pressure washer
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The 5 Best Pressure Washers for Quick and Easy Outdoor Cleaning

Our top electric pick is the Sun Joe SPX3000 Max Pressure Washer because it’s easy to use and great for beginners.
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Over time, outdoor surfaces (especially your car and patio furniture) can get caked with dirt and grime. And when they inevitably get dirty, using a pressure washer is the easiest way to clean them. 

"Pressure washers are multi-use tools that can be used for a variety of cleaning applications," says Chris Stoness, CEO of Elite Window Cleaning. "From surface cleaning to washing cars, the high-pressure water jet created by pressure washers is a fantastic way to remove dirt without scrubbing or agitation."

To find the best pressure washers for everyday people, we spent hours researching the most popular options on the market and assessing them for water pressure, ease of use, and reliability. In addition to Stoness, we also consulted another outdoor cleaning expert: Chris Gehan, brand manager of Shine Above Window and Gutter Cleaning. Both experts gave us advice on how to choose the best pressure washer for your needs. 

Our top gas pick, Westinghouse's WPX2700 Gas Pressure Washer, is a quality pressure washer that can handle your toughest cleaning jobs. But if you'd rather go for an electric model, Sun Joe's SPX3000 Max Pressure Washer is an equally well-rounded option that's great for beginners. 

Here are the best pressure washers for cleaning outside of your home.

Our Top Picks

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Best Gas Pressure Washer: Westinghouse WPX2700 Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

View at Amazon ($249)

Also available at Lowe's and Home Depot.

Who it's for: People who want a pressure washer that can handle tough jobs outside their home.

Who it isn't for: People who want something small, handheld, or lightweight.

Westinghouse's WPX2700 Pressure Washer is our top recommendation for anyone looking for a gas-powered option. This model delivers 2,700 PSI (a number that represents water pressure) so it's capable of handling all the heavy-duty cleaning tasks on your to-do list. This power washer also has the highest flow rate—2.3 gallons per minute (GPM)—of all the options on our list. And thanks to its four adjustable cleaning nozzles, the tool can handle projects of all sizes, whether you're cleaning patios and exterior walls or washing cars and fences. It's safe for use on many common outdoor materials, like brick, concrete, and wood.

The pressure washer also has a convenient design that makes it easy to use. Since it's powered by gas, the tool doesn't require any cords or outlets. Plus, its extra-long hose allows you to get 25 feet from the nearest water tap. Even though this model is high capacity—it holds 3.3 liters of fuel and 1.6 liters of soap—it's still easy to move around thanks to its comfortable handle and 12-inch wheels. But at 63 pounds, this pressure washer is pretty heavy and may be difficult to lift.

Product Details:

  • PSI: 2,700
  • GPM: 2.3
  • Hose Length: 25 feet
  • Cord Length: Cordless
  • Warranty: Three-year limited; lifetime service
pressure washer
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Best Electric Pressure Washer: Sun Joe SPX3000 Max Pressure Washer

View at Amazon ($289)

Also available at Walmart and The Home Depot.

Who it's for: People who want a versatile pressure washer that's easy to use.

Who it isn't for: People who want a small handheld model.

If you're new to pressure washing, you might prefer an electric model like this one from Sun Joe, which is cooler, quieter, and more lightweight than gas-powered tools. The main downside to this electric power washer is that it's less powerful than gas alternatives—but it's still incredibly strong at cleaning. This pressure washer can strip peeling paint from siding, wash off caked-on mud from your car, and remove grease from your driveway. It even comes with five adjustable nozzles so it can adapt to many other types of jobs.

The Sun Joe pressure washer requires access to a tap and an outlet, but it has a 20-foot hose and a 35-foot power cord so it shouldn't restrict you too much. The appliance holds two separate 0.8-liter detergent tanks, and it even has a dial so you can precisely control how much of each soap is used. The pressure washer is extremely easy to maneuver because it's pretty lightweight (especially compared to the Westinghouse gas option above) and has built-in wheels.

