- Best Pressure Washers For Cars Reviews
- 1. Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer
- 2. Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S 3200 PSI
- 3. Karcher K5 Electric Power Pressure Washer
- 4. Annovi Reverberi AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric Pressure Washer
- 5. Powerhouse International – Electric High Power
- 6. Greenworks GPW1950 Pressure Washer
- 7. Stanley SHP2150 Electric Pressure Washer
- Best Pressure Washer for Car Cleaning Buying Guide
- Why do I Need a Pressure Washer to Clean my Car?
- Safety Tips When Using a Pressure Washer
- Pressure Washer No Touch Car Wash
- Benefits of Pressure Washing Cars
- Best Pressure Washers For Washing Your Car Comparison Table
- Wrap up
Washing your car by hand is just asking for micro scratches. You can use the best lambswool car wash mitt, and still, you’ll get micro scratches.
You need to get that car rinsed, degreased & snow foamed, rinsed again before you touch the car with a wash mitt. This is how you remove the vast majority of dirt and grime, all that grit has been removed before your mitt touches the paint.
What’s the best way to ensure that your car is as clean as possible before you touch it? With a pressure washer.
I’m going to show you the best pressure washers for washing your car so you won’t have micro scratches or worse, and pressure washing your car is cheaper in the long run than going to the car wash.
Hopefully, in these best pressure washers for cars reviews, I’ll guide you to purchasing the right pressure washer, look there are many options, from gas-powered cleaners, electric models, portable to industrial, and what works for your household may be overkill for another.
Below I’ll show you the best car pressure washers on the market, as well as a buyers guide, so you know what to look for.
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Best Pressure Washers For Cars Reviews
- Questions? Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
- POWERFUL: 14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI (at initial discharge per CSA internal pressure testing) and 1.76 GPM (with nozzle open at minimum pressure) of water flow
- VERSATILE: Tackle a variety of cleaning tasks: homes, buildings, RV’s, cars, trucks, boats, decks, driveways, patios, lawn equipment, and more. With two 0.9 L onboard detergent tanks, removable tanks carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects.
The Sun Joe SPX3000 is a fantastic choice for most homeowners, and it’s not just me saying that this pressure cleaner continually ranks as a best seller.
You get 2030 PSI and an amazing water flow rate of 1.76 gallons, this gives you a cleaning power of 3752, that’s really impressive from an 1800-watt, 14.5 amp motor.
Now with this sort of power output, you would expect a hefty price, right? This is where Sun Joe will surprise you, they provide all of this power, and various innovative features are a very affordable price.
You get 5 quick-connect spray tips, a 35 foot-long power cord, 2 0.9 liter pressure washer soap tanks, so you can switch between solutions at a twist of a nozzle, perfect for when you need to use a detergent for those tough stains, then switch back to soap for a more gentle clean.
It weighs only 31 pounds, so it’s easy to move around, then it also has two wheels on the back to aid in that as well.
You get Sun Joes Total Stop System (TSS), which stops the pump and motor as soon as you take your fingers off the trigger. Prolonging the pressure washers life.
You also get a 2-year warranty.
- 2-year warranty
- Powerful pressure washer for tough jobs
- TSS system prolonging the life
- 5 quick connect tips
- A bit prone to tipping over
- May not be as durable as a steel-framed pressure washer
The MSH31250-s is a heavy-duty gas pressure washer, and not only that, it’s a gas pressure washer offering huge amounts of value.
This has a durable steel frame, which mounts to two 10-inch never-flat wheels, which can conquer any terrain.
The Honda engine is capable of producing 3200 PSI at 2.5 GPM that gives you a cleaning power of 8000.
The MorFlex hose is designed to be kink-resistant and anti-marring, so you get no annoying twists and bends which ruin the water flow. It’s incredible how easy it is to store this pressure washer hose.
You get 5 quick-connect spray nozzle tips.
There are no low-quality plastic parts on this pressure washer, and the pressure washer pump is made from a metal frame with a brass head.
