Washing your car with a pressure washer is quick, easy, and efficient. After you’ve chosen the right pressure, nozzle, and car cleaning compounds, just park your car in a spot appropriate for washing. Rinse it, apply detergent, rinse it off the car, dry it, and your car will be as good as new!
The Best Car Pressure Washer
1. Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer
Sun Joe SPX 3000 is a true value buy. It’s fairly small weighing only 31 pounds, which makes it suitable for both men and women, as it’s easy to move around. It comes with a relatively long 25 ft hose and dual detergent tanks, plus five different types of connecting spray tips.
The most notable feature is probably the TSS (Total Stop System), which automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged. That allows it to prolong the pump’s life and make it more energy-efficient.
Meanwhile, the PSI stands at 2030 and GPM at 1.76, making it quite powerful and more than capable of washing not only smaller cars but also SUVs if needed. These ranges are also acceptable and will work well with most foam cannons.
2. Comet Pump Stationary Pressure Washer
This one is ahead of the pack when it comes to how powerful it is. The Italian design speaks for itself, as it’s rigid, sleek, and a real powerhouse. All of these characteristics are essential for a pressure washer.
You can easily mount it on a wall in just a few seconds by using the bracket that comes with it. With a 2.2 GPM, this washer is perfect for washing even bigger cars, and it comes with a monstrous 70 ft hose.
The washer features an automatic ON/OFF option that starts the pump immediately when you pull the trigger and shuts it off as soon as you stop pulling it. This feature is quite handy, as it means you don’t need to walk to it every time you need to turn it on or off.
The only downside is the fact that it’s static and not easily maneuverable. But, as already mentioned above, having a 70 ft long hose makes up for this shortcoming.
3. Craftsman Gas Pressure Washer
Craftsman is a well known brand in the power tools industry. This model is easier to start than some of the older options with just one or two pulls needed. Needless to say it's easy to use and gets the job done with minimal fuss.
It’s lightweight, easily maneuvered, coupled with a 25 ft hose. This makes it perfect for circling around your vehicle to remove dirt and particulates.
Even if you're not too resourceful, you'll be able to set it up easily. It produces less noise than similar models, which is always desirable. Additionally, the max PSI is 2800 at 2.3 GPM. It also comes with four nozzles you can switch out accordingly.
4. AR Annovi Reverberi Pressure Washer
The AR Annovi Reverberi proves to be a very popular pressure washer. It’s very versatile since it’s highly mobile.
The 1900 PSI isn’t too strong but doesn’t limit you to only washing your vehicle. You can use it to clean various things, including driveways, furniture, and even patios and decks.
The most notable features of the AR383SS model are its 30 ft long electrical cord and the 35 ft power cord, which gives it a longer reach. It also comes with a 30 ft high-pressure hose, four different tips, and a 28-ounce detergent reservoir.
There are certain concerns, though. Some customers say they’ve had some issues with fluctuating pressure. Apparently, the hose reel proves to be ineffective. Also, it comes with a somewhat heftier price tag than some washers of similar PSI and GPM ratings.
5. Greenworks Pressure Washer
Greenworks is a popular company in the power tool industry. They are most noted for their budget friendly products and this pressure washer is no different.
Greenworks Pressure Washer boasts a somewhat underwhelming 1500 PSI and 1.2 GPM, making it the least powerful on this list. A notable feature though, is the fact that it can be used both horizontally and vertically, which gives it greater stability while it’s in use.
It includes two quick connect tips, which is less than what you would expect for attachments. Then again, being budget friendly does have some compromises.
Still, it comes with a 20 ft high-pressure hose and a soap applicator. What’s more, you should be able to reach any power outlet with its 35 ft long power cord.
What to Look for in a Pressure Washer for Your Vehicle
PSI and GPM Considerations
PSI stands for pounds per square inch. PSI for a car pressure washer will range from 1000 to 3000. A light or medium-duty pressure washer can wash even bigger vehicles like vans, trucks, and SUVs. Heavy and super heavy-duty ones are too strong and not suitable for washing cars, as you could end up damaging the paint.
For future reference, remember that the light duty pressure washers are rated up to 2000 PSI max. While medium-duty ones range between 2000 and 3000 PSI. Heavy-duty will exceed 3000 PSI and often go up to 4000+ PSI.
GPM is the volume of water the machine delivers, and it is measured in Gallons Per Minute. Different models might have the same PSI, but the one with the higher GPM will be able to clean ‘stubborn’ dirt and grime more easily. If you're using a pressure washer with a foam cannon then make sure it meets the requirements for GPM to promote more suds/soap creation.
Being compact, light, easy to set up and start, as well as being user-friendly, are all positive characteristics to look for when searching for a pressure washer. It should be comfortable to use for detailers of all age ranges, both male and female, especially if you're planning to wash your entire vehicle. Anything less than 30 pounds should be easy enough to operate.
Adjustable or Replaceable Nozzles and Wands
Adjustable nozzles and wands are definitely features you should be consider. These make your washer more versatile and are essential for adjusting the washer to your current detailing needs.
You might have to tackle different kinds of grime, like dirt or bird droppings, and might have to access some tricky areas of your car, like the wheel well. These often require a different kind of nozzle or wand from the standard that comes with your tool.
The adjustable ones are the better choice. It takes only a twist to change the angle or the spray pattern. Some are more convenient for general cleaning tasks, while others are better suited for tougher cleaning jobs. These are the most common ones:
● 0° - for the toughest cleaning jobs
● 15° - for heavy-duty cleaning
● 25° - for general cleaning
● 400° - for fragile surfaces
● Low pressure - combines water with cleaning agents
Long Hose and Power Cord
The longer the hose and power cord, the better. Some washers are heavy, sturdy, and even static. A static washer simply needs a longer power cord in order for you to be able to plug it into a power outlet and install it where you need it. This can be tricky, depending on where you’re using it.
Then, after setting it up, you need a long enough hose to reach your car. This also applies to movable washers, but to a somewhat lesser extent.
Advantages of Pressure Washers
Pressure washing allows you to clean the exterior of your vehicle quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. It gives you the ability to get rid of dirt, filth, and grime in a way a common garden hose would never be able to do. It allows you to reach those less accessible areas of your vehicle easily.
However, selecting the right amount of pressure is an important aspect. If the pressure is low, it might not be enough to get some of the dirt off. If it’s too high, it might seriously damage the paint job, which you certainly don’t want to happen! Gradually increase pressure as you go in order to remove certain particles.
Disadvantages of Pressure Washers
Still, pressure washers can be somewhat tricky to handle. When you know how to use one, you’ll definitely have a lot of fun washing your vehicle car. However, improper handling can be a real nightmare.
When not used correctly, a pressure washer could potentially cause damage, dents, and even lead to injuries. You should always use it with extreme caution and never turn it towards another person (or animal).
Even though it’s cheaper to buy a pressure washer than to use a car washing service, at least in the long run, there are still certain costs you can't avoid. Pressure washers don’t run on thin air. They need fuel to operate which is usually gas or electricity. You also need to factor in the cost of the water being used.
Pressure washers are an essential tool in a detailers arsenal. They work well in removing tough to remove grime as a stand-alone product. They can even serve as a great pre-rinse to a manual two bucket wash. No matter the product you choose, factor in the PSI, GPM, hose length, and fuel source. All of these factors will determine which option will work best for your vehicle.