Updated at: 15-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

The most important thing you can do to keep your car’s finish looking like new is to regularly clean it. When it comes to prepping your automobile for a detailing treatment, from paint correction to waxing, nothing beats a thorough wash. When it comes to washing your automobile or truck, experts recommend that you do so once every two weeks. As a result, you’ll need a system that is quick, effective, and easy to use.

A pressure washer is the greatest approach to accomplish all three of these goals at the same time. Using a pressure washer at home can improve your car washing in a number of ways. The pre-rinsing of your car will be much easier with the use of a powerful pressure washer. Using a high-pressure hose to wash away road grime, bird droppings, bugs, tree sap, and caked-on dirt is more effective than using a garden hose. Pre-rinsing your automobile will make it easier for you and safer for your clear coat if you remove more of these.

The final rinse is also expedited and more effective with pressure washers, so your car will be cleaner and less likely to have soapy residue left on it. For the ultimate in foaming activity, you may want to use a foam cannon in conjunction with your pressure washer. Abrasive soils will be lifted away from the clear coat, minimizing damage to the finish, by using this method.

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial

You’ll need the suitable pressure washer and the necessary features for cleaning a vehicle in order to effectively pressure wash your vehicle without damaging it. Even though you’ll need the correct pressure washer for this, you’ll also need some additional supplies to wash your car with one.

How to wash a car with a pressure washer | Practical Motoring

Pressure Washer With Appropriate Features

You should consider the following qualities when shopping for a pressure washer for your automobile:

  • Pressure Washer powered by electricity.

Pressure cleaning an automobile using a gas-powered pressure washer is not recommended. For simple cleaning jobs like washing automobiles and trucks, a gas pressure washer would be far too powerful.

Cleaning a car requires the use of an electric pressure washer. While gas pressure washers are more powerful, electric pressure washers are less powerful but more effective without inflicting any harm. Consider the PSI setting on your electric washer.

  • The correct PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)

Pressure washer power is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). A higher PSI would mean a greater force of the water coming out from the pressure washer.

Use a pressure washer with a PSI range of 1200 to 1900. This is the safest PSI for washing your car because it won’t damage the paint.

  • GPM that is appropriate for the situation (Gallons per Minute)

GPM stands for gallons per minute, which is the amount of water that a pressure washer sprays out at one time. With a pressure washer with a higher GPM, more water would be squirted out of it. 1.4 to 1.6 GPM is the ideal GPM for washing your car, according to experts.

  • Disinfecting Equipment

Cleaning units refer to the force and amounts of water that a pressure washer is capable of producing. It can be determined by multiplying the PSI to the GPM, e.g., 1200PSI x 2GPM = 2400 cleaning units. The required cleaning units for pressure washing a car are around 1900 to 2800 cleaning units.

25-Degree and 40-Degree Spray Nozzles

A pressure washer’s cleaning units refer to the amount of water and power it can produce. As an example, 1200 PSI x 2GPM = 2400 cleaning units can be calculated. Pressure washing an automobile typically requires between 1900 and 2800 cleaning units to complete the task.

The green 25-degree and white 40-degree nozzles are the ideal options for a pressure car wash. While they are less powerful than the 0 and 15 degree nozzles, they are still powerful enough for a thorough and efficient car wash.

Soap Nozzle

In addition to the water nozzle, a black soap nozzle for dispensing vehicle wash soap or detergent may be required. Detergent cannot be released from most pressure washers without the aid of a soap nozzle. When using detergent, you’ll need to swap out the water output nozzle tip for a soap nozzle.

Detergent for Pressure Washer Use

Detergent tanks are common on pressure washers, which can be used to store car wash soap or detergent. Applying vehicle wash soap or detergent is now a lot easier thanks to this function. Your car should only be washed with a detergent or soap that is safe for pressure washers and your vehicle.

Concentrated cleaning solutions are used in pressure washers. Before use, they must be diluted. A quart of detergent would suffice.

Foam Cannon

A foam cannon can be attached to your pressure washer if it does not have a detergent tank. Soap suds that cover your car’s whole exterior can be generated with foam cannons, which use a combination of detergent, water, and air to create a thick layer of soapy suds.


A detergent tank or foam cannon must be diluted with water before pressure washer detergent is added. You’ll need a bucket to combine the detergent and water in order to accomplish this.

Wash Mitt, Scrub Brush, or Pressure Washer Brush Attachment

For removing tough dirt and grease from your vehicle, these are your alternatives. Hand washing your car is possible with the use of a wash mitt or scrub brush. A brush attachment, on the other hand, would expedite and simplify the process.

Soft Cloth or Towel

When you’re done pressure washing your automobile, you’ll need a soft cloth or towel to dry it.

