You might think that it’s better to have lots of options when looking for the best pressure washer for cars. But this isn’t always the case as all these resources can actually make it harder to choose the best. This guide is compiled to help you make an informed decision. And rest assured that the information you get here is all based on the experiences of actual users.
The Best Pressure Washer For Cars: Your Criteria For Choosing
High-quality pressure washers have pressure ratings that fall between 1500 PSI to 2000 PSI. Car owners have to be mindful of the PSI value when looking for the best pressure washer for cars. A washer with less than 1500 PSI wouldn’t effectively clean off the dirt. On the other hand, using a washer with more than 2000 PSI runs the risk of damaging the car’s paint job.
GPM, or Gallons Per Minute, measures the amount of water used per minute. Industry experts have one open secret about pressure washers: the PSI cleans the car, but the GPM speeds up the cleaning process. These two specs work in tandem to for efficient cleaning. The GPM often depends on the PSI value. The recommended GPM is usually around 1.4 to 1.6 GPM.
Also known as the CU, the Cleaning Unit is simply the result of multiplying the PSI by the GPM (PSI x GPM = CU). A higher CU level means less cleaning time, which therefore means more savings on time, energy, and especially money. Experts recommend using a pressure washer with at least 1,900 to 2,800 CUs. This ensures fast cleaning and enough protection for the car’s paint job.
Everybody wants to buy something affordable. But affordable items often compromise on quality, which could be a bad thing for a pressure washer. But you also don’t have to splurge on something you can’t afford just because it seems like the best choice. Recent surveys show that efficient power washers for cars can be bought at $75 to $150 apiece.
Here’s something that you should always remember: Brands that sell the best pressure washer for cars always have a good track record. This track record is often based on real-time reviews. This is the most accurate gauge of a pressure washer’s efficiency. That’s because the reviews are written by customers who have the first-hand experience in using the product.
1. Sun Joe SPX 3000
This is one of the biggest bestsellers on Amazon because it cleans efficiently at 2030 PSI and 1.76 GPM. This pressure rating yields a CU of 3572.8, which is high enough to clean deep-seated dirt but also low enough not to damage your car’s paint job. It currently sells at $145.72, which is 27% off of the original price and gives customers almost $55 in discounts. The Sun Joe SPX 3000 is powered by a motor that runs at 14.5 amps.
This product has one little setback: the plastic connector piece between the machine and the hose can be unstable. This seems to be a known issue. The manufacturer has addressed this issue by offering replacement brass parts for free. All you have to do is to register the unit as soon as you get it by calling the manufacturer.
Aside from this small setback, the Sun Joe SPX3000 beats all other brands in our estimates.
2. AR Blue Clean AR383
The AR Blue Clean AR383 1900 comes in a close 2nd to the Sun Joe SPX3000 on this list of the best pressure washer for cars. This is also one of the more expensive products on this list at $124.50. But you definitely get good value for your money because it’s also made of high-quality durable materials. This is a high-performance pressure washer that works at 1900 PSI and 1.5GPM.
There are many other reasons why this product is rated as the second best-selling power washer model among all other brands. The first reason is that it has a professional-looking style yet is still budget-friendly. Another reason is that a good number of the customers who bought and have tried this product think it’s amazingly easy to assemble.
It is also regarded as environment-friendly because it conserves 80% of water with 40% more power than the usual garden hose. Its engine is also quieter than gas engine models. The product is also easy to use not just for car washing but also for most home cleaning tasks.
3. Sun Joe SPX1000
The biggest selling factor for the Sun Joe SPX1000 is the fact that it’s quite affordable. In fact, it’s the most low-priced one on this list at only $75. This price is at least 50% less than the price for the Sun Joe SPX 3000. But unlike its more expensive counterpart, the Sun Joe SPX 1000 cannot be used for heavy-duty cleaning. Its amperage is only slightly lower than the SPX3000 at 11.5 Amp.
It belongs on the list of the best pressure washer for cars simply because the manufacturers didn’t compromise on the quality. This product runs at 1450 PSI at 1.45 GPM. These values definitely give you more benefits than what you paid for. That’s because the PSI and GPM for this product are higher than what other products under the same price category run on.
It comes with other features, too, such as a telescopic handle. This handle reduces the strain of bending to clean hard-to-reach places. It also has a high-pressure hose that can reach up to 20 feet so you can easily go around your car. It also has two spray wand variations that let you tackle different jobs.
When it comes to making a good investment with a small amount of cash, the Sun Joe SPX 1000 is the best choice.
4. GreenWorks GPW1501
This product currently sells at $94 on Amazon, which is $30 less than the original price. One reason why we’ve ranked this on the 4th spot is that you get a slightly lower cleaning capacity than the Sun Joe SPX 1000 though you’re paying a higher price. The GreenWorks GPW1501 runs on 1500 PSI with 1.2 GPM.
The price of this pressure washer may also increase depending on the inclusions. But it does come with some great features that make it one of the best pressure washer for cars. First off, it has a 20-foot hose that can handle high-pressure washing with ease. It also has a 35-foot power cord.
These two features alone are good enough for us. It allows you to clean your car thoroughly without having to maneuver it closer to the water source or the power outlet.
The GreenWorks GPW1501 also has two quick-connect tips that allow you to clean either at a 25-degree or a 40-degree angle.
5. Karcher K4
This is the most expensive product on our list of the best pressure washer for cars. It currently sells at $183.33. This price is above the $150 range that we recommended, but we added it on our list for good reason: the product’s performance. It runs at 1900 PSI with 1.5 GPM and comes with a telescopic handle design. You’ll also be getting at least 2,850 CU on this product, which means that it cleans faster than the cheaper brands.
