How to Wash a Car With Pressure Washer

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Wash a Car With Pressure Washer

How to Wash a Car With Pressure Washer

You must have taken your car to the cleaners so many times, but up until now, it hasn’t crossed your mind that you can do all the cleaning yourself. We presume that is how you found this post. We have great news for you because you will learn how to wash a car with pressure washer all by yourself in this article. 

We will cover all the general information you need to know to get started, so keep on reading because, believe it or not, pressure washing a car is quite a lot of fun! 

How to Wash a Car With Pressure Washer

Which Pressure Washer You Should Consider for Washing a Car

If you are considering buying a pressure washer, you should know that there are two types of them:

A gas-powered pressure washer: These washers are very powerful and output a lot of PSI power. They are considered very strong for light jobs, such as car washing. Since they do not need electric power to operate, they are more convenient because you won’t have to drag a power cable everywhere with them. A big downside is that they can be pretty loud. 

An electric pressure washer: The electric pressure washers are ideal for car washing. They have just the right amount of PSI power output to clean your car without any damage. Besides, with the appropriate interchangeable nozzles, these washers will even take on much heavier tasks than simply washing your car. 

The appropriate PSI for car washing

If you wonder how much PSI is ideal for washing a car, we agree that around 1200-1900 PSI is the best range. We also recommend the GPM of the pressure washer to be somewhere between 1.4 and 1.6. 

Many of the newer models of pressure washers come with interchangeable nozzles. There might be four basic types of nozzles you might encounter, although some manufacturers might offer more:

  • Red – Highest pressure and primarily suitable for stain removal from cement
  • Yellow – Good for removing dirt and stripping paint
  • Green – A suitable nozzle for pre-wash rinsing
  • White – The ideal nozzle for the overall cleaning of your car

How to Wash a Car With a Pressure Washer in Just a Few Steps

To pressure wash your car as best as possible, follow the steps outlined for you. 

Find a good spot where you can wash your car

Before you start, make sure you are in the appropriate space where you can wash your car freely. You should park your car in a broader area, with no cars around, so a driveway or a street would be good choices. 

Ensure an available electrical outlet is nearby since electric pressure washers need electricity to operate. And also, make sure that you don’t impede and bother any neighbors. 

Start with a rinse

The first rinse is meant to remove most of the dirt and debris. Ensure that all the doors and windows on the car are closed so that you won’t get the car’s interior all wet

Before rinsing, ensure the pressure washer is connected to the outlet and turned on at the correct PSI setting. You can perform a test run by spraying some water on the ground and checking the pressure. 

It is always best to start rinsing a little farther away from the car and then come close as you get a feel for it. Start with the tires, and then wash the car’s surface from top to bottom. This way, all the debris will quickly fall. You will ideally need the white nozzle with an angle of 40 degrees. 

Start applying the detergent

Suppose your pressure washer has a detergent tank available. All you have to do is dilute the detergent with water in a separate bucket and pour the solution into the detergent tank of your pressure washer. Then, using the white nozzle on the pressure washer, start from the top and apply the detergent evenly to the car. 

If your pressure washer does not have a detergent tank, you can use a separate foam cannon to spray the detergent effectively. The dilution process is the same, after which you pour the detergent into the foam cannon and attach it to the tip of your pressure washer stick. 

Make sure to start applying the detergent from top to bottom, and after that, leave it on for at least five minutes before washing it off. 

Start a final rinse with the pressure washer

For the final rinse of your car, we recommend using the white nozzle attachment. Its 40-degree angle of impact is ideal for thoroughly washing away all the detergent. Before rinsing, make sure to test the washer out first just to be safe. After that, rinse from top to bottom at an angle of about 45 degrees and from a safe distance. All the dirt will fall off effectively with minimum risk of damage to your car’s paint. 

After you finish rinsing, the only thing left is to wipe your car with a microfiber towel to dry off any excess water that may have retained itself. 

Related: How to Permanently Restore Black Plastic Trim

Benefits and Risks of Pressure Washing Your Car

Pressure washers are very convenient machines for thorough cleaning jobs. The different varieties of nozzles can have multiple applications besides washing a car. 

The pressure washer, when appropriately used, improves the effectiveness of washing a car, especially when removing dirt and soap. After all, it is almost entirely used for rinsing, and it does this job perfectly. If available, it can also apply detergent using a foam cannon. 

However, you must always be careful when setting the pressure washer. If it is wrongly set, it may cause some severe and permanent damage to your vehicle. Also, always use the correct attachments, like the spray stick, nozzles, etc. Using the wrong kind of attachments may lead to the machine’s malfunction. 

If you are not careful with a pressure washer, you can chip off paint from your car’s surface. The high-pressure settings of these machines are used to remove stains from concrete, so you can only imagine what that kind of pressure can do to your car’s paint. 

Also Read: How to Start a Mobile Car Wash Business


Using a pressure washer is a great way to give your car that excellent shine. We hope that our article was helpful and you learned quite a lot about how to wash a car with pressure washer.

Try to follow the steps and guides we provided for you, and make sure to use the pressure washer safely and without consequences, but most importantly, have fun!

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