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Best Pressure Washers for Cars in 2021

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Blast away dirt, stains, and unsightly marks with a strong pressure washer.

While a bucket of water, soap, and a sponge is a feasible way to clean a car, it can be a pain. Plus, it can take forever!

That’s why we recommend one of the best pressure washers for cars. You can now get your car sparkling clean in a much shorter time. No more trips to the cleaners — do it all from your driveway.

Because you need specific pressure washers for cars, we’ve rounded up the best seven for you. Sit back, relax and get ready for the tool that will help you achieve spotless sparkling vehicles.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Compare the Best
Features
Product Image of the Cat Electric Pressure Washer - 1800 PSI 2.0 GPM
Best Electric
Cat Electric Pressure Washer
  • 1800 Watt universal motor
  • High quality 20 ft hose
  • Comes with foam blaster
Product Image of the SIMPSON Cleaning CM60912 Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Simpson, 2400 PSI at 2.0 GPM
Best Gas Pressure Washer for Cars
Simpson Clean Machine Pressure Washer
  • Has on-board detergent tank
  • High quality steel construction
  • Has 3 spray nozzles
Product Image of the WORX WG604 1600 Max PSI 13A Pressure Washer with Rolling Cart, Black and Orange
Best Wheeled Pressure Washer
Worx Electric Pressure Washer
  • Durable metal frame
  • Has 4 nozzle attachments
  • Has on board 42 oz Soap tank
Product Image of the mrliance Battery Power Washer, Portable Power Washer Cleaner ,Cordless Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner, 40V Power Electric Pressure Washer with Accessories Kit Battery and Charger Included
Best Portable for Cars
mrliance Battery Power Washer
  • Cordless & lightweight at 14.3 lbs
  • 960 Psi & 1.2 GPM
  • 6 nozzle attachments
Product Image of the Realm 1500 PSI 1.50 GPM 11 Amp Electric Pressure Washer with Spray Gun,Wand,19ft Hose&Detergent Bottle
Best Safe Pressure Washer
Realm Electric Pressure Washer
  • Compact 18 lb weight
  • High quality pump
  • CSA approved
Product Image of the ROCKPALS Cordless Pressure Washer, 2 x 40V Batteries Max 870 PSI Power Washer with Accessories, Portable Power Cleaner with 6-in-1 Adjustable Nozzle, Suitable for Washing Cars/Fences/Siding
Best Cordless
Rockpals Cordless Pressure Washer
  • Gentle washing
  • Cordless & handheld
  • Purifying filter pipe included
Product Image of the Sun Joe SPX1501 1800 Max PSI 1.8 GPM 13-Amp Electric Pressure Washer, Black
Best Cheap Pressure Washer
Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer
  • Adjustable spray nozzle
  • Long 35-ft hose plus extension
  • 13-amp motor

Do I Need a Pressure Washer for My Car?

Do you really need a pressure washer for your car? It’s not necessary, but there are some seriously attractive benefits.

  • Most pressure washers come with a variety of nozzles so you can adjust the pressure for lighter cleaning or removing tough stains.
  • It takes less time.
  • You can rinse off the soap a lot better.
  • Some pressure washers have a space for detergent.
  • If yours has a soap cannon, you can better distribute the soap.
  • You can remove tough stains, sticky messes, and bird poop much more effectively.
  • You can get in hard-to-reach spots, like around wheels.
  • You can save money over time since you don’t need to go to the car wash anymore.

Caution

While there are many benefits to pressure washing a car, there are some disadvantages. This includes chipping paint, scratching your car, and figuring out the proper settings to use. It can be a bit of a learning curve.

What PSI Is Safe for Washing Cars?

It’s best to stick to anything below 1900 PSI. Anything between 1200 PSI and 1900 PSI is most effective. Regardless, we also have some recommendations below that for those looking for portable or cordless options.

Something to Note

We also have a higher PSI recommendation if you’re looking for a gas pressure washer. Gas pressure washers are much stronger in PSI, so be careful if choosing that product. However, many customers use it for their cars and love it.

Is Pressure Washer Bad For Car Paint?

It can be. If you use a pressure washer with a super high PSI (above 1900), you run the risk of chipping or scratching the paint. On the other hand, you need to use the right type of nozzle for washing your car.

