when we extend our house in the coming months, so the pavers are quite old and we haven't been the best at keeping on top of cleaning them. The paving is a chequerboard design of alternating red and yellow-toned slabs so having them covered with a slight layer of dirt actually helps to mask this awful colour combination! In the past we've used the good old-fashioned method of scrubbing the patio with a broom and water to give it a refresh after winter.
That being said, this spring they were in a particularly bad state after a very wet and muddy winter where the garden and patio often resembled a paddling pool rather than a welcoming spot to sit outside. The weather had taken its toll on the paving slabs and the patio and garden path were in serious need of a good clean.
If yours is in a similar state, our guide on how to clean a patio has lots of useful tips to help you get it looking great again.
Patio before cleaningImage 1 of 2
Patio before cleaningImage 1 of 2
Garden path before cleaningImage 2 of 2
Thanks to the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer's 3-in-1 nozzle, you can take your pick from three different settings. Choose from the fan, rotary, and pencil jet settings, depending on the task in hand. The manual has illustrations to show you what setting you should use for different surfaces.
To get started on the patio, I used the rotary setting as advised in the manual as this is best for removing dirt on patios. I worked my way across the patio to do a general clean of the entire space before I tackled any problem areas.
For some of the most stubborn areas, I switched to the pencil jet setting, which directs a narrower jet of water to where you need it most. Moving between the different settings is easy as you simply twist a section on the lance of the pressure washer until it clicks into place for the next mode. The first couple of attempts I thought I'd adjusted it properly but the water jet didn't change. Once I realised that you had to wait until you heard (or felt) it click into place, it was easy.
I really liked the ease of switching between the modes. Unlike some other pressure washers, there's no need to add a different nozzle to the lance each time you want to move on to a different task or switch between settings.
After a couple of times going over each of the pavers on the patio, there was quite a lot of water on the surface of the patio which I needed to clear. You can do this by using the pressure washer to literally push the water off to one side, but I also found that using a stiff heavy-duty garden broom was a good way to remove the excess water so I could see what still needed an extra clean.
As my patio and garden path hadn't been cleaned with a pressure washer before, one deep clean wasn't enough to get rid of the many layers of dirt on the paving. I gave it a second clean the following weekend and I could really see the difference by then. The colours had been restored and I could once again see the texture of the paving slabs - if only I liked my paving I would have been really happy!
Cleaning the car
Having a pressure washer certainly made cleaning the car much easier and quicker. I used the fan setting to give the entire car an initial wash down before tackling some of the dirtier areas with a cleaning mitt. The wheel arches and wheels needed a little more attention as they were dirtier than the body of the car, but giving them a little more attention using the fan setting was enough to get them clean again too.
Bosch advises that vehicle tyres and tyre valves must be cleaned from a minimum distance of 30 cm in order to avoid damage by the high-pressure jet.
The 5m power cable also makes it easy to move around the car when cleaning it without having to move the extension cable to a different spot in order to reach the far side of the car.
The main feature that I liked when it came to cleaning the car was that you could change the angle of the fan. It means you can easily work from left to right and then top to bottom by simply twisting the head of the lance rather than having to twist your arm in an awkward direction.
When cleaning the patio, the windows, doors and walls at the back of my house got quite dirty as water splashed up them from the patio. Not too much of a problem as I could simply use the pressure washer to give them a good clean too.
It easily washed any of the mud splatter off the surfaces, and I was careful not to aim the jet at any of the window or door seals in case it caused any water ingress.
The only issue I had was that I got too close to the rendered wall at the back of the house when using the pressure washer. I also had it on the incorrect setting so the jet of water was too powerful and it chipped a section of the paintwork. This was definitely down to user error.
My garage walls were also given a good clean. Although they didn't look particularly dirty, I was surprised by the difference it made cleaning them with the pressure washer. The masonry paint is back to its original colour now that any grubbiness has been washed off.
How easy is it to use the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer?
If you haven't used a pressure washer a great deal, then it's quite easy to get the hang of it. However, there are a few things I learned the hard way about how to use a pressure washer.
When cleaning a patio, you really do need to direct the pressure washer at the paving and make sure it doesn't hit the joints between the slabs. Not only will hitting the joints result in you loosening or removing the sand or mortar between the different slabs, you're also likely to get a big splash of water (and in my case mud) fly back at you from the paving joint.
