A pressure washer is an ultimate tool that helps to remove dirt from almost all surfaces along with dust, mold and other types of unwanted substances. I want to share my experience on how to choose the very best pressure washer for cars.
High pressure is of huge help when removing the stubborn dirt. Although the best pressure washer is mainly used for washing cars and driveways, but at the same time, these are also used for cleaning parts of the house, patios and desks.
I’ve spent couple of days to summarize my experience and highlight best pressure washer for a car to help you save money and time!
Best Pressure Washer for Cars 2018
Comet Static – 1300 PSI Pressure Washer
We were looking for a solution that was higher build quality with better specs than what we were able to get at the big box stores.
We also wanted something that was clean and professional looking, preferably wall mountable, but still portable.
So, a few quick specs. It’s an electric pressure washer that’s built and manufactured in Italy. There’s 1300 psi of pressure, which I think is actually the ideal amount of pressure for washing your car safely. It also has two 2.2 gallons per minute of flow, which with that kind of flow I’m able to make a perfect shaving cream foam with a foam cannon for the pre-wash and also efficiently rinse off the vehicle when I’m done.
It features total stop technology, which essentially just means that when I let go of the trigger on the spray gun, the pump will stop running. That will make it quieter when I’m using it and also will result in less wear on the machine.
Since it can run off 14 amps of power, you’re pretty much safe plugging it into any outlet you can find.
The other thing that I really like is that included reel has a 70 foot hose. I’ve you ever had a machine that a short hose, you know that it’s a real pain to have to keep moving it around ’cause you can’t make it around the car in one shot.
It can also run on a gravity fed water tank, which means if you’re a mobile detailer, this is a really great solution for you.
DBPower – Best Electric Pressure Washer
For all its worth, it would be a poor choice indeed if our freshly bought pressure washer remains limited in its use. However, I would like to introduce you to the DBPower Pressure Washer that conveniently solves your hesitations.
Like every pocket pincher, I used to balk at a purchase that was limited to just my vehicle. But then I realized that I could easily use it for three separate steps to clean my car as well as my kitchen slabs.
More importantly, while making a purchase, it’s the little thoughtful additions that always convince us at the end, right? Regarding this foam washer, what really impressed me was the Safety Waterproof Switch, which protects the switch against any stray water.
It is impossible to keep your hands dry while washing your car, and I have tried to do so. This will negate the need for constant caution on your end.
Another such detail is the soft silicone nozzle. As enthusiastic as we can get while trying out a new washer, it is liable to scratch our car very easily. The absence of a harder metal or plastic solves this issue as well.
It will suffice for the strong wind that a good drying will require for avoiding the pesky water stains. And it also works in favor of the vacuum.
This is more of an all-in-one product that will solve half of your car-washing purposes. However, not on any level is it a professional foam washer. Nevertheless, for someone who likes to wash their vehicles at home rather than employ professionals for it, it is a good choice.
Briggs & Stratton – Best Pressure Washer for Home Use
It comes with a detergent injection method, which infuses some cleaning solutions into the water flow while offering the user 3 spray tips.
The maximum pressure offered by this device is 2200 PSI and therefore it is capable of offering a powerful service even after being really lightweight.
1.9 max GPM offers powerful precision and power control while working. Besides, the maintenance-free axial cam pump comes with easy-start technology, which ensures fast start-up every time.
This pressure washer is ideal for washing trucks, cars, patios and siding and also for blasting away the stubborn driveway dirt. In fact, with this power, it is actually possible to deal with almost any type of outdoor cleaning projects.
Besides, it’s spray tips offer more performance, versatility, and power.
Karcher K1900 – Best Karcher Washer for Cars
Some other great features of this pressure washer include a tall handle, high cord wind, space-saving rotating handles, bucket storage bin, innovative on-off foot switch and removable detergent tank.
K1900 is one of the most popular types of pressure cleaners known for offering unparalleled ease of use and premium quality cleaning performance.
As this electrical pressure washer is capable of delivering 1900 PSI of pressure, this ensures that users only get the highest level of cleaning service whenever they use this machine.
Sun Joe SPX3001 – Best for Car Detailing
Besides, the large wheels and top carry handles of this device make it ideal for carrying from one place to another.
It is also available with five quick connect spray tips, which allows the users to exactly adjust this unit for what they need like for the grimiest heavy duty cleaning job or the light jobs.
SPX3001 has plenty of power to clean any patio or deck efficiently within a short span of time.
This device is capable enough for removing mildew, grease, caked on mud and other grit and grime from decks, concretes, barbecues, siding, and other surfaces.
Karcher K1700 – Best Pressure Washer for Cleaning
Features like oversized wheels, integrated metal extrusions, and robust design allow users to take this product wherever they need.
Other important features are tall handle, high cord wind, removable detergent tank, bucket storage bin and a modern footswitch for switching on or off this device.
