Available in many shapes and sizes, pressure washers can be used for a wide range of outdoor cleaning jobs such as on cars, patios and garden furniture. A pressure washer can be an electric motor or a gas engine and usually connects to an existing water supply such as a garden hose. With water being delivered at such a high pressure, a pressure washer is a tool that requires a great deal of caution.
Buying the best pressure washer will make your outdoor cleaning tasks so much easier. A pressure washer can offer a much deeper clean which can get rid of the likes of algae and bacteria. What’s more, this can be done much quicker than the time it takes for a person to scrub an area. The fact that it can make such light work of cleaning means that you can also save a lot of energy. A pressure washer is, therefore, a very useful cleaning tool to have
Our Top 5 Pressure Washer Picks
|Sun Joe SPX3000||1.76 GPM||2030 PSI||4.3/5||$$
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|SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S||2.50 GPM||3100 PSI||4.4/5||$$$
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|SIMPSON Cleaning PS3228-S||2.80 GPM||3200 PSI||4.0/5||$$$$
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|AR Blue Clean AR118||1.50 GPM||1500 PSI||4.0/5||$
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|Generac 6602 OneWash 4-In-1||2.80 GPM||3100 PSI||3.9/5||$$$
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Because pressure washers come in different shapes and sizes, different types and with the possibility of various accessories, there’s a lot to consider. This is particularly important since a pressure washer can be dangerous when used improperly. For these reasons, we have put together some pressure washer reviews which will provide you an honest appraisal of the best products on the market. What’s more, there’s also a buying guide with plenty of advice on accessories, safety tips and much more.
Sun Joe SPX3000 – Best Electric Pressure Washer (Our Top Pick)
Able to tackle a wide range of cleaning tasks, the Sun Joe SPX3000 electric pressure washer is known for its excellent power and performance. The 1800W/14.5 amp motor is able to generate up to 2030 PSI of water pressure meaning it can easily tackle everything from boats to driveways. The dual detergent tank system can carry two different types of detergent at the same time and switching between the two is very easy with the detergent selection dial. The tanks can carry 0.9 liters of detergent each and are fully removable. The popularity of the Sun Joe SPX3000 is beyond just power and performance. It has a wonderful portability because of the rear wheels. There is also a 34-inch extension spray wand which means you can clean those hard-to-reach areas without difficulty.
One of our favorite features of this electric pressure washer is the 5 quick-connect spray tips which let you choose the pressure you need whether it’s a pencil point jet or a low fan spray. These nozzles are quick and easy to interchange. The only problem with this pressure washer is with the plastic hose adapter which has been known to leak. However, this seems to have been solved as the unit is now being shipped with a metal adapter. What’s more, the unit does come with a full 2-year warranty. With such great performance and so many excellent features, the Sun Joe SPX3000 is the best electric pressure washer on the market.
- Excellent pressure for an electric
- Easy to use
- Full 2-year warranty
- The plastic adapter is prone to leaking
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S – Best Gas-Powered Pressure Washer
The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S is a very portable gas-powered pressure washer. A robust steel frame and the 10” pneumatic tires mean that this unit is capable of receiving a few bumps and scrapes along the way. As such, it’s perfectly portable for doing various jobs around the home or workplace, regardless of the terrain. The Honda GC190 engine is powerful enough to clean any mess whether it’s on a wooden or tiled floor or even a rooftop. This is a powerful pressure washer which can deliver up to 3100 PSI.
Designed to be easy to use, the MSH3125-S includes 5 different nozzle tips for cleaning a wide range of surfaces. These are handily stored in a slot on the unit so there’s no risk of losing them. There’s also a siphon tube so that detergent can be easily applied. However, there is no detergent tank which some may consider a negative. Adding to the durable nature of this product is the high-pressure hose which is very flexible as well as kink and abrasion resistant. This is the best gas-powered pressure washer on the market because of its excellent power and portability combined. We also like the solid build of this product.
- Honda GC190 engine
- Impressive PSI
- Solid, durable build
- No detergent tank
SIMPSON Cleaning PS3228-S – Best For Industrial Use
If you’re looking for raw power and excellent durability, the Simpson Cleaning PS3228-S is a very good option to consider. This model is fitted with a Honda GX200 gasoline engine and offers 3200 PSI which is more than capable of completing any domestic pressure washing task. One compromise to consider with regards to the power provided is the noise level. As a gas pressure washer, this is not the quietest which might not be ideal for certain environments.
The large size of the welded steel frame, engine, and pneumatic wheels indicate that this is very much a pressure washer for industrial use. It therefore requires high-quality parts such as the triplex pump which helps provide higher pressure at the nozzle. Various hoses and nozzles allow the user to change things up quickly and easily. In total there are 5 different nozzle tips as well as soap applicators. One of the biggest problems experienced by those who have purchased the PS3228-S is in the product being delivered in a poor condition. This could suggest a problem with the packaging or even with quality control. Thankfully such experiences are not too common and are outweighed by some very positive comments.