Product Details:

  • PSI: 2,800
  • GPM: 1.3
  • Hose Length: 20 feet
  • Cord Length: 35 feet
  • Warranty: Two-year complete
pressure washer
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Best Cordless Pressure Washer: Worx Power Share Hydroshot 320 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

View at Home Depot ($111)

Also available at Amazon and Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a handheld pressure washer they can use without a cord or hose.

Who it isn't for: People who want a classic pressure washer fit for heavy-duty cleaning.

A traditional pressure washer isn't always your best option. For certain tasks, you'll be much better off with a cordless pressure washer, like Worx's Power Share Hydroshot model. Because it's battery-operated, you'll never have to worry about finding an outlet, handling a power cord, or stocking up on fuel. The handheld pressure washer is great for cleaning things like window screens, camping gear, and staircases. And at 4 pounds, this tool is lightweight enough to easily carry around your outdoor space.

Since the Worx battery-powered pressure washer isn't as strong as corded electric or gas models, it's not great for heavy-duty cleaning jobs. But it does have five pressure settings, so it can handle a range of smaller tasks—including hosing down a boat and watering your flowers. The cordless tool comes with a 20-foot hose that you can connect to a tap, place in a lake, or drop inside a bucket of water to start cleaning. It even comes with a bottle connector, which you can attach to a two-liter bottle to use the device without a hose. This pressure washer uses the same 20-volt battery as other Worx Power Share tools, so you can use the same battery on multiple tools.

Product Details:

  • PSI: 320
  • GPM: 0.53
  • Hose Length: 20 feet
  • Cord Length: Cordless
  • Warranty: Three-year limited

RELATED: The 5 Best Cordless Vacuums, According to Our Tests

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Best Pressure Washer for Cars: Greenworks 2000 Max PSI Electric Pressure Washer

View at Amazon ($159)

Also available at Lowe's and Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a well-rounded pressure washer that can safely clean their car.

Who it isn't for: People who would prefer a cordless model.

Instead of cleaning your car by hand (or with a regular hose), you can use this pressure washer from Greenworks that doesn't require any scrubbing. It's gentle enough to avoid damaging your vehicle's finish, but it's capable of quickly and efficiently rinsing off dirt and debris. The 2,000-PSI tool comes with three adjustable nozzles, including one designed for soap application that produces a sudsy foam.

These specialized features are great if you're tired of hand-washing your car, but they don't come at the cost of versatility: The Greenworks pressure washer is still a well-rounded appliance that works for many other types of jobs, too. It can also rinse off your grill, clean your patio furniture, and hose down your walkways. And it has a 35-foot power cord and 10-inch wheels, so you can easily take it from storage to the driveway.

Product Details:

  • PSI: 2,000
  • GPM: 1.1
  • Hose Length: 20 feet
  • Cord Length: 35 feet
  • Warranty: Three-year limited

RELATED: The 5 Best Charcoal Grills for Cooking Outdoors

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Best Small Pressure Washer: Ryobi 1600 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

View at Home Depot ($107)

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a compact model that's lightweight, and portable. 

Who it isn't for: People who need a gas-powered pressure washer for tough jobs.

For smaller tasks, the Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer can step in when a traditional model is too big and bulky for the job. This handheld pressure washer is incredibly small and lightweight (just over 16 pounds), and it's very easy to pick up and carry around. Even though it's half the size of many other pressure washers, this compact model doesn't skimp on power. It delivers 1,600 PSI, which makes it strong enough to clean cars, bikes, and outdoor furniture. As for flow rate, this pressure washer has a GPM of 1.2, which makes it comparable to our top electric pick despite its smaller size.

The Ryobi pressure washer comes with three adjustable nozzles, including a turbo option that can clean 50 percent faster, according to the brand. And because this device is much smaller than most of the other pressure washers on this list, we think it's a great choice for anyone with limited storage space in their garage or shed.

