Best Pressure Washer for a Car Detailing

best pressure washer for a car detailing Would you like to own the best pressure washer for a car detailing to thoroughly clean your car, patio, or driveway? Or are you looking for a tool to clean your bicycle or moped?

Then you have to buy a pressure washer. With a high-pressure cleaner, you can do many different cleaning jobs.

A high-pressure cleaner takes water from a tap in your shed or garage and puts this water under high pressure. Via a special hose that is resistant to this high pressure, the so-called high-pressure hose, you spray the water on the surface that you want to clean.

On the end of the high-pressure hose, you have a gun with which you can start and stop spraying. A spray lance has been fitted to this gun, with which you can separately control the diameter and strength of the water jet.

To use a pressure washer, you must have a water tap with running water and a garden hose to supply the water to the appliance. A garden hose is never included in the purchase of a device.

A pressure washer has many advantages. This way you can clean a surface very thoroughly and quickly. Few stains can withstand the high pressure of water. In addition, with many appliances you can also add a cleaning agent in the water, making the surface you treat even cleaner.

You can easily store the device when you don’t need it and you don’t need any scouring brushes or cleaning products. You save your strength and do not wet your hands while brushing.

However, a pressure washer sometimes also has disadvantages. The hard water jet can damage the surface you want to clean in the worst case. Wood or concrete pavers are especially sensitive to water damage. The materials become more porous due to the high pressure and therefore become dirty again faster.

Do you work with a pressure washer? Then you must also ensure that you use the device safely. You must connect the garden hose and the high-pressure hose to the appliances as described in the manual. Under no circumstances should you lay the appliance horizontally during use. Always pay attention to where you aim the beam.

Choosing the best pressure washer for a car detailing.

Remove embedded dirt, wash the car or unclog pipes. All this and much more is what you can do with a pressure washer or pressure washer.

It is a very versatile tool that allows you to achieve professional cleaning effortlessly. To help you choose, we have researched the market and selected the best pressure washers on the market.

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Last updated on November 18, 2020 8:59 pm

1. Kärcher K2 Full Control Car and Home – The best compact device

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If you are looking for a high-pressure cleaner, you cannot ignore the Kärcher brand. In the range of this German brand, you will indeed find a lot of high-pressure cleaners. Within this range, the Kärcher K2 Full Control Car and Home is the best buy. 

After all, this device allows you to do various cleaning jobs in and around the house. We are thinking of cleaning a terrace and washing your car. You can clean the decorative rims of your car with the supplied brush.

Another advantage of this device is the adjustable water pressure, which allows you to adjust the water pressure to the job you are doing. You do not need a lot of storage space when you are not using the device. This high-pressure cleaner is designed so that you can attach the accessories to it or even store it in the appliance. It is in itself also a very compact device.

The accessories include a patio cleaner, a dirt blaster, a brush, and a water filter. It is also useful that you can add a cleaning agent to the water flow of the high-pressure cleaner. You do this via a special connection.

With a throughput of 360 liters per hour and a cleaning capacity of 20 square meters, this Kärcher high-pressure cleaner has a good average and has a good price-quality ratio. This device weighs only 4.3 kilograms, which is indeed really light. As a result, the device is useful and convenient for many people and you do not need an overly large or heavy pressure washer.

However, we also note some disadvantages with this device. For example, the high-pressure hose is only four meters long. For example, this could be a meter or two longer to be able to work comfortably. Another drawback is that the device does not have a reel, so you always have to toil a bit to store the device and the cable. The maximum water pressure of 110 bar is also a bit light if you do a tough job.

Conclusion:
This product is especially suitable for those looking for the most compact and handy high-pressure cleaner of the Kärcher brand. The device has many accessories and has a decent, albeit sometimes light water pressure. The device is especially useful if you do not have to do too heavy jobs. The compact weight and compact dimensions are also interesting.
Pros
  • Powerful
  • Lots of accessories
Cons
  • High pressure hose
  • Small power
  • Winding up high-pressure hose

2. Kärcher K4 Full Control – Larger and heavier model

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If you are looking for a Kärcher device that is a good buy and that may be slightly larger and heavier than a compact model, we recommend the Kärcher K4 Full Control. Everything on this device is focused on usability.

