Best Pressure Washer for Cars - Updated Feb. 2019

Without a doubt, driving around in a spic and span car is something to be proud of. Everybody wants to be seen in a vehicle that is shiny, spotless and looks brand new. However, beyond the aesthetics, keeping a car clean every single time also helps improve its performance and increases its life as well.

The only thing about keeping a car clean is that it also requires a lot of time for maintenance and cleaning chores. No wonder why so many car owners put off the cleaning at the last minute! Sure, you can always drive it to the car wash but, over time, it can become expensive.

What’s the less expensive but equally effective route to take when cleaning cars? A lot of car owners have now looked into using pressure washers to make the task a whole lot easier for them. Even better is that even though the time for cleaning is cut, the quality is not. It might even leave the car cleaner compared to the traditional methods.

Finding-the-Best-Pressure-Washer-for-Cars-Buying-Guide

Is It Safe to Use Pressure Washer on Cars?

Now, before we move along with the topic, the biggest question might be: is pressure washing safe for cars?

Some people might tell you to avoid using this type of machine when cleaning cars. With such powerful pressure of water coming out of the unit, it is highly likely that it could take off the paint from your vehicle. You certainly do not wish to do more harm than good to your car, right?

So, should you just dismiss the possibility of using pressure washers on cars? Definitely not. Most likely, those people who have given you such advice have probably never used a pressure washer on their cars before. Sure, you have to be very careful so you do not damage the paint of your car (or any other part, for that matter) but, if you have done your research, you should only be left with a beautiful, shiny vehicle in the end.

What to Look For in Pressure Washers for Cars

Power

When looking for a pressure washer for your car, the number one thing you should look into is its power. PSI, or pounds per inch, is the unit used to determine that – and it basically tells the amount of pressure that the water coming out of the machine has. Typically, you are in the safe zone as long as you use a unit that has less than 2,500 psi.

It should be noted, however, that water of this much pressure can only cause damage to a vehicle’s paint when it is applied directly from the nozzle and to the car at close range. As such, it is a good rule of thumb to squirt water onto your car from around 24 inches away and not move closer than 12 inches.

Pressure washers between 1300 and 2200 psi should not cause any damage to your car and should provide enough power to remove even the toughest dirt, stains or even grime from your vehicle.

Gas-Powered-Pressure-Washer

Detergent Tank or Foam Cannon

These two can be confusing and are often used interchangeably by car owners and pressure washer users when, in fact, they mean two very different things. While these two things apply soap to a surface, they actually have very different jobs.

A detergent tank, on one hand, is what is used to mix soap and water. Doing so will help make the surface a lot cleaner but this method usually does not produce a lot of foam. Because of this, it does not actually clean surfaces as much as it should.

On the other hand, foam cannons are the most preferred tools in helping keep cars clean. As its name suggests, it produces a lot of foam which is the one responsible for loosening and removing dirt from nooks and crannies in your vehicle. Once it has lifted off the dirt, the pressure washer is then used to rinse all the foam – and dirt – away. Even better is that using foam does not leave any soap residue behind, which usually results to spotting and would require even more cleanup.

If you are looking for the best pressure washer for your car, be sure to check if it comes with a foam cannon or if it is compatible with one.

GPW1501-Pressure-Washer

Pressure Washer Nozzles

Another important factor to consider when choosing a pressure washer for car use is the type of nozzle that comes with the package.

Different types of cleaning jobs require different types of nozzles. And why is this very important? The nozzle, or the spray head, is actually what provides a pressurized water spray to the pressure washer.

These cleaning machines usually come with two types of nozzles but it can have up to 4 of these. Nozzles are color-coded and provide different spray patterns that can be used on all sorts of surfaces.

Red-tipped nozzles provide a zero-degree angle, which means that it is able to produce a straight and concentrated water jet. Because it is too high-pressured, it is not recommended for use while cleaning cars. Doing so could potentially cause damage to the paint as well as other parts of the vehicle.

Yellow-tipped nozzles provide a 15-degree spray angle, making it the best spray to use when doing a second rinse after the shampoo or cleaning solution has been applied.

Green-tipped nozzles provide a 35-degree spray pattern, which make it the ideal spray for taking off dirt and salt deposits during quick car washes. You can use it to make sure that your car’s wheels are cleaned thoroughly.

