The best pressure washer for car detailing can rid your car of grime, dust, dirt, and other stubborn stains that cannot be removed with a garden hose. Apart from car cleaning and detailing, a car cleaning pressure washer can also help clean driveways and fences.
If you are in the market for the best high-pressure car washer that performs brilliantly and does not burn a hole in your pocket, then refer to the guide below with our comprehensive reviews.
How Do Pressure Washers Work
Typically, a car pressure washer has a pressure pump that is powered by a gas engine or an electric motor. The pump enhances the speed of the water as it leaves the hose; thus, the water is released at high pressures.
The hose is connected to the washer at one end, and it has a trigger-based gun on the other end. Once this trigger is pressed, the water is mixed with air and then dispersed from the nozzle. The resulting pressure is 75 times more than an ordinary garden hose, which allows it to clean exceptionally well.
5 Benefits Of Pressure Washers on Cars
Whether you run a car detailing business or want the ability to clean your car anytime you want, you need a pressure washer to get the job done right. Here are some of the many benefits of using a car pressure washer.
- 1Get rid of persistent stains such as oil, grease, grime. A good car pressure washer can clean all kinds of grease, dirt, and mud, etc. Just select the appropriate pressure settings and point the hose in the right direction. Many of these washers come with additional accessories such as scrubbing attachments for enhanced cleaning.
- 2Detail your car faster: If you are using a pressure washer for car detailing, it will take you less than an hour. Look for packages that have useful attachments for car detailing.
- 3A cost-effective solution: We all know how expensive professional car cleaning services can be; DIY jobs using a car pressure washer can give you similar results at a lower cost.
- 4Easy to carry around: Most car pressure washers weigh less, and some models even come equipped with wheels. This makes them
portable and easy to carry.
- 5A greener alternative: With a car pressure washer at your disposal, you are not required to use hard chemicals or detergents that are bad for the environment. The pressure is enough for brilliant cleaning.
Buying a Quality Pressure Washer For Your Car
Make sure you consider the following factors when selecting a pressure washer for your car:
A compact vehicle has different cleaning needs than SUVs, pickup trucks, or other bigger vehicles. You’ll need a heavy-duty car wash pressure washer to clean large vehicles. Also, if the vehicle in question is parked in a barn, a hydraulic pressure washer would be a good option. Whereas if you want to clean without making noise, using an electric pressure washer for cars might be the right option for you.
Pressure & Cleaning Power
Your garden hose can disperse water at a rate of 5 to 10 GPM (gallons per minute) at 30-50 pounds per square inch (PSI). On the contrary, light-duty pressure washers provide a minimum of 1.6 GPM flow rate at a pressure of at least 1750 PSI.
Not only does it mean that you get 5 to 18 times more power, but you are also slashing your water consumption by more than half. Simply put, the higher the CPM and PSI, the more powerful would be the car pressure washer, and less water will be consumed.
Pressure Washer Type
There are various types of pressure washers. Here is a brief description of each:
Different Options To Choose From
1300 - 2000
2000 - 2800
2900 - 3000
2 - 3
3 - 4
Small areas and cars
Significant-sized areas and big cars – SUVs, trucks, etc.
Large areas and vehicles, brick and stone works, etc.
Storage & Portability
Being portable is an essential quality while choosing the best pressure washer for cars. However, if you are a car service provider, you’ll have to select a larger car cleaning pressure washer for faster cleaning in less time. Most car pressure washers are portable and can be quickly brought out when the need arises, but the bigger variants with higher PSI and GPM ratings tend to be more prominent in size.
So, choose a machine that provides the best value. Also, a good car pressure washer has storage areas and compartments to keep nozzles, hoses, and other attachments in one place; this limits the chances of these items getting lost.
Durability/Convenience (Ease of Use/Easy Install)
These washers come with plug-and-play features that ensure a smooth installation; you can find a variety of car pressure washers all capable of excellent cleanup jobs. Just remember that the larger variants have a longer lifespan as opposed to a smaller electric pressure washer for cars.
Extra Features & Accessories
While searching for the best pressure washer for car detailing, you should also look for the following features:
Price & Warranty
The bigger the machine and the higher its PSI and GPM rating, the pricier it may be, therefore choose the car wash pressure washer that is fit to meet all your requirements. This includes making sure that you don't purchase a machine too potent for your car's paint job. Warranty policies vary by product and brand; however, it goes without saying that the more coverage you have, the better.
6 Best Car Pressure Washers Reviewed
1. Sun Joe SPX3000
Our Top Pick
15.6 x 13.5 x 33.9 inches
14.5 amp/1800 watt Motor
2 years warranty
There are many pressure washers, but the one that impressed us the most is
This car pressure washer also ranks among the best electric pressure washer for cars because it can generate pressure at temperatures as high as 104°F. This feature sets it apart because many industrial machines are only capable of washing with cold water, which makes it harder to remove stubborn stains such as oil, grease, etc.
