Pressure washers are some extremely versatile pieces of kit. While they can be used for a wide variety of cleaning jobs, some are more tailored to some kinds of tasks than others. With such a massive choice of pressure washers on the market, it can be hard work making heads or tails of them.
A pressure washer for car cleaning has to have ample power to make quick work of that built-up dirt, but also gentle enough to not risk causing any damage from the high pressure.
The Appliance Hunter has been hard at work once again, scouring the hills and searching hard to find the best pressure washer for Car Cleaning.
And you’re in luck! This pressure washer review is sure to find the right model for you.
I’ve found seven great models that you can order straight from Amazon that’ll turn your car from a dusty unloved machine to a glistening chariot.
I’ve got a summary of the best below this, just click the name to go to Amazon and order yours.
Top 5 Best Pressure Washers For Car Cleaning
- Top Choice – Kärcher K2 Premium Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer
- Runner up – Silverline 943676 165bar High Pressure Washer 2100W
- Budget Pick – Nilfisk C 120 bar 120.7-6 PCA UK Compact Pressure Washer for Basic Tasks
- Best Small Choice – VYTRONIX High Pressure Washer Powerful 1500W Jet Wash For Car and Home
- Best for Car and Patio – Electric Pressure Power Washer,150Bar 2000W High Jet Washer
1. Top Choice – Kärcher K2 Premium Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer
Max Pressure: 110 Bar
- Great Price
- Loads of Accessories
- Adjustable Power
- Comes WIth Car Detergent
- No onboard storage for car accessories
The Karcher K2 Full Control pressure washer is absolutely ideal for washing cars.
It’s got a six-metre length of hose so you only really need to move it twice, once to each side of the car while your washing. And it comes with car soap which is quick-drying so it doesn’t leave streaks after you’ve washed it.
For those interested, it’s also got a patio cleaner that comes with it which is really handy for patios (of course) but also any paving or if you’ve got a driveway.
It’s quite a bit cheaper than the K4 model as well so you get great value for money. The only difference is that it doesn’t go quite as powerful, it only goes to 110 bar, not 130 bar. The water flow rate is 360 L/h, so it’ll have no problem providing the blast you need.
Absolutely fine for cleaning your car though! The only difference is if you have heavy duty cleaning you want to get done elsewhere around the house.
Annoyingly, it has storage built in to stash the main hoses and the cable but nowhere for the brush so you’ll need to find a home for that somewhere else.
It includes a two-year warranty. So you can have peace of mind that you’ll be making a safe purchase.
Overall, a fantastic pressure washer for the price, no surprise it’s one of the most popular. Ideal if you just want to wash your car and occasional other use.
2. Runner up – Silverline 943676 165bar High Pressure Washer 2100W
Max Pressure: 165 Bar
- Hose reel
- Particularly high pressure
- 5m long high pressure hose
The Silverline High Pressure Washer really does pack a punch. With a maximum water pressure of 165 Bar, even the toughest of grime will have a hard time clinging on.
This is one solid piece of kit. Excellent build quality. I do love a built-in holster for the spray gun.
It requires minimal assembly and carries this simplicity on with its effortless ease of use.
The reel-able hose ensures you always have the hose length to reach even the hardest to hit places without compromising on an untidy mass of hose.
Isn’t it a drag when you have to turn off your equipment for a while because it’s become overheated? The Silverline’s air-cooled motor ensures this little fighter won’t become overheated and can just keep providing the power.
This is quite a heavy unit though. So you won’t be quickly hauling it around as you tick off your cleaning jobs. The weight is not much of an issue though because it has a fairly long hose.
Overall this is one powerhouse that’ll certainly get the job done. You won’t go wrong with this choice.
3. Budget Pick – Nilfisk C 120 bar 120.7-6 PCA UK Compact Pressure Washer for Basic Tasks
Max Pressure: 120 Bar
- Auto Start/Stop Which Saves Water
- No Brush Attachment
The Nilfisk C120 is a great budget pressure washer, it provides strong cleaning power and is really easy to move about around a car.
It does have it’s problems though, there’s no adjustable power and 120 bar is a bit higher than recommended for tyres so you’ll have to be careful. And the detergent intake is a nozzle you swap in and out rather than an intake on the machine. That’s more personal but I’m not a huge fan.
