Deep clean every surface with the best power washers

·11 min read

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Deep clean every surface using the best power washers
Deep clean every surface using the best power washers

Getting rid of a little dust buildup is easy. Vacuuming, combined with occasional thorough dusting, is more than enough for most spaces. Cleaning mold and stains from concrete and wood is a different story altogether. You might not even realize how dirty your driveway, patio, roof, and walls are. Using a watering hose will clean them up a bit, but a basic hose will not be effective against grime built up over years. To get rid of that, you’ll need one of the top-rated power washers of 2022.

Power washers are extremely effective at cleaning hard-to-remove stains, so much so that using one feels like magic. By targeting high-pressure water at a specific target, power washers can easily get rid of dirt, years of oil buildup, or even mold.

The only thing standing between you and a clean exterior is buying a quality power washer. Unfortunately, finding a premium power washer can be difficult considering the number of different models available for sale. There are so many little details and specifications that can leave you confused. That's why we've curated a handy list of some leading power washers worth your consideration. Take a look.

Top Picks

Best overall: Sun Joe SPX3000 Power Washer

14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI
14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI

The SPX3000 from Sun Joe exemplifies what a quality power washer should be. Everything from its external construction to the internal components is top-of-the-line. The motors in this power washer are particularly impressive — it uses water pressure strong enough to remove spray-painted graffiti from concrete surfaces. You can even adjust the flow for different tasks using the quick-connect nozzle tips. These include 0°,15°, 25°, and 40° nozzles for washing as well as a gentle spray tip for soap and detergents. Another highlight of this option is its TSS or Total Stop System. It shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged, conserving energy and increasing the pump's lifespan. The abundance of comfort features, like its large rolling wheels, take this power washer a step above the rest on our list and helped us pick it as the best overall.

Key Features:

  • 14.5 Amps, 1800 watts electric motor

  • 1.76 GPM water flow rate

  • 0.9 liters onboard detergent tanks

  • Up to 2030 PSI pressure production

  • 20-foot, high-pressure hose

Powerful operation: Westinghouse WPX3200 Pressure Washer

Tough steel frame construction with 12″ high profile
Tough steel frame construction with 12″ high profile

Westinghouse WPX3200 puts "power" back into the power washer with its industry-leading performance. This gas-powered beast will dig up decades-old grime in mere seconds. Equipped with the 0° quick-connect nozzle, this power washer will remove all of the molds, algae, and dirt stuck between your deck boards and driveway tiles. Switch out the nozzle for a 15° or 25° attachment to shine up your wooden fence, or choose the 40° nozzle for thoroughly washing your car. Another key benefit of investing in this gas-powered option is its durability. This power washer is built like a tank and will last you for years without any issues. Its horizontal-shaft gas engine, in particular, is sturdy enough for professionals to keep it running for hours every day.

Key Features:

  • 212cc 4-stroke, horizontal-shaft engine

  • 2.5 GPM water flow rate

  • 0.9-liter onboard gas tank

  • Up to 3200 PSI pressure production

  • Maintenance-free axial cam pump

Easy to use: Teande Electric Power Washer

5 quick-connect nozzles with different spray patterns of 0º, 15º, 25º, 40º, and soap
5 quick-connect nozzles with different spray patterns of 0º, 15º, 25º, 40º, and soap

This electric power washer, from Teande, is ideal for folks with zero power washer experience. Since it's electric, it offers hassle-free operation; no need to worry about operating and manually maintaining a gas engine. Taking this power washer to the desired location is made easier thanks to its compact, all-in-one design. Plus, every critical component (detergent bottle, hose, and spray gun) have dedicated holding spots on the washer. But don’t mistake its smaller stature for a lack of power. The water pressure generated by its motor is comparable to power washers twice its size. This extra pressure can be used to clean even more effectively — thanks to the five included quick-connect nozzles.

Key Features:

  • 1800 watts electric motor

  • 1.9 GPM water flow rate

  • Automatic pump shut with TSS

  • Up to 2100 PSI pressure production

  • Two-year warranty service

Great value: Mrliance Electric Power Washer

Equipped with large and stronger wheels and can be moved anywhere at any time
Equipped with large and stronger wheels and can be moved anywhere at any time

Mrliance’s electric power washer represents the greatest value on this list. The main cause behind this value is its crazy low price, nearly half the cost of other electric versions. The rest of the value comes from its long-lasting construction, intense water pressure, and incredible ease of use. The star of the show here has to be its motor, it can pump out high-pressure water at near-perfect consistency. The cleaning ability of this washer is second to none. Its strong water pressure, with the added quick-connect nozzles, lets you remove stains from almost any surface. Plus, the detergent holder on its side comes in handy when battling against tougher stains.

Key Features:

  • 1800 watts electric motor

  • 1.9 GPM water-flow rate

  • Automatic pump shuts with TSS

  • 6-meter, high-pressure hose

  • Two-year, quality-warranty service

Professional grade: Simpson Cleaning CM61083 Power Washer

Powerful residential performance power washer
Powerful residential performance power washer

A power washing professional needs both efficiency and reliability, and this power washer from Simpson Cleaning delivers on both fronts. Its gigantic gas engine produces water pressure strong enough to remove even the toughest stains. So whether it's mold between your deck boards or spray-painted graffiti on a concrete wall, the Simpson power washer will make it disappear. Even the shape of its ergonomic spray gun is designed with regular and extended use in mind. As for reliability, this power washer will be running without hiccups for years down the line. You don't even have to worry about taking this product from one job to the next — thanks to its sturdy steel frame and big, flat-free tires.

