How to Reset or Powerwash Your Chromebook

2. Use a deck brush to pre-treat the surface

Before you put that power washer to use, see what you can achieve with some suds and water. Amabile recommends pre-treating your deck by applying a mixture of water and mild dish detergent or non-toxic oxygen bleach with a deck brush, he says. If you have a composite deck with no worn-in grime, no power washing is necessary; just rinse away these suds with a garden hose.


Cleaning Siding With a Pressure Washer

Siding, especially vinyl siding, is prone to dulling and mildew growth. Luckily, the best way to brighten your home’s exterior is a thorough pressure washing.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the job.

  • A gas-powered pressure washer
  • A green- or white-tipped nozzle
  • A soap nozzle
  • A long-handled, stiff-bristle brush
  • House exterior cleaning solution

To get started, take a tour of the outside of your house. Keep an eye out for loose pieces of siding, cracks, and other breaches that could admit water during the cleaning process.

These problem areas should be patched up before you pressure wash.

Once you’re ready to start cleaning, follow these steps.

  • Attach the soaping nozzle to the pressure washer’s wand and fill the machine’s detergent reservoir.
  • Use the pressure washer to apply soap to the siding. If your house has any especially dirty areas, you may need to either pretreat them and/or use a scrub brush to loosen the dirt or mildew.
  • Switch to the green- or white-tipped nozzle to rinse the siding. Both of these nozzles produce a stronger, higher-pressure stream of water, so rinsing away the dirt and soap and clearing any tough stains should be much easier.

Depending on the size of your home, this job may take a while. Don’t rush, especially if you need to use a ladder. If the job takes a few days or weekends to complete, so be it. Your safety is the most important consideration.

Depending on the weather and other environmental factors, you will most likely need to wash your siding every couple of years.

Final Thoughts

You may have assumed that pressure washing is a cakewalk, but as you’ve discovered, cleaning your home’s exterior safely and effectively requires good technique and a fair amount of elbow grease. Following the steps carefully will ensure that your house is dirt and mildew free when you’ve finished the chore. Be sure you assemble all necessary materials before you start; take the time to protect plants, doorways, and windows; scrub the siding; and then start pressure washing. If you’re planning to paint, remember to time the washing properly so the siding can dry for a couple of days before you start applying paint or stain.

How to Powerwash Your Chromebook If You’re Locked Out

If you haven’t used your Chromebook or your Google account for some time, you may find yourself locked out and unable to remember the password. It may be that you’ve bought a secondhand Chromebook, and the seller hasn’t removed their profile from your machine.

In either case, the good news is that you can powerwash your Chromebook even if you’re unable to sign in. Complete the following steps:

1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R.

2. Click on “restart,” and your Chromebook will reboot.

3. When it restarts, you will be asked to confirm that you want to powerwash your Chromebook. We recommend checking the box to update your firmware to help keep your Chromebook secure. Then, click on “powerwash.”

4. Click “Continue” and your Chromebook will begin the powerwash process.

Once this is done, you’re free to sign in to your freshly “washed” Chromebook and begin using it.

Not comfortable power washing? Consider these alternatives

If you’re not confident about using a power washer, you have other options:

Sand it instead

Depending on the condition of your deck, you might want to sand it instead of power washing it, Amabile adds. Sanding will remove any old finish while flattening and smoothing weathered boards, a clean canvas for new finish.

Homeowners can rent an orbital sander to accomplish this, but again, if you’ve never used one or if your deck is larger than 100 square feet, he recommends hiring a professional who won’t damage the wood by over-sanding it.

Stick with the scrub brush

If your deck is in overall good shape, you may be able to clean your deck effectively using a mixture of mild soap and water, or water and non-chlorine oxygen bleach. This just takes more time and won’t be quite as efficient as using a power washer in tandem. If you go this route, we recommend scrubbing your deck with a brush such as the Quickie Professional Pool and Deck Scrub Brush ($7.99 at Home Depot), then rinsing it with a garden hose.

Know what your deck needs

For many homeowners, decks and roofs fall into the same category — something to fix or maintain only when broken, Kaminsky says. Yet according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report, homeowners recoup about 67% on a composite deck addition and about 72% on a wooden deck addition, all the more reason to clean and maintain these home amenities regularly.

