3 Best Pressure Washer For Car & How to Wash Guide

pressure wash a car

I have come across several people riding in dirty cars. When they realize I am shocked, they share a long boring story on how their pressure washers are ineffective. Finding the best washer for car may be problematic especially if one does not have an idea of the pressure washer properties. Having worked in the motor industry for long, I have come across several washing machines and picked the best three.

NameMotorPSIGPMPrice
Sun Joe SPX30011800 W/14.5 A motor20301.76View Price
Karcher K1700universal motor17001.2View Price
AR Blue Clean AR38313 A/1.5 hp motor19001.5View Price

Pressure Washers for Car

1. Sun Joe SPX3001 – Best For Car Washing

sun joe spx3001Toughest stains, whether road tar, grease deposits, insect splats, tree sap, rust stains, mud, grime and gunk, the list is long; Sun Joe SPX3001 fights them all.

Any stain will be off in minutes. This incredible machine combines performance, power, and versatility to give ultimate results; it is the best choice for all car cleaning projects.

With a quality made motor featuring 14.5amp or 1800-Watt, this washing machine produces 2030 PSI and 1.76GPM of water pressure and water flow respectively, an assurance of thorough and efficient cleaning.

It Comes with five Joe’s Quick- connect spray tips that guide on how to operate the adjustable spray to match the cleaning task at hand.

This incredible machine is made of top-notch components that give it a maximum power to operate consistently. It is armed with a vast 40.6 liquid ounce detergent tank that works perfectly when removing debris and dirt.

Similarly, it has an extension spray measuring 34 inches that can make cleaning in hidden and tight spaces easy such as beneath automotive cars. Sun Joe SPX3001 is equipped with a hose reel measuring six meters specially made for quick and straight forward clean up as well as storage.

Similarly, this super pressure machine has a Total Stop System trigger that stops pump functioning in case the trigger stops operating or somewhat when not in use.

The complete package works exemplary well; in case any extra accessories are needed for customization, they are readily available. Spare parts in case of repair are also available in many stores.

Accessories Inside the Box:

• 5 Quick-Connect spray tips (0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap)
• 40.6-Fluid Ounce Detergent Tank
• 34-inch extension wand
• 20-foot high pressure hose
• 35-foot power cord with GFCI protection
• garden hose adapter
• needle clean-out tool

Pros
  • Sold at a pocket-friendly price hence convenient for your budget
  • Frequent discounts and offers on the machine are made to make it more affordable
  • Used Sun Joe SPX3001 machines in right conditions are available at a lower price
  • CSA approved
  • Offered with a warranty of 2 years
Cons
  • Heavyweight compromising portability
  • International shipping of the device is not allowed
Sun Joe SPX3001 does not only display the best qualities but can also work for hours without damage. Apart from cleaning cars, it can be used to clean other surfaces such as house floors and concrete. With its 5 Quick Connect guides, one can operate light heavy and medium cleaning duties readily.

Another model from Sun Joe that is SPX3000 features same specifications and performance. SPX3001 is the updated model of that SUN Joe SPX3000 Pressure Washer.

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2. Karcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer – Best Washer For The Money

1700 psi pressure washerKarcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer displays features that advance your cleaning activities. With joined metal accessories, large wheels and general perfect design make movement and portability easy; you can comfortably move around when cleaning surfaces.

This excellent machine has properties that make its handling easy. For instance; tall handle, cord wind, detachable detergent tank, bucket bin for storage, and foot switch. The foot switch saves you the struggle of having to bend now and hence no back strains.

Also, you can store your personal properties or accessories in the storage bin. All the accessories can be joined with ease not forgetting M22 hose connections that enable adequate nozzle and overall machine usage.

K1700 performance standards are similar to those set by Pressure Washer Manufacturers Association (PW101); this gives an assurance that the electric washing machine will function as per your expectations and give best results.

Purchase of this machine reliable machine is followed by Rapid Exchange Program back up which is by far much better than the past repair programs. Exchange program ensures that free and quick replacement of electrical machine washer that needs repair as per repair warranty terms is done.

A three years warranty is assured. Assembling this machine takes less than five minutes without the use of any tools. This unit is made using a durable material hence can serve over an extended period.

The rotating brush it features leaves not a spot of dirt or stain. The hosepipe can move up to fifty feet hence one can clean large surfaces without the struggle of moving the machine.

Good news is that Karcher K1700 is compatible with other pressure washer additions of different brands sold separately; the additions, however, have to meet industry standard.