Right out of the box, you receive five spray tips that are easy to attach and detach. These include:
The best part is that there are two 30-ounce tanks provided for cleaning agents, the two tank system allows you to mix and match between different cleaners. To top it all, we also rank the Sun Joe SPX3000 as the best pressure washer for cars because it is lightweight and has two mounted tires, which make it easy to use in all scenarios. It also has a TSS, i.e., a Total Stop System in place that can shut down the motor when a trigger is released.
2. Stanley SHP2150
14.57 x 13.58 x 26.77 inches
2 years warranty
The runner up in our car pressure washer reviews is allotted to the Stanley SHP2150. Its exceptional cleaning capabilities are the reason it is named among the best pressure washer for cleaning cars. With the Stanley SHP2150 at your disposal, you can clean trucks, ATVs, cars, RVs, animal cages, patio, etc. This electric pressure washer for cars comes packed with four adjustable nozzles; you can use the one that can generate the required pressure.
This pressure washer for car detailing disperses water at immense pressure, which helps in removing stubborn stains, and once combined with the foam cannon, the cleanup is beyond exceptional. Plus, the Stanley SHP2150 is a versatile car wash pressure washer; out of the box, you receive various accessories that can help carry out different cleaning procedures.
Additionally, each part of the machine can be folded up and stowed away in the spaces provided on the car pressure washer. Overall, without a doubt, this is one of the best pressure washers for car detailing, owing to its many accessories and noteworthy cleaning power.
3. Greenworks GPW1950
21.1 x 18.5 x 12 inches
13 Amp induction motor
The Greenworks GPW1950 ranks pretty high up in our in-depth car pressure washer reviews. It has the best pressure washer PSI for cars, generating up to 1950 PSI to move 1.2 GPM. This means that it has a cleaning power of 2340 CU; plus, it comes with a 35-foot power cord and 25-foot hose that allows you to clean hard to reach places.
The Greenworks GPW1950 weighs 46 pounds, is 21.06 x 18.5 x 12.01 inches in size, and has large rear wheels – these features make it easy to be carried anywhere there is a car that needs cleaning. Furthermore, owing to its small size, this electric pressure washer for cars can be easily stowed away, and the unit has well-placed compartments to hold the cable and hose. Also, all accessories and nozzles can be easily attached to the high pressure car washer.
To top it all, the Greenworks GPW1950 has various nozzles to help you generate adequate pressure – use a wide spout for light-pressure, or a slim nozzle for high-pressure. This pressure washer is quite well-built; however, if it needs service soon, you can utilize the one-year warranty coverage from the manufacturer.
4. AR Blue Clean AR383
Excellent Electric Model
28.5 x 12.25 x 11.25 inches
14.5 amp/1800 watt motor
This pressure washer's PSI for car washing is quite adequate as it offers 1800 pounds per square inch of pressure to pass 1.5 gallons of water per minute. The AR Blue Clean AR383 has a 20-foot long hose, a 35-foot cord with built-in GFI, and several nozzles – all of which help with different types of cleaning tasks.
This electric car pressure washer is a greener alternative to other options with similar specifications – it conserves over 80% of water, and when operational, the device makes little to no sound. However, we did face some issues while using this pressure washer for car detailing – the high-pressure hose seemed to get tangled up. It is also made from an unnecessarily stiff material.
The hose connections that came along with the AR Blue Clean AR383 showed some signs of leakage, but they were negligible. Regardless, the car pressure washer is made from durable materials, and if it is kept well-maintained, it can last a long time. Overall, the AR Blue Clean AR383 is a fierce contender among the best pressure washer for cars, which is why it is included in our car pressure washer reviews.
5. Generac SpeedWash 7122
Best Gas Pressure Washer For Cars
24.2 x 18.9 x 35.5 inches
3 years limited warranty
Gas pressure washers tend to do better cleaning jobs, but not all are suitable for car washing because the exuded high-pressure can result in damages. However, after much research, we concluded that the Generac SpeedWash 7122 is, without a doubt, the best gas pressure washer for cars.
If used in the recommended manner, the Generac SpeedWash 7122 can provide car detailing unlike any other electric pressure washer for cars. The car pressure washer can generate pressure up to 3200 PSI to move 2.7 gallons per minute of water – this means that the Generac SpeedWash 7122 has a cleaning power of 8640 CU.
You can rid your car from the toughest of stains, but remember to be extra careful that the accumulated pressure does not damage your vehicle. For ease of use, the spray gun can be controlled with precision to ensure that pressure is adequate and not too much that can damage your vehicle.
Additionally, along with the machine, you also receive four interchangeable nozzles that help in further precise pressure control. The best part is that you can use this pressure washer for car detailing to clean up anything and everything, and not just cars – you can clean driveways, backyards, patios, drains, etc.
