LAST UPDATED: April 12, 2021
Best Pressure Washer for Cars: Experience Incredible Cleaning Power
Get rid of the toughest stains on your car with these top-rated pressure washers.
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PUBLISHED ON April 12, 2021
There’s something so satisfying about having a freshly washed and waxed car. Everyone loves the feel of driving a pristinely clean and sparkling ride. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of work to get and keep your car looking like new all the time.
Whether you’re a fan of spending sunny Saturdays in your driveway lovingly washing and hand waxing your car, or if you’re a frequent flyer at your local car wash, purchasing a reliable and strong power washer for your car can save you both time and money when it comes to cleaning your car. Power washers are great at getting off stubborn and caked-on mud, dirt, salt, and debris without making you break a sweat.
If you’re considering purchasing a pressure washer for your car, check out our favorite top-quality options and be sure to read through our in-depth buying guide so you learn exactly what to look for to ensure you’re buying a long-lasting, powerful, and reliable machine that will make keeping your car clean a breeze.
CSA-approved electric pressure washer that generates up to 2,030 PSI. It can handle light-, medium-, and heavy-duty cleaning.
- Powerful motor
- Great water pressure suitable for heavy-duty cleaning
- Long 35-foot power cord for better reach
- Dual generator tanks for different detergents
- Hose connector is prone to leaking
- Nozzle gets rusty after some time
Powerful pressure washer suitable for medium- and light-duty cleaning tasks. Generates 1,500 PSI at 1.2 GPM. Comes with multiple connector tips to adjust the water pressure.
- Has a soap applicator
- Can be used both horizontally and vertically
- Easy to connect
- 25-foot hose for greater reach
- No charging or batteries required
- Not suitable for heavy-duty cleaning
- Feels cheap and is not durable
This electric pressure washer delivers 2,000 PSI maximum pressure. It has an integrated ½-gallon detergent tank for optimal cleaning potential.
- It can be folded into a smaller profile for storage
- Designed with a tough, durable steel frame
- Motor runs quietly
- Wheels provide easy roll-away mobility
- Might come with faulty spray tips
- May leak at the hose connection
- Wheels can get wobbly
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Pressure Washers
- Clean tough stains. Pressure washers come with different pressure settings to handle light-, medium-, and heavy-duty tasks. Tough stains like oil, grease, or grime fall in the line of heavy-duty tasks, which a high-pressure washer can blast off your car. Some washers also come with accessories like scrubbers and soap applicators that make removing tough stains an easy job.
- Saves time. On average, it takes about 10 minutes to clean your car on low pressure. Heavy-duty cleaning may take double that time, but if you know how to work the machine, it’s almost impossible to spend more than an hour cleaning your car.
- Cost effective. You have probably spent a lot of money in the past when hiring a professional cleaner to get rid of tough stains on your car. A car pressure washer helps you save money as you can take care of the cleaning task yourself.
- Portability. Most car pressure washers are light enough to be carried around. You could store one in your trunk and pull it out whenever you need a quick cleanup. Some even have wheels so you can drag them around and clean about five more cars in your garage.
- Eco-friendly. You no longer have to use harsh chemicals to clean your car. Pressure washers release water at high velocity and power to lift the toughest stains from your vehicle. In most cases, you won’t have to use a detergent and that’s good for the environment.
Types of Car Pressure Washers
Hydraulic Pressure Washer
Hydraulic pressure washers are quiet, compact, and lightweight. They use a hydraulic mechanism to generate energy and do not require fuel or electricity to function. For that reason, they are eco-friendly and suitable for commercial use.
Diesel engine washers are suitable for medium- and heavy-duty work. The washer depends on diesel to fuel the pump. Because it generates fumes, it is not suitable for indoor use. Diesel engine washers are available in many sizes.
Gas engine washers are similar in design to diesel engine washers. These washers use gas as the main source of fuel to power the pump. They are suitable for medium- and heavy-duty cleaning tasks. They also generate fumes and are, therefore, for outdoor use only.
Electric pressure washers need to be connected to a power generator or an electric outlet to work. They are suitable for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty work.
Sun Joe is a brand of outdoor tools marketed under Snow Joe + Sun Joe. The company name was coined from its business mantra that it makes the best-looking outdoor tools whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling. The company was founded in 2004 and currently operates a 271,000 square foot distribution center in Mahwah, N.J. It sells the Sun Joe SPX3000, which is one of the best power washers for cars.