How To Clean Your Car With A Pressure Washer

Two Quick Tips About Tips

The spray pattern can be customized with the included pressure washer tips or purchased separately. These are two of the best ways to clean your car or truck. A spray tip with a 25-degree spray pattern is ideal for cleaning the wheels and wheel wells. Change to a 40-degree tip for the remainder of the exterior. In modern pressure washers, moving from one mode to another is a matter of seconds.

The Dos and Don'ts of Car Pressure Washing - The News Wheel

Under Pressure

As with any car wash, the first step is to remove any loose debris and break up any caked-on dirt. It’s crucial to remove as much dirt as possible during this phase to decrease the chance of scratching. Spray the tires, wheels, and wheel wells using your pressure washer’s 25-degree tip. Rinse the vehicle’s exterior with a 40-degree tip after that. Starting with the roof, windows, and windshield, work your way down to the trunk, hood, and lower panels.

Foam It Up

It’s best to use a car wash soap made just for this reason in a foam cannon that’s connected to your pressure washer by a fast disconnect. M.A.X. Power Car Wash, which we recently reformulated to be foam-cannon ready, or Cherry Snow Foam are two of our top recommendations for car wash foam. Begin at the top and work your way to the bottom of your car. Apply a thick layer of foam to the entire car. Helps break down the earth, but also lifts and encircles the dirt..” Foam in the car wash soap acts as a lubricant to protect your clear coat as you scrub and rinse the vehicle.

Time To Scrub

Now is the moment to scrub, whether or not you’ve used a foam cannon. Clean a microfiber car wash mitt and place it in a pail of car wash soap and water. There’s no dish soap in here! It’s best to use a grit guard insert to keep any loose dirt from getting on top of your wash mitt while you rinse. As you work your way down, dip your wash mitt into the solution. Rinse your mitt as you finish each 2′ x 2′ area to ensure you remove all the dirt.

Rinse, Rinse, Rinse

Rinse out all the soap, foam, and grime from the exterior when you’ve finished scrubbing it. Use your pressure washer’s 40-degree tip to thoroughly rinse the vehicle. Washing your car should leave no soap scum or grime on the paint. Pay special attention to the seals on the doors and windows. These confined spaces tend to retain soap and foam, necessitating more thorough cleaning than other parts of your vehicle. The wash is over when you see nothing but clear, clean water dripping from your vehicle.

Safety Precautions To Keep In Mind

  • Be mindful of the following safety precautions to avoid further harm.
  • If you’ve never used a pressure washer before, consult the owner’s manual for instructions.
  • The gadget should not be used to clean the interior.
  • Avoid further damage by keeping their nozzles at a safe distance from one another.
  • Reduce the flow’s speed at the stream’s most vulnerable parts.
  • Never let the water flow past a single location for an extended period of time.
  • There is no such thing as an upward stream. It could also be a source of sewage. After that, it’s back to step one.
  • Focus more on the bottom of the car than the rest of it. The dirt and grime stick to this, which is why it’s often overlooked. Consider spending more time here. A forty-degree lance nozzle angle makes things even simpler. You won’t have to stoop to get it this way anymore.
  • Avoid putting too much strain on a vehicle. This is a common mistake made by newbies, however it should be avoided due to the pressure washer’s potent force. If the pressure drops below 1200 PSI, it has the potential to crack the glass. In order to avoid cracking the glass, this is the safest pressure to use.
  • When pressure cleaning, avoid wearing bare feet or sandals. Be aware of this, since you don’t want to unintentionally spray your toes.

Pressure Washer Car Cleaning Tips:

  • Use the gentle setting on your pressure washer (about 2,000 PSI).
  • To avoid harming the paint, use a nozzle with a wide spray pattern (typically the green nozzle tip).
  • Rinse the vehicle with water on a hard surface (concrete or asphalt).
  • Never use engine-cleaning spray.
  • When cleaning windows, lights, and other delicate components of the car, keep the nozzle at a safe distance.

Cleaning a Car with a Pressure Washer:

  • Rinse your automobile with water using a pressure washer first.
  • Apply detergent to the car with the help of a pressure washer (usually the black nozzle tip).
  • Do not wash the automobile for 3-5 minutes after applying a detergent.
  • A car brush can be used to get rid of any dirt or grime.
  • To remove the detergent, start at the top and work your way down using the green pressure washer nozzle.

Some washers, on the other hand, aren’t up to the task. If you apply too much pressure, you run the risk of damaging the paint. Choose a washer with various PSI settings so you can be sure you’re using the correct amount of pressure.

A variety of nozzles on your washer will allow you to employ the proper spray for washing, soaping, and rinsing. When cleaning your automobile, avoid using the nozzle with the highest point, which is usually the red one, because it can easily damage the paint.

It’s much easier to maneuver a washer on wheels around the automobile. You’ll also want to make sure you have a long hose, which lets you move around the car while you wash it.

On a hard surface, it’s ideal to wash your car. Using a garden hose over gravel could result in small stones flying into the paint. Wasting time and effort by washing over dirt can result in a dirty car.