Amabile recommends the following regimen for different deck materials:

  • Natural wood: Cedar, redwood, and other decks made of natural wood should be cleaned annually, then refinished.
  • Pressure-treated wood: Clean every two to three years, applying new finish afterward.
  • Composite material: Clean every two to three years, no refinishing necessary.

Kaminsky has seen homes with deck tiles, which can be made of hardwood, teak, mahogany, cedar, ipe, or stone such as porcelain. He recommends checking the tiles every year or two, depending on their materials, for areas that are lifting, peeling, or cracking. Then ask a licensed contractor to clean and reseal it as needed. “People tend to believe that tile is waterproof, and it is not. Water can get through the grout. When that gets damaged, it needs to be repaired,” he says.

Better cleaning with detergents

Photo 3: Cleaning cars

Photo 3: Cleaning cars

Clean cars and other items with an accessory brush and detergent. First rinse the area with water, then switch to a detergent wash and finish with a rinse.

Photo 4: Garage floor

Photo 4: Garage floor

Scour oil and dirt off a garage floor with a detergent:

  1. Rinse surface dirt off the floor at high pressure.
  2. Change the nozzle setting to low pressure to dispense detergent.
  3. Finish by changing the nozzle back to high pressure and rinsing with water.

Photo 5: Decks Renew deck boards by holding the spray wand at a 45-degree angle 1 to 2 ft. from the decking. Keep the water stream constantly moving. Use a higher-pressure (2,000 psi or greater) gas-powered washer and a concentrated spray nozzle setting (15-degree).

Detergents and accessory brushes increase cleaning effectiveness while reducing cleaning time. When renting or buying a pressure washer, inquire what accessories and detergents are available for it. To prevent damage to the internal parts, never run bleach in the machine or use detergents not designated for use in pressure washers.

Detergents can only be run through pressure washers using a wide spray pattern. In addition, electric power washers require a low-pressure setting on the spray wand. Follow your machine’s instructions for using detergents, diluting the detergent and (if necessary) hooking up a chemical injector (Photo 1).

For the best cleaning results, first, loosen the dirt with plain water under high pressure using a medium spray pattern. Next, apply the detergent using a wide nozzle setting and let the detergent sit a few minutes to penetrate the dirt. Keep the surface wet to avoid possible discoloration or damage by the detergent. Finish by resetting the nozzle to a medium pattern (or changing the nozzle) and rinsing with plain water. Switch detergents by draining the first detergent from the pressure washer, rinsing the system with plain water and introducing the next detergent.

CAUTION! Pressure washers deliver extreme pressure and can cause serious injuries if misused. For safety, follow these guidelines: Don’t point the pressure washer at people or pets or put your hand in front of the nozzle. The pressurized water stream could actually penetrate your skin or cause serious cuts. Wear safety glasses when operating the washer. Don’t use pressure washers while working from ladders. Once you squeeze the trigger, the powerful recoil on the spray wand can throw you off balance and off the ladder. Maintain a minimum 6-ft. distance when spraying water around power lines, electrical masts or outlets. Before uncoupling hoses, stop the machine, turn the water faucet off and squeeze the spray wand trigger to release all water pressure in the system. Engage the safety lock on the trigger when you’re not actually washing and when changing nozzle tips.

What to Know Before You Powerwash a Chromebook

Local files and settings cannot be recovered once a Chromebook has been Powerwashed, so read the following points carefully before proceeding.

  • Although most of Chrome OS files and user-specific settings are stored in the cloud, either associated with your Google Account or located in a server-side Google Drive repository, there are still some locally-stored items that are permanently deleted with Powerwash.
  • Files that are saved to your Chromebook’s local hard drive are often stored in the Downloads folder. The contents of this folder should always be backed up to an external device or to your Google Drive prior to initiating a Powerwash.
  • All Google Accounts previously used on your Chromebook are removed during a Powerwash, as well as any settings associated with said accounts. As long as you have the respective usernames and passwords stored elsewhere beforehand, these accounts can be restored on your Chromebook at a later time.

What To Do When a Chromebook Wont Boot

Sometimes, a Chromebook can get so corrupted that it won’t boot at all. If you turn on your device to see a warning reading ‘Chrome OS is missing or damaged,’ you’ll need to recover the operating system. 