Key Features:

  • 208cc CRX residential engine

  • 2.5 GPM water-flow rate

  • 3400 PSI pressure production

  • 25- foot MorFlex high-pressure hose

  • Two-year engine, one-year pump warranty

How to find your next power washer: A buyer’s guide

Power washers are one of the most satisfying cleaning tools out there. Using one is akin to wielding a magic wand that cleans everything you point it at. However, you have to find the right power washer, learn to use it properly, and find ways to take care of it before you can have that experience. Luckily, most of this knowledge can be condensed down into a helpful buyer’s guide. Here is everything you need to know about power washers.

How do power washers work?

In its simplest form, a power washer is just a strong pump connected to a thin nozzle. The pump takes the water from an inlet, pressurizes it, and sends it through a high-pressure hose. The hose is then connected to a nozzle with a very small opening. Going from a wide hose to this extremely thin nozzle increases the flow rate of water — making it shoot out with blistering speed (up to 243 mph or more). The pressure from this high-flow-rate water is used to remove tough stains, grime, mildew, mold, and more from all kinds of hard-to-clean surfaces.

Finding the right power washer

These are the factors to consider before purchasing a power washer.

Gas vs. electric

The pumps in power washers are derived from two popular methods, gas engines and electric motors.

Gas engines

Power washers with gas engines are incredibly powerful. Some can generate pressure more than twice as high as most electric motors. They can also be used anywhere, without having to find a nearby power outlet.

The main downside of using a gas-powered washer is its noise and heft. They are incredibly loud and extremely heavy. Some professional-grade, gas-powered washers can weigh up to 60 lbs. They also require regular maintenance as well as oil changes.

Electric motors

Electric motors have a nearly silent operation. Electric washers are also extremely compact and portable — weighing an average of eight kilograms. Plus, they look a lot nicer than gas-powered washers.

The pressure generated by electric motors is lower than gas engines, but it is more than enough for most personal and home use scenarios. The real issue with these models is they require a nearby power outlet. You might not be able to clean your entire fence if there's no outlet in the yard.

Terms to understand

PSI

PSI or Pressure per Square Inch refers to the pressure generated by the pump. This will directly impact the cleaning ability of a power washer, so pay close attention to it. A PSI of 2000-2200 is adequate for basic home use, but you need at least 3000 PSI for a professional power washing business.

GPM

GPM (Gallons Per Minute) tells you about the water flow of a power washer. Generally, more water per minute equals better cleaning. So, you want your pressure washer to have a minimum GPM of at least 1.7. On the other end, a GPM of 2.5 is more than enough for almost all cleaning tasks, anything above this is overkill.

Nozzle Angle

Most modern power washers come with five distinct nozzles, four of which have an angle attached to them. These angels affect the water coming out of the nozzle. A nozzle tip with 0° marking produces a straight jet of water, and a 40° nozzle has the widest spread. The fifth nozzle is a gentle spray head for applying soap and detergent.

TSS

TSS stands for Total Stop System, and this feature is only found in electric washers. A washer with TSS technology shuts down the pump when the spray gun trigger is disengaged. This results in better power efficiency and a longer pump lifespan.

How much does a power washer cost?

Well, it depends on your particular needs and expectations. You can get a decent personal-use electric washer for between $100-$150.

A step above that is an entry-level gas-powered washer that’ll cost between $200-$250. You might also find some high-end electric versions in this price range.

The highest tier of consumer power washers is the giant gas-powered washers meant for professionals. These will cost you anywhere between $500-$1000 depending on the quality and features.

How to use a pressure washer

Here is a step by step guide on using a pressure washer for the first time:

  • Make sure that the power washer is fully assembled

  • Remove the inlet cover and connect the water source

  • Check if the water source can provide the necessary amount of water

  • Connect the right quick-connect nozzle on the spray gun

  • Fill up the detergent bottle/tank and connect it to the washer

  • Plug the power washer into an outlet (if it’s electric) and turn it on

  • Add fuel to a gas-powered washer and pull the starter cord

  • Once started, begin by slightly squeezing the trigger

  • Make sure a dirty surface is fully wet

  • Use the soap nozzle to equally coat everything with detergent

  • Switch back to the washing nozzle and start washing in strips

  • Go over a single spot more than once to clean it completely

And you're done.

Taking care of a power washer

Once you're done using a power washer, wipe it down thoroughly with a dry cloth. Empty the detergent container if you don't plan on using the washer anytime soon. Put the nozzles, hose, spray gun, and power cord away and store the washer in a dry place. Keep it away from excessive dust or heat as well.

If you own a gas-engine power washer, keep up with its maintenance and change the oil regularly.

People also asked

Q: Are power washers dangerous?

A: Yes, and no. If used correctly, power washers do not pose any serious threat. However, they are not just beefed-up garden hoses. Water pressure from high-end power washers can cause skin abrasion and small cuts. So, wear protective boots, gloves, and glasses before using a power washer of any kind.

Q: Is it okay to run a power washer without water?

A: No, you should not run a power washer without water. Water provides lubrication to the pump and counter pressure to the motor. Doing so will damage the pump and even the motor in some electric power washers.

Q: Can I hook my pressure washer up to hot water?

A: No, you cannot. Pressure washers are not meant to withstand high temperatures. The highest you're allowed to go is 100°F-105°F. Anything higher will cause permanent issues with the internal components of your pressure washer.