Standard M22 hose connections and general quick-connect wands accessory usage as well as simplify nozzle.
But it is not capable of peeling of the paint, cleaning things at the height of 2 storied or getting rid of the deep stains.
Sun Joe SPX3000 – Best for the Money
As a result, it can successfully remove salt, dirt, and mud. The rear wheels make moving this device around really convenient.
It’s also capable of removing rust from steel, oil stains, grease and tar from concrete, heavy mildew stains, caked mud on the equipment and other immovable gunk and grime.
Ivation – Best for Driveway
Besides, this device also comes with the TSS technology, which is very efficient in water saving.
Self-suction function, 5 interchangeable quick-connect nozzles and one foam nozzle with different types of wash heads are also worth mentioning.
All these features allow you to clean different types of surfaces and outdoor items without any hassle.
Besides, the poser cord of this device comes with a GFCI plug with 30 feet length and this ensures convenient cleaning.
AR Blue Clean – Best for Washing Cars
This device comes along with a complete kit that includes a high-pressure hose, an adjustable jet nozzle, foam dispenser and an all important gun.
Besides, this device also comes with a Total Stop System or TSS, which can add more power to the washer.
The best thing about Ar Blue is that it comes with an attachable foam/ soap bottle as well as an automatic safety valve with power shut off at the head of the pump.
It is powerful and easy to use even with the stiffness in the hose. So, by choosing this device, you will be happy to see the cleaned exterior of your car.
Karcher K2 – Best Under $200
It also packs adequate power to deal with car cleaning, washing leaves off the pathway and washing the patio furniture down.
K2 is not just lightweight and compact, but it also comes with different types of accessories, which are perfect for a range of jobs. This device is well equipped with a highly powerful motor with built-in air cooling mechanism which ensures long life for the washer.
Being an entry level pressure washer, Karcher K2 is good enough to get the vehicle shining. The compact, light-weight and easy to setup features make this strong enough for removing dirt and stain from the car.
Stanley Fatmax – Best Washer Gun
Besides, it also includes a robust gasoline engine that offers some really dependable power.
This is a gasoline powered premium quality pressure washer, which is designed to offer a great efficiency with the skilled high quality.
This device is mostly used for car washing. Besides, this can also be used for some other household jobs like cleaning walkways, patios, sideways, driveway etc.
Caraid Portable – Best for Patio
This pressure washer is rated at the pressure level of up to 130 PSI and therefore this is unable to offer an aggressive power pressure for cleaning.
Caraid has a large water tank and it is power-driven by 12-volt DC. Therefore, this is the ideal choice for people, who live in apartments.
It is designed for cleaning the cars frequently, apart from it Caraid Portable is also used for the camp sites, gardens, beaches or cleaning patios and windows.
Best Pressure Washer for Cars – Buyer’s Guide
What is the Best Pressure Washer Pump Type?
There are basically three types of pressure washer pumps, and they all fall under the reciprocating positive displacement group; reciprocating pumps use either the pistons or the plungers to disperse water.
The pumps that use pistons mainly have the cylinder seal connected to the piston which moves with it on each stroke. With the plunger pumps, the cylinder seal is fixed. The plunger pumps are driven by a drive shaft whereas the plunger ones are driven by a crankshaft.
To decide whether one pump is the best, we have to look at its overall performance such as the efficiency, higher pressure and flow rate. These pressure washer pumps are known as wobble, triplex plunger and axial cam pumps. Amongst them, the triplex plunger is driven by the crankshaft.
The wobble commands a flow rate of less than 2 gallons per minute with a pressure of less than 2500 psi while the axial commands a pressure of less than 3500 psi. The triplex pump, on the other hand, has a higher pressure over 3000 psi, which makes it is the ultimate winner crowned the best pressure washer pump type on the market.
What is the Best Hose?
The choice of the pressure washer hose is not as straight forward as the pump types. Not all hoses fit all pumps. To be on a good side, check the features such as the diameter, the length, the materials, and connections of the hose.
Diameter: The diameter of the hose can give you an idea about the maximum pressure allowed. Typically, you’ll have a small diameter that is ¼-inch which is best-suited to hoses with pressures up to 2700 psi; a medium diameter sized at 5/16-inch rated for hoses up to 3400 psi; and lastly the 3/8-inch diameter suitable for the higher pressure up to 5000 psi.
Length: the length of the hoses will differ. If you want to from a distance, I recommend a longer hose. This can also depend on the type of the pressure washer.
For instance, an electric machine may need a longer hose due to its limited mobility since it has to be plugged on the wall socket. A diesel or petrol pressure washer is mobile, and so a shorter hose wouldn’t be that bad.
Connections: check if the hose will be compatible with your machine. Some snap into the machine while others need screws.