- Sturdy, kink-resistant MorFlex hose for reliable and long-lasting use
- Includes a powerful engine for fast and effective cleaning (Honda GC190 engine)
- Suitable for a large range of outdoor cleaning jobs (including vehicles, pools, exterior walls, and patios)
- Though I’ve not experienced it, there are reports of the oil tank having a slight leak
Karcher… a brand known throughout the world, certainly very popular in my local hardware store.
This pressure washer is going to be perfect for pressure cleaning a car. It doesn’t have quick-connect tips; instead, it comes with a Vario Power spray wand, which allows you to change the spray pattern and strength with a simple twist.
This electric motor produces 2000 PSI at 2.4 GPM; this gives you a cleaning power of 4800, a very impressive number.
The pump is made from very durable materials. It is water-cooled, so you can tackle long cleaning sessions without worrying that the pump is going to overheat.
- You get two spray wands, a Vario and a turbo wand.
- This model has a rather large detergent tank for extended cleaning sessions.
- Like most rear wheeled vertical units, moving this around can cause tipping and can be a little annoying
- There is no additional spray nozzle set. The wands are great, but personally, I like the quick connect system
- OUTDOOR CLEANING POWER: Make quick cleaning jobs of decks, patios, siding, driveways, outdoor furniture, cars, trucks, RVs, ATVs and more.
- HIGHLY RATED: customers rate this 4. 4 out 5.
- ATTACHMENTS INCLUDED: Professional-style pressure washer gun, pressure washer wand, 30 foot high pressure hose, 28 oz. detergent tank and 4 different Quick Change pressure washer nozzles.
Another well-known brand, the AR383, is a best seller because it’s a fantastic pressure washer.
The motor produces 1900 PSI at 1.5 GPM giving you a total cleaning power of 2850.
You get two spray wands, one being a turbo wand, the other being an adjustable wand, basically a Vario wand.
You can quickly change the wand, as the wands feature a quick release system when you aren’t using the pressure washer; the pump is automatically shut off.
You also get a 1-year bumper to bumper warranty.
- 20 foot-long high-pressure hose
- Tri-Axial pump
- 2 high-pressure lances: Turbo Nozzle and Adjustable Spray Pattern
- 1-year “Bumper to Bumper” warranty policy
- It’s not got the largest cleaning power, but perfect for cleaning a car.
- The detergent bottle is rather small
- Powerful – Our Electric Pressure Washer 3000 psi and 2.2 gpm, better than a gas pressure washer because of its quiet motor, which stops when you release the spray gun trigger
- Accessories - Turbo and angle nozzles, patio - surface cleaner, soap foam sprayer, brush and other parts are all included
- Flexible hose – the hose has 30% more flexibility then our previous model
This is probably the best electric power washer for home use, why? Well, this thing packs a severe punch for an electric pressure washer.
Producing 3000 PSI at 2.2 GPM, this pressure washer has 6600 of cleaning power.
It’s quiet and comes with 5 quick connect nozzle tips, a universal spray gun, which is extendable, a foam cannon/soap spraying, and a pair of specialized brushes, a rotating brush, and a soft-bristle brush.
This is a pressure washer packed with accessories which you usually have to purchase separately, pair this with a snow foam cannon wash and you have an unstoppable cleaning machine.
- Easy to transport thanks to the 4 caster wheels attachment
- Rotating patio brush is convenient for cleaning your drive and patio
- The spray wand can be extended for reaching those hard to reach places
- The soap container is rather small
- The wheels can take some getting used to
- Heavy duty 13 Amp induction motor will strip, brighten and clean your surfaces back to new
- 1950PSI and 1.2GPM makes removing stains effortless. Spray Gun Nozzle: Quick Connect
- 25 ft. high pressure hose and 35 ft. electric cable allow you to reach a larger
This pressure washer by Greenworks may only be powered by a 13-amp motor, but this still delivers some incredibly cleaning power, thanks to its 1950 PSI pump.
Though it’s only able to produce 1.2 GPM, that still gives you a total cleaning power of 2340, not a number to be embarrassed about.
