Over the course of a few years, the pressure washer has become a popular option for car washing, as well as becoming an all-round too for cleaning various surfaces. In fact, it helps to get a car washer in any size and using any power source, especially if you cannot afford the premium brands.
Our pick for the best pressure washer for cars: Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure washer
Many people will judge a driver by the cleanliness of their car – even though there is a saying that you should never judge a book by its cover. A well-kept car means that you know how to maintain it, and your life is probably in order; which is an image you cannot project if you have a dirty car. However, cleaning the car takes a lot of effort and time – and you might not have that time, considering the increasingly busy lifestyles we live today.
If you are tired of taking your car to the car wash every time, then the car pressure washer can be a great alternative. After all, washing it is part of its maintenance and keeps it serving you well for longer, as this protects it from the ravages of the elements and keeps its integrity. Read on to find out about our favorite car pressure cleaners, as well as what to look for when buying one.
Comparison table for best car pressure washers
Car pressure washer brand
Water pressure (PSI)
Flow rate (in GPM)
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Sun Joe SPX3000
NorthStar electric cold water washer
AR Annovi Rewverberi AR383SS
Stanley SHP2150 powerful pressure washer
Greenworks pressure washer with hose reel
Best car pressure washer reviews
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure washer – best pick overall
When it comes to pressure washers, it is not difficult or surprising to see the Sun Joe SPX3000 on the list – whether you are looking for a pressure washer for your car, or one for general purpose cleaning. The best aspect is its water flow rate, which happens to be at 1.76 gallons per minute, as well as the motor that uses 14.5 amps to give you great cleaning power.
- Water inlet temperature, maximum at 104OF
- Powerful motor that runs on 1800W/14.5 amps
- Auto TSS (Total Stop System), which shuts the pump off when you disengage the trigger – this helps to conserve the energy you use
- Comes with five Quick-Connect spray nozzles – 40O, 15O, 25O, 0O, and soap
- Water flow at 1.76 GMP
- Dual on-board
- 2-year warranty
- Dual detergent tanks
All of the features and the great value for money it gives make this model quite popular in the United States, and the 2-year warranty period further increases the confidence that it can deliver.
In order to increase the lifespan of the pump system (which is a major concern), the system in use here is a very clever one – the use of TSS, or Total Stop System. This acts like a fuse that shuts off the [pump when you press the trigger, therefore saving your power bills.
You might expect it to have a high price tag due to all the useful features that it has; but this is where the company surprises all the non-believers – it can provide all these useful features without the risk of burning out your budget. At a really affordable price, you get all of them, as well as five spray tips that you can utilize with the technology in use.
In addition, the system has to detergent tanks on board, each measuring 0.9 liters, instead of the single tank layout that you would normally expect to find in car pressure cleaners. Even though you might notice the occasional leaks in its connections as you would see in any pressure washer, it is not enough of a reason to deter you from buying it.
- The water pressure is great when you are doing tough jobs
- The power cord is long enough to 0065tend your reach (35 feet)
- Auto TSS feature saves power
- Good price for all its features
- Lightweight compared to many pressure washers
- Versatile enough for multiple uses
- Has some issues with its durability
- The supplied hose connector can have a tendency to leak
If you are4 thinking of cleaning tough oil stains or just a variety of surfaces and cannot afford an expensive cleaner, then this is the perfect pick for you. It also has a nice grip, and will not leave your wrists feeling strain – even if you use it for a number of hours.
NorthStar electric cold water washer – scores highly in durability and power
This is among the priciest picks on this list, so pick it up if you do not mind spending a few hundred dollars on a pressure washer.
- Has a comet AXD triplex pump, in addition to ceramic plungers and brass manifold
- Motor of 1.5 HP Leeson variety, uses a circuit power of 15A/120V
- Downstream projector and thermal protector
- Quick-Couple nozzles, 15O and soap
- Rear entry gun
- High pressure hose, measures 25 feet
Thanks to the triplex pump of high quality, the dependability you get from the model is assured. This is due to the design requiring fewer moving parts, which allows you to increase the value you get while reducing maintenance costs. Other seemingly minor details will also make a major difference – such as the high-end ceramic plungers that are resistant to both abrasion and corrosion, and give it major points on durability.
The spray shaft is not bad, as it feels comfortable to use. However, there are compromises you must make with this model – it only has two nozzle tips, the soap and 25O one, in addition to the lack of a built-in soap tank. You also need to set the trigger safety manually, instead of the automatic trigger we noticed in the Sun Joe SPX3000 option; which also makes it have the tendency to overheat in multiple instances.