Accessories Inside the Box:

• 3 nozzles: turbo nozzle, 15° all-purpose nozzle and detergent nozzle
• Removable detergent tank

Pros
  • Perfect performance is guaranteed; meets Pressure Washer Manufacturers Association functioning standards
  • Offered with a 3-year warranty
  • Sold at an affordable price
  • Flexible and can easily maneuver over soft o rough ground
  • Incorporates Rapid Exchange Program
  • Offers and discounts are given to lower costs further
Cons
  • International shipping is not allowed
In a nutshell, Karcher Universal Electric Washing Machine is an excellent choice. Chances of failure and disappointments are next to zero. With the 3 year warranty, you are guaranteed of free repair and replacement when necessary. Quality and proper functioning are on top of the mark.

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3. AR Blue Clean AR383 – Best Efficient Pressure Washer

AR Blue Clean AR383If you want a quick, perfect cleanup on any outdoor surface, then AR383 would do. This washing machine is durable, reliable and robust.

Basing on the fact that it made by the leading manufacturer of diaphragm pumps and piston for agriculture and industrial use respectively, then you can be sure that this washing machine is of top quality.

Apart from cleaning cars, this device also cleans wooden surfaces, garbage cans, lawn mowers, pet cages, patio furniture among other outdoor equipment.

Connecting parts is an easy task; the hose, adjustable spray, and turbo. It features 1900 PSI/1.5 GPM delivery by a Tri-Axial Pump and13Amp/1.5 HP motor.

Similar its spray gun is equipped with a Quick Release Bayonet that makes removal and installation of the wand and hoses simple.

The adjustable spray allows convenient cleaning; can be adjusted to suit the mode of cleaning needed. It contains a 14 oz bottle to hold detergent for easy application and a storage compartment that can hold accessories and other staff.

To keep the pump operational and in good condition over an extended period, the washing machine shuts down automatically when the trigger is not in use.

The hose can operate up to 20’ hence cleaning over a large surface is possible. This fantastic machine will help you a considerable amount of water, precisely eighty percent, with forty percent more pressure and power than the standard garden hose; it is thus environmentally friendly.

Accessories Inside the Box:

• Professional-style pressure washer gun
• 2 different pressure washer wands
• 20 foot high pressure hose
• 14 oz. detergent bottle
• 2 high pressure quick change wands
• 2 nozzles (pressure washer turbo and variable nozzles)

Pros
  • Environment friendly; saves more than half the water that would have been used when cleaning using standard hose
  • High pressure spray that blasts water over a long distance
  • Offers and product promotions are offered regularly
  • Warranty back up
  • Used AR Blue Clean AR383 in good condition available at a cheaper price
  • Offered at a pocket friendly price
Cons
  • International shipping not allowed

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Many of you must be wondering why we haven’t featured any gas pressure washer model above. Then let me tell you, normally gas pressure washers have more than 2500 PSI of power which is not good for car washing by DIY lovers. Many professionals do wash with gas-powered pressure washers, but it’s all about their experience and techniques.

6 Features to Look for in a Pressure Washer for Car

  • #1. Right Pressure (PSI): Excessively high pressure may damage car paint. Knowing the pressure washers that offer adequate force is the way to go for a safe cleaning.Any pressure range close or more than 2500 PSI will damage your car quickly especially if it is applied at close range.Regardless of the type of washing machine in use or PSI, it features, it is advisable to blast water from the nozzle between twenty-four inches to twelve inches away from the target surface.To be on the safe side, purchase a pressure washer that features 1300 to 2200 PSI. AR Blue Clean AR383 and Su Joe SPX3001 have a PSI of 1900 and 2030 respectively; they are among the best washers in the market.While considering the right PSI, the amount of water that flows (GPM0 should also be considered in the same way. A 1300 PSI pressure washer with high flow rate is far much better than a more upper PSI pressure washer with low GPM. Arguably, low GPM reduces water wastage. It all depends on individuals preferences.
  • #2. Nozzles included or not: Right nozzles are of essence for complete cleaning; unfortunately, not all pressure washers have correct nozzles. A turbo boosting nozzle is the best for pressure washers with low PSI for excellent cleaning of hard to wash areas. The best pressure washers such as Sun Joe SPX 3000 contain a variety of nozzles ranging from forty degrees to jet stream.
  • #3. Length of Hose: Hose should be of a convenient length; not too long or too short. For instance, when cleaning a large surface area such as a long and tall truck, a short hose may inconvenience the user.Also, the longer the pressure washer hose length, the lower the water pressure at the far end. 5 PSI is lost for every hundred feet hose length. 200 ft hose or more is at high risk of damage and dragging it around may be a hard task. A very long hose forces you to wait for water on the other side for more minutes as compared to a shorter hose. 5 meters long hose is the most convenient.
  • #4. PortabilityPressure washers should be quickly moved around. Those with large four wheels such as Karcher K3 Follow Me will not require much energy as compared to those with less or no wheels.
  • #5. Onboard detergent tank: A pressure washer with a built-in detergent tank is the best choice if you want detergent and water to combine as it flows through the pressure washer and hose pipe.
  • #6. Space for storing Hose – Reel: A variety of pressure washers have a reel for storing the hose when not in use. A reel offers neat and safety storage that prevents cracking and loss of color as a result of exposure to direct sunlight.However, some people would argue that the reel is heavyweight making machine usage difficult. Rationally, the presence of a reel is of more benefit than its absence.