You get 5 quick connect nozzle tips, an onboard detergent tank, and a hose reel for storing the high-pressure hose.
- Compact and lightweight
- Easily to move around
- Quick connect nozzles
- Only 1.2 GPM
- HIGH PRESSURE FOAMER INCLUDED: The specially designed detergent bottle doubles as a high pressure foamer to get tough stuff loose or remove deep-down stains.
- POWERFUL CLEANING FORCE: Perfect for siding, decks, cement, pavement, pools, outdoor furniture, cars, trucks, RVs, ATVs, garbage cans, animal cages and more.
- LEAKPROOF CONNECTIONS: Professional grade brass garden hose connector and 22mm connections. The connection of choice for professional level accessories.
No doubt you’ve heard of the Stanley brand name. Stanley delivers uncompromising products with exceptional properties, and this is no exception.
The Stanley 2150 is lightweight and compact, yet it’s still able to produce 1.4 GPM and 2150 PSI that gives you a total cleaning power of 3010.
This pressure washer features professional-grade brass fittings, so you shouldn’t experience any leaks
It also comes with 4 quick connect tips, the soap tip is missing, but you do get a built-in foamer, but there is no onboard soap tank.
- Versatile washer and foamer system
- All the accessories you could want or need, it’s a complete car wash system
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a foam cannon, no detergent tank
- Only 1.4 GPM water flow
Best Pressure Washer for Car Cleaning Buying Guide
You could just buy any old pressure washer and be done with it, but you may find it lacks power or has so much power there’s now a hole where your car window used to be.
It may have worked and then stopped and won’t work again, why? Because the gallons per minute (GPM) water flow rate required by the pressure washer was more than you supply from your garden hose.
I’ll take you through all you need to know in this buyer’s guide so that you don’t make any mistakes, and you get precisely what you need from a pressure washer.
Types of Pressure Washers
There are a few types of pressure washers. Usually, these are broken down by their power source, then their PSI range.
According to power source
Electric motor – These are powered by an electric motor, typically used in light to medium-duty cleaning. However, there are some which can do the lower end of heavy-duty. These need to be plugged into an electrical outlet or connected to a power generator. Though there are some which will run off of a battery.
Gas or petrol engine – Powered by gasoline, these are medium to heavy-duty, often used in commercial or industrial sectors, though there are some residential models. The downside to these is the noise and the exhaust fumes that they generate.
Diesel engine – These are the same as the petrol-engine pressure washers, except that these are run on diesel engines. They have the same downsides as a gas engine pressure washer, and should only be used outside.
Hydraulic pressure – These will only be found on farms and agricultural industries. Though systems with existing hydraulic systems can use this type of pressure washer. These don’t need electricity or fuel to run. They are incredibly quiet, lightweight, and compact.
According to functional capacity
- Light duty – light-duty pressure washer usually have a PSI rating between 1300-2000 pounds per square inch (PSI) and delivering at most 2 gallons per minute (GPM) water flow rate. These are perfect for most home and residential applications, such as cleaning deck areas, small to medium patios, garden equipment, BBQ grills, small cars, and motorbikes.
- Medium duty – These pressure washers typically have a PSI range between 2000-2800 PSI and a GPM of up to 3 GPM. These are perfect for people with larger yards, cleaning sedans, SUVs, trucks, grates, gutters, hot tubs, swimming pools, fences and drains, vinyl siding.
- Heavy-duty – Heavy-duty pressure washers come with a pressure rating of 2900-3200 and a GPM of up to 4 GPM, these are excellent for larger vehicles, cleaning concrete, stone, and brickwork. That’s not to say you can’t use these for light-duty tasks.
- Extra heavy-duty – These are incredibly powerful washers, often exceeding 3300 PSI and are suited for the really tough jobs.
What Type of Pressure Washer Do I Need?
So we know about the various types of pressure washer, the next question is, which type of pressure washer do you need? Here’s how I work that out myself.