Build materials: there are various materials used to manufacture these hoses. Typically, you would find rubber, PVC, and polyurethane. What matters with these materials is flexibility plus durability. In others you may have to trade some features. For instance, PVC plastic is hard but not flexible, while rubber is flexible but not hard.
Pressure Washer with Soap Dispenser
Pressure washer machines come with either attached or built-in soap dispensers to make cleaning effective. The best depends on your preference or your freedom to add any brand, and also a reputable brand.
A further choice may involve the soap or the detergent. I would recommend choosing the soap as it is more effective and biodegradable.
How Does It Work?
Pressure washers are capable of blasting things clean aggressively with water jets that are pressurized at almost 75 times the pressure of any garden hose. Sometimes, these can also spray gently with lower pressures for the purpose of delicate cleaning.
Therefore, the pressure washers ease the tough cleaning jobs while solving other issues like as removing blistered paint or flaking.
Here is how high-pressure car washer works:
- Detergent flows in through a hose from any container or bottle
- Cold water flows in through another hose from a faucet or tap and the water is filtered in on the way
- The washer is powered by a gas engine or electric motor
- Pump draws in both the water and detergent as well as mixes both things together. The majority of washers also heat the water to the temperature of 125-155°F
- Then the pump shoots out the soapy, hot water through the high pressure, reinforced exit hose and the attachment that is fixed onto it. The attachment mainly has narrow nozzles on it, which helps to increase water jet pressure even more. The high pressure of these jets doesn’t only cleans the vehicle effectively, but this also helps to waste 80% less water than using a low-pressure ordinary hosepipe.
How to Use a Washer?
Cleaning a car with a pressure washer is much easier than hand washing as this uses lesser water than the conventional hose pipes. Here is a step by step guide to do it.
- Rinse off the vehicle’s top layer of dirt: In case you are using a machine with variable jet spray, then adjust the machine to a spray of about 5-8cm wide. This spray will be strong enough for cleaning the car without damaging the paintwork. For the lights, windows and other fragile parts of your vehicle, it is important to use a less powerful and slightly wider setting.
- Use a detergent: Set the nozzle of the pressure washer to the least powerful and widest setting or remove it completely to coat the entire vehicle in the layer of a detergent. Let the magic of detergent work for several minutes, but don’t wait until it gets dry. Otherwise, your car will be left with blemishes, which you need to buff out, therefore.
- Loosen all the stubborn grease and dirt: Next you need to use a separable car brush to perform the job quicker. In case you are using the same brush to clean the wheel arches, wheels and the paintwork, clean the wheel areas last as while cleaning these areas, there is a high chance that the brush will pick up grits and small stones from different parts of the wheels and you must not want to rub these things again against the paint. Thoroughly wash the brush once you are done.
- Rinse off the vehicle by using a high-pressure jet setting: Next thing you need to do is to rinse your vehicle off by using a high-pressure jet setting. Even in this time use a comparatively less powerful setting for the glass areas than the paint. In case you don’t have a changeable nozzle for adjusting the width and power of the spray, then just maintain a distance from your car and then spray. One meter will be a safe distance of stay away from any damage.
What is a Good PSI for a Pressure Washer?
The water pressure of a pressure washer is mainly measured in PSI or Pounds Per Square Inch. Counting the PSI is important for breaking the chemical bond between a stain and a surface.
- Professional duty or extra heavy duty: These pressure washers are capable of generating 3300 PSI and up. Therefore, these can deal with most of the jobs of other machines. But for paint preparation, more power is required.
- Heavy duty: These pressure washers can generate almost 2900-3300 PSI. Therefore, these are just ideal for different types of cleaning jobs including small parts like sidewalks and large parts like driveways. Besides, these are also ideal for the jobs like second story cleaning and for preparing surfaces for painting.
- Medium duty: These pressure washers can generate almost 2000-2800 PSI. Therefore, these are able to deal with the same cleaning projects like as the light duty ones, but these are just perfect for decks, fences, patios and sidings.
- Light duty: The pressure washers of this category are rated less than 2000 PSI. These are ideal for cleaning siding and patio furniture along with boats, trucks, and cars. Besides, these are also used for cleaning driveways, sidewalks, fences, patios and decks.
Safe PSI for Car Wash
PSI mainly refers to the overall water pressure created by a pressure washer. Generally, the PSI ranges from 1000 to more than 4000. So, if you are in search of the safe PSI for a car wash, then here are the details:
- Light duty: Most of the domestic or commercial pressure washers are designed for the light duty usage. As these washers can produce maximum 2000 PSI, therefore, these are just ideal for basic household tasks. As a result, this type of pressure washer is considered to be the best for washing cars and trucks apart from performing other cleaning jobs.