Greenworks is a global manufacturer of battery-powered tools suitable for the DIY user. The company uses best-in-class technology to provide reliable products that meet the performance needs of the consumer. It started its business in Seattle, Washington but later relocated to Sweden to meet the demands of its European, Middle East, and Asian markets. A popular Greenworks power tool is the Greenworks 1500 PSI.
Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton is a renowned American Fortune 1000 manufacturer of gasoline-powered tools and the world’s largest small engine producer. The company’s headquarters are in Wauwatosa, Wis., and it has a testing facility in Pierce, Fla. The company also manufactures garden care tools and power generators but pressure washers are its best-selling products, especially the Briggs & Stratton Electric Pressure Washer.
Karcher is a family-owned manufacturing company based in Winnenden, Germany. The company is an industry leader in the production of some of the best cleaning tools, including window vacuum cleaners, wash water treatment equipment, military decontamination equipment, and high-pressure washers. One recommended pressure washer from Karcher is the Karcher Premium Electric Pressure Washer.
Car Pressure Washers Pricing
- Under $100: Pressure washers in this price range are super budget-friendly but don’t come with a lot of extra bells and whistles. They're usually at a lower pounds per square inch (PSI) than some pricier models, but can still be counted on to do a thorough car washing. You just may not be able to use them to also power wash your house, driveway, or deck.
- $100 to $250: This is the most common price range for electric pressure washers. Most washers in this range have a high PSI rating and can be depended on to perform light to heavy-duty cleaning tasks.
- $250 and up: Pressure washers at this range often have the highest PSI rating and are most likely to be used for car detailing. They come with plenty of convenient features like scrubbers, extra detergent tanks, detergent injectors, and other items that make cleaning car surfaces easy. They’re built to be rugged and withstand some serious wear and tear.
How close is the pump’s power source? For car pressure washers, electric motors are the best since almost every home has an electric outlet. Also, electric washers utilize a high amperage in their motors to deliver a PSI of about 2,000, which is an ideal pressure for car washing. Engine pressure washers deliver a higher PSI rating and are more suitable for car detailing when you want to remove old paint from your car.
The nozzle size largely affects the amount of water coming out of the spray gun. Sometimes you may want a narrow spray for a light cleaning job or a powerful spray to remove the toughest grease stains. Keep in mind that there are critical parts of your car that a powerful spray could damage. You should therefore go for a pressure washer with an adaptable nozzle so that you can adjust the width of the spray to suit the cleaning task.
- Hose Length. The appropriate length of the hose in a washer is about 25 feet long. Anything less will have you constantly knocking down the pressure washer. On the other hand, if the hose reel is too long, it will be an inconvenience when you want to move around the washer
- Soap/Detergent Tank. You cannot just rely on water to get rid of all the stains. Soap makes your work easy, and if you get your soap and water from the same source, that makes it more convenient.
Best Pressure Washers for Cars Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The Sun Joe SPX3000 is our best car power washer for a number of reasons. First off, it has an 1,800-watt electric motor that delivers a pressure of 2,030 PSI and a steady water flow rate of 1.76 gallons per minute. In addition, the manufacturer included a safety feature in the form of a Total Stop System (TSS) trigger, which automatically shuts off the pump when your finger isn’t on the trigger.
The fun doesn’t end there, as the washer also comes with five spray tips featuring Quick-Connect technology. This makes it easy to change the spray tips when you want to switch between light-, medium-, and heavy-duty work. This Sun Joe model is also equipped with two 0.9-liter onboard detergent tanks for maximum cleaning power. The rear wheels make it easy to move around the washer.
Despite the fact that this washer is CSA-approved, it would be better if it had a stronger hose connector that’s not prone to leaking. That could pose a safety issue if you are using it when it’s plugged into an electrical outlet. The nozzle also gets rusty after prolonged use. Moreover, the manual doesn’t come with the best instructions to help a newbie set up the device.
The Greenworks 1500 PSI is not just the best affordable pressure washer on the market, but it also boasts premium features like 25- and 40-degree quick connects nozzles. You can easily change from light- to medium-duty cleaning tasks with 1,500 PSI of water pressure delivered at 1.2 gallons per minute (GPM). It’s capable of getting rid of oil stains, heavy mildew stains, mud, and grime.
This 15.72-pound machine comes with multiple tips for connectivity, and you can change the spray tips to control the water pressure. The soap applicator supplies you with soap as you clean any surface. It draws its power from an electric outlet and features a 20-foot-high pressure hose and a 13-amp universal motor. You will find it convenient that the washer can be used either vertically or horizontally.
