5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (2024)

Our team of experts reviews the best pressure washers for DIY car cleaning.

Written By:

Aidan Pounder

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (1)

Written By: Aidan Pounder Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Aidan Pounder is a Motor1.com product tester who has written reviews spanning from car insurance to rooftop cargo boxes. He regularly traveled both cross-country and internationally for cycling throughout his youth, having been awarded multiple state titles and podiuming at national championships across several different disciplines of the sport. He spent his more formative years under the hood of a car making sure he could get to his next bike race and knows the best way to secure all of your gear out on the road. His reviews have appeared in major automotive digital publications such as HotCars and Motor1. Aidan brings road trip know-how and a touch of DIY spirit to our team. If he’s not burning through the clutch on his 2003 Ford Focus Zx3, you’ll find him keeping up with the latest happenings in the world of European football.

06/30/2023 10:16 am

Reviewed By: Charles Noyes

Most Powerful

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (2)

Stanley SHP2150

A high-quality pressure washer that’s great for car detailing.

4/5

Check Price

Efficiency Pick

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (3)

Sun Joe SPX3000

A versatile pressure washer that uses water and energy wisely.

4/5

Check Price

Low-Cost Option

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (4)

Karcher K1700

A durable pressure washer compatible with most parts and nozzles.

4/5

Check Price

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (5)

Greenworks GPW2000-1RG

A quality pressure washer that’s tested and rated by the PWMA.

4/5

Check Price

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (6)

Karcher K5 Premium

An innovative pressure washer with patented technology.

4/5

Check Price

Pressure washers for car cleaning and detailing are incredibly useful pieces of equipment. Driving through a brick-and-mortar car wash can cost more money than it should, while an at-home soap-and-bucket car wash could leave you feeling uninspired by your handy work. The best pressure washers use both power and water efficiently, and they tend to offer a good value.

Our review team has combed through dozens of pressure washers for cars in the hopes of helping out customers during their purchasing process. While you may or may not decide on using one of our recommended pressure washers below, all of the products that our team recommends are backed by thorough research and an unbiased review process.

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars

Our Review Standards

To select the pressure washers featured in this buyers guide, our team first combed through dozens of resources such as DIY mechanic and auto enthusiast forums, manufacturer and pressure washer-specific websites, instruction manuals from manufacturers, and reviews from online retailers. We pay particularly close attention to quality reviews and recommendations that highlight the quality of warranties, customer service support, build quality, materials, and overall reliability.

We also factored in the quantity and quality of online retailer reviews from websites such as Amazon, RealTruck, Advance Auto Parts, and more. We looked at factors such as standout customer reviews, prices, meaningful superlatives, and discount shipping eligibility.

Why You Can Trust Us

Since 2020, we have published over 200 auto product reviews in an effort to make shopping for auto products easier. Our team of writers, editors, researchers, and product experts collaborates to thoroughly vet top products. We try to perform in-house testing on real vehicles whenever possible before making our recommendations.

When testing is not feasible, however, our aim is to make your life easier by doing all the online research for you and presenting that research in the form of easy-to-read product comparisons and buyers guides, rather than outright recommendations. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Pressure Washers For Cars Buyers Guide

Pressure washers are commonly used to clean vehicles and for good reason. They work quickly and can be used to easily blow away dirt chunks and road grime. Compared to hand-washing, a pressure washer will save a significant amount of time and energy.

You are not likely to damage your vehicle paint with a pressure washer unless you choose an especially narrow nozzle and set the pressure to the extreme highest setting. Many car detailing enthusiasts prefer to use a pressure washer to start cleaning their vehicle, and to follow up a hose down with hand-wiping for fine detailing.

There are a host of different brands of pressure washers for cars to sort through and there are even more model options to pick from. Having an idea of the type of pressure washer you want and which replaceable nozzle options are included are two things that will make your purchasing process easier.

Types Of Pressure Washers

There are two main types of pressure washers: electric and gas.

  • Electric pressure washers:This type of pressure washer features a push-to-start button and tends to run more quietly and cleanly than its counterpart. Electric pressure washers won’t offer the upper power ranges that some gas-powered models can, but will work well on most light to heavy-duty jobs.
  • Gas pressure washers:This type of pressure washer usually has a manual pull start and provides the power as well as mobility to tackle large jobs. Depending on the model, gas pressure washers can even remove paint.

