Pressure Washers

A common tool that a detailer may choose to use is a pressure washer. They are stronger then your typical garden hose and use less water during a wash, while giving you the option to attach a foam cannon to soak a vehicle in soap in a matter of minutes. However, they are not a necessary purchase and can be pricey, so we asked our subscribers to chime in on what they use, why they like it, and what gripes they may have with their washers. Additionally, you’ll find some recommended soaps to go with your washer if you choose to get a foam cannon.

Our subscribers recommend the following soaps:

Any soap can be used in a foam cannon. Some may foam up better than others, you have to play with the settings on your cannon to get the foam output of your liking.

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Prices on this page are provided as a reference and may not be accurate when visiting the link. Prices were recorded at the time of the page edit and are subject to change. When shopping on Amazon the tool is a great resource for checking the price history of an item

There are obviously tons of choices when it comes to pressure washers, we suggest doing some other Googling to get reviews off of Amazon and other retailers’ websites. The most popular brands are AR Blue, Ryobi, and Sun Joe.

Below are redditor sourced pressure washer recommendations:

Brand Model Gas/Electric Foam Cannon & adapters Pros Cons Price
AR Blue Clean 116 Electric Pressure washer quick connect foam lance & Adapter + 1/4″ adapter Small, lightweight, cheap($) Be aware that this does not use a standard fitting, was sort of a pain to source the adapter. Otherwise it’s great for my needs $40
AR Blue Clean 383 Electric Comes with foam cannon Cleaning power, low use of water, good pressure The “quick connect” end can be a PIA to connect. The unit looses it’s prime and need to be purged in-order to work again, original pressure hose is garbage $263
Briggs & Stratton 020681 Electric N/A Extremely compact. Motor itself can be removed from carrier and hung up or placed under a cabinet.  No hose reel; doesn’t like hoses longer than 50′  $180
Briggs & Straton 020680 Electric N/A Light, Relatively long cord, Nozzle switching is quick with the rotating head.The high flow rate at low PSI is great for cleaning cars with. No insane pressure to damage any paint/trim/etc but good flow to remove soaps and debris The high PSI requires a pinpoint nozzle to achieve and is only at 1.2gpm. This makes cleaning undercarriage and such during the winter for salt difficult. I live in Maryland so its not a big issue 90% of the time $189
Greenworks 1500 PSI Electric Uber Foam Cannon Very small and lightweight (great for mobile jobs), electric (no exhaust fumes), reliable (frequent use for 2 years, no issues) Hose that came with it was pretty cheap, burst after about 6 months use. Bought a new hose and it’s been perfect $99.99
Greenworks 1600 PSI Electric MTM Inexpensive, compact, quiet, lightweight/easy to move, does a great job removing dirt with the initial rinse or foaming (better than a coin wash in my experience), can work for more than just car washing (did great cleaning the gutters) No high pressure hose management (if I had to do it over I’d get the version with a hose reel), the included high pressure hose is a bit too short and required moving the washer multiple times during washing $119.99
Intech Machine Turbo Electric N/A Easy to use, saves water, stronger than hose Noisy, short cable, can be a drain on power R$120 ~$40 USA – Brazilian unit
Karcher K2.360 & K2.350 – old versions of K.2300 Electric MTM It creates quite enough pressure to use the foam lance quite effectively. Other than that, it’s pretty unremarkable; I don’t use any of the other features very much Difficult to rinse a car with a pressure washer. Has no purpose without foam cannon attached $130
Kranzle K1122TST Electric Autogeek Foam Cannon & Kranzle Adapter Strong, rinses well, undercarriage attachment available Set up time, price $1,500+
Nilfisk C 100.7-5 Electric Autobrite Power, stronger than regular hose Set up time 15 ISK ($115 USA) – European unit
Nilfisk C 120.6 Electric Comes with one Solid construction, well-equipped, affordable Short power cable $120 (France) – European unit
Powerstroke 2200 PSI Gas MTM Strong, no foam cannon adapters, uses less water Loud, set up time, wear and tear $200
Ryobi 1600 PSI Electric N/A High pressure, compact, universal tips Loud $99
Ryobi 1800 PSI Electric MTM, $4 fitting from Home Depot Small, light, powerful Noise $129
Ryobi 1900 PSI Electric MTM Wheels, roll up crank for hose, separate canister for soaps Loud $159
Ryobi 2700 PSI Gas Pressure washer jet foam cannon Very powerful, extra tips, toggle switch for chemicals Exhaust, loud $250
Ryobi 3100 PSI Gas N/A Powerful Drain valve in sensitive area $399
Simpson Honda GC190 3100 PSI Gas MTM Honda engine, other general home use, idle down Loud, garden hose has trouble keeping up $429.99
Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric MTM Reliable, built in cannon, compact Cheap build, plastic valve may need replacing, short hose $159.99

Updated on 21 November 2022

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