.st0{fill:#FFFFFF;}

Basic 5 Steps Of Washing A Car With A Pressure Washer 

 October 24, 2020

By  Agriculturist Musa

Washing a car with a pressure washer: How to clean a car with a pressure washer? A pressure washer is one of the most critical tools to wash and clean a car very effectively. It is easier than washing a car by hand since it uses less water than a hosepipe. The main reason to wash your vehicles like cars, buses, or trucks is not only just a shiny look of paint but also to remove all sorts of debris that may damage your paintwork.

Importance of washing a car

In winter, it is indispensable to wash a car as the grit. Mud can damage the car, and salt is corrosive in your car. You can protect your car from rust by washing regularly, but if you operate a pressure washer in the wrong way, it can be harmful to your car as we know it can make your paintwork very dull day by day. Also, it can ruin your tires and soak the interior of your car. So, it is crucial to wash your car very carefully with some standard easy procedures. 

Though it is just only water, you can not see it just like a joke. We know that a garden hose pipe sends water out only 40 PSI, but a pressure washer sends water out more than 1500 PSI that is more than about 37 times or more rather than a garden hosepipe. On the other hand, it is tedious work and a hectic schedule; a quick 10-minute work can very effectively clean your car.

You can enjoy this time, and it would be a part of your daily habit. It appears like a dream come true to use a pressure washer for the beginning if you learn and practice it very well. It is not just like a game, so firstly, you have to learn the different procedures and know how to do it. Choosing the wrong type of nozzle can operate this job and not just end up your work but also damage your beautiful paint.

Washing a car with a pressure washer

This article will help you give some useful information about how to wash, which type of pressure washer, and which type of nozzles you have to select. So, I will tell you the most effective procedure for washing a car using a pressure washer; perhaps you have not seen or read it before. So, don’t be so hurry, stay with us and follow the instructions carefully.

Washing a car with a pressure washer

Why a pressure washer

There are a significant number of reasons to use a pressure washer to wash a car. It has several benefits rather than wash the car in traditional ways like sponge and hose pipe.

  • It reduces the risk of scratching your car from dirt and debris.
  • It is a speedy method.
  • It is straightforward to remove dirt and stains without sweating.
  • If you have a skinning problem, it will help you to avoid it.

When not to use it

You can not use all the pressure washers to wash your car and to keep your paint what it has. You must make sure that your pressure washer is ideal for your car paint; otherwise, it can bring more damage to your car rather than good. You may be noticed that different nozzle types and power settings are based on different brands or models you purchase. 

Any wrong decision can ruin all your plans and make your car an unpleasant look by damaging your car paint. So, at first, follow the instructions carefully before purchase and use a pressure washer and ensure that the machine is ideal for washing your car and for your washer. You have to gather some information about PSI and Cleaning units, which I will tell you below with some easy equations.

Type of pressure washer you have to choose

Firstly, you have to decide to purchase a pressure washer that you want to use, which is very useful for you and your car. Usually, two types of pressure washers are available in the market. One is an electric pressure washer, and another is a gas pressure washer. A gas pressure washer has an extreme cleaning capacity, and it is to operate heavy-duty works like trucks, roads, and industrial buildings. On the other hand, to avoid damage to your vehicle, you must use an electric pressure washer with an appropriate PSI. 

Bestseller pressure washer

An electric pressure washer has enough power to perform this job properly. You have to choose an electric pressure washer with a PSI range from 1200 to 1900 and has 1900 to 2800 cleaning units.

Measurement of cleaning units

When you use a pressure washer to wash your car appropriately, it is essential to learn about the cleaning units determined by PSI (Power measured by pounds per square inch) and GPM (water flow measured by gallons per minute). Higher PSI can increase the water force that will release from the washer’s tip, and higher GPM can increase the water flow that releases from it. Cleaning units can be calculated from the combination of force and amount of water flow released from the washer.

So, cleaning units = PSI×GPM.

A range from 1900 to 2800 cleaning units is recommended to use as it is advantageous for you and your car. An average garden hose has 40 PSI and 7 GPM, so the cleaning unit is 280. And a pressure washer for a car has 1500 PSI and 1.5 GPM, so the cleaning unit is 2250. Experts recommended using a pressure washer, which has a range of 1.4 to 1.6 GPM.

Select the right nozzle

After choosing an appropriate pressure washer, you have to choose a perfect size nozzle from different types of nozzles. It is vital to choose a perfect size nozzle so that you can clean your car effectively without damaging your paintwork. You have to keep in mind two things for choosing a pressure washer. One is pressure level, and another is nozzle size. A narrow nozzle type covers a small area, where a broader nozzle type covers a large area but has less pressure.

pressure washer nozzle
Pressure washer nozzle

Different types of nozzles are available, and you must choose the right angle or degree out of them for the convenience of your work and complete the work very efficiently.