6. Karcher K2 Plus
Best Cheap Pressure Washer For Car
11 x 9 x 30.8 inches
5 LPM High-Performance Induction Motor
2 years warranty
We are sure that when you searched for the best pressure washer for cars, you came across a Karcher K2 car pressure washer review. Karcher is one of the leading pressure washer brands, and it is not surprising that many people search for the best Karcher pressure washer for cars, trucks, patios, etc.
The Karcher K2 Plus generates a pressure of up to 1600 PSI that results in 1.25 GPM of water, for 2000 CU of cleaning power. It comes with a 20-foot long hose that allows you to clean every inch of your car, and all the hard to reach places. Furthermore, it has an adjustable spray wand, which provides the needed pressure and gets the job done quickly. It’s also resistant to corrosion, which allows it to work for the long-haul.
Another reason you may have come across this model is that it has quite a reputation for being user-friendly and works brilliantly at home as well as commercial settings. In addition to being the best Karcher pressure washer, it is also the best cheap pressure washer at an affordable price. To top it all, the machine requires little to no maintenance, and if something goes wrong, don’t worry, there is a two years warranty in place.
Electric Vs Gas Pressure Washers Compared
An electric pressure washer for cars is less expensive and comes in handy for lighter tasks and everyday cleaning – typically, such machines generate 1400 to 1700 PSI for adequate cleanup.
On the other hand, gas-based high pressure car washers can produce pressure at a rate of 1800 to 4000 PSI, which allows them to handle heavy-duty tasks. So if you run a car wash service or if you want to do more than just wash cars – choose gas-powered washers.
Watch this video to understand the distinctions and similarities between the two types.
Foam Cannons & Pressure Washers
A foam cannon mixes water, air, and soap to create thick foam, which is then dispensed on the car via the pressure washer.
These cannons can operate with any car cleaning pressure washer as long as it does exceed 4,200 PSI and 5.3 GPM. However, if your pressure washer does not have standard fittings, you won't be able to use the foam cannon. You’ll need:
If your pressure washer doesn’t have these connections, invest in an adapter that’s readily available in the market.
How To Use a Pressure Washer For Car Detailing
Follow these guidelines to use the equipment to its full potential:
Watch this video to learn how to use a car pressure washer to clean cars.
Pressure Washer Troubleshooting
Whether you use an electric pressure washer for cars or a gas variant, the chances are that you’ll see some challenges and issues as time progresses. For instance, you may not have adequate water flow due to air blockage.
There is a simple solution: first, disconnect your car pressure washer from the power source. Next, attach the equipment to a garden hose and keep the water running for a while. Your pressure washer will be back in proper working condition in a few minutes.
Consider getting the equipment checked and repaired from an expert. You can get the problematic parts repaired or replaced if your machine is still under warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What PSI is safe for washing cars? Is it bad to pressure wash a car?
According to experts, you should use your pressure washer for car detailing at 1200-1900 PSI and a GPM of 1.4-1.6. Higher pressures may damage the car’s paint and even cause dents.
What is more important in a pressure washer for cars – PSI or GPM?
The PSI, i.e., pressure, does the cleaning, whereas the GPM helps speed it up the process. Look for both PSI and GPM if you want good results.
Should I purchase any car pressure washer accessories with my new pressure washer?
To make the most out of your equipment, invest in the best car wash shampoo for pressure washer. There are several different types of pressure washer detergent for cars, choose one that best fits your needs and budget. Also, buy attachments such as – hoses, guns, kits, regulators, underbody cleaners, wands, etc. You can also purchase cleaning tools – brushes, surface cleaners, telescopic wands, etc. To know more, watch this video.
Are there any risks or safety precautions when using a car pressure washer?
Yes, as water is evacuated with massive force, it can be dangerous, so you should take the following precautionary measures:
Learn how to use your car pressure washer safely.
Is it safe to repair the spray hose if it has a puncture?
Patching the leak is a convenient measure, but considering the amount of pressure generated, the patch will loosen soon enough, and that can damage your property. Instead, take the spray hose to a professional for a thorough repair, or better yet, replace it.
What are the steps for maintaining my new pressure washer?
Before use – check the oil, check screens, and inspect hoses and other accessories. After use – flush the remaining detergent and release the residual pressure.
What are the steps for winterizing a pressure washer?
Carry out the following steps:
What are the top brand pressure washers for car detailing?
The best pressure washer for cars are manufactured and sold by Sun Joe, Stanley, Greenworks, Generac, Karcher, AR Blue Clean.
Can I use the pressure washer for other purposes than cleaning my car?
Yes, you can use your car wash pressure washer for cleaning all surfaces from dust, dirt, grim, etc., plus you can also remove stubborn stains such as oil and grease.
It is essential to keep your car clean throughout its lifespan, but driving down to the car wash takes time, money, and effort. Owning and using a car pressure washer is a much better alternative for car detailing. We conducted in-depth research on what constitutes the best pressure washer for car detailing.
All washers included in our car pressure washer reviews were picked for their cleaning power, portability, durability, storage compartments, price, etc. However,