Important

If Nozzles are included in accessories then it is a bonus otherwise you’ll have to purchase all nozzles for different cleaning projects.

How to Wash your Car – A Complete Guide

Now let’s see the car washing procedure using a pressure cleaner. But before that lets have a checklist of the tools & materials required.

Tools & Materials Required for Washing a Car

  • Pressure Washer: There are a variety of pressure washers that are uniquely designed for different cleaning tasks. For instance commercial pressure washers, gas pressure washers, Shop All Pressure washers and electric pressure washers. Electrical pressure washers are convenient for handling light cleaning projects, require low maintenance, eco-friendly, starts up in seconds and is lighter as compared to gas pressure washers hence a perfect choice for car cleaning. Similarly, Light –Duty pressure washers with 1900 PSI are ideal for car cleaning. In case there is no power supply, then a gas pressure washer would be the best to purchase.
  • Nozzles: Nozzles are needed to spray water in the desired pattern; they convert liquid energy to kinetic energy for high penetration force as water goes through the jet. For hard to wash surfaces, turbo boosting nozzles are the best. With a jet nozzle setting that is variable, cleaning different parts of a car without damage is possible.
  • Pressure Washer Hoses: A pressure washing machine must have a hose for proper functioning. Water flows through the hose and splashes at the end to the surface that requires cleaning. A flexible pressure washer hose should be long enough to allow cleaning over a large surface without the need to move the pressure washer.
  • Extension Wands:Strong and sturdy pressure washer extension wands are the best and save the energy that would have been used climbing ladders to reach high and hidden places. A convenient extension ward allows easy control of water that passes through it to the area that requires cleaning. Also, the best wand does not bend as you try to target high surface for cleaning.
  • Foam Cannons: Foam cannons, just like a detergent tank, spread soap on the surface being cleaned. The foam cannons are however far much better than detergent tank; it produces more foam that separates dirt from the vehicle. The dirt particles are then washed away by the pressure washer. When using foam cannon, soap residue that causes spotting is rinsed away. Successful cleaning cannot be attained without including foam cannons.
  • Soap / Detergents / Wash Shampoo: Soap/Detergent is a washing product that contains surfactants. Surfactants are two-part molecules; one loves dirt while the other loves water. After applying shampoo on the surface to be cleaned, the surfactants hold the dirty which is later washed away easily by water. Enough amounts of shampoo should be used for thorough cleaning.
  • Microfibre Cloth for drying: Microfiber cloth is a drying cloth which dries your car after cleaning without the risk of wiping out or scratching car paint. Wiping should be done gently stating from top moving downwards. Microfiber materials absorb a lot of water at a go hence making drying fast. Always ensure that the cloth is clean.

Important

As the length of hose increases the output pressure decreases relatively. Keep it between 20-25 foot in length.

7 Pre-Washing Tips

  • Water that flows from the pressure washer immediately it is switched on is characterized by high pressure and may damage the surface it lands on. In this case, the nozzle should be directed to the ground at first to watch out initial spray.
  • Avoid using rotary nozzle attachment while handling a car cleaning task. This nozzle is very powerful to handle a simple car cleaning task and if used may cause paint damage.
  • Do not assemble your car on gravel ground for cleaning but instead place it on concrete. This will prevent paint damage by stones that may fly up from the gravel driveway.
  • Avoid using high spray on surfaces with damaged paint; it may wash away and chip more paint.
  • Unless you want to purchase another car, do not spray the interior, engine bay or boot. Also, ensure that you close the windows properly before you start cleaning.
  • Never use strong spray when cleaning old tires; you would not want to see them burst.
  • Avoid spraying the panel gaps directly for long since most of them leak. To be on the safe side, ensure you confirm whether there were any leaks in the interior after spraying.

How to Wash Your Car with a Pressure Washer?