  • 0-degree nozzle: It is marked by red color. This type of nozzle is mainly used in a high-quality job like removing stains from cement, bricks, or solid metals as we know it has very high pressure. It is not suitable for car washing.
  • 15-degree nozzle: It is marked by yellow. This nozzle is used to remove dirt from the footpath.
  • 25-degree nozzle: It is marked by green. It is mainly used to clean wheels and trucks and rinse the mud off the car’s surface.
  • 40-degree nozzle: It is marked by whiteIt is mainly used to clean a large area very fast. It is suitable for washing a car.

Here, you are suggested to use a 25-degree (green) or 40-degree (white) nozzle. It would be best if you avoided lower degree nozzles ( 0 or 15-degree nozzle) where there is a risk of damage to your paint.

How to clean your car with a pressure washer

Here are some everyday things and easy procedures for using a pressure washer to clean your car without any damage.

how to clean a car with a pressure washer
How to clean a car with a pressure washer

Step-1: Park your car in an open place

You need to park your car in an open place to wash it without damaging other cars or other objects with water. It would be best to find such an open place beside your home and ensure that it has access to supply power when you use an electric washer.

Step-2: Rinse your car

Before starting your job, you must rinse the exterior of your car with the pressure washer to get rid of mud, dirt, salt, or other debris from your car’s surface that is stuck to your car. Before it, you have to check the water pressure by spraying some water approximately 4-5cm wide on the ground to make sure that it is not so strong. You have to stay 4-5 feet away from the car, and after testing the pressure washer, get closer to the wheels to remove severe bugs and mud. 

Washing a car with a pressure washer
Washing a car with a pressure washer

You must ensure that all the windows are rolled up, and the doors and trunks are closed so that the water can not come into the interior of your car. Be careful when you work on delicate items like side-view mirrors, headlights, brake lights, etc. Move a little further back when you work on these parts.

Experts recommended spraying water at a downward angle. A straight spray of water causes any potential paint damage.

Step-3: Select and use the proper detergent

You must select a proper detergent from special compartments of it. You must make sure that your purchase’s detergent must be designed for your pressure washer and suited for your car. These detergents remain in concentration, and they need to dilute with a proper amount of water before spraying them in your car. In below, here are three procedures for the application of specific detergents by a pressure washer.

  • Dilute it into a bucket with a proper amount of water: Don’t forget to hear the proper concentration ratio of detergent and water from the manufacturer or retailers. You must read the manufacturer’s instructions from the label of detergent packs.
  • Fill the detergent tank with diluted detergent: You must set the nozzle of your pressure washer broader and less powerful rather than water onto the car. For this, you need to fix your pressure washer setting. If you have not found any detergent tank, apply the detergent with a cloth by hand but be careful when you do this, don’t scrub your vehicle hard; coat the car.
  • Spray from the top: Apply detergent from the top of your car. You can spray one side of your car at a time and another side next, or you can wash your car entirely at once. You must avoid not to spray inside the engine. Don’t forget to spray soap in the wheels and under the car by making the upward nozzle angle convenient for you. Let the detergent for five minutes in a car. Of course, don’t let it dry and let it works its magic.

Step-4: Loosen the stubborn dirt and mud

For this, you must use a car brush that is suitable for this work, and it must be attachable. You can also use it to remove all dirt and mud from your car wheels and under the car. Be careful when you use it on paint, glass, signal lights.

Step-5: Time to rinse the detergent

After a few minutes, you have to remove the detergent tank and rinse the whole car with water through your pressure washer. Select a 40-degree white nozzle to rinse your car. Experts recommended holding the pressure washer 45-degree angle and rinse from top to bottom on the downward movement. You can also use a towel or other soft cloth to dry the car after rinsing by water and stay it to dry thoroughly.

Washing a car with a pressure washer

Final thought

If you follow the above process carefully, you will finally be able to wash your car successfully. It will improve your experience as well as it saves your time and water respectively. If you wash your car regularly, it will be your habit, and you can not stay without doing it. It boosts up your car’s visual appearance; also, it extends the life of your car paint.

In this article, you may be surprised that I used the ‘must’ word because it is mandatory to follow the instructions. So, you have to realize the value of it and how important the work is. Any fault or careless job can ruin a significant amount and damage your car paintwork and make your paint a dull look.

Agriculturist Musa


Agriculturistmusa is a graduate student in agriculture. He is doing research on home improvement, indoor, and outdoor gardening! He loves to decorate the home, garden, and lawn care. Based on his experience about home, improvement, gardening, and lawn; he is sharing his thought and opinion, tips, and tools so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}