However, this does not mean that thee cleaner is entirely a bad buy. One thing that we love, for instance, is the 0-degree nozzle, which really increases its safety record. You will also need to install it outdoors before using it, as it requires a 240V receptacle to operate. The strong construction that is a prominent feature also helps it to withstand the ravages of daily wear and tear, while the unit comes with an industrial-grade pump that has a quick-connect feature.
- Very good at cleaning different surfaces
- Comes with a quick-connect hose-to-wand
- Very high PSI and GPM rating
- Easy to operate the controls
- Very good at removing stains
- Power conserving features
- Replaceable nozzle tips
- It has an average cleaning angle
- Tends to be noise when it is close to unit
- Tends to overheat, as the unit is always on
- It has a manual trigger lock instead of an automatic one
This is quite the powerful pressure cleaner, and can work well for a variety of stain cleaning procedures. It also scores highly in durability, due to several features such as the strategic placing of the engine and pump.
AR blue clean AR383SS electric washer – best for versatility in use
If you want a pressure cleaner that is powerful enough to clean your car or other surfaces without risking damage to delicate items, this is the best pick for you.
- Four different Quick Change pressure wash nozzles
- One 28 oz. detergent tank
- High pressure hose measuring 30 feet
- Power cord measuring 35 feet, and features an Auto Reset GFCI module
- One-year warranty
This is an electric pressure washer that gives you up to 1900 PSI, and is designed for cold water use – this allows you to even run it off the water from your garden hose. If you decide to add the Turbo Nozzle that comes in the package, you can achieve more water pressure.
It is also easy to use the hose reel when you are done with the water hose and need to store it, as well as keeping other accessories as well. This will allow it to stay compact during storage, and you will not need to worry about it tripping over.
Another great feature is the on/off switch, which is easy to access as it is located on the front section of the unit. The on-board detergent tank is also a first for this unit in the series, and a low-pressure detergent nozzle makes the detergent tank more useful as it can work well on multiple surfaces. The machine is a really good buy in general, as it meets all the requirements that are set from the PWMA (Pressure Washer Manufacturers Association).
- It has plenty of power, even though the design is lightweight and compact
- Has plenty of durability due to the extra-rugged construction
- The extra-long pressure hose and power cord allow you to extend your reach
- Water-saving, yet produces more cleaning power
- Allows for versatile use thanks to the accessories and attachments
- There are some issues with leaking on the adapter of the plastic hose
- Might experience some issues with pressure delivery consistency
- The high-pressure hose tends to get tangled sometimes
Even though this can be a more expensive buy compared to many other washers, it still gives you plenty of value due to the versatility it has.
Stanley SHP2150 powerful washer – best budget buy
When you are looking for power tools, you can entrust this brand to give you what you need – while their products are highly rated by users. The same case applies to the SHP2150 electric pressure washer.
- Unit includes a high pressure foam bottle – allows you to clean deep stains
- Leak-proof connections – as it uses a professional grade brass hose connector
- Comes with attachments for many accessories
- Four quick connect nozzles (40O – white, 0O – red, 15O – yellow and 25O – green), and an O-ring replacement kit
- Pressure hose measuring 25 feet
- 2-year limited warranty
According to the manufacturer, this specific model is the most powerful electric pressure washer, as it has an operating pressure of 2150 PS. This allows for easier cleaning of stubborn stains, including areas of your outside compound such as concrete floors and walls, pavements, outdoor furniture, tires, and many more.
You do not need to use sap and separate rinsing water – you can do all these using the pressure washer. All you need to do is use the foam cannon (this comes in the package) to apply a thick detergent layer on the surface you are cleaning, then spray it with clean water to rinse it off. An additional knob on the top section of the cannon will allow you to adjust the detergent concentration as you apply it on the surface – without needing to endure messy scrubbing sessions.
If you want to clean a very large area in one go, then this unit will make it easier for you through the PVC hose that measures up to 25 feet, and a power cord measuring 35 feet. Aside from these two cords enhancing your mobility, there are also six-inch wheels that make it easy to maneuver as you clean the area.
As a bonus, the unit also includes four different pressure nozzles – 40O, 25O, 15O and 0O, each in a different color for easier identification. Once you use that unit several times, it becomes easier to identify the nozzle tip you need at a glance, and this will increase the time you save while cleaning up. You will also get a zinc steel lance, O-ring kit, spray gun and a brass garden hose connector.
