If you’ve ever watched any of these viral videos of someone steaming a tile floor, you know how satisfying it is to see something go from dirty to perfect in seconds. And there is nothing like a pressure washer to give you the same feeling of satisfaction in your own space.
“A pressure washer is really great equipment,” says Dan DiClerico, home expert for Home Advisor. “It is one of the most valuable power tools for homeowners.” Why? Machine safely removes unsightly dirt and debris from a number of surfaces – decks, fences, outdoor furniture and moldy siding; oil-stained aisles; and even muddy cars and boats – in minutes, leaving behind an impressive, like-new finish.
To make sure you get your hands on the best pressure washer for your project, experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute test pressure washers of all kinds on a wide variety of surfaces, from patio tiles to windows and cars to assess the ease of use, safety. and efficiency. We’ve taken the most tested brands, expert advice, and thousands of online reviews into account to make the following choices.
What you need to know about pressure washers
You can’t just take just any pressure washer off the shelf: these machines (especially gas pressure washers) are incredibly durable. This is what makes them so effective, but it also means there is a higher risk of injury and damage to the surface if you don’t know what you are doing. “You really have to respect the power of these machines,” says DiClerico. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Electric vs gas: When shopping, it is “the first and most important decision to make,” says DiClerico. All pressure washers work the same – a motor feeds water through a concentrated nozzle, he explains. Where things differ is how this engine is powered: by electricity or by gasoline.
- An electric machine is generally suitable for the vast majority of homeowners and can tackle projects like washing cars, cleaning patio furniture and spot-treating surfaces, says DiClerico. They’re more affordable (think $ 300 and under), lighter, quieter, and easier to store and maintain.
- Gas machines, on the other hand, are the most commonly used by professionals because they are much more powerful, says DiClerico. They’ll blow up almost all dirt and debris – use them for things like decks and sidewalks – but they’re a lot more expensive (think $ 300 and up), plus they’re bigger, heavier, noisier and more difficult to maintain.
PSI: PSI, or pounds per square inch, indicates the water pressure supplied by the machine, explains Adrienne Hunt, associate dealer for Home Depot. Pressure washers with a high PSI will clean deep stains more effectively than machines with a lower PSI.
- Electric pressure washers typically range from 1600 PSI to 2300 PSI
- Gas pressure washers range from 2700 PSI to 4400 PSI.
GPM: While PSI is important, you can’t trust it on your own. “PSI and GPM, or gallons per minute, in tandem are very important,” says Rachel Rothman, chief technologist and director of engineering at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “One without the other won’t give the right combo.” GPM measures the volume of water supplied by the pressure washer – an indicator of how quickly your machine is cleaning. Higher GPM pressure washers will clean faster than lower GPM ones, Hunt says.
security: When using pressure washers, especially more powerful gas models, you can easily cause bodily injury and surface damage, like splinters, if you’re not careful, Rothman says. Wear closed shoes and safety glasses at all times when using your pressure washer. And if your machine comes with interchangeable nozzles, use the less powerful one first – you can always upgrade to a more powerful nozzle if you need to – and stand about four feet from whatever you’re cleaning. If in doubt, perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area first.
Best Electric Pressure Washer
2300 PSI Electric Pressure Washer
Our top pick wins praise from almost everyone who gets their hands on it. The Home Depot bestseller has a really impressive PSI (2300!) for an electric machine, making it a great choice for residential users who want the ability to tackle a wide range of projects. The machine also comes with a bonus turbo nozzle that claims to provide up to 5% more cleaning power for tougher jobs, like oil-stained driveways or badly moldy fences.
Best gasoline pressure washer
Although the most expensive on the list around $ 100, the price is justified by the horsepower. The model, which has five quick connect spray nozzles, a PSI of 3200 and a GPM of 2.5, is more closely aligned with professional grade equipment. That’s more than the average homeowner will need, but it’s a great choice for any DIYer who prioritizes performance and strength above all else.
Best Value Pressure Washer
Electric high pressure cleaner GPW1501
An economical, portable choice (weighs just 17 pounds!) For homeowners with a range of odd jobs on their to-do list. With a PSI of 1500, you will have enough power to tackle easier or trickier projects like cleaning your car, patio furniture or kids’ outdoor toys, but don’t expect stubborn stains like oil to blast on heavily soiled surfaces in an instant.
Most popular pressure washer on Amazon
SPX3000 2030 Max
$ 149.00 (25% off)
If you are looking for an affordable unit that can do the job, the Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer is a great choice. The highly rated (13,000 Amazon reviews and more!), Delivers 2,030 PSI, plus a two detergent tanks to house separate cleaning solvents. Five quick connect spray nozzles allow versatility to perform a range of cleaning tasks, from decking and coating to cars and boats.
Best lightweight high pressure washer
1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer
Think of this machine as a smaller, more accessible version of our top pick. The compact, lightweight weighs a little over 16 pounds, but offers enough power for most household chores. Plus, it comes with three nozzles including a turbo option for 50% faster cleaning. This is a great option for anyone who thinks portability may be a consideration, as it is quite easy to transport to a boat dock or a campsite.
Most compact pressure washer
WPX2700 gasoline pressure washer
$ 216.67 (22% off)
In general, gasoline-powered pressure washers are far from light and compact, but this device will appeal to anyone who wants the power of a gas machine and covets the portability of an electric machine. Although it still weighs 63 pounds, it has a sleeker, more vertical design than the other models which makes maneuvering and storage a bit easier.
Best pressure washer for home use
Karcher Full Control Pressure Washer
While reviewers found this model to be a bit bulky, it has stellar cleaning power. It comes with two spray nozzles – one with variable pressure for customization and a patio head brush that facilitates the cleaning of large terraces and terraces. Despite its size, the machine has a host of handy features that make storage easy, including a retractable handle.
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