The flipside to its greatness is that it has no wheels, which makes it hard to clean multiple vehicles. In addition, this model wasn’t made for heavy-duty cleaning. The spray pressure could be better. It also feels cheap with some of the parts starting to fall apart after about two years of extended use.
This electric pressure washer is for anyone who wants a reliable unit that runs quietly. It’s powered with a durable brushless induction motor that can push out a maximum pressure of 2,000 psi at a rate of 1.2 gallons per minute. It’s designed with a military-grade steel frame that can survive accidental drops and includes an onboard detergent tank.
The unit comes with four quick-connect nozzles that allow you to increase the water pressure or adjust the angle of water flow by about zero to 20 degrees. It also features a foldable handle that folds the unit almost in half so that it can fit in smaller spaces such as your trunk. You can rely on this unit to get rid of any kind of dirt or grime lodged on your car.
However, the fact that the hose doesn’t store well on the unit is the most significant nagging issue. It tends to unravel easily. In addition, some of the spray tips might not click in place and can shoot out once the washer is activated.
As the name suggests, the WPX2700 provides a maximum pressure of 2,700 PSI at a rate of 2.3 gallons per minute. It’s a deep-cleaning power washer that is not only good for removing the grime from your tires but can also be used to wash garage floors, sidewalks, fences, and walls. The unit has a heavy-duty steel construction equipped with an onboard one-gallon gas tank and a ½-gallon soap tank. It relies on the maintenance-free axial cam pump to facilitate air-free pumping when it’s running at maximum pressure.
Connected right at the soap tank is a 25-foot, abrasion-resistant hose with a spray gun. You get four quick-connect nozzles to attach to the spray gun, which can spray at an angle of 0, 25, and 40 degrees. The fourth one is designed for exclusively dispensing soap. What’s more, the unit has 12-inch wheels for easy maneuverability when you are cleaning around your car.
What you might not like about it is the poor quality hose that may kink easily or leak at the connector. Also, the pump can run hot when operating under maximum pressure, and it can melt the hose if you forget to move it from the pump.
The Generac 7954 Pressure Washer gets a shout-out for being a super powerful washer that really packs a punch and won’t break the bank. With 2,900 PSI, this pressure washer will annihilate caked-on, stuck-on, and stubborn dirt, grime, and debris. It’s easy and intuitive to use. It features a compact 196 cc OHV gas-powered engine that will pull double duty as not only a great pressure washer for your car, but also for your home siding, deck, driveway, and a wide variety of other items.
It comes easy to assemble in just a few simple steps, with a user-friendly owner’s manual. The ergonomic spray gun features a cushioned grip and an easy-to-pull trigger that helps reduce hand fatigue. When you’re done, the spray gun stores neatly in the integrated holder for easy transport and storage. It also comes equipped with a convenient onboard 1/2-gallon detergent tank for hassle-free washing. You also get three quick-change nozzle tips and soap with this pressure washer. Large wheels and a solid handle make it easy to maneuver and transport.
There is some concern with it being difficult to get started on your initial use, but once started the first time, it seems to be very reliable.
If you want a powerful car pressure washer that comes with a lot of extra bells and whistles, check out the Powerhouse International 2021 Platinum Edition Pressure Washer. This thing will knock your socks off with a maximum output of 3,000 PSI and 2.2 GPM. And, it’s electric, so no need for smelly fuel. It’s also quieter than a gas-powered pressure washer.
This pressure washer has all the accessories you could want. You get turbo and angle nozzles, a soap foam sprayer, a patio surface cleaner, a 30-foot hose, two stainless steel lances, five quick-connect tips, and more. It all comes mounted on a stable four-wheel, locking caster removable cart for easy transportation and maneuverability. The total-stop trigger gun has a safety switch that automatically stops the power washer’s motor when the trigger is released.
However, there is some concern over the overall long-term durability and reliability of some of the accessory attachments.
The Stanley SHP2150 is an electric power washer with a powerful, noise-free motor that delivers a maximum pressure of 2,150 PSI. The detergent bottle is the main special feature on the unit since it doubles as a foam cannon to allow for deeper cleaning of tough stains. The detergent bottle can hold a maximum of 28 ounces.
Attachments on the unit include a pressure washer gun with onboard storage for about four quick-connect nozzles. It also includes a 25-foot, high-pressure hose that’s designed with professional-grade brass connectors to prevent leaks. For easy transporting, the unit comes with two never-go-flat wheels and a telescopic handle that you can push in or out.
