A pressure washer is stronger than a garden hose and uses less water during the wash. It also allows you to attach a foam cannon to soak a vehicle in soap in a matter of minutes.
However, they are not a necessary purchase and can be pricey, so we asked our subscribers to chime in on what they use, why they like it, and what gripes they may have with their washers. Additionally, you’ll find some recommended soaps to go with your washer if you choose to get a foam cannon.
Our subscribers recommend the following soaps:
- Meguiar’s Gold Class
- Meguiar’s Hyper Wash
- Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II
- Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam
- Chemical Guys Mr. Pink
- Carpro IX Snow Soap
- Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo
Any soap can be used in a foam cannon. Some may foam up better than others, you have to play with the settings on your cannon to get the foam output of your liking.
There are obviously tons of choices when it comes to pressure washers, we suggest doing some other Googling to get reviews off of Amazon and other retailers’ websites. The most popular brands are AR Blue, Ryobi, and Sun Joe.
|Brand||Model||Gas/Electric||Foam Cannon & adapters||Pros||Cons||Price|
|AR Blue Clean||383||Electric||Comes with foam cannon||Cleaning power, low use of water, good pressure||The “quick connect” end can be a PIA to connect. The unit looses it’s prime and need to be purged in-order to work again, original pressure hose is garbage||$263|
|Briggs & Stratton||020681||Electric||N/A||Extremely compact. Motor itself can be removed from carrier and hung up or placed under a cabinet.||No hose reel; doesn’t like hoses longer than 50′||$180|
|Briggs & Straton||020680||Electric||N/A||Light, Relatively long cord, Nozzle switching is quick with the rotating head.The high flow rate at low PSI is great for cleaning cars with. No insane pressure to damage any paint/trim/etc but good flow to remove soaps and debris||The high PSI requires a pinpoint nozzle to achieve and is only at 1.2gpm. This makes cleaning undercarriage and such during the winter for salt difficult. I live in Maryland so its not a big issue 90% of the time||$189|
|Greenworks||1500 PSI||Electric||Uber Foam Cannon||Very small and lightweight (great for mobile jobs), electric (no exhaust fumes), reliable (frequent use for 2 years, no issues)||Hose that came with it was pretty cheap, burst after about 6 months use. Bought a new hose and it’s been perfect||$99.99|
|Greenworks||1600 PSI||Electric||MTM||Inexpensive, compact, quiet, lightweight/easy to move, does a great job removing dirt with the initial rinse or foaming (better than a coin wash in my experience), can work for more than just car washing (did great cleaning the gutters)||No high pressure hose management (if I had to do it over I’d get the version with a hose reel), the included high pressure hose is a bit too short and required moving the washer multiple times during washing||$119.99|
|Karcher||K2.360 & K2.350 – old versions of K.2300||Electric||MTM||It creates quite enough pressure to use the foam lance quite effectively. Other than that, it’s pretty unremarkable; I don’t use any of the other features very much||Difficult to rinse a car with a pressure washer. Has no purpose without foam cannon attached||$130|
|Kranzle||K1122TST||Electric||Autogeek Foam Cannon & Kranzle Adapter||Strong, rinses well, undercarriage attachment available||Set up time, price||$1,500+|
|Nilfisk||C 100.7-5||Electric||Autobrite||Power, stronger than regular hose||Set up time||15 ISK ($115 USA) – European unit|
|Nilfisk||C 120.6||Electric||Comes with one||Solid construction, well-equipped, affordable||Short power cable||$120 (France) – European unit|
|Powerstroke||2200 PSI||Gas||MTM||Strong, no foam cannon adapters, uses less water||Loud, set up time, wear and tear||$200|
|Ryobi||1600 PSI||Electric||N/A||High pressure, compact, universal tips||Loud||$99|
|Ryobi||1800 PSI||Electric||MTM, $4 fitting from Home Depot||Small, light, powerful||Noise||$129|
|Ryobi||1900 PSI||Electric||MTM||Wheels, roll up crank for hose, separate canister for soaps||Loud||$159|
|Ryobi||2700 PSI||Gas||Pressure washer jet foam cannon||Very powerful, extra tips, toggle switch for chemicals||Exhaust, loud||$250|
|Ryobi||3100 PSI||Gas||N/A||Powerful||Drain valve in sensitive area||$399|
|Simpson Honda||GC190 3100 PSI||Gas||MTM||Honda engine, other general home use, idle down||Loud, garden hose has trouble keeping up||$429.99|
|Sun Joe||SPX3000||Electric||MTM||Reliable, built in cannon, compact||Cheap build, plastic valve may need replacing, short hose||$159.99|