This is the most crucial question, what do you want to use your pressure washer for. If you are just going to clean some garden tools and a small car, perhaps small sections of your home.
Then a light-duty pressure washer is going to be perfect for your needs.
If you have a van or mini-bus, want to clean the siding of your home, then a heavy-duty power washer is your best bet.
Location is the next factor, where is the location of the thing you are looking to clean. If you have a barn, then a hydraulic pressure washer is quite possibly the perfect choice. If you have neighbors who are sensitive to noise, then an electric pressure washer fits the bill. If you don’t have direct access to a power source, then a gas pressure washer or a diesel engine pressure washer will be your best bet.
Source of water
This isn’t so much of a buying consideration, though there are some portable pressure washers that feature an onboard water tank. This is more a word of warning.
If you don’t have direct access to a constant flow of water from the mains, then you can connect your pressure washer directly to a water tank. If you do do that, then it’s essential that you buy a water filter to prevent any debris, making its way from the tank into your pressure washer pump; otherwise, you risk damaging it.
Can you support the pressure washers gallons per minute water flow rate? If the pressure washer is rated for 3 GPM. Then your water tank or hose pipe needs to supply 3 gallons of water per minute.
How do you test this?
Take a 5-gallon bucket, and start filling it with water from the tank or the hose pipe, start a timer as you do, when you hit 60 seconds, stop filling.
Measure how many of the 5 gallons you managed to fill. If you fill 3 gallons exactly, you can support a 3 GPM pressure washer. However, I advise you to get a pressure washer, which is slightly less needed, as pressure from your hose won’t be consistent, and you don’t want to starve your pressure washer pump.
So if you can only support 3 GPM, get a 2.6-2.8 GPM pressure washer.
Features to Look For
When purchasing a pressure washer, you should check out which features it comes with, mostly these are about convenience, but some are very important, for me, it comes down to just the nozzle tips,
Soap or detergent tank
A lot of pressure washers feature an onboard pressure washer detergent tank, which you can fill with pressure washer soap. This allows you to connect a soap nozzle to your spray wand and create a soapy foam to cover your vehicle with. This softens and removes a lot of the dirt, while you sit and have a beer.
If the pressure washer doesn’t come with an onboard tank, you can get a snow foam attachment.
Cord and tool storage
This feature isn’t absolutely necessary, but if your power washer comes with a storage hook or compartment for storing and organizing the power cord, tools and nozzle storage, it’s a big plus, I’ve often misplaced spray nozzle tips.
Adjustable or replaceable nozzles
These are a must-have, you need some way to control the spray pattern produced by the pressure washer; otherwise, you risk damaging items. So look for quick connect tips or turbo/vario nozzles.
Adjustable or interchangeable wands
Like adjustable nozzles, these are wand versions, typically you’ll get two, one will be a high-pressure dirt blasting wand, the other will feature many spray patterns accessible by a click and twist.
Thermal relief and unloaders
These are a safety feature that helps to manage the build-up of heat in your pressure unit. They also ensure that potential damage from excessive pressure build-up is kept at a minimum (or rather no damage at all).
Pressure washer hose
You want a decent length hose usually around 20-30 feet in length. While you can upgrade your pressure washer hose, you want to ensure you get a kink-resistant, anti-marring hose that’s flexible.
I once had a pressure washer with a hose that was stiff, and it was horrific to use. It was even worse when I tried to put the hose away to store it. A constant battle to get it wound up.
Why do I Need a Pressure Washer to Clean my Car?
Sure, you can wash your car by hand, but that takes a long time, and you are very likely to introduce scratches to your paintwork.
You probably won’t get a spotless finish in all areas. Places such as behind the wheels, exhaust, and under the car are often missed.
Washing the wheels and removing the brake dust instantly dirties the water and your sponge. If you use that sponge or that water on the rest of the car, that’s calling for scratches.
So why do you need a pressure washer to a clean car? Speed, and no scratches or a reduced chance of them depending on how you clean.
Plus, you can get to all the hard to reach places.