- Medium duty: Medium grade PSI output is mainly produced by the high-quality commercial pressure washers and most of the semi-pro pressure washers also deal with this type of output with complete ease. The PSI output level of this type of pressure washer ranges from 2000-3000. Therefore, this type of car washer can also be used for washing trucks and cars.
What is the GPM?
Apart from the PSI rating of the pressure washers, it is also necessary to pay attention to the volume of water that the machine actually delivers and it is measured in GPM or Gallons Per Minute.
Cleaning power of any pressure washer is determined by both GMP and PSI ratings. Better the combination of numbers, the more area will be cleaned efficiently by these washers.
Two pressure washers may have the same PSI level, but the one with higher GPM would help you to get the job done faster while saving both time and electricity or gas.
How Much Water is Used?
Pressure washers mostly rely on large water volumes to clean different surfaces while getting rid of the dirt and grime. While compared to the ordinary garden hose, water from the pressure-washing unit is capable of clearing all the debris within a short span of time. Because of the efficiency, less water is wasted.
Although in the majority of the times, average pressure washers use almost 8 gallons of water per minute. So, a pressure washer with almost five GPM is considered as efficient. But to do the job efficiently, the pressure would need to increase starting from 10 pounds PSI to 50 PSI.
A few pressure washers are also capable of blowing very intense pressure at almost 1500 to 2000 PSI. Pressure washers spraying with that much pressure can actually blow away anything at the decreased water volume.
What is a Foam Cannon?
Foam cannons work on the lock and foam method, which can give the cars a great touch free wash without the requirement of scrubbing. One just needs to add a foaming car wash soap to the cannon and it will be ready to spray away.
Besides, foam cannon is also capable of removing grime from small cracks and crevices by using the latest and most innovative air injection technology. Once the process is done, it is necessary to rinse and dry the vehicle.
The entire process will help to wash the vehicle within half the time while compared to the traditional methods of car washing.
There are different types of adapters available that fit to different types of pressure washers. With the right adapter attached to the foam cannon, it will be possible for the cannon to get attached to the pressure washer.
These cannons also feature adjustable knobs to adjust the soap amount easily, which is applied to the spray mixture while adjusting the spray pattern.
What Kind of Washer to Wash a Car?
The best thing is that there is a range of pressure washers available, which are safe for the vehicles. For example, do you like to have water and detergent mixed together while it flows from the pressure washer? If so, then you must like to have a pressure washer that includes onboard detergent tank.
Most of the people agree that the pressure washers with 1300-1900 PSI don’t cause any damage. These pressure washers are known for easy handling and these also include enough pressure for dealing with the tough areas.
So, for the beginners, it is recommended to start off with fan spray setting and therefore to save the hard pinpointed spray for cleaning the toughest areas like as the undercarriage or tires.
It is also necessary to consider the right GPM level like the total amount of water, which is coming out of the end of the wand of the pressure washer. A number of people suggest that a higher flow rate for the 1300 PSI pressure washer is much better than comparatively higher PSI and less water coming out of that.
But in case you use a pressure washer with less GPM, then the user will not have to waste much water and this will be a great bonus. The way one chooses to go about will be based on his/her personal preferences.
How Do You Detail a Car?
Car washing is considered to one of the most important car detailing steps. Not only this helps to prepare the foundation for all types of following detailing treatments, but this also allows the vehicle owners to maintain the results of this work for a really long time.
So, here comes a guide that helps one to achieve ultimate car detailing guide by following some steps.
Often considered as a missed out part, the detailing stage is considered as the pre-wash stage, which is really important for obtaining swirl free car wash.
In this stage, it is necessary to use a car cleaning material. But before choosing any, it is necessary to go through the label. In most of the cases, the application for detailer, soap or wax varies from vehicle to vehicle and brand to brand.
After cleaning the dirt, the next step is to wash away the vehicle with clean water by using a pressure cleaner. This can be done using the two bucket method or by using a pressure washer to get a steady water steam.
Rinse the vehicle from top to down by using plenty of water while allowing the water to sheet off of your vehicle’s paintwork.
Next step is to dry the vehicle. It is necessary to take specific care on this step as this is where the paintworks mostly get inflicted. Therefore, it is necessary to follow a gentle and methodological guide while drying a vehicle. Begin at the top and then work down the way.
Wipe the surface gently by using a jumbo microfiber drying towel. Besides, the surface can also be pat dried to decrease the chance of damage. Or you can even use a detail spray or a quick detailer on the washed paintwork for adding a little bit of lubrication.
To Sum it Up
So, it is obvious that pressure cleaners are capable of replacing different types of household tools, therefore purchasing it is undoubtedly a great investment that will pay off in time. Apart from eradicating the requirement of other cleaning devices, having the best pressure washer for a car means the owner doesn’t need to spend money on some chemical solutions. Here the only thing that one needs is water. Now you’re all set to choose your best pressure washer for cars.