Never ever spray the engine compartment with anything. When it comes to water, you don’t want to get water in places you don’t want it.

Once you’ve connected everything, start by rinsing the car thoroughly with plain water to remove any dirt or grime. For washing automobiles, 2,000 PSI is a good setting, and this washer makes it simple to pick the proper one—just search for a car icon.

Spray the automobile with the green nozzle. For delicate areas like windows, lights, and other fixtures, it’s best to use a wider spray and less force.

The detergent can now be added to the mixture. Be sure to use a cleaner designed for pressure washers and to dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To apply the detergent, we’ll use the black soap nozzle and the lowest possible setting on your dishwasher.

Work your way from the bottom to the top, overlapping your strokes as you go along. Don’t allow the cleaner to dry completely. Allow it to soak for three to five minutes.

Using a car brush, go over the entire vehicle to remove any stubborn dirt. The first step is to use a soft brush to clean the painted surfaces, then go on to the wheels. If you do it backwards, you’ll risk picking up any dirt, pebbles, or sand that could scratch the paint.

Once again, use the green wash nozzle to rinse off the detergent, working your way down from the top to ensure that all of the soap has been removed. You can use the washer’s wand to assist you clean areas that are difficult to access, such as wheel arches and running boards. The soap tank should be emptied after use.

The warm weather is almost around the corner, so now you know how to wash your automobile in a jiffy. Drive me somewhere, please.


Is it OK to wash a car with a pressure washer?

No. Pressure washers are used by many individuals to clean their vehicles, but they can really cause more harm than good. Pressure washing can cause to rust if the paint is damaged or nicked. A yard hose and a soapy sponge can also get the job done, as can a car wash.

What kind of soap can I use in my pressure washer to wash my car?

It’s best to use a car wash soap made just for this reason in a foam cannon that’s connected to your pressure washer by a fast disconnect. If you’re looking for a foam-cannon-ready car wash, we recommend M.A.X. Power Car Wash or Cherry Snow Foam.

not to mention reign Junior safe to use pressure washer on car weather Say Traveling merchant

How much PSI should a pressure washer have for washing a car?

1200-1900 PSI is the safest PSI level for car washing and will not harm your vehicle. A car washing pressure washer must also have the correct GPM (gallons per minute), which refers to the water flow rate per minute, which is between 1.4 and 1.6 GPM.

Does high pressure water damage car paint?

When used appropriately and in the recommended pressure range of 1200 – 1900 PSI, pressure washers do not damage the paint on modern cars, according to the vast majority of industry professionals with decades of expertise in the field.

What PSI will damage car paint?

Damage to your vehicle’s paint finish can occur if you apply too much pressure. If you’re serious about succeeding, consider the following advice. Make sure you use the correct nozzle in addition to the correct pressure (1,000 to 1,200 PSI).

Why shouldn’t you use the hose to wash your car?

When it comes to the exterior of your automobile, particularly the windows and the undercarriage, salt, sand, mud, and oil can all cause problems. In the end, all of that filth will wind up in the nearby runoff drain if you wash your car at home.

What is the best car shampoo to use with a pressure washer?

FastFoam by Angelwax. Although it was meant for use with snow-foam lances, our pressure washer was nevertheless able to produce an excellent lather that adhered to the car’s exterior. However, it does take a full 10 minutes to get the job done, which may put some people off.

How do you make pressure washer soap for your car?

Pressure washer detergent can be made at home using standard household cleaning products. An all-purpose household cleanser and (optional) 1 cup vinegar can be added to a gallon of water and 13 cup of phosphate-free laundry detergent (powder).

Can you put any car soap in a pressure washer?

Our #1 selling Turtle Wax Cherry Snow Foam is the ideal car wash soap if you’re using a pressure washer to clean your vehicle.

Can I use 3000 PSI pressure washer on car?

With a 3000 PSI pressure washer, your car’s paint will be damaged. As a first step, lower the setting on your pressure washer if you have one. The output pressure may usually be adjusted on the majority of equipment. The correct nozzle should be used, either a 25- or 40-degree nozzle, depending on the application.

Can you wash a car with a 2000 PSI pressure washer?

When using a pressure washer on your car’s paint, keep the PSI between 1500 and 2000. Pressure washer foam cannon performance is best achieved at 1.8 GPM or above, according to professional detailers. To be on the safe side, use a nozzle with a minimum of a 25o angle and keep at least ten feet of distance from the spray.

Is it good to pressure wash your engine?

Does Pressure Washing Your Car Engine Save You Time? That being said, cleaning your car’s engine with a power washer takes less time and effort. Pressurized water jets can dislodge grease and filth deposits that a brush or cloth can’t reach in engine cleaning, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.

It’s A Wrap!

You’ve just learned how to use a pressure washer to clean an automobile. As a precaution, it’s a good idea to include instructions on how to properly clean it. In order to learn how to clean it and avoid damaging your car and pressure washer, even if you are a novice, keep these steps in mind!