Here’s a guide for which nozzle to use:

  • Red or 0 degrees: Not used for cars.
  • Yellow of 15 degrees: It can be used for removing stuck-on mud.
  • Green or 15 degrees: Good for general cleaning and removing mud or dirt.
  • White or 40 degrees: Good for rinsing.
  • Black or 65 degrees: Good for applying soap.

Types of Car Pressure Washers

There are four main types of car pressure washers: hydraulic, diesel, gas, and electric. We’ll explain the main differences, pros, and cons, so that you can decide which is best for you. Spoiler alert: it’s electric.

Gas

Product Image of the SIMPSON Cleaning CM60912 Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Simpson, 2400 PSI at 2.0 GPM

Gas washers are similar to diesel engine washers, but they are more common. They use gas to power the pump. Likewise, they are good for medium to heavy duty cleaning.

Pros

  • Widely available on the market.
  • They have a high PSI so they’re good for heavy duty cleaning.
  • They’re available in a variety of sizes.

Cons

  • The high PSI means they’re not always recommended for cars.
  • They generate fumes so they’re not eco-friendly or suitable for indoor use.

Electric

Product Image of the Cat Electric Pressure Washer - 1800 PSI 2.0 GPM

This is the best pressure washer type for washing your car. Electric pressure washers are widely available and come in a range of PSI numbers, which make them suitable for your car.

Pros

  • Best for cars as you can find them in lower PSI numbers.
  • Portable options.
  • They’re still strong, so they can deep clean cars and remove stains.
  • Many affordable options.
  • Electric power means they’re more eco-friendly.

Cons

  • If it’s corded, you’re limited to where you can take it.
  • Some are quite heavy.

Diesel

These pressure washers are best for medium to heavy duty work. They are similar to petrol engine pressure washers, but instead of fuel, they use diesel.

Pros

  • Good for medium to heavy duty work.
  • Strong pressure.

Cons

  • They generate fumes so it’s not eco-friendly.
  • Because of the fumes, they can’t be used indoors or in garages.

Hydraulic

Hydraulic pressure washers are quiet, lightweight, and more compact. They use a hydraulic mechanism to create energy, so no need for fuel or electricity.

Pros

  • Quiet.
  • More sustainable and eco-friendly.
  • Best for farms or agriculture environments.
  • No need for fuel.
  • You don’t need to be near an electric power outlet.

Cons

  • Not suitable for home or garden use.
  • Not readily available.
  • Most suited for commercial use.

How to Choose the Best Pressure Washer For Cars

When shopping for the best pressure washer for your car, there are some important details to consider.

Type

Of the four types of pressure washers, we recommend electric. Gas is suitable, but always check what type it is so you know what to expect.

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Hose Length

You should also consider the pressure washer hose length. Make sure it’s long enough to easily maneuver around the car. Some are portable or cordless though. These are good for car cleaning but typically have a lower PSI.

PSI

Speaking of PSI, this is one of the most important details to consider. The ideal PSI for car cleaning is between 1200 and 1900, but we do have some recommendations above and below that.

Attachments

Make sure the pressure washer is either designed for cleaning cars or comes with a wide range of attachments. This ensures that it’s suitable for car cleaning. If it only has a 0° attachment, for instance, it will be too strong for car cleaning.

Detergent Tank

Does the pressure washer come with a tank? If not, no big deal, but it definitely makes car washing easier if it can emit soapy water. This allows you to evenly distribute it over your car.

Budget

Last but not least, consider your budget. Pressure washers come in a range of prices, but they are typically quite pricey tools. Make sure to shop within your budget. You’ll still find a great pressure washer!


The Best Car Pressure Washers of 2021

We’ve spent hours researching real customer reviews, expert advice, and product descriptions. With that in mind, you can trust our comprehensive list of the seven best pressure washers for cars. Next time you wash your vehicle, you’ll be so glad you made this handy purchase!

1. Cat Electric Pressure Washer

Best Electric Pressure Washer for Cars

This is one of the most highly rated electric pressure washers on the market. And being 1800 PSI, it’s perfect for washing cars while still being gentle on the exterior.

What do customers love about?

