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How To Wash A Car With A Pressure Washer – The Dos And Don’ts

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Using a pressure washer to wash your car is the more convenient way of cleaning it as opposed to using the archaic bucket and sponge method.

Now, most people would have doubts when using pressure washers to wash their cars. They would ask questions such as, “is it safe to wash a car with a pressure washer?” or “isn’t washing your car with a pressure washer too water intensive?”

In order to answer those questions and other lingering doubts you may have about using pressure washers, you first need to learn how to wash a car with a pressure washer. By knowing how to properly wash a car with pressure washers, you’ll realize that there is absolutely no problem with this kind of method as long as you do it properly.

So, without further introduction, let’s learn how to wash a car with a pressure washer.

Check out the dos and don’t of using a pressure washer below:

The Do’s

When you learn how to wash a car with a pressure washer, there are certain tips and techniques that you need to take note of. We’ll go through some of the best ways to clean a car with pressure washers in this section:

  • Use Water To Rinse The Dirt Off First

The proper way of starting to wash your car with a pressure cleaner is to start off by rinsing the outside. Since there is a lot of debris and dirt on the car, it’s more prudent if you wash as much of them away as possible. Also, wetting the car beforehand will make applying the detergent much easier as the detergent will spread more efficiently.

  • Scrub The Car With Detergent By Hand

After the vehicle is wet, we advise you to scrub the car by hand so that you can take out all the dirt that sticks to the car. Many beginners might think that mixing the detergent in the pressure washer and spraying the mix on the car is more effective. However, you may not be able to take the dirt out from deep places. That’s why we recommend that you apply detergent by hand instead then wash it off after.

  • Use An Angled Wand For Cars

Cars are quite prone to scratches so it may not be advisable to shoot the water straight at the car. Rather, use an angled lance wand instead (the recommended angle is 25 degrees) so that the water won’t be too concentrated in one direction. Also, an angled spray would usually weaken the concentration of the water, so it won’t impact the car too much.

  • Concentrate On The Bottom Of The Car

One of the most neglected places is the bottom of the car. Unfortunately, the bottom of the car also happens to be the dirtiest area of the car because that’s where most of the dirt and grime stick to. That’s why you need to spend a longer time in this part. To make things easier, get a 40-degree angled lance nozzle so that you don’t need to bend down.

The Don’ts

Now that we’ve gone through some of the best practices of how to wash a car with a pressure washer, let’s go on to some don’ts that you need to take note of as well:

  • Don’t Use Too Much Pressure On Cars

This is a rookie mistake that a lot of beginners make when they first use pressure washers. Pressure washers are extremely strong and can break glass if the pressure you use is too strong. The recommended pressure that you should use is around 1200 PSI. That’s the safest pressure level to prevent cracking of the glass.

  • Don’t Use Sandals Or Slippers While Pressure Washing

This is a safety reminder that you need to take note of while pressure washing. Even if you are a veteran pressure washer, you might want to avoid using sandals or any open toe footwear while using a pressure washer because you might accidentally spray your toes. With the strength of this machine, you can actually get hurt. So, just take this into consideration when you clean your car.

  • Don’t Spray One Place Too Long

If you spray one spot too long, you’re sure to either scratch the car or spray off the paint. The recommended total time to wash your car would be around just 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your car. Also, you may want to move around while you wash.


As you can see, it is totally safe to use a pressure washer on your car provided you learn the proper way on how to wash a car with a pressure washer.

Most people would claim that pressure washers are way too strong for cars and may damage them. However, they most likely made those claims because they didn’t follow the proper procedures. If you follow the best practices mentioned above, you should have no problem.

Mattie Keyes

Hi there! This is Mattie. When I am not making DIY projects for my house, I spend most of my time researching and writing reviews of different products that you can buy online. I am an office worker turn full-time blogger, and I hope to help other homeowners like me on how to improve and reinvent your home using the best ideas and equipment.