You might argue that the pressure to cost ratio for this product is a little low. But you won’t just be buying a pressure washer, you’ll also be investing in a highly trusted brand. The Karcher brand has consistently been getting positive feedback from its customers. Karcher also provides a 2-year limited warranty for all of its products.
Karcher is a brand known for products that are equipped with additional features and tools that are necessary for efficiently completing the job. The Karcher K4 comes with a DirtBlaster Spray Wand that is perfect for cleaning stubborn stains. This makes the product multi-functional since it can also be used for cleaning your patio and concrete surfaces.
Another thing that makes the Karcher K4 one of the best pressure washer for cars is that it has an induction motor. This provides a cooling action for the unit through water circulation. It makes the motor last longer than its competition.
6. Karcher K2
This is the more affordable option for the Karcher brand and is currently selling at $89.99. With this price, it also means that the PSI and GPM are lower than the Karcher K4. The Karcher K2 runs at 1600 PSI, which is the same level as the Sun Joe SPX 1000. What makes this product rank lower is because it only sprays 1.25GPM of water. That’s .20 GPM lower than the Sun Joe SPX 1000.
But we also have good reason to include this on the list of the best pressure washer for cars. First is because it shares two features in common with the Karcher K4: the Vario Power Spray and the DirtBlaster Spray Wand. These two features alone make the product well worth its price.
Another good thing about the Karcher K2 is because it comes with a Car and Homekit package. As the name suggests, the package converts the Karcher K2 from a simple car pressure washer to an all-around home cleaner. The Karcher K2 is also the best choice for customers who value products that can easily be carried around and stored.
7. GreenWorks GPW1702
The GreenWorks GPW1702 is slightly more expensive than the Karcher K2 but ranks almost the same in popularity. One reason for this is because it has a higher PSI, which is 1700 as compared to Karcher K2’s 1600. However, what makes this rank lower on our list of the best pressure washer for cars is because it only uses 1.2 GPM. This means that it is only 40 points higher than the Karcher K2 in terms of Cleaning Units.
One thing that we like about this product is that it has a longer hose than other pressure washers. Specifically, it is 5 feet longer than even the top-ranking pressure washers on this list. Another reason why this pressure washer is on this list is that GreenWorks provides great customer service. It is also lightweight and provides easy storage options, which makes it ideal for residential use.
8. Sun Joe SPX2000
This is another one of the pressure washers that fall below the hundred-dollar mark. It currently sells for $95.58 and comes with a high-pressure hose that can reach up to 30 feet. It’s at number nine on this list because the price is a bit high for a pressure rating of just 1500 PSI with 1.4 GPM. But it does have a lot of redeeming qualities.
It is very easy to use and highly durable for a lightweight unit. You can also bring it with you on long trips since the unit can easily be stored in the trunk. This alone makes it a good investment especially if you own a big car. You can easily cover the car’s length without worrying about accidentally ripping the hose off of the faucet. But as with any other long hose, you just have to be careful about hitches and snags that can block the flow of water.
One thing to remember before using this product is to carefully read the manual. This way, you would know how, when, and where to use the pressure washer appropriately. This eliminates any unrealistic expectations that could easily lead to disappointment.
9. AR Blue AR112S
This is another one of the pressure washers that fall below the hundred-dollar mark. It currently sells for $95.58 and comes with a high-pressure hose that can reach up to 30 feet. It’s at number nine on this list because the price is a bit high for a pressure rating 1500 PSI with 1.4 GPM. But it does have a lot of redeeming qualities.
The first quality is that it is very easy to use and highly durable for a lightweight unit. You can also bring it with you on long trips since the unit can easily be stored at the trunk. If you wish to base your decision on the reviews, then note that this product has actually gotten 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Some of the customers who gave 4-star ratings are satisfied with the product’s performance. They also love the fact that the AR Blue AR112S does not waste as much water as other pressure washers under the same price range.
10. GreenWorks GPW1950
This product is the second most expensive on this list of the best pressure washer for cars. Yet it only runs on 1950 PSI and 1.2 GPM. This means that the price vs capacity rating for this product is not as good as the other items we’ve reviewed. Despite this drawback, the Greenworks GPW1950 is still one of the biggest bestsellers on Amazon to date.
One thing we love about this product is because it is so compact that you can just store it anywhere. But we did find that this easy storage quality does not extend to the spray wand. There doesn’t seem to be any appropriate place in the machine where the wand can be stored. You may have to just leave it hanging loosely and be careful that it doesn’t fall off when you take it out of storage.
The GreenWorks GPW1950 also comes with a hose that is 5 feet longer than the other products listed here. This makes it suitable not just for washing cars but also as an all-around house cleaning tool. Just be watchful for kinks in the hose and other issues that may arise from having long hoses.
And just like in using any other multi-purpose item, you have to carefully learn the appropriate ways in which this product should be used.
You can take each of these reviews into consideration when shopping around for the best pressure washer for cars. We’ve taken a realistic view of all the products that we came upon in our research. The items listed here are the ones that met the criteria that we’ve set beforehand. So you can rest assured that each product has been looked into in detail and comparisons were made for each product range.
Do note though that no matter how good a product seems to be, there will always be one or two issues with it. Be it an issue with performance, price, warranty or whatnot, the important thing is that you educate yourself on how to handle it. Although durability plays a big role in decision-making, there is one reason why we did not include this in the criteria. And that reason is that a product will last only for as long as the owner takes good care of it.
So educate yourself before during and after you buy a pressure washer. This way, you can cover all the bases.