- Easy to store, carry and move around
- Lightweight and compact
- Lifetime customer support
- Saves time and water
- It is easy to attach and detach nozzles
- Affordable and efficient
- Does not leak as much
- It cannot remove very tough stains
- The water pressure tends to drop to normal pressure sometimes, instead of retaining full pressure
This is a great pressure washer for beginners and entry-level cleaners. It remains a budget-friendly option without lessening the cleaning power. Even though the pressure level of 2150 PSI is not enough for heavy-duty work, it is still good enough to remove most dirt and stains.
Greenworks pressure washer – good for beginners
This is among the most recommended and popular products in this list – this is due to a variety of reasons. These include the very low price tag and the really good specs. This allows you to use the unit at an extensive level both outdoors and indoors. However, it is also important to keep your expectations low, since the price already indicates that it will not have a wide variety of accessories that come with it – still, it remains a good bargain for the price.
- High pressure hose measuring 25 feet
- You can use the unit vertically for extra stability
- Soap applicator allows you to apply soap to clean various surfaces
- Quick connect spray gun nozzle for easier cleaning
- Dual built-in detergent tanks
- Three nozzle tips – 40O, 25O and 0O, and also comes with a low pressure foam sprayer and wand
When it comes to the issue of accessories, this unit will only include three nozzle heads in the collection – these are the 40O, 25O and 0O. As far as personal safety goes, you just need to ensure you use according to the manufacturers’ instructions – especially when using the 0-degree nozzle.
Just a word of advice – if you are a first-time user, ensure that the hose is always screwed tightly on both its ends before switching on the system. In addition, avoid attaching wheels to the unit, because they can make the pressure washer tip over easily and break if you are not careful. You also need to wrap the cord manually around the unit once you are done working.
This unit is very good for light cleaning, much more than heavier cleaning. The induction motor is, powerful enough to handle stable water pressure, with a power consumption of 13 Amps. While the PSI of 1950 is not idea for heaver cleaning, it is good enough to remove annoying grime in between smaller crevices.
You would likely want to ease the process of cleaning on yourself as much as possible. This model thankfully does it for you, as it comes with a trigger spray gun, which you can operate using one hand and makes it easier for you to do cleaning on the spot.
The model is also water-conservation friendly, as it has a maximum delivery rate of 1.2 gallons per minute – although this is measly if you are looking for a pressure cleaner with a higher delivery rate. That also means you will not waste too much water while cleaning smaller areas such as in bikes and cars.
- Very good pricing, especially if you are on a budget or looking for your first pressure cleaner
- It is great for you if you cannot spend money on frequent repairs and parts
- The lance and power cord will allow you to reach longer distances
- The design is compact and sleek
- Easy to assemble
- Environmentally-friendly, and has minimal emission rate of fumes
- It is not idea if you are look for a high-pressure cleaner
- It is not good for long-term use, as the unit tends to overheat easily
- Very pricey
- Can only be used vertically
This is a good pick for you if you are looking for a beginner-level pressure washer, although it cannot handle very heavy tasks.
What we do not recommend
Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S – missing parts, gas powered, and poor customer service
This is gas-powered, and it is a great unit that has a great capacity to clean a variety of surfaces and objects. Despite that, the poor service puts off very many users that would otherwise give it glowingly positive reviews, although it is still a good option if you want a long-term pressure cleaner.
- Axial cam pump that uses maintenance-free OEM technology
- 12-inch wheels
- Steel construction frame
- Five quick-connect nozzle tips – soap, 15O, 0O, 40O and 25O
- The MorFlex hose is resistant to abrasion, kinks
As this is a gas-powered pressure cleaner, the set-up will be different from the electric-powered one. The accessories here include hose, trigger gun, official manual, and a detergent siphon tube. Just keep in mind that the product might not come with all these accessories, so note this when you order the unit itself.
Depending on the seller where you buy it from, you will have different ways of easing the process though. If you are buying from certain online sellers such as Amazon, getting replacements and parts will not be insanely difficult, especially if the customer support from the company itself disappoints you.
There is some good news if you want to get a gas-powered engine for the first time: this cleaner has a Honda engine, as well as minimal plastic parts – which means it can serve you well for many years to come. In addition, the fact that it is a gas-powered unit means that it has some extra weight, meaning that the crank shaft engines are horizontal to increase stability.
The engine shaft makes it easy to disconnect and connect hoses, and the water pump is at the back for extra convenience. The frame surrounds the core unit, and this will protect the important parts from accidental damages – otherwise, you would be staring at a huge repair bill that is unsustainable.