Pressure Washer For Car

  • Rinse the car: Before using any cleaner, first, rinse the car to wash off any debris or mad cleaning on the car surface. At the start, keep a distance of four to five feet far from the car. Move closer when you are sure that the spray pressure will not cause any damage. Close the doors, trunk, and windows to avoid wetting the car interior. The materials required include a pressure washer, electrical outlet, water outlet and 25-degree tip.To begin rinsing process, connect the pressure washer to a power source, then water outlet. The twenty five degree tip is then attached to the nozzle. Finally, switch on the electric pressure washer to blast water all over the surface. It is advisable to test water flow pressure by spraying on the ground before rinsing the car.
  • Apply soap / detergent: Use detergent that matches your pressure washer. Make use of the special detergent compartments that come with the pressure washer. Materials necessary soap application includes pressure washer, water, detergent, cloth and bucket. To initiate the process, dilute detergent in a bucket using water then pour the diluted substance in the detergent tank. Ensure that the settings on the pressure washer allow detergent spray and not water spray. In case your pressure washer does not have a detergent tank, use a cloth to apply by hand. Make sure you start application from the top moving downwards.
  • Leave detergent for few minutes: For the detergent to work properly, it should not be rinsed off immediately. The chemicals in the detergent need a few minutes to function excellently. However, do not wait for too long or else it will dry and leave stubborn spots.
  • Use A Car Brush: For quick removal of stubborn grease and dirt, use a car brush. I case you have only one brush, clean the wheels region last since the brush may collect small stones that attach around the wheels. You would not want these tiny rocks to destroy paint on the other car surfaces. After you are done with the brush, rinse it thoroughly to remove all grit.
  • Rinse-Off Detergent: A forty degree tip is used to rinse off detergent downwards from top to bottom of the car. Materials required for this task are pressure washer, 40 degree tip and a towel though optional. Switch your setting to high pressure jet but lower the pressure when rinsing the glass regions. If your nozzle is not variable, stand a distance away from the car to prevent damages.
  • Dry it: Use a soft cloth when drying your car to ensure that the paintwork is not destroyed. Drying should be done gently starting from the top all the way to the bottom. Microfiber towels are the best choice since it absorbs water easily and it’s soft.

Important

Appropriate time for leaving detergent is 3-5 minutes.

7 Important Safety Tips

  • Avoid standing on unstable surfaces. Look for a stable surface where you can maintain proper balance.
  • Wear eye and ear protection gears
  • Adequate ventilation is a must when using gasoline-powered washers indoors. The exhaust should be directed away from the vents, windows and doors.
  • When using an electrical pressure washer, electrical connections should always remain dry and not placed on the ground. Also, do not hold the plug with wet hands. This is a life saving tip as in many cases it happened.
  • The spray gun should not be idle if the pressure washer is on.
  • Keep off the spray gun from animals, plants or people.
  • Keep off the spray from power sources, electrical equipment or power lines.

Soap vs Wax

Soap is a product which removes the dirt from the cleaning object. It only helps in removing stains. While wax is a protective product that is applied to car paint to keep it safe from damage by bird droppings, dirt, bug splats among other environment-related elements. A cleaner wax is used to restore the shine of dull car paint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which pressure washer is best for car cleaning?

Choose one among the three; Sun Joe SPX3001, Karcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer or AR Blue Clean AR383. They display the best qualities for a successful car cleaning task.

Will pressure washer damage car paint?

Light duty pressure washers cannot destroy car paint. Washing instructions should be followed to avoid any damage. Washer with rating of 2500 PSI & above should be used carefully as it can destroy the paint work.

How to use a pressure washer for a car?

Plug in an electric pressure washer to a power source then connect the hose, the nozzles and all other accessories needed. Switch on the pressure washer and before you spray water o the car, first test the pressure by directing the spray to the ground. After you are sure that no damage will be recorded due to high-pressure water blasting, follow the cleaning procedures. See how to use a pressure washer.

How much PSI pressure washer is required for washing a car?

Between 1300 PSI- 2200 PSI. More than 2500 may destroy car paint.

Is pressure washer bad for car?

NO. It offers the best cleaning results.

Is 3000 PSI Pressure Washer enough for household chores?

Yes, it is. But while washing your car you need to be double sure regarding the optimal distance from the car from safety point of view. I personally do not recommend it for the DIY lovers. But if you have multiple other stubborn stains cleaning jobs, then 3000 PSI is enough for attending those jobs.

Conclusion

They say knowledge is power! With the information list above, choosing the best pressure washer for your car or any other vehicles will not be problematic. Properties to consider before purchasing are explained not forgetting the cleaning procedure, cleaning tips, and safety tips. Choose one of the best three electrical pressure washers discussed above for outstanding cleaning results. Enjoy a ride in a clean car!

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