Cleaning patios can also be a pretty dirty job. I wore my wellies for the first clean, but for the second clean a couple of weeks later it was a hot day so I just wore my flip flops. My feet and legs got absolutely covered in dirty, muddy water splashes and took a fair bit of scrubbing to get them clean. I'll be sticking to wellies and old clothes going forward!
These mistakes are definitely down to user error, however, and not the pressure washer. I found the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer pretty simple to use. It's easy to set up, switch between modes and cleans a wide range of surfaces with ease.
Additional features of the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer
The Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer also comes with a detergent attachment to make it even easier to clean stubborn stains. When you attach the foam bottle, you can then spray detergent onto the surface you're cleaning before switching back to the main fan setting to rinse it off.
For cleaning our patio and the car we didn't need to use this as the water on its own was enough to get rid of the dirt. I'd also be mindful of using detergent on our patio as I wouldn't want the run-off water to soak into the soil and damage our plants. Plus with a puppy that likes to drink/eat anything in sight, detergent-filled water all over the patio is far from ideal! I can imagine that over winter when the car is really muddy and dirty, however, that the detergent attachment could be a useful addition.
If you are planning to use the detergent attachment, Bosch has these tips:
- First, select the fan jet setting on the 3-in-1 nozzle and remove the heavy dirt.
- Attach the foam bottle and spray on the detergent sparingly.
- When cleaning vertical surfaces, apply the detergent from bottom to top. When rinsing off, work from top to bottom.
- Rinse off the loosened dirt and detergent using the fan jet setting on the 3-in-1 nozzle.
It's also possible to buy extra attachments for the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer. These include things like a wash brush, car cleaning kit, a range of nozzles and an extension hose.
There's also the AquaSurf 250 patio cleaner attachment, which I really like the sound of. It can be attached to the pressure washer as an additional tool for cleaning patios, stone pathways and even decking. It works by hovering over the ground to help remove algae, lichen and moss. Although I haven't had the opportunity to test out this extra attachment, I think it could be a great added extra.
Storing the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer
The manual advises that once you've turned off the main switch, you should then operate the trigger to drain any remaining water from inside the high pressure hose.
Cleaning the pressure washer is easy too. All you need to do is remove any debris from the ventilation slots and give it all a quick wipe down with a cloth. The manual advises against using water, solvents or polishes as this can damage the exterior finish.
The compact design of the pressure washer means it fits neatly into a corner of our garden shed and it doesn't take up much space. Handy when the shed feels like its bursting at the seams with garden tools, garden furniture cushions, the best pizza oven and a mass of children's garden toys. The handle folds down so it takes up less room and there’s also on-board storage for the power cable, lance and sprayer so it's easy to store everything together in one spot.
When storing the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer, you need to make sure that you don't place the main body of the pressure washer on top of any of the cables, or twist the high pressure hose either as this could permanently damage it.
Bosch also has these tips for storing your pressure washer away for several months if you're not going to be using it over winter:
- Drain water out of pump running motor for a few seconds.
- Pull trigger to release all water.
- Do not place other objects on top of the machine.
- Store in a frost-free area.
How does the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer rate online?
After looking at various customer reviews online, the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer rates quite highly, with most people giving it 4 or 5 stars. Reviewers comment on how easy it is to assemble and use, plus how it's powerful enough to cope with a wide range of cleaning tasks. Many people describe it as 'a great all-rounder' that's lightweight and easy to store.
All of those comments fit in with my own experience of using this pressure washer. This is mid-range in terms of price for Bosch pressure washers, but I think it's a great-value all-rounder to have in your garden shed.
About the review and our reviewer
Beth Murton is the editor of Gardeningetc and has been writing about homes and gardens for 18 years for a wide range of magazines.
She lives in the Midlands with her husband and two young children in a renovated 1930s home. The large rear garden was one of the house's biggest selling points, and in recent years she has made lots of changes to the space to make it work for family life.
She has a medium sized patio space, a paved garden path, two cars and some very dirty garage walls, so there were plenty of surfaces to test the pressure washer on. As with all our reviews, the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer has been tested first-hand in her garden over a number of weeks before returning it to the brand, using it just as you would so you know exactly what you are buying.
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