Lastly, white-tipped nozzles provide a 40-degree spray angle. Since it provides the widest and largest spray area, it is also the one that comes with the gentlest way of washing the car. They are best used on windshields, decals and other sensitive parts of the car.

Ivation-Electric-Pressure-Washer-2200-PSI-Review

Low Grade, Medium Grade or High Grade

Pressure washers are not made equally. Some are made for entry-level washing while there are others that are specifically designed for commercial purposes.

Low grade pressure washers are also called consumer or household washers although this certainly does not mean that it comes with a subpar quality. In fact, most homeowners already find this more than enough to help them in their regular chores. This version is usually preferred by those who love to DIY things and, although they are of good quality, is not exactly recommended for frequent use. They usually cost around $100.

Medium grade pressure washers, on the other hand, are the next level. While they are of higher quality, they are not to be trusted for everyday use. The quality of these washers largely depends on the manufacturer as it is possible that they use a professional quality engine paired with a low grade pump. You can expect to pay around $300 to $500 for these machines.

High grade pressure washers are best recommended for commercial use – those who have to use it everyday, probably because they have a cleaning business. When you go for these types of machines, you can expect that every part is made of high-quality material designed for heavy usage.

Best Car Pressure Washer

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details


1. Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe Pressure Washer

Sale
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
6,059 Reviews
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
  • 5 Quick-Connect spray tips (0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap) tackle light, medium and heavy duty cleaning tasks
  • Powerful 14.5-amp/1800-Watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI/1.76 GPM for maximum cleaning power and water inlet temperature (max) is 104 degrees Farenheit
  • TSS (Total Stop System) - automatically shuts off the pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life.Working Pressure:1450 PSI.20 foot high pressure hose
  • Dual detergent tanks - two 0.9 L onboard, removable tanks carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects
  • CSA approved. Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for User Manual. This product can expose you to chemicals including lead and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details

When it comes to pressure washers for cars, Sun Joe is perhaps the most trusted brand in the entire US. Why so?

This is because despite its awesome features and impressive list of specifications, it comes affordably priced. Even better is that it is CSA approved and even comes with a 2-year warranty.

What are the other things that you can expect from this highly recommended machine?

  • Includes five different spray tips, more than we have discussed in this guide
  • Is powered by a 1800-watt motor and produces 2,030 psi at 1.76 gpm
  • Uses a Total Stop System which turns off the motor when not in use, thus conserving power
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Is designed with two separate reservoirs for soap and detergent
  • Has a spray wand that is 34 inches long and a power cord that is 35 feet long
Sale
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
Snow Joe LLC - Lawn & Patio
$199.99 - $52.42 $147.57

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details


2. Karcher K5 Premium Electric Pressure Washer

Sale
Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer, 2000 PSI, 1.4 GPM
393 Reviews
Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer, 2000 PSI, 1.4 GPM
  • Cleaner. Quicker.
  • 2000 PSI, 1.4 GPM electric pressure washer
  • Integrated hose reel for easy storage - 25ft high pressure hose
  • Vario Power Spray wand - easily adjust spray right from the wand
  • Dirtblaster spray wand - tackles the hardest jobs in half the time

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details

Karcher is a premium brand in pressure washers because it does not just sell itself – it shows itself by cleaning the most iconic buildings all over the world. As the leader in the market, they used to come in the more expensive range but they have produced more affordable machines in the recent years.

What can you expect out of this premium unit?

  • Produces 2,000 psi at 1.4 gallons per minute
  • Comes with a 25-foot pressure hose, a detergent tank and 2 wands
  • Makes use of a patented water cooled induction technology, which helps keep the motor cool when in use, improves performance and increases motor life
  • Has the quietest operation among all pressure washers
  • Has a 2-year limited warranty
Sale
Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer, 2000 PSI, 1.4 GPM
Karcher - Lawn & Patio
$329.99 - $101.30 $228.69