The shape is compact, yet the device has large and handy wheels, making it easy to move the device. You can easily attach the spray lance to the device and space is reserved for the power cable at the back of the device.

You can adjust the water pressure of this device to the desired strength for each job so that you can immediately use this high-pressure cleaner for many tasks. Not sure which pressure to use for a particular application? Then the icons on the high-pressure cleaner help you further, handy! You use this device to clean your car or to give your patio or garden furniture a thorough cleaning.

An advantage that should not be underestimated is that this device has great stability. You can work quietly and for a long time without having to change the position of the high-pressure cleaner. In other words, the device does not fall over so quickly.

You can also use a cleaning agent with the Kärcher K4 Full Control. You click a bottle on the device so that the product mixes with the water during use. Still worth mentioning is the automatic start-stop system and the maximum working pressure of 130 bar, which allows you to process 420 liters of water per hour.

With a weight of 11.4 kilograms, the device is not exactly light, although you can still hang it conveniently on hooks. Another drawback is that no cable reel is provided. With a high-pressure hose of 6 meters long, this is a bit of a flaw.

Conclusion:
This product is especially suitable for a powerful high-pressure cleaner with a good price-quality ratio. For its price, the device has great power and is easy to use. The compact design is a great advantage.
Pros
  • Compact
  • 130 bar
  • Adjustable water strength
Cons
  • Missing a reel
  • Few accessories included
  • The length of the rod

3. Sun Joe SPX3000 – most popular electric pressure washer

This Sun Joe pressure washer is one of the most popular. It is a model that offers 2,030 PSI of internal pressure, 1,800 (W) watts of power, and a water flow of 1.76 GPM. With this machine, you can also clean with hot water up to 104ºF.

best pressure washer for a car detailing
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It also has two removable internal tanks with space for 30.4 ounces of detergent each. In this way, you can use different types of detergent for different types of cleaning. Its hose is 20 feet long and its cable 35.

4. Greenworks 1500 PSI – The cheapest and lightest electric pressure washer

best pressure washer for a car detailing
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This Greenworks model is cheaper than the previous one since its power is slightly lower. It offers 1,500 PSI of pressure and a 1.2 GPM water flow. However, it also provides the ability to use hot water up to 104ºF.

It only weighs 17 pounds and can be used vertically and horizontally, making it very comfortable to carry. It has a 20-foot hose and a 35 cable.

5. WEN PW3100 3100 PSI – cheapest gasoline pressure washer

This time we are dealing with a gasoline pressure washer. It has, therefore, a power far superior to that of the two previous models: it guarantees a pressure of 3,100 PSI and a flow of 2.5 GPM.

best pressure washer for a car detailing
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Its OHV motor is 208 CC. Despite being heavier, it has strong 12 ”wheels that facilitate its movement and transport. Comes with a 30ft reinforced hose.

6. Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 – highest pressure gasoline pressure washer

As with the previous model, this is also a gasoline pressure washer. It is also the machine that offers the highest pressure on this list: 3,200 PSI.

best pressure washer for a car detailing
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It has a HONDA GC190 engine and guarantees a water flow of 2.5 GPM. It weighs 55 pounds and has 10 ”pneumatic wheels that will allow you to transport it easily. Its hose measures 25 feet.

Buying guide – best pressure washer for a car detailing

There are many types of high-pressure cleaners. As with any device, it is important to choose the right device for the right application. A typical subdivision with high-pressure cleaners is done according to the pressure of the water, which is expressed in the bar.

Light appliances with a water pressure of up to 100 bar are typically used for things such as cleaning:

  • Garden furniture
  • Motorcycles or bicycles
  • Dustbins

Appliances up to 130 bar come in handy for washing:

  • Cars
  • Swimming pools
  • Terraces

If you buy a device with water pressure above 130 bar, you can also clean heavily soiled terraces and masonry. Driveways will then also be completely clean in no time.