It’s also missing the all-important brush attachment for the trigger gun but the few different lances and nozzles still make short work of any dirt on your car.
The 120 bar is more than powerful enough to clean up your car and most other places around the house and it’s all for under £100 so there aren’t any problems there.
I also liked that it has an auto start-stop when you let go of the trigger which saves water and power while you use it.
Overall, it’s a good budget model but it is exactly that, budget, so it misses out on a lot of the extras you get with the other recommendations here. But if you’re on a budget this’ll certainly get your car cleaned!
4. Best Small Choice – VYTRONIX High Pressure Washer Powerful 1500W Jet Wash For Car and Home
Max Pressure: 70 Bar
- Small and portable
- Great value
- Adjustable nozzle
- A little underpowered compared to other models
For such a small, cheap and cheerful, pressure cleaner; this little machine sure does breeze through some real tough cleaning tasks.
It’ll certainly make quick work of cleaning up your car alloys. There will also be no need to worry about it damaging paintwork. The pressure is just that sweet spot for cleaning cars; enough to blast the dirt but not your paint.
There doesn’t seem to be any attachments for this washer. So while it won’t be able to become a rotary brush, it’ll still make a powerful little dirt blaster.
While it’s certainly not as powerful as other washers on the market, it’ll certainly lift the caked in dirt from your patio. It might struggle a bit with tacking thick moss though.
The water inlet connection can be a little tricky sometimes. It takes some extra wiggling to get it off.
It’s quite a noisy little thing too. There are more powerful models that don’t hum quite as much as this.
Overall, an excellent value little pressure washer. Ideal for light work; especially when a regular garden hose just isn’t up to the task.
5. Best for Car and Patio – Electric Pressure Power Washer, 150Bar 2000W High Jet Washer
Max Pressure: 150 Bar
- Super long 8 meter hose
- Very high pressure
- Adjustable sprayer nozzle
- Emits 96 dB, so it’s quite loud
The Paxcess Electric Pressure Washer is one handy piece of kit. Not only does this little machine pack a bunch, but it’s extremely versatile too.
It connects up to any ordinary garden hose, turning it into a high pressured powerhouse. This little monster will output 6 litres per minute with 150 Bar pressure. It even works great with a low-pressure water supply.
The dirt blaster has an adjustable nozzle, allowing you to easily adjust the pressure so you don’t damage any paintwork.
It comes with a lengthy 8m long hose which is kept tidy with a handy hose reel on top of the unit.
For car washing, it includes a detergent tank so you can show it the suds before blasting away that mud.
It’s not too heavy and comes built on a set of wheel for easy manoeuvrability.
Things To Consider When Buying A New Pressure Washer – A Buyer’s Guide
There’s a lot to consider when looking for your new pressure washer. Pressure washers are used for such a wide variety of tasks; some need massive amounts of pressure, other cleaning tasks need a gentler touch.
Naturally, some pressure washers are going to be better for the job than others.
Electric Pressure vs Petrol Pressure Washer For Cars?
The two types of pressure washers you can get are electric or petrol.
But which one is better for cleaning your car?
Generally, petrol pressure washers are far more powerful than their electric counterparts so have better cleaning power but for your car, this isn’t actually what you want.
If you get too powerful you could end up taking the paint away (though that isn’t massively likely) but worse than that you can cause serious damage to your tyres.
DEKRA, a German safety group, conducted a study which showed that if a powerful pressure washer is aimed at the sidewall of a tyre for too long it can cause tiny tears. Doesn’t sound too bad but that can cause your tyre to burst once you start driving which isn’t going to end well!
Even if it doesn’t burst them it’s going to cause them to wear out faster and ultimately you’re the one who has to pay for new ones!
Car Pressure Washer Safety Tips
This means that you’re going to have to be careful about what type of pressure washer you buy and even how you wash your car with it.
For the body it’s fine but for the tyres here’s a couple of tips.
- Don’t aim on one place of the tyre too long
- Use A Fan Nozzle Or Brush
- Keep about 20 cm away from The Tyre
- Stick to about 110 bar or less (a medium to low setting)
What Does Your Pressure Washer Need
It can be quite hard to tell the difference between any two pressure washers. They all seem to be quite deceptively similar but there are a few differences between them that make the ones recommended here better for cleaning your car.
You’re welcome to try and clean your car without soap but it’s just not going to work as well.