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details


3. AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric Pressure Washer

Sale
AR Blue Clean AR383 1,900 PSI Electric Pressure Washer, Nozzles, Spray Gun, Wand, Detergent Bottle & Hose
3,353 Reviews
AR Blue Clean AR383 1,900 PSI Electric Pressure Washer, Nozzles, Spray Gun, Wand, Detergent Bottle & Hose
  • OUTDOOR CLEANING POWER: Make quick cleaning jobs of decks, patios, siding, driveways, outdoor furniture, cars, trucks, RVs, ATVs and more.
  • ATTACHMENTS INCLUDED: Professional-style pressure washer gun, 2 different pressure washer wands, 20 foot high pressure hose, 14 oz. detergent bottle and 2 high pressure quick change wands with pressure washer turbo and variable nozzles. Hose diameter: 0.25 inch
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Conserves water by using 80% less water with 40% more power than a standard garden hose. Quieter than gas engine models.
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: Pull it out of the box, insert the hose reel and attach the handle. Connect the high pressure hose and garden hose. Plug the GFCI to a 3 prong outlet with a ground. Pull the trigger to start cleaning.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: Best in class support. Contact us at anytime in Fridley, Minnesota. using the information found in the owner's manual.

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details

The AR Blue Clean AR383 is best for car owners who are too intimidated to pick up those heavy duty pressure washers but would like to get the most out of their cleaning machines.

It looks modern, lightweight and very easy to use, which is why it is among our recommended products.

Other things that you might like about this unit:

  • Weighs just 11.7 pounds, making it among the lightest and most portable pressure washers in the market
  • Is very efficient and environment-friendly: it uses 80% less water compared to regular pressure washers
  • Produces 1,900 psi or about 40% more power compared to regular garden hoses
  • Is very easy to assemble – you can use it straight out of the box
  • Has 2 wands, a 20-foot pressure hose and 14-ounce detergent bottle
  • Comes with a 1-year bumper to bumper warranty

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details


4. SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S Pressure Washer

Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda GC190, 3100 PSI at 2.5 GPM
1,510 Reviews
Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda GC190, 3100 PSI at 2.5 GPM
  • HONDA GC190 premium residential engine
  • Maintenance-free OEM Technologies axial cam pump
  • 1/4 in. x 25 ft MorFlex hose is non-marring, kink and abrasion resistant and equipped M22 connection
  • Welded steel construction frame
  • 10'' Premuim pneumatic wheels

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details

This is among the best, if not THE best, in gas-powered pressure washers. While it is definitely more expensive compared to other models, you can trust that it comes with a lot of power and quality.

But because the price is rather steep (around $398.00), make sure that you use it for many cleaning jobs at home.

Other excellent features include:

  • Produces a 3,100psi power at 2.5 gpm
  • Package comes with five different nozzles for various cleaning tasks
  • Designed with 10-inch pneumatic tires making it easier to lug around 65 pounds of machine weight
  • Has a 2-year warranty for the engine, 1-year warranty for the pump and five-year warranty for the frame
  • Designed with a safety lock-out feature for maximum comfort and control
  • Pressure hose is designed to be resistant to kinks and abrasions

5. Generac 7019 Pressure Washer

Sale
Generac 7019 OneWash 3,100 PSI, 2.4 GPM, Gas Powered Pressure Washer and PowerDial Gun
89 Reviews
Generac 7019 OneWash 3,100 PSI, 2.4 GPM, Gas Powered Pressure Washer and PowerDial Gun
  • Ergonomic spray gun with integrated Power Dial allows you to easily adjust the pressure needed between four different tasks - car, wood, concrete and soap - at your fingertips
  • Powerful horizontal axial cam pump delivers 3100 PSI for tough cleaning
  • Convenient on-board 1/2 gallon detergent tank for hassle free cleaning
  • Generac 196cc OHV engine delivers maximum cleaning performance
  • 25 foot high pressure hose connects to the rear of the spray gun for maximum convenience

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details

If you ever decide to go for a gas-powered car pressure washer, definitely give this brand a consideration.

One of the things that we like about this unit is that it comes with oversized tires which make it easier to transport 57 pounds of weight much easily.

Other things you can expect from this product?

  • It has a spray gun which comes with an ergonomic design and a power dial
  • Has four power options – car, wood, concrete and soap – so you can use it for cleaning tasks around the house, not just for the car
  • Is powered by a 196cc engine and produces up to 3,100 psi of water
  • Detergent tank has a capacity of 0.5 gallons
  • Its hose connections are conveniently placed beside the motor, making it easier to change connections without having to open panels or kneel down

Last update on 2019-02-21 PST - Details


Conclusion

We hope this guide will help you find your perfect match in car pressure washers. It will be a tough choice but once you have narrowed down your list based on the criteria above, it should no longer be that difficult to come up with a final decision.

Now, you no longer have any excuse for driving around a dirty car with these excellent pressure washers!


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