The main downside of this unit is that it doesn’t come with a built-in detergent tank. Also, it has a plastic body and wheels, which can crack easily if mishandled. Another issue is that it doesn’t produce the best water flow, at only 1.4 gallons per minute.
The Karcher K1700 is another great option for anyone looking for an average-powered electric power washer. It provides a maximum pressure of 1,700 psi at a rate of 1.2 gallons per minute. You can adjust the water and detergent flow with the three nozzles provided; one is an all-purpose nozzle, another one only shoots out water at a 15-degree angle, and of course, the detergent nozzle.
What’s more, the unit comes with a 20-foot hose, and you can easily turn it on or off by stepping on the foot pedal at the base. The best part is that it comes with a removable 0.5-gallon detergent tank and storage bin for storing all your extra nozzles and other accessories.
The main drawback of this model is that the hose may leak at the point it attaches to the unit. Also, at 20-feet, you can say it’s a bit shorter than the hoses that come with other electric washers. In addition, the soap dispenser might malfunction over time.
The A-iPower APW2700C Gas Powered Pressure Washer is a compact and lightweight pressure washer that delivers a respectable 2,700 PSI and 2.3 GPM to give you dependable cleaning power. It will give a strong wash without damaging your car’s paint or aftermarket accessories. It features a 25-foot high-pressure hose that provides ample reach without being overly cumbersome. It comes with three quick-change nozzle tips to give you customizable cleaning options.
All of it comes mounted on a sturdy, lightweight frame with two oversized, 8-inch PU wheels that make moving it and storing a cinch. It’s also a very straightforward, easy-to-use set-up and design that is ready to go with minimal assembly.
However, be sure to open the box and check it upon arrival, as some customers have complained that the motor and air filter housings have arrived damaged. You’ll want to take advantage of the warranty before it expires if that’s the case.
- Put your safety first when using an electric power washer. Although many are designed to be waterproof, machines do get old and/or faulty. Always ensure that the washer is placed in an area free of water splashes and puddles.
- Pressure washers emit jets of water at high pressure, which can send debris flying at your face. Protect your eyes with a good pair of protective goggles and wear earmuffs to cover up the noise from the motor.
- Always hold the spray wand at the correct distance from the nozzle. Consult with the owner’s manual on where your hands should be. The last thing you want is to get smacked in the face from the pressure coming out of the nozzle.
- It’s dangerous to point the washer nozzle at children, animals, or plants, since the pressure may throw them off balance and hurt them. You should also use the spray when you are on a flat surface, as the pressure may knock you off a raised platform.
- Always open your package immediately upon arrival to check for broken, damaged, or missing parts so that you can be sure to take advantage of any return/refund policies without any hassle, even if you’re not planning to use your pressure washer for months.
Q: Is it safe to repair the spray hose if it has a puncture?
Due to the extreme pressure of water being pushed through the spray hose, it’s not recommended to merely repair the hose. High pressures can exploit areas of weakness within the hose and quickly make them worse. It’s always best to replace the spray hose with a brand new one to be on the safe side.
Q: Why does the nozzle in my pressure washer clog?
Clogs in the nozzle of your pressure washer are usually due to a buildup of gunk or debris in the system. This can happen if your pressure washer has been allowed to sit for long periods without being used. It can also happen if you have a water supply with lots of mineral content, as this can accumulate in the hose and cause blockages over time. Carefully try to remove the clog so you don’t damage the nozzle or the spray hose.
Q: Is it safe to leave fuel in the gas tank when transporting the washer?
You should never leave fuel in the gas tank of your pressure washer during transport. If the washer were to tip over in your vehicle while underway, fuel can leak out into your car, or leak into the motor or air filter housing. This can cause serious damage, as well as a risk of fire. Always drain the fuel tank of your pressure washer before putting it in the trunk of your car or back of your truck.
Now that you’ve seen some of the great options for car pressure washers on the market and know what to look for to ensure you’re getting a top-quality product that will last you for years to come, it’s easy to see why we chose the Sun Joe SPX3000 as our top pick. It’s a clean functioning and quiet electric washer that’s strong enough to remove stubborn dirt and debris from your car. It’s also got a great price tag.
That being said, if budget is still a major consideration for you, check out the Greenworks 1500 PSI Pressure Washer. It’s a super affordable option that won’t sacrifice performance for price.