Safety Tips When Using a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are so easy to use that you might not treat them as a dangerous machine. But dangerous they can be. You need to take precautions when using a pressure washer to ensure that you and your family remain safe.
- Before you start your pressure washer for the first time, make sure to read the owner’s manual, as this will contain invaluable information on how to safely operate the machine.
- Always wear protective clothing, such as waterproof boots for pressure washing, goggles, and gloves, as the water pressure can send debris and other materials flying at your hands and eyes. While most pressure washers aren’t very loud, it does make sense to use ear protection. Personally, I use these noise canceling headphones.
- Always stand on a flat and stable surface; this will reduce the risk of falling, never use a pressure washer while on a ladder as the water will ensure the ladder is slippery. The force of the water can send you tumbling down, instead use a pressure washer extension wand.
- Always use the correct nozzle tip or spray pattern, and ensure that you don’t get closer than 6 inches to the surface of the object you are cleaning. You want the minimum distance between the surface you are cleaning and the spray nozzle tip to be 6 inches. You can increase this, as the further away you are, the less pressure is exerted onto the surface.
- Keep your electric power washer in an area where it won’t get covered by water splash or spray, yes these are designed to be waterproof, but they still run on electricity so lets, reduce the chance of an electric shock by keeping the unit out of the way
- Never point the pressure washers spray gun as yourself, other people, animals, plants or any objects which may not be able to withstand the high pressure
- Keep the spray gun away from power sources, electrical fixtures and outlets, and power lines.
Pressure Washer No Touch Car Wash
Want to altogether remove the chance of you introduce micro scratches? Then the best way to do this is by doing a touchless car wash. You can see how in this video.
Benefits of Pressure Washing Cars
Many prefer the old fashioned way of washing their cars, using a bucket and a sponge. There’s those who also just use an ordinary old garden hose, thinking it’s more efficient than using buckets.
Heck, I’ve got a friend who, at the sign of rain rushes outside with the dish soap and a sponge to clean their car, using the rain to rinse it off.
Nothing beats a pressure washer when it comes to cleaning cars, here are some of the comment benefits of power washing your car.
Makes cleaning your car more efficient
I’m sure you’ve washed your car by hand at some point, I remember as a wee lad going round washing cars for money. I did a terrible job, and they still paid. But it took ages.
Well, let me tell you one of the biggest benefits of using a power washer is that they drastically cut down the time needed to clean your vehicle.
If you aren’t at least using a garden hose and only using a bucket of water, you’re going to be refilling that bucket many times to get the best clean on your car.
That’s a lot of time spent going back and forth to the water faucet, forget the back pain as you bend over while the bucket fills and the sore muscles in your arms as you lug the water-filled bucket from the faucet to the car.
It just seems like a lot of unneeded effort.
Using a garden hose is going to be a darn sight more efficient than using multiple buckets of water. However, it’s still not as efficient as spraying your car with pressurized water.
Yes, your garden how does more water under pressure, but it is significantly less than what you can get from a pressure washer.
As such, it will take much more time to remove dirt and debris that will be stuck onto the body of your car.
So what do you do? Well if you are using a hose you reduce the size of the opening of the nozzle of your garden hose, some people will use their thumb, others will have a trigger, and they’ll change the mode.
But neither of those will produce the type of pressure you need. If you are using your thumb, well, after a few mins it’s not going to be very comfortable, and pressure won’t remain consistent.
This is where the pressure washer comes in, and trust me, you’ll see an immediate difference. Let’s say it took you an hour to wash your car using the bucket method, 45 minutes with the garden hose, well the pressure washer will take 15-30 minutes depending on how dirty your car is. It won’t feel like you’ve had a workout.
Allows for a more thorough cleaning
The whole idea around washing your car is to remove the dirt and grime that has stuck to your beautiful paint.
Unfortunately, there will always be dirt in various hard-to-reach places, such as between your car’s body panels, under the hood, and even under your car. The area in the wheel well, behind the tires and wheels, can be challenging to clean and wash by hand alone. So while from a distance you may think you’ve done an excellent job, up close the chances are you haven’t managed a thorough clean.