Firstly, it’s a nice size. Not too big, so you can easily transport it and store it.

Customers also loved the foam sprayer which makes washing cars easier than ever before.

If you’re looking for something to deep clean a whole range of outdoor surfaces, then this may just be one of your best purchases this year.

Why We Love It

Powerful Cleaning

This provides incredible cleaning power to tackle dirt and stains on all kinds of surfaces. It has an 1800 watt universal motor, a five-piston pump, and a cleaning output of 3600 units. The PSI is 1800 which is super strong. The flow rate is 2.0 GPM which ensures you’ll get a lot of water coverage.

High Quality Hose

The hose is made from kink-free and crack-free rubber. While rubber is heavier, it’s flexible, which makes it easy to use. The hose is 20 feet long to give you a lot of freedom while you move.

Foam Blaster

We love that this comes with a 600 ml detergent foam blaster. This takes you to the next level for removing dirt and grime. It’s no match against this machine. Just fill the bottle with detergent and connect to the spray gun.

Keep In Mind

Difficult for Cleaning Driveways

While you can use this pressure washer for many jobs, you will need a bit of patience when cleaning driveways. For driveways, we recommend a higher PSI.

Additional Specs

Type Electric
Hose Length 20 feet
PSI 1800 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings Four nozzle tips and foam blaster
Detergent Tank Yes

2. Simpson Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer

Best Gas Pressure Washer for Cars

If you want a gas pressure because you’re after high power, then this is one to consider. The PSI isn’t too high, so it shouldn’t damage your car if you stand a few extra feet back.

With a PSI of 2400, it is strong enough to remove all kinds of stubborn stains on your cars. You can trust it to deep clean cars but also be suitable for pressure washing your house.

Feel free to use this for cleaning siding, driveways, fencing, patios, outdoor furniture, all kinds of vehicles, and much more.

Why We Love It

Detergent Tank

This comes with an on-board detergent tank, which is great especially when cleaning cars. Now you can use this machine as an all-in-one device for applying detergent and rinsing it off.

High Quality Construction

This setup is made with high-quality materials. Firstly, the frame is made from a fully assembled steel frame with a fold-down handle. This makes it easy to transport but also compact when storing.

As for the hose, it’s 25 feet long, made from super flexible and kink-resistant materials. It’s also non-marring, so it’s safe to move around your driveways without causing damage.

Three Spray Nozzles

This comes with three spray nozzles: a 0-degree one, 25 degrees, and a soap spray nozzle. The soap and 25-degree spray nozzle are the only ones you should use for your vehicles.

Keep In Mind

High Vibration

This machine vibrates quite a bit which leads to a few issues. Firstly, the pins often come loose and fall out. Secondly, the vibrations cause the unit to sometimes fold in on itself or fall over. Lastly, the extra nozzles sometimes fall out of the rubber socket.

Small Gas Tank

The gas tank is fairly small which customers dislike. It’s easy for the machine to use up the gas in less than an hour before you need to refill it.

Additional Specs

Type Gas
Hose Length 25 feet
PSI 2400 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings Three nozzle settings
Detergent Tank Yes

3. Worx WG604 Electric Pressure Washer

Best Wheeled Pressure Washer for Cars

This pressure washer is on wheels, or more specifically — a rolling cart.

This makes it a total breeze to maneuver around, which is especially good when washing your car since you need to switch up positions often.

It has a PSI rating of 1600 so it’s got just the right amount of power for deep cleaning your car while still treating it well.

Why We Love It

Durable Metal Frame

The rolling cart is made from a durable metal frame so it’s sturdy, well-built, and long-lasting. The attached wheels make it easy to use and move. Plus, the wheels are big 8-inch wheels, designed to easily move over all kinds of terrain.

On Board Storage

The frame has on board storage for both your nozzle attachments and your hose. There are four nozzle attachments that are easily stored on the front of the frame. As for the hose, it has a hose reel attached so you can save space and keep everything well contained.

Soap Tank on Board

This also comes with an on-board 42-ounce soap tank. This is great for tackling heavy messes and tough stains. Plus, it has a soap nozzle that allows you to customize the amount of water you use.