- Plenty of power
- Sturdy frame
- Quality control issues
AR Blue Clean AR118 – The Most Compact One
While other pressure washers may boast an element of portability, it’s the AR Blue Clean AR118 that is the king of compactness. At just 11.7lbs and 9 x 14.5 x 10 inches, it is the perfect handheld pressure washer and can be easily moved around and stored at home. While the size and weight might not hint at much power the AR118 is still capable of 1,500 PSI which makes it ideal for lighter cleaning jobs that don’t require a heavy-duty tool. This power is particularly impressive when you consider the very competitive price tag. The small size and low weight of this product make it much easier to use than the majority of pressure washers.
A 30-foot power cord and 20-foot hose let you move around freely. Where the AR118 fails is in more difficult cleaning tasks. Quite simply, it lacks the power of rival pressure washers so it really comes down to whether you prefer power or portability. This pressure washer is ideal for smaller tasks around the home. It’s nice and quiet and the construction is solid enough which means that it should last quite some time without too many problems. However, some consumers complain of cheap plastic accessory parts that quickly need replacing.
- Compact for storage
- Lightweight for portability
- Relatively quiet
- Lacks power
- Some cheap plastic parts
Generac 6602 OneWash – Best For Washing Cars
The 212cc OHV engine of the Generac 6602 OneWash produces 3100 PSI and 2.8 GPM water output. Needless to say, this is a lot of water pressure and this is very much thanks to the engine which is the largest and most powerful in its class. Gas-powered pressure washers tend to be much bigger and heavier. As such, this model comes with 11-inch never flat wheels which can handle just about any terrain. While the wheels let you get to where you need to be, the 30-foot PVC hose helps you reach difficult areas in your immediate environment. There’s also a folding handle which helps save on space.
One of the best features of this pressure washer is the PowerDial Variable-Pressure Control which allows you to easily adjust the spray intensity depending on the target surface. This makes it the best pressure washer for washing cars since you can clean without removing the paint! All of the controls are together which makes this pressure washer particularly simple to use. A couple of other features of note include a drainable detergent tank and an axial cam pump. An area which is some cause for concern is in starting the engine which can require a number of pulls to get going. What’s more, any further problems experienced may be difficult to resolve due to the reportedly poor customer service.
- Excellent engine
- Variable pressure control
- Engine can be difficult to start
- Reports of poor customer service
Pressure Washer Buying Guide
Having taken a look at some of the best pressure washers of 2018, it makes sense that we now take a closer look at the two types of pressure washers available to you: electric and gas.
Electric VS. Gas Pressure Washers: What’s The Difference?
Electric Pressure Washers
An electric pressure washer is perfectly suitable for most cleaning tasks since they usually deliver between 1300 and 2000 PSI. This is less than that of gas pressure washers which means slower cleaning but it is safer. What’s more, electric pressure washers tend to run much quieter which makes them ideal for environments where a high level of noise is out of the question. They’re best for small decks, patios, and furniture – basically anything with more of a focus on cleaning than stain removal. Electric pressure washers are usually much more portable and easier to store since they’re lighter and smaller. They generally require less maintenance and don’t have any exhaust emissions. However parts are often made from plastic and this is not as sturdy. Electric pressure washers are much cheaper than gas.
+ Smaller and lighter
+ Less maintenance
+ No exhaust emissions
– Less powerful
– Plastic parts
Gas Pressure Washers
Able to produce between 2,000 and 3,000 PSI, the gas pressure washer is much more powerful than the electric. Whether you’ve got tough stains, graffiti or gum to contend with, a gas pressure washer will make light work of it. As such, using a gas pressure washer is much quicker and can be used for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. Despite this clear advantage, many people prefer electric pressure washers because they’re cheaper. Also, gas pressure washers tend to be bigger, heavier, louder and more dangerous. As such, they require more regular maintenance and are generally more difficult to use with the pull-starting and fuel-mixing.
+ More powerful (great for industrial use)
+ Quicker cleaning
– More dangerous
– More expensive
– More maintenance
The above might make you think that we’re heavily leaning towards electric pressure washers. But what we want you to realize is that the electric pressure washer has a number of smaller advantages (quieter, smaller etc) and the gas pressure washer has one big advantage (power). If you require serious power then going with gas is the sensible option even with some of the aforementioned drawbacks. If you don’t need to do heavy duty cleaning and stain removal then go with an electric since they have so many benefits.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pressure Washer
We’ve already looked at the various pros and cons of both electric pressure washers and gas pressure washers. Now it’s time to take a look at a few things that you should consider when choosing between particular units that might seem similar:
PSI: PSI stands for pounds per square inch. This refers to the amount of pressure at which the water is delivered. For the smallest and most delicate tasks like washing a car, you only really need around 700 PSI. For cleaning a patio or the walls of a house, a PSI of 1500 is about right. For the most heavy-duty tasks such as cleaning a concrete driveway, you’ll need 3000 PSI. So if you want a pressure washer that covers all of these tasks then it makes sense to go for the most powerful possible. This will almost certainly be a gas pressure washer. Otherwise, a pressure washer delivering 1500-2000 is more than enough for most people.
