Best car pressure washer 2022: Our top picks to clean your vehicle

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If you're searching for the best pressure washer for your car, then we've got you covered right here.

As touched on in our list of the best car cleaning products, using a pressure washer to rinse your vehicle is the first step towards delivering a comprehensive, deep clean.

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This is because a pressure washer is designed to remove larger, more visible dirt before you get down to the more detailed process of applying your best car shampoo and wax spray for a showroom-like finish.

Where pressure washers come into their own though is when it comes to cleaning alloy wheels because brake dust can be one of the hardest substances to clean when you're not equipped with the power of a pressurised device.

So, taking all this into account, we've decided to put together a list of our top picks based on price, reviews, power, and any unique features that make these amazing pressure washers stand out from the crowd.

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Whether you're looking for something relatively inexpensive, like this Greenworks 1600 PSI bit of kit, or you're after something more premium, like this Karcher K 5 unit, then our list is here to help.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding pressure washers to help you figure out what exactly it is you need to look for to clean your vehicle. Before that though, let's get into our list...

Best car pressure washer

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Best all-round car pressure washer - Craftsman CMEPW1700

Best car pressure washer Craftsman CMEPW1700 product image of a compact black and red machine with a black hose and white bottle.
Credit: Craftsman
Brand: Craftsman | Power: Corded Electric | Pressure: 1700 PSI

Sometimes, keeping things simple can deliver the best results, which is why we've picked out this Craftsman CMEPW1700 as one of the most well-rounded pressure washers around.

It's not the most powerful machine Craftsman offers (more on that later), but what it does have is a lightweight, compact build, like some of the best car vacuums, that should make it easy to carry around whilst cleaning, and even easier to store thereafter.

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It also comes with a 20ft. kink-resistant hose designed to eliminate any hassle around low pressure or simply having no pressure at all, plus a soap applicator bottle for when you want to speed up the car-cleaning process.

Although it's not the most powerful Craftsman pressure washer, you still get 1700 PSI of pressure which should be more than enough to clean an everyday road car, hence its inclusion on our list.

Best budget car pressure washer - Greenworks 1600 PSI

Best car pressure washer Greenworks 1600 PSI product image of a green and black upright machine.
Credit: Greenworks
Brand: Greenworks | Power: AC | Pressure: 1600 PSI

Pressure washers can vary drastically in price at times; however, this Greenworks bit of kit falls toward the more inexpensive end of the scale, so should be suitable for those limited by their budget.

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Despite its lower price tag, this AC-powered machine still delivers 1600 PSI which, in our books, is plenty for cleaning paintwork without causing any damage.

It also comes with a 20ft. hose and a 35ft. power cable so you shouldn't have to worry about it not reaching your driveway. Moreover, it comes with a soap applicator and two nozzle tips for a little more versatility when cleaning.

We also like the fact you get a 3-year warranty upon purchase which further cements this Greenworks 1600 PSI pressure washer as a great option to consider in our opinion.

Best premium car pressure washer - Karcher K 5 Premium

Best car pressure washer Karcher K 5 Premium product image of a yellow and black machine.
Credit: Karcher
Brand: Karcher | Power: Corded Electric | Pressure: 2000 PSI

This Karcher K5 Premium looks to be an excellent option to consider if you've got the available budget to purchase something toward the top end of the price scale.

One of this machine's standout features is its patented water-cooled induction motor and non-corrosive N-COR pump. As a combination, you should be hitting 2000 PSI with ease to help remove even the toughest of stains on your vehicle.

Moreover, you get a Vario Power wand for lighter jobs like tackling more intricate bodywork, plus a Dirt Blaster wand for superior cleaning performance on tough-to-clean surfaces.

With its kink-resistant 25ft. hose as well, this premium pressure washer really does stand out as a top option to keep in mind during your search.

Best high-power car pressure washer - Craftsman CMEPW2400

Best car pressure washer Craftsman CMEPW2400 product image of a black and red machine with wheels.
Credit: Craftsman
Brand: Craftsman | Power: Corded Electric | Pressure: 2400 PSI

As touched on earlier, Craftsman has an even more powerful device than the one already mentioned. The machine in question is this Craftsman CMEPW2400 capable of up to 2400 PSI of pressure.

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This should make it the ideal machine for removing mud that's caked onto the bodywork of off-road vehicles.