If you only want to clean garden equipment, your moped, or your bicycle, then you are certainly good with a light device. Otherwise, you even risk damage. The appliances with a high water pressure are therefore only useful if you want to clean very regularly and if you also want to thoroughly clean heavily soiled surfaces.

However, water pressure is not everything that counts with a high-pressure cleaner. Things like the length of the high-pressure hose or the accessories that you get with your purchase are also important. Here we go over some important features of a high-pressure cleaner.

High-pressure hose

The high-pressure hose must be strong because the water will flow out under high pressure. In addition, this hose must also be long enough. Then you do not have to move the device yourself or place it close to your workplace.

If you wash your car, you can step around your car with a long high-pressure hose without having to drag the high-pressure cleaner after you. Keep in mind that the high-pressure hose itself also weighs a bit.

Do you want to buy a device? Then a high-pressure hose of four meters is the minimum. If this is really important to you, you can look for a device with a hose of, for example, 10 meters.

accessoriesHigh pressure cleaner with reel - best pressure washer for a car detailing

Accessories allow you to use your device for different tasks and purposes. For example, you have a device at home with which you can clean your terrace, but also, for example, wash your car.

With a patio cleaner, you steam away dirt instead of just spraying it around with high pressure, so that is a great convenience. Other typical accessories are brushes, extra-long spray lances, or, for example, a sewer sprayer.

This allows you to clean a blocked pipe. The jet with this sewer sprayer is directed backward so that this spray head makes its way through the pipe.

Water flow

Water flow is another important feature of a high-pressure cleaner. The higher this flow rate, the more water is pushed out through the lance and used. This water flow is expressed in liters per hour. It can easily range from 300 liters per hour to about 600 liters for the more pricey models.

Especially if you want to rinse heavily contaminated surfaces, large water flow is really important. Those who do not like high-pressure cleaners often say that you simply spray the dirt around and that you actually do not really clean the surface. If there is a large water flow, the dirt does wash away.

What is more important, we already hear you ask: the water pressure or the water flow?

Well, you can say that both are important and often go hand in hand. For example, if you want to clean your patio, high water pressure is important to get rid of certain stubborn dirt. If the water flow rate is also high, as mentioned, you immediately remove it thoroughly and the dirt is washed away.

The spray lance

The spray lance of the high-pressure cleaner is the part that you mount on the gun. It is a narrow tube that is pressure-resistant and also has a spray nozzle. You can get different spray lances as accessories with your device. One is, for example, a lot longer than the other or can be flexible, for example.

With some spray lances, you can easily adjust the way the water is sprayed by turning the spray head. For example, a very fine jet is useful for spraying dirt from joints, while a wider spray shape is better for the body of your car. After all, in this case, the water does not have such a hard impact on the material.

What types of pressure washers exist?

There is a very wide range of pressure washers on the market, so it can be difficult to know which one is the best for you. Factors such as pressure, consumption or water intake, can interfere with what you need. To help you, we have prepared a table with the different types of pressure washers on the market and some of their characteristics:
Classification Pressure washer type characteristics
According to the pressure pump supply Gasoline pressure washers. Recommended for professional work. They are autonomous, they do not require to be plugged into the current.

They offer more pressure.

According to the pressure pump supply Electric pressure washers. Easy to handle.Ideal for home use.

They require an outlet to function.

According to use Used pressure washers. Recommended for occasional home use. Its power and flow allow a good performance during short times.
According to use Professional pressure washers. Machines capable of operating for long periods (three or four hours in a row).
According to use Industrial pressure washers. They are very powerful machines. Large capacity pumps and fixed tanks.

Usual in areas for car washing.

Used in professional maintenance tasks.

According to the water temperature Coldwater pressure washers. They expel the stream of water at the same temperature as they receive it.
According to the water temperature Hot water pressure washers. They incorporate a resistance that heats the water. Ideal for removing the toughest dirt.

They are best for unclogging pipes.