Keep In Mind

Hard to Store Power Cord

There is onboard storage for the hose and the attachments. Unfortunately, however, there is none for the power cord, which customers found frustrating.

Additional Specs

Type Electric
Hose Length 25 feet
PSI 1600 PSI (with a max of 2240)
Attachments or Nozzle Settings 4 nozzle attachments
Detergent Tank Yes

4. mrliance Battery Power Washer

Best Portable Pressure Washer for Cars

Do you want a portable pressure washer for cleaning your car? This is a great option as it has a PSI of 960 and comes with a range of attachments. Plus, the cordless design makes it super easy to maneuver around your car.

Besides cleaning your car, this is suitable for other outdoor surfaces. This includes gates, benches, garden furniture, bikes, steps, and swimming pool tiles. So you can use this handy product for deep cleaning everything in the back and front yard!

Why We Love It

Cordless and Lightweight

This only weighs 14.3 pounds, so it’s easy to transport around your car as you clean. Bonus? It has no cords, so nothing will get in your way and tangle you up!

960 PSI Power

For a portable pressure washer, this is high pressure. It’s great for cars too, as there’s no risk of chipping paint or scratching up the exterior. The PSI of 960 and the GPM of 1.2 is enough to remove stubborn dirt and maintain your car’s cleanly appearance.

Six Nozzle Options

We’ve mentioned how important attachments are, but so are nozzle options. This one comes with six nozzle options, making it super easy to change which setting you’re using. The settings include 0°, 20°, 20° slant direction, 40°, foam jetting, or shower mode.

Keep In Mind

May Not Remove Stains

Because the PSI is less than 1000, it’s not got the strongest water pressure. You may find that this can’t remove super stubborn stains like bird poop or sludge on your vehicle.

Additional Specs

Type Electric (portable)
Hose Length Cordless
PSI 960 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings 6 nozzle options
Detergent Tank No

5. Realm 1500 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

Best Safe Pressure Washer for Cars

If you want something with a bit of extra safety to put your mind at ease, especially if you have kids and pets, then this Realm electric pressure washer is a great choice.

Firstly, it’s CSA approved which means it’s been tested against North American standards requirements. Secondly, it automatically shuts down the pump and motor when the trigger gun isn’t being used.

It also has a safety lock so that you can be assured that if curious kids get a hold of it, nothing will turn on if you’ve initiated the safety lock.

Last but not least, it’s good for the environment, too, because it is energy efficient. This appliance saves water and electricity where possible.

Why We Love It

Compact and Convenient Design

This little guy is pretty compact, making it easy to store and maneuver. It only weighs 18 pounds. Still, it’s on wheels, so even if you’re worried about that being too heavy — it’s designed to be easy to maneuver.

High Quality Pump

This was made with a high-quality pump to ensure strong power and high water pressure. It’s made from alloy steel, and the motor is made from silicone steel, with lots of other stable materials around it for durability.

The pump is made up of a turbine cooling fan to ensure it doesn’t overheat. Overall, this is an energy-efficient and durable design.

Adjustable Pressure Nozzle

This has an adjustable pressure nozzle rather than nozzle attachments, so you don’t need to swap and change them over. Just adjust the pressure nozzle. Twist it to change to light, medium, or heavy duty cleaning. Also, it has a soap dispenser for tackling tough stains.

Keep In Mind

Leaks Are Common

The biggest drawback to this product is that many customers found that after a few months it started to leak. Water would come out of the bottom, causing a range of issues.

Prone to Cracking

A few customers reported that theirs cracked for two common reasons. One, because of the water pressure causing cracks in the tank. Two, because storing it outside in the cold broke down the material. We recommend storing it in a temperature-controlled area that doesn’t get too cold.

Additional Specs

Type Electric
Hose Length 19 feet
PSI 1500 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings Adjustable nozzle
Detergent Tank Yes

6. Rockpals Cordless Pressure Washer

Best Cordless Pressure Washer for Cars

This is a great option if you’re on the hunt for something cordless to clean your car. This allows you to pressure wash surfaces without any wires getting in your way.

It’s also very lightweight and compact, so you can easily transport it from place to place. Better still, put it in the back of the car if you want to take it with you camping.