However, there's more to this pressure washer than just power. For instance, it comes with multiple quick-connect nozzles, features a 25ft. kink-resistant hose with storage, a removable soap tank to make it easier to clean, plus 10" wheels designed to make moving this machine simple.

Ultimately, we feel there's a lot to like about this Craftsman CMEPW2400. So, if it's a powerful pressure washer you're after, then this could be the machine for you.

Best portable car pressure washer - Ryobi RY150PWA

Best car pressure washer Ryobi RY150PWA product image of a hyper green and black corded machine.
Credit: Ryobi
Brand: Ryobi | Power: AC | Pressure: 150bar

We've featured Ryobi before in our list of the best car tyre inflator as the company is renowned for creating high-end tools and machines for household tasks. The Ryobi RY150PWA is no different and is a great example of the company's manufacturing expertise.

The pressure washer is capable of delivering over 2100 PSI from its 2000W motor which, when at max. flow, is said to provide up to 450L of water per hour.

It also comes with a 900ml soap tank if you wanted to combine the rinsing and shampooing processes into one.

Furthermore, the hose is made from flexible braided steel which has been designed to be durable and resist kinks to help this particular pressure washer withstand the test of time.

Overall, the Ryobi RY150PWA definitely stands out as one of the best pressure washers for cars around, especially with its compact build and handle that should make it easier to move whilst cleaning your vehicle.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Finding the right pressure washer for your car can be tricky at times. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries to help you work out what you need for your vehicle.

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What should you look for from a pressure washer for your car?

First and foremost, you'll need to consider how powerful you want your pressure washer to be. For cars, this can be a little tricky as you need to not go for something too powerful as it might remove some of the paint.

Anything between 1500 - 2000 PSI should be okay to use on your car; however, if you own an off-road vehicle that regularly gets caked in dirt, then you may find something even more powerful to be more beneficial.

Hose length is also something to keep in mind as you'll need something long enough to work your way around your entire vehicle. Similarly, having the right accessories is a must for a more comprehensive clean. Opting for something with its own soap dispenser, for example, can drastically speed up the cleaning process and help ensure a more even distribution of your car shampoo.

You'll also need to consider the type of motor. Most pressure washers can either be gas or electric, both of which come with their own distinct benefits...

Is an electric pressure washer better than a gas pressure washer?

Gas-powered pressure washers are the more traditional of the two and are, typically, slightly more powerful than electric devices.

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They also tend to be more portable as they don't require a cable connected to electricity which limits where exactly you can use an electric pressure washer.

However, this doesn't mean a gas-powered machine is better than an electric one. In fact, the slightly lower power of an electric pressure washer may be more beneficial as you shouldn't have to worry about damaging the bodywork of your vehicle.

Ultimately, the choice will come down to personal preference and the kind of features you're looking for from a pressure washer for your car.

How much should you spend on a pressure washer for your car?

Although you can invest heavily in a pressure washer, we'd argue you don't necessarily need to break the bank when it comes to finding a great machine to use on your car.

This is because power isn't the most important aspect to look out for as, if you go for something too powerful, you may end up damaging the paint or bodywork of your vehicle.

That said, spending a little more on a pressure washer should provide some handy additional features like a longer hose length, onboard storage, and some extra accessories like additional nozzles to help you clean different areas.

However, there are some great budget options to consider, like this Greenworks bit of kit, that come with several of these additional features.

Therefore,

What are the most common issues with a pressure washer?

One of the most common issues with a pressure washer is low pressure. This can be for a number of reasons such as a bad connection between one of the hoses, a cracked o-ring, a clogged nozzle, or simply a hole dispersing water elsewhere.

All these issues are solvable. For instance, a cracked o-ring can be replaced, and a clogged nozzle can be fixed by unloading your machine and cleaning out the hoses.

Another common issue is soap not dispensing. The reason for this is most likely that there's too much back pressure in the pump preventing the soap from travelling through the nozzle. One simple way to solve this is to just remove the nozzle altogether if possible.

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Finally, if you own a gas-powered machine, then the chances are you'll wake up one day and the engine won't start if you don't use your pressure washer regularly. The most likely reason for this is there's not enough oil in the engine.

If you know for certain there is though, then the carburettor may be filled with too much old fuel. Try opening the carburettor drain plug and letting some of the old fuel come out before refuelling and trying your engine again.

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