Electric or gasoline pressure washer? Which to choose?

This is a common question, which is better: the electric pressure washer or the gasoline pressure washer? Gasoline high-pressure cleaners are much more powerful equipment than electric ones and provide you with greater autonomy since they do not need to be connected.

Its main weaknesses are the price and greater maintenance, although it is compensated by the operation. As for electric pressure washers, these are more comfortable and manageable than gasoline ones, but they lack their autonomy.

You will always have to have them connected to the current, so you can not go beyond what the cable allows. However, they are low maintenance equipment, perfect for housework and car washing.

squirt

You can wash your car with a pressure washer.
(Source: Pablo Hidalgo: 45434551 / 123rf.com)

What water pressure do I need to work with the pressure washer?

Now that you know how pressure washers work, it is time to talk about water pressure. Choosing a cleaner or another will depend on this factor and the pressure you need to carry out your work. Cleaning a terrace is not the same as washing a car or unclogging a pipe. Next, we present a table with the different pressures and the uses that you can give each of them:

Applications Chores Recommended pressure
Occasional use Bicycle cleaning.Wash garden furniture and balconies. Between 100 and 110 bars.
Moderate use Wash the car. Clean exterior walls and floors up to 30 m2. From 110 to 120 bars.
Frequent use Clean facades.Swimming pools.

Roofs and outdoor floors up to 40 m2.

From 120 to 140 bars.
Intensive use Facade cleaning.Swimming pools.

Roofs and exterior floors up to 60 m2.

Industrial and professional use.

From 160 bars.
What is the water consumption of a pressure washer compared to that of a water tap?

How is a pressure washer used?

High-pressure washers are very simple equipment to use. You really only have to make sure that they are connected to the water and light outlets (in case of being a gasoline model you will not need the outlet). Then you will have to start the engine, regulate the pressure, and point the lance where you want to clean. The machine will do the rest for you. Here we explain how to use a pressure washer step by step:

  1. Load the detergent into the appropriate compartment.
  2. Connect the pressurized water outlet you are going to use and open the water tap.
  3. Prime the water pump (fill the suction line and pump reservoir) by squeezing the pressure washer trigger, until water comes out of the gun.
  4. Plug the appliance into the mains and start it. In case of being a gasoline model, you only have to turn it on.
  5. Pull the trigger on the gun.
  6. Regulates pressure to get the job done efficiently, but without wasting water.
  7. Move the nozzle closer to remove stubborn dirt.

Can I clean my car with a pressure washer?

Not only the house and the garden; You can also wash your car with a high-pressure cleaner. The body of our vehicles has many enemies: bird droppings, mud, dust, pollen or saltpeter if you live near the sea. Having a pressure washer will save you from having to go wash the car or have it washed.

Many countries and areas have specific regulations on car washing on private property. This is because even using clean water in a controlled area, fuel and oil debris can seep into groundwater. Make sure all the water ends up in the drain and you won’t have any problems.

washing the car

Some pressure washers admit hot water up to 104ºF (degrees Fahrenheit) and some models up to 140ºF. (Source: Russo Daniele: 85109773 / 123rf.com)

What should I do to take care of my pressure washer?

Although high-pressure machines also work with cold water, some admit hot water inlets up to 104ºF (degrees Fahrenheit) and some models up to 140ºF. If this is the case for your machine, make sure not to introduce water at a higher temperature or you will damage the pump.
If your cleaner does not accept hot water, you should not introduce it.

The degreasing power of hot water is greater than that of cold water; However, experts advise against exceeding the hot water intake because it can end up damaging the internal parts of the pressure washer (valves, gaskets or seals) and resorting to a specific detergent to increase the anti-grease power of the water.

Purchase criteria

Now that you basically understand what it is, how it works, and what the most important parts of the pressure washer are, the time has come to make a purchase decision. But first, you should review this complete guide with all the purchase criteria you should look at before choosing the best model for your home or garden:

  • Hose length
  • Kind
  • Power
  • Engine
  • Ergonomics
  • accessories

Hose length

The length of the hose of the pressure washers varies between 6 and 40 feet. The models with the longest hose offer you greater autonomy and allow you to work more comfortably, moving freely without having to choose extension cords for the socket or couplings to improve the extension of the hose.