The pump head is also strong due to it being comprised of brass – which makes it more resistant to oxidization and allows it to be strong enough to last for many years. For majority of other pressure washer pumps, the heads are made of aluminum – which gives them a shiny look, but it is too weak to sustain heavy long-term use.
For easy starting of the engine, the cord is tight enough to allow you to start it in very few attempts, and you will not need to strain your neck muscles to start it either as the cord is long enough. Basic maintenance will be enough to take care of it for longer, even though you might occasionally run into some hardware issues as you use it.
- It has five quick nozzles that have varying angles, as well as a soap nozzle for spray cleaning
- You can store your accessories, detergent bottles and other tools on the integrated on-board storage
- Has a thermal relief valve with the unloader system
- Premium quality tires resting on a wide 10-inch base
- Has a brass axial cam pumping head, adding extra durability
- Very heavy compared to other pressure washers
- The fuel cost is an additional expense you might not need
- It needs monthly maintenance
- Might have missing parts when you get it
- Poor customer support
This pressure cleaner is good enough to handle various surfaces with ease, and it is not a bad idea to buy. However, if you are buying it, be prepared to handle the likely poor customer service, and the likely missing parts (unless you buy it from authorized online distributors).
What you need to know about car pressure washers
Car pressure washers are of two types – electric pressure cleaners, and gas-powered cleaners, and your choice will depend on the most convenient source of fuel on your end. They have many differences in their structure as well, and among the most prominent ones is that the gas-powered one needs plenty of mechanical effort to start it (similar to traditional lawn mowers that require you to pull a cord). However, electric types only need you to flip a switch to start them.
How do they work?
They are basically machines that require an engine, which then sprays water through a nozzle at high pressure. Thanks to the pressure, they can remove any dirt and even the toughest stains (especially the high-pressure ones).
This makes them quite the convenient choice when it comes to washing cars, instead of the manual method, as they save both time and your energy. They will also save your water consumption compared to when you are washing your car using a water bucket or a water hose, and their versatility allows them to be useful in a variety of other tasks.
So this raises the question – how do you get them to work well for you? The good news is that it is easier than you might think, as long as you keep these tips in mind:
Using the correct nozzle
In order to regulate the water pressure, it is important to choose the right water nozzle. This is because using too much pressure on the car can damage your car’s paint job easily. Note that you should use the flat jet instead of the rotary nozzle, and keep a distance of at least 30 cm away from the car’s surface.
Rinse off the top dirt layer first
Before you go ahead and apply your car cleaner solution, make sure to rinse off the top dirt layer. Afterwards, adjust the spraying settings carefully to avoid damaging sensitive parts of the car.
Add a detergent
Using a proper ratio, mix the water and detergent, then fill the detergent tank and spray it all over the car. Make sure to start spraying from the top of the car going downwards to increase the effect of the detergent.
Rinse the soapy solution off
In order to rinse off the car, change the nozzle spray to a higher setting. You also need to change the water source from the detergent tank to the water tank. After you are done, you can use a soft towel to dry the car.
What to look for in a car pressure cleaner
It is important to get the right pressure cleaner for a car, as different cleaners will cater to different surfaces – with the major point to look at is the PSI rating. Here is a basic breakdown of these factors.
If you are sensitive about protecting the environment or happen to live near a water meter, then the amount of water you are using is important to consider. Keep in mind that the average car pressure washer tends to use about 7 to 9 gallons of water every minute.
In order to figure out the gallons it is using, check the Gallons per Minute (GPM) rating. The higher it is, the more water the nozzle will release, and this gives the car a better rinse – but the water efficiency might not be as good.
The use of these has increased in popularity when pre-cleaning the car, which is not surprising considering that social media sites feature them heavily. This is due to them offering a safe method of removing dirt while giving an interesting photo opportunity.
They usually work with a PSI of about 55 to 90, and the foam production rate is quite high, with a GPM of 5.5. For many of them, you can just click them straight on the pressure washer, while you might need an adapter for some.
You will notice that most of the best car pressure washers tend to be electric rather than gas-powered, as the electric types have PSI ratings of up to 2000, and this is considered safe enough for a car. They also happen to be more practical in use, as they only need you to flip a switch to switch them on or off, and need less maintenance in the long term.
This is among the most important components to look at, and you need one that is adaptable enough to allow you to change the width of your sprays quickly. The problem with narrow sprays, especially when you use them for too long, is that they can damage the paintwork easily. The wider the spray angle is, the less damage you will inflict on the car.
When it comes to car pressure cleaners, this is a major deal for auto-detailers. The better the car pressure cleaner you get, the more you can preserve the integrity of your car, making them a worthwhile investment to consider.