You could always sponge on soap then rinse with the pressure washer but it’s far easier just to get one that has a detergent intake so you can kill two birds with one stone.
A Brush Attachment
It’s not absolutely essential but if you want to give your car a really good car wash level clean then you’re going to need a brush to really get in and scrub it. If you go off-road at all then you’ll definitely need it!
Adjustable Pressure Settings
Like I was saying before you want to take it easy on the rubber of your tyres so you’re going to need to be able to adjust the power while you’re washing.
Other Pressure Washers For Cars Reviewed
K4 Full Control Pressure Washer
Max Pressure: 130 Bar
- Comes With Rotary Brush
- Adjustable Power
- More Expensive
- Harder To Set Up And Put Away
The Karcher K4 Pressure washer is the most popular on Amazon for cars and it’s no surprise.
It’s nice and powerful but you can turn it down a little for dealing with your tyres and it comes with either a standard brush or a motorized rotating brush which is awesome.
The motorized brush just gives it that much more cleaning power and helps you get a really deep clean in the all the nooks and crannies of the car.
I also loved that you can store all the attachments on the machine itself. Often you can’t and they just end up getting lost in the shed never to be seen again which is just no use.
It of course also has the all-important detergent intake.
Overall, you can tell why it’s the most popular pressure washer for car cleaning, great power and the motorized brush lets you get a really deep clean with half the effort.
AQT 37-13 High Pressure Washer
Max Pressure: 130 Bar
- Brush Attachment
- Easy Storage
- Adjustable Power
- No Detergent Bottle
The Bosch AQT Pressure washer gets an honourable mention as one of the best pressure washers for cars. It’s not the most powerful but for the price and for washing cars it’s ideal.
The main problem is it doesn’t come with a bottle for detergent, you have to buy it separately, which seems very strange. Not sure what they’re aim is there but I don’t like it.
What I do like is that it folds down really nicely and you can store all the tools on board. So when you need to put it away it doesn’t take up too much space.
It also has the all-important brush connector ideal for washing cars. The max pressure is about 130 bar which is good and you can turn it down as well which is perfect for cleaning your car with.
Overall, a good buy as one of the best car pressure washers, easy to store and a brush nozzle for a deeper clean.
Tips For Washing A Car With A Pressure Washer
I thought I’d include a couple of different tips for washing your car with a pressure washer.
There’s always the chance you could cost yourself paint job with a pressure washer so I thought it would be necessary!
Aim Away From The Car Before You Start Spraying
The first jet of pressure often isn’t the same as the constant flow and sometimes this first jet can be far more powerful than you expect and it’s with that that damage can occur.
So aim at the ground beside the car, start spraying and then move to the car and start washing
When Aiming away from the car, Careful where you aim!
Bit of a double edge sword and I’m not just going back on what I said above.
But, when you aim at the ground you really want to make sure you’re not going to ping a high-speed stone straight on to your car (or anyone else’s!). So just have a look first and kick any loose stones the side.
I’m sure you’re smart enough to use your common sense though!
If there are any stone chips in the paint, don’t use the pressure washer on them!
If you spray the pressure washer over a chipped off paint it’s only going to get worse. The water gets in the chip and lots more paint off and you can end up stripping it all away.
So save yourself a headache and get it repainted while the chips small.
Don’t Hold The Pressure Washer Direct Against The Car
Even to get rid of a bug splatter or any other tough dirt don’t do it. Get a brush or use your nail to try to scrape it off. Holding the washer that close can really cause damage to the paint on your car.
Start further away and generally soak the car.
Before you use any soap or try and get rid of any dirt just soak the whole car first. This just loosens off the dirt and helps clean the whole thing. No point fighting uphill when you’re trying to clean it.
Clean Top To Bottom
Again a bit of an obvious one, but start cleaning at the top and work your way down.
Otherwise you’ll clean the bottom and all the dirt from the top is going to flow over it and undo everything you just did.
Use Car Soap
It’s a little more expensive but if you get proper soap you can get a proper clean!
Car soap is usually (but check each bottle) designed so that it drys quick and doesn’t leave you with streaks running down the paint.
A streaky clean just completely undoes all the hard work you put into cleaning it in the first place.
If you didn’t find the right pressure washer here then check out my complete guide to the Best UK Pressure Washers here.