On the other hand, the longer it is, the more difficult it is to store it. Short hoses do not take up space. By holstering the gun in the built-in hole for it (usually on one side), you can store the machine anywhere. Choose based on your needs, and if you do not need access to high spaces, opt for a compact model.

cleaning walls

The length of the hose of the pressure washers varies between 6 and 40 feet. (Source: Imagemax: 69444091 / 123rf.com)

Kind

In previous sections, we have explained all the types of pressure washers on the market and their most common uses. Always choose according to what you need and never overpay. If you are going to wash the car once a week or just want to clean your garden terrace, choose a compact and economical model for sporadic use.

On the contrary, if what you are looking for is a complement for your workshop or your industry, you should choose models with greater power. Perhaps a gasoline pressure washer that offers plenty of flow and pressure to remove the most embedded diesel stains. In the end, the choice will always depend on the use you plan to give it.

Power

Power is another factor that, like the type of pressure washer, will be linked to the use you plan to give the machine. For domestic uses, a machine with 100 or 140 bar pressure and an electric motor with a power of between 200 and 220 W. will suffice. With this, you will be able to face any cleaning task, even the heaviest.

But if you want a machine for professional tasks, you should opt for models with a lot of power. The most powerful motors can reach 2000 W and offer up to 200 bar pressure. With this power you can face even the toughest jobs and, of course, the price of the machine will increase.

washing car

Power is another factor that, like the type of pressure washer, will be linked to the use you plan to give the machine.
(Source: Piotr Zajda: 69702404 / 123rf.com)

Engine

In the market, you will find two types of motors for pressure washers: gasoline and electric. Electric motors are the most common and are incorporated into machines for domestic, occasional or moderate use. They are economic machines, with little consumption of water and electricity, and that offer benefits for domestic work.

The pressure washers with gasoline engines offer much more power and autonomy. These motors are ideal for a workshop or a factory where you have to carry the equipment from one place to another since you will not have to connect it to an electricity source (although it does to a water source). These machines are more expensive and need more maintenance.

Ergonomics

Regardless of the type of pressure washer, you plan to buy, it would be very interesting if you chose a model that has elements that facilitate its use. Although most are very light, it would not hurt to choose a model that has wheels in order to be able to move it from one side to the other without major limitations.

In the same way, you must choose a model with a comfortable and ergonomic lance that adapts to your hand. Remember that when the water comes out under pressure, it exerts a lot of force and you will need a good grip. In the same way, a team that has a hole to place the gun is another favorable point in your decision.

washing the floor

In the market you will find two types of motors for high pressure cleaners: gasoline and electric.
(Source: Ludmila Smite: 49104023 / 123rf.com)

Accessories

Nor can you forget to analyze the number of accessories it incorporates. These accessories are nothing more than tools that you can easily put on and take off, most of them without even using other tools. Note that it incorporates some type of brush tip or pistols with variable jets to shoot in a fan or straight.

The type of detergent you are going to use is also a determining factor. The surface you can clean will depend on this element since you will not use the same soap to clean a glass surface like a wooden or plastic one. Take a good look, before buying, at the soap tank, and what kind of detergents it accepts.

Summary

A pressure washer or pressure washer is a very useful tool. Not only will you be able to keep your garden, your terraces, and its furniture or the facade of your house clean, you will also be able to wash your car, your motorcycle or carry out professional cleaning and maintenance work. As you can see, you can tackle a wide variety of tasks with a single team.

Choosing the best pressure washer, that suits your needs and budget, will not be an easy task. However, with this comprehensive guide that we have prepared for you, it will be less stressful. Look at the purchase criteria that we have analyzed and choose without haste.

I hope this best pressure washer for a car detailing helps you out! Now start making your decisions. You may also like – Best Electric Toothbrush for Plaque Control

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