Pressure washers usually come with an assortment of spray nozzle tips, these tips give you a range of options when it comes to cleaning, so you can clean every nook and cranny, every little square inch of your car.
You’ll also be able to reach those hard-to-reach areas, such as under the hood and behind the wheels.
Removing the need to try and squeeze your hands into tight areas, instead, let the power washer blast pressurized water through these tight inaccessible spaces.
Helps remove stubborn dirt
Have you tried to remove bird poop or tree sap by hand? It takes some work. Your typical garden hose isn’t going to do anything.
So you’re left with getting the lambswool mitt in, and what does that mean? Scrubbing..
Simply choose the right nozzle tip, and I don’t suggest using the red 0-degree tip, perhaps the 15-degree green and spray directly at the dirt or object you want to remove, start a foot or so away, and edge the nozzle closer until the bird poop, etc has gone.
Never get closer than 6 inches!
There’s no need to get your sponge or lambswool mitt involved, just let the high water pressure do the job.
It is more cost-effective
You can save a good amount of money if you use a pressure washer in cleaning your car. First of all, you’ll save money on your water bill as pressure washers typically use 40% less water to complete the task when compared to a garden hose.
When washing your car, it typically takes a series of steps. The initial rinse, the application of car cleaning soap, and then the final rinse, and for some, there will be other steps involved as well. Each of those steps takes time and requires different tools to get the job done.
With a pressure washer, many of them today come with a built-in foamer, of snow foam spray attachment so you no longer have to buy a separate detergent applicator, you will save on those.
Lastly, as hinted above, it’s the time, your time is worth something and is irreplaceable. Imagine if you cut your car cleaning time down from 1 hour to just 30 minutes, that’s 30 minutes more to spend with your family, friends, get those errands done, watch a TV show or movie, drink a beer or two. Get the BBQ going. Sure 30 mins may not be much, but in the long run, that’ll turn into hours, then days, weeks.. that’s a lot of time reclaimed.
Protects your paint
I mentioned above that some dirt is so stuck on you need to scrub it, the problem is that by scrubbing it, you lift the dirt particles which are abrasive into your sponge or lambswool mitt and as you scrub, those abrasives act like sandpaper, and you introduce micro-scratches into your paintwork.
A pressure washer allows you to blast the dirt away, the water lifts these abrasive dirt particles off of the surface. Plus, if a bit of dirt is proving too much, a quick addition of some pressure washer soap or snow foam. Its softened and removed with a rinse, all without scrubbing and causing damage to your car’s paintwork.
Best Pressure Washers For Washing Your Car Comparison Table
|Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer||31||15.6 x 13.5 x 33.9||2030||1.76||3752|
|Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S 3200 PSI||65||34.7 x 21 x 23.2||3200||2.5||8000|
|Karcher K5 Electric Power Pressure Washer||32||34.3 x 13.1 x 16.8||2000||1.4||2800|
|Annovi Reverberi AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric Pressure Washer||27||12.25 x 11.25 x 28.5||1900||1.5||2850|
|Powerhouse International – Electric High Power||32||15 x 18 x 24||3000||2.2||6600|
|Greenworks GPW1950 Pressure Washer||46||21.06 x 18.5 x 12.01||1950||1.2||2340|
|Stanley SHP2150 Electric Pressure Washer||25.6||14.6 x 13.6 x 26.8||2150||1.4||3010|
There you have it, with so many choices on the market ranging from light-duty to heavy-duty know which to go for is a challenge. Hopefully, my best pressure washers for washing your car reviews have helped you to purchase the best car pressure washer for your needs.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the MSH if you need a gas pressure washer and the Sun Joe if you need electric. However, Karcher is a huge brand and very well known, so there’s nothing wrong with picking up the K5.
If you have any further questions or if I’ve missed something or you feel there should be another pressure washer for cars on my list, then please let me know in the comments section below.
Last update on 2021-08-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API