Before starting, you’ll need a USB drive that can hold a minimum of 8 GB, that you are happy wiping. If your Chromebook has an SD or microSD slot, you can use that instead. You’ll also need another computer running the Chrome browser, with the Chromebook Recovery Utility installed via the Chrome Web Store.

Beginning on the functional computer, take the following steps:

  • Open the Chromebook Recovery Utility
  • Click Get Started
  • Select a model from the list, or enter the model number of your Chromebook (you can find this on the ‘Chrome OS is missing or damaged’ error screen)
  • Click Continue
  • Enter your USB drive, microSD or SD card, and select it from the dropdown menu
  • Click Continue > Create Now
  • When the recovery media is ready, remove it from the Chromebook

Now move over to the Chromebook with the error message and follow these steps:

  • Remove any attached peripherals like USB hard drives, keyboards, or mice
  • Press and hold Esc + Refresh (🔃) and press the Power button
  • When prompted, enter the recovery USB stick or SD/microSD card
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to recover your Chromebook’s operating system

Things You’ll Need

  • Pressure Washer
  • Safety Goggles
  • Duct Tape
  • Outside Water Faucet
  • Water Hose
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bleach and Water Mixture
  • Stiff Cleaning Brush
  • Power Washing Detergent

How to Reset Chromebook From the Login Screen

Instead of initiating the Powerwash process via Chrome’s Settings interface, you can also reset your Chromebook from the login screen by taking the following steps.

  1. While on the Chrome OS login screen and prior to authenticating, press the following keyboard shortcut: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+R

  2. A window will appear labeled Reset this Chrome device. Click Restart to begin.

  3. Your Chromebook will be restarted. After returning to the login screen, a new version of this window should be displayed. Click Powerwash.

    We recommend placing a check mark next to the Update firmware for added security option before continuing with the Powerwash process, as it provides better security protection for your device.

  4. The Confirm Powerwash dialog will now appear. Click Continue.

  5. Once complete, you can sign in with your Google Account and follow the on-screen prompts to set up your newly-restored Chromebook. 

When To Powerwash a Chromebook?

Alongside buying a used machine, there are several reasons you should powerwash your Chromebook. The clearest indication that you need to perform a factory reset is an on-screen message reading “Reset this Chrome device.”

Persistent problems that don’t go away after rebooting, which cannot be fixed by the steps outlined above, are another good sign that it’s time to Powerwash your Chromebook and restore its factory settings.

Pressure Washer Tips: Operating procedures

Photo 1: Starting a gas washer To start a gas-powered washer: Clean any debris from the inlet filter. Connect any accessories (like this chemical injector). Run water through the washer for one minute to prime the system and remove any air. Squeeze the spray wand trigger to bleed water pressure. Pull the starter cord to start the engine.

All pressure washers seem intimidating the first time you use them. Have the rental center or tool retailer instruct you on its use, and follow these pressure washer tips and guidelines:

Water supply Make sure your water supply can deliver the gallons per minute specified for your machine. For example, if your pressure washer needs 2-1/2 gpm, time how long it takes your garden hose to fill a 5-gallon pail. The garden hose must be 50 ft. long or less and have a 3/4-in. inside diameter, with standard 3/4-in. hose fittings for connecting to the washer’s inlet. To ensure that water circulates unobstructed through the system, check the water inlet filter or screen and clean it of debris. Also, make sure the garden and pressure hoses are kink free.

Start-up procedure (Photo 1) Before starting the washer, it’s imperative that water is flowing through the washer and out the spray wand. Follow these steps:

    • Tighten all hose connections so no air can enter the lines.
    • Set the spray wand to a low- or no-pressure setting to prevent recoil, or kickback, when the washer is started. Electric washers and gas washers with variable nozzles should be on low-pressure, wide fan settings. Gas washers with individual nozzle tips should have their nozzle tip removed at this point.
    • Completely turn on the water faucet at the house. Squeeze the spray wand trigger to prime the pump and purge air from the system.
    • Start the washer (Photo 1). If it’s a gas unit, steady it when pulling the starter cord by bracing your foot against a wheel. Let the washer run for a minute to warm up. To avoid damaging the pump: Never run a washer longer than three to five minutes (depending on the model) while the trigger is off.
    • With the washer running and the trigger locked “off,” adjust pressure and spray settings, or insert nozzle tips in the spray wand. Now the washer is ready to use.

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