Cable and hose length: The length of the cable and hose provided can make a difference, particularly on larger plots of land. For most houses and gardens this won’t be an issue but if you’re keen not to be inhibited by this, opt for a pressure washer that has a nice long cable and hose.
Size and weight: Size and weight might not matter to some. When it comes to gas pressure washers, it’s something that you have to be prepared for. Whichever type you choose, think about where you will store it and how often you’ll need to move it around. Most come with handles and wheels to make transportation easier.
Accessories: Some pressure washers come with (or at least have the option of purchasing separately) optional accessories such as brushes, extension wands, surface cleaners and pressure washer chemicals. These can help you clean much more effectively when used appropriately. Take a look and see which accessories are available for your preferred pressure washers.
Onboard storage: While not the most essential feature to have, onboard storage is still pretty useful. Most good pressure washers have space to place nozzles, extension cords and hoses. Having all of these items in one place avoids the risk of losing them.
Maintenance requirements: At the end of the day, a pressure washer can be a very powerful cleaning tool. The more powerful a pressure washer, the more likely it will require regular service and maintenance. This is especially the case for gas pressure washers. Be sure that you’re comfortable with the level of maintenance required before buying.
10 Tips For Pressure Washing
With any luck you’ll soon have a great pressure washer to assist you in your outdoor cleaning. In order to get the best out of it, here are 10 pressure washing tips:
- Pressure washer nozzles are color coded to indicate the type of spray pattern. White is 40 degrees, green is 25 degrees, yellow is 15 degrees and red is 0 degrees. The black nozzle is for dispensing soap at a low pressure.
- It’s always best to start off with a lower pressure/wide angle nozzle for cleaning. This will help avoid cutting into the surface you’re targeting and causing damage. You can always move a nozzle up after you have seen that it’s not doing the job.
- Make sure you wear the appropriate safety attire, particularly when cleaning with chemicals. Safety goggles and protective footwear is recommended. You should also wear clothing that covers your legs and arms to protect it from dirt and debris.
- When washing fences and walls, start at the top and work your way down to avoid streaking.
- Spray from a distance of 3 or 4 feet to avoid causing any damage. You can always move it closer if you see that the surface requires a little more pressure.
- Pre-soak the target surface with detergent/chemicals as it reduces the wash time and overall chemical cost. Make sure you don’t let it chemicals dry and wash them off well afterward.
- Make the most of pressure washer accessories such as brushes and cleaning detergents. These can make the whole cleaning process much easier.
- Don’t use the pressure washer when on a ladder. It’s dangerous and the initial pressure could cause you to lose stability.
- Conduct regular maintenance on your pressure washer in order to ensure a lengthy life for the tool. Gas pressure washers require more regular maintenance.
- Have a clear plan of what you want to clean and be careful when spraying around windows, light fixtures and plants to avoid any unwanted damage.
Spray Nozzles by Color
Red: This red 0-degree nozzle is for maximum blast and requires caution as it can cause damage and injury if used improperly. It’s best for stubborn stains in very small areas on hard surfaces such as concrete or for rust on construction equipment.
Yellow: The yellow 15-degree nozzle is for medium stripping and can do tasks such as preparing a surface for painting or for removing mud and dirt from 4x4s (as long as the appropriate distance is observed).
Green: Probably the most common nozzle to use around the home, the green 25-degree nozzle is fine for boats, cars, garden furniture and driveways. It can clean a larger area faster than the yellow and red nozzles. It’s essentially for gentle cleaning.
White: The white nozzle is 40 degrees and used for minimum spraying. This makes it ideal for fragile surfaces such as windows.
Black: Used for applying soap and detergent.
Buying a pressure washer is a big decision. Deciding between an electric or gas pressure washer is one of the first steps in the decision process. It’s then a case of choosing the best models to suit your needs. Some features to look out for to help you do this include power, performance, size and weight, accessories and more.
As you’ll have seen, there are a lot of models on the market with a wide range of prices to suit all budgets. Often the price hike is very much worth it for a superior quality product and sometimes there’s great value to be in a cheaper product, especially if you do the necessary research. It all comes down to how important power is to you so consider what you will use your pressure washer for.
Pressure washers have really improved over the years and this is reflected in the many high-quality products on the market today. We hope that our reviews of pressure washers make this decision a little less overwhelming and that you end up with a product that you can be happy with.