Nozzle Types

Pressure washers come equipped with an all-in-one variable spray wand that allows you to adjust your water pressure or a set of interchangeable nozzles. Knowing the intended usage of each type of nozzle can give you an idea of which nozzles you’ll need with your pressure washer.

  • 0 degrees:This is the most powerful and concentrated nozzle setting.
  • 15 degrees:This nozzle is meant for heavy-duty cleaning.
  • 25 degrees:This degree of nozzle is intended for general cleaning.
  • 40 degrees:This nozzle is designed for use on vehicles, outdoor furniture, boats, and other easily damaged surfaces.
  • 65 degrees:This degree of nozzle is low-pressure and meant to apply soap and other cleaning agents.

When using a pressure washer to clean your car, the best angle will depend partially on individual preference, but you will likely want to use something between 25 and 40 degrees.

#1 Most Powerful: Stanley SHP2150

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (8)

Stanley SHP2150

Around $310 Amazon

Check Price

Pros

  • 2,150.0 PSI
  • 1.4 GPM
  • Telescopic handle

Cons

  • Complaints about its longevity

The Stanley SHP2150 has pressure washing capabilities of 2,150.0 pound-force per square inch (psi) and 1.4 gallons per minute (GPM). This pressure washer will outperform a car wash due to the 13.0-amp motor as well as the specially designed detergent bottle that doubles as a high-pressure foamer for the best cleaning results. This pressure washer features a telescopic handle and a range of accessories, including a pressure washer gun, pressure washer wand, 25.0-ft. pressure hose, a foam cannon, four removable quick-connect nozzles, and an o-ring replacement kit.

Key Features

  • 2,150.0 psi
  • 1.4 GPM
  • Telescopic handle
  • Two-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 3,200 ratings

Positive reviews agree that this is one of the best pressure washers out there. Its professional-grade brass garden hose connector ensures this pressure washer won’t leak. Negative reviews primarily complain about this product’s longevity. For some, the Stanley didn’t hold up under heavy use.

#2 Efficiency Pick: Sun Joe SPX3000

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (9)

Sun Joe SPX3000

Around $135 Amazon

Check Price

Pros

  • Total Stop System
  • Dual onboard detergent tanks
  • 2,030.0 PSI

Cons

  • May not work with every hose as advertised

The Sun Joe SPX3000 features a 14.5 amp motor that can generate up to 2,030.0 psi with a flow rate of 1.76 GPM. This pressure washer was recognized by our team as the most efficient pressure washer on the market due to its efficient power and water usage. Additionally, you can attach a variety of spray tips to the pressure washer’s high-pressure hose to select the water pressure that works best for the cleaning task at hand.

Key Features

  • Total Stop System
  • Dual onboard detergent tanks
  • 2,030.0 psi

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 53,000 ratings

Positive reviews love that the SPX3000 uses a Total Stop System (TSS) which automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged to improve the product’s lifespan. This versatile pressure washer is able to clean a variety of messes due to its dual onboard detergent tanks. The pressure washer also features a 20.0-foot hose, a 35.0-foot power cord, and a garden hose adapter. Of the few negative reviews we found, many complaints center around customer service issues and the washer not working with every hose in contrast with brand advertising.

#3 Low-Cost Option: Karcher K1700

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (10)

Karcher K1700

Around $130 Amazon

Check Price

Pros

  • On/off foot switch
  • M22 power washer connectors
  • Only weighs 20.7 pounds

Cons

  • Valve in spray gun is known to break

With a hose length of 20.0 ft., you won’t have to worry about needing more room to finish rinsing off your car. This pressure washer boasts 1,700.0 psi and 1.2 GPM all wrapped up in a compact design weighing 20.7 lbs. This pressure washer has universal sprayer nozzles and standard M22 power washer connectors to allow you the freedom of choice when selecting an accessory for automotive detailing. Additionally, a foot switch means you don’t have to bend down to turn this pressure washer on or off.

Key Features

  • Three quick-connect nozzles
  • On/off foot switch
  • M22 power washer connectors
  • Only weighs 20.7 lbs.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on over 5,600 ratings

The vast majority of customers have little to no issue with this product, as 85 percent of reviewers rate the car pressure washer 4 stars or higher. While most agree the Karcher is easy to set up and use, there are some complaints about the company failing to honor the warranty.