We also love that its handheld, so it’s very easy to use. This also gives you great control over every inch of your car, since it’s easy to navigate.

Why We Love It

Gentle PSI

If you’re worried about damaging a custom paint job, then this is a great pressure washer for you. The PSI is 870, so it’s still strong but it’s also gentle. It won’t cause damage, scratches, or chip paint.

It Has Many Uses

This can do more than cleaning cars. It’s great for cleaning motorbikes, bikes, driveways, fences, and much more.

Purifying Filter Pipe

Included with this product is a filter type that gets rid of leaf residue, sediment, and other impurities. So no matter what kind of water source you’re drawing from, this will keep the water as clean as possible. It also protects the pump from nasty gunk, ensuring a longer lifespan for this product.

Keep In Mind

Not for Tough Stains

Because the PSI is only 870, it isn’t ideal for getting off tough stains. We recommend this for light cleaning and maintenance.

30-Minute Battery Life

Between charges, this battery has a 30-minute lifespan. This is pretty average but if you’re planning to clean a few cars in one go, it can become pretty frustrating.

Additional Specs

Type Electric (portable)
Hose Length Cordless
PSI 870 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings 6 nozzle options
Detergent Tank No

7. Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer

Best Cheap Pressure Washer for Cars

This is a fairly budget-friendly pressure washer for cars. You don’t need to spend an absolute fortune on getting an absolute beast of a pressure washer. With 1800 PSI, this is a fantastic and forceful pressure washer that will deep clean your car without causing damage.

With a 13-amp motor and a 1.8 GPM, this has a maximum cleaning blast that will fire off any nasty gunk or stains on your precious vehicle.

It’s available in a nice lime green color, or red, so you can choose one that you like best.

Why We Love It

Adjustable Spray Nozzle

With this pressure washer, you can twist the spray nozzle to easily change the angle. You can go from 0 degrees to 45 °, making it easy to choose your preferred setting.

Long Hose, Plus Extension

This comes with a 35-foot power cord, giving you plenty of stretch between the power outlet and your vehicle. But it also comes with a 20-foot hose, giving you even more flexibility. That’s not all! It also has a 33-inch extension wand, just in case you need that extra length.

Versatile Uses

Because it has a strong, but fairly gentle PSI, you can use this for a variety of jobs. It’s great for light to medium-duty cleaning of cars, decks, driveway, and pavements. It can also handle docks, boats, patios, sidings, and more.

Keep In Mind

Poor Wheels

Being on wheels, this is an attractive purchase as you’d think it would be easy to transport. But customers complain that it isn’t easy to push around and often tips over. What’s even worse is that a few customers reported the wheels snapping off.

Additional Specs

Type Electric
Hose Length 35 feet
PSI 1800 PSI
Attachments or Nozzle Settings Adjustable nozzle and one extension wand
Detergent Tank No

Car Pressure Washer Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Hose Length PSI Attachments or Nozzle Settings Detergent Tank
Cat Electric Pressure Washer Electric Electric 20 feet 1800 PSI 4 nozzle tips & foam blaster Yes
Simpson Clean Pressure Washer Gas Gas 25 feet 2400 PSI 3 nozzle settings Yes
Worx Electric Pressure Washer Wheeled Electric 25 feet 1600 PSI 4 nozzle attachments Yes
mrliance Battery Power Washer Portable Electric/Portable Cordless 960 PSI 6 nozzle options No
Realm Electric Pressure Washer Safe Electric 19 feet 1500 PSI Adjustable nozzle Yes
Rockpals Cordless Pressure Washer Cordless Electric/Portable Cordless 870 PSI 6 nozzle options No
Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer Cheap Electric 35 feet 1800 PSI Adjustable nozzle & extension wand No

Cleanest Car on the Block

With these best pressure washers for cars, you and your family will have the cleanest vehicles around. Maybe neighbors will even ask you to help out with their cars!

When shopping for a pressure washer, keep in mind that electric ones are best. However, we do have a gas recommendation (just stand further back to avoid damage to your car’s paint) as well as portable options. Portable ones aren’t as strong, but they are super easy to use.

You should also consider the hose length, the PSI, and how many nozzle settings it has. Don’t forget to check if it comes with a detergent tank!

Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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