Product Details:

  • PSI: 1,600
  • GPM: 1.2
  • Hose Length: 20 feet
  • Cord Length: 35 feet
  • Warranty: Three-year limited

Final Verdict

Our top gas-powered pick is Westinghouse's WPX2700 Pressure Washer because it's powerful enough for tough messes without being too intimidating to use at home. But if you'd rather choose an electric option, then the Sun Joe SPX3000 Max Pressure Washer is also great—especially for beginners. It's still powerful and well-rounded, but it's lightweight, cool, and quiet compared to gas power washers.

How to Shop for a Pressure Washer Like a Pro

Power

When shopping for pressure washers, there are two key metrics to look for: PSI and GPM. PSI (pounds per square inch) represents water pressure, and GPM (gallons per minute) represents water flow rate. "High GPM machines are great for pressure-washing long driveways, where dirt and debris need to be pushed over long distances," Stoness says. "High PSI machines are best for tough cleaning tasks, where more pressure is required to remove baked-on dirt and grime."

Electric vs. Gas

Pressure washers are either powered by gas or electricity. Gas pressure washers are often stronger than their electric counterparts, which makes them great for anyone who wants professional-level results at home. But electric pressure washers tend to be cooler, quieter, and easier to use. For those reasons, electric models are great for beginners because they're not as intimidating. There are also battery-powered cordless models that are extremely lightweight, as well as compact power washers that are easy to store in small spaces. 

"Before you purchase a pressure washer, do your research on the type that is most relevant to your desired application," says Stoness. "For heavy-duty jobs, you'll want a large, powerful pressure washer. For small jobs, you may prefer a compact, light-duty pressure washer."

Ease of Use

Above all, look for a power washer you'll feel comfortable using. If the appliance is heavy and bulky, look for wheels that make it easy to transport. If you're going for a handheld pressure washer, make sure it's lightweight enough to lift and carry. For pressure washers that require access to an outlet or tap, make sure the power cord and hose are long so you have room to move around. You can also look for models that have safety features, like pressure relief valves.

Warranty

Pressure washers can be expensive, so you should always consider the manufacturer's warranty before buying one. To make sure you're spending wisely, the experts we spoke to also recommend looking for a reliable pressure washer that's made with durable parts.

Questions You Might Ask

How do pressure washers work?

Pressure washers might seem like intense cleaning tools, but they're not as complicated as they sound. They're essentially extremely strong versions of hoses that use gas or electricity for the extra power.

"A pressure washer connects to an exterior water source and pressurizes the water before spewing it out of the tip at a high pressure," Gehan says. "The highly pressurized water then pushes dirt, dust, and other debris off of surfaces, giving them a thorough cleaning."

What are pressure washers usually used for?

According to Gehan, power washers are typically used for cleaning outside of the house. They're great for washing cars and boats, hosing down sidewalks and driveways, cleaning patios and patio furniture, rinsing off grills, and more.

Not sure if you can use a pressure washer on something in particular? "Before you use a pressure washer to clean anything, make sure that you test it out to make sure it won't damage the surface or object," says Gehan. "I recommend testing the pressure on a small patch of the surface before going ahead with the entire thing! This can save you a lot of damage."

Is dish soap safe for pressure washers? 

Most dish soaps are safe to use in pressure washers, but you have to put them in the right place. "You can add soaps or surfactants to most pressure washers through a device called a downstream injector," Stoness says. "It is important to have the downstream injector hooked up [properly], because the pumps on pressure washers are not designed to pressurize anything but water, and soaps can damage the pump."

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Lindsey Lanquist, a contributing writer for Real Simple with seven years of experience writing lifestyle content. For advice on what to look for when buying pressure washers, Lindsey turned to two experts: Chris Gehan of Shine Above Window and Gutter Cleaning and Chris Stoness of Elite Window Cleaning. She then spent hours researching the most popular pressure washers on the market, assessing them for power, reliability, and ease of use.