#4 Greenworks GPW2000-1RG

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (11)

Greenworks GPW2000-1RG

Around $135 Amazon

Check Price

Pros

  • Tested and rated by PWMA
  • Start/stop technology
  • Soap siphon hose

Cons

  • Doesn’t work as well for car detailing

The Greenworks GPW2000-1RG is the only pressure washer featured in this article to be tested and rated in accordance with the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association (PWMA). This pressure washer can exert 2,000.0 psi and 1.1 GPM due to its powerful 13.0-amp motor. You’ll be able to maneuver this pressure washer with ease thanks to a 20.0-foot hose and a 35.0-foot power cord. Additionally, a soap siphon hose allows users to easily switch between pressure washing to using cleaning detergents.

Key Features

  • Push-to-start and start/stop technology
  • Tested and rated by PWMA
  • Start/stop technology
  • Soap siphon hose

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on over 2,300 ratings

Most reviewers are happy with this product, as 88 percent of reviewers rate the pressure washer 4 or more stars. Happy reviewers are surprised at how well this pressure washer performs considering its small size.

#5 Karcher K5 Premium

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (12)

Karcher K5 Premium

Around $210 Amazon

Check Price

Pros

  • Water-cooled induction motor
  • Adjustable flow dial
  • Onboard detergent tank

Cons

  • Most accessories are non-standard in the industry

The Karcher K5 Premium features a patented water-cooled induction motor that can produce 2,000.0 psi and a 1.4 GPM water flow rate. To give you full control over the pressure, the pressure washer includes a Vario Power spray wand and a patented Dirt Blaster spray lance. You won’t need to worry about needing more workspace as this pressure washer has a 25.0-foot hose that can be tucked away thanks to the hose reel for simple storage.

Key Features

  • Water-cooled induction motor
  • Adjustable flow dial
  • Onboard detergent tank
  • Two-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.1 out of 5 based on over 1,500 ratings

Most customers have little to no issue with the pressure washer, as 80 percent of reviewers rate it 4 stars or higher. While most agree this is a well-built and reliable pressure washer, some complain about the expensive and scarce proprietary parts necessary for the washer. An onboard detergent tank is also featured on the pressure washer, which is not only removable but includes an adjustable flow dial to give you ultimate control over how much detergent is applied. The manufacturer claims that the pressure washer provides up to 40 times the pressure of a standard garden hose.

Pressure Washers For Cars: Bottom Line

A pressure washer is an important tool for at-home exterior detailing. Rob Harper,Director of Product Development and Tech Support at Ziebart International, explained not only will they save you time, but it is better for your paint.

“If you’re talking about the exterior of the car, really the best thing to make sure to have is a power washer – even the power washers you can get from Home Depot for $150 or $200 bucks are better than just the garden hose because a lot of the problems that people get from washing their own cars is not rinsing well from the beginning and leaving an amount of grit on the paint that then – through the washing process – scratches the paint.”

The best pressure washers work great for car detailing and cleaning. With a pressure washer you have the opportunity to clean your car from the convenience of your own home without having to spend money at a car wash when you can do it yourself. The best pressure washers for vehicles will be powerful enough to make your car look brand new after every wash.

Pressure Washers At A Glance

Brand

Pound-Force Per Square Inch (psi)

Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

Cost

Stanley SHP2150

2,150.0

1.4

$310

Sun Joe SPX3000

2,030.0

1.76

$135

Karcher K1700

1,700.0

1.2

$130

Greenworks GPW2000-1RG

2,000.0

1.1

$135

Karcher K5 Premium

2,000.0

1.4

$210

FAQ: Best Pressure Washers For Cars

*Data accurate at time of publication.

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (13)

Aidan Pounder Writer – Motor1 Review Team

5 Best Pressure Washers For Cars (2023 Guide) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Carey Rath

Last Updated:

Views: 6758

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Carey Rath

Birthday: 1997-03-06

Address: 14955 Ledner Trail, East Rodrickfort, NE 85127-8369

Phone: +18682428114917

Job: National Technology Representative

Hobby: Sand art, Drama, Web surfing, Cycling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leather crafting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Pres. Carey Rath, I am a faithful, funny, vast, joyous, lively, brave, glamorous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.