Best Electric Pressure Washer for Car Detailing on a Budget

Are you looking for the best electric pressure washer for car detailing on a budget?

It’s not always easy to find the best pressure washer for your needs. There are a lot of factors involved, and you should carefully consider them before making your purchase. 

That’s why we put together this handy guide that will help you find the right pressure washer for car detailing.

TOP PICK: Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

Of course, the ever-famous Sun Joe SPX3000 is on of the best electric pressure for car detailing.

This electric pressure washer has a 14.5-amp motor which can go up to 2,030 PSI and is capable of 1,450 PSI as average working pressure. It also has an impressive flow rate at 1.76 GPM with two onboard detergent tanks that each hold 0.9 L for easy switching when you’re doing multiple projects simultaneously.

This pump comes with a large set of accessories and features. It has additional safety features as well. Sun Joe SPX3000 is ideal for those who want to get the most out of their purchase. This pressure washer is ideal for those who want to get the most out of their purchase and not just have a device that sits around being used only occasionally.

For car detailing, the best pressure washer is this one that comes with 5 quick-connect spray tips of 0°, 15°, 25°, and 40 degrees. It also includes a soap spray tip for good measure.

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  • Good power
  • 5 Quick-Connect nozzles and lots of accessories
  • auto-shutoff to save energy and prolong pump life
  • Detergent tanks


  • Connector is plastic
  • No hose reel

Stanley SHP1600 Electric Pressure Washer

The Stanley SHP1600 is a powerful pressure washer that you can use to spray off dirt and grime from your car. For those who are looking for a new car wash, the Stanley SHP1600 is worth considering. 

The pressure washer has an electric motor and comes with a 35-foot cord. Making it easier to reach all areas of your vehicle from anywhere in front or behind your house. 

It also includes 20 feet of hose so you can clean any part that needs extra scrubbing at length without having to move around the machine too much – perfect if you’re washing multiple cars.

With the right accessories, you can quickly clean your driveway with a power washer. 

The Stanley SHP1600 Electric Power Washer comes not only with an adjustable pressure gun but also includes a wand and nozzle to ensure you have everything needed for any surface or situation.

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  • In the expected price range
  • Portable
  • Able to adjust the pressure of the spray from the nozzle


  • No detergent dilution mechanism
  • No wheels

Karcher K1700 Electric Pressure Washer

Another great electric pressure washer that’s ideal for car detailing is the Karcher K1700 Electric Pressure Washer. It is has a thoughtful design and is very affordable for its specs. Karcher is the world’s largest manufacturer of pressure washers. 

They have a scale to engineer products for any price bracket (ranging from small, light-duty models to heavy-duty and commercial grade cleaners) so there is a product for every need on your list.

This electric pressure washer provides 1700 PSI of power, enough for a deep clean and driven by a powerful universal motor. It includes many helpful features including an easy-to-use on/off footswitch, a handy storage bin, a large one-half gallon removable detergent tank, and three different spray nozzles to cover any dirty job.

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  • Easy to use
  • Easy setup
  • Space-saving design
  • 3 Years Warranty


  • No turbo nozzle

Paxcess 2150 electric pressure washer 

This Paxcess 2150 electric pressure washer is a superb model for those looking for a car cleaning appliance that will get the job done. For car enthusiasts who demand commercial-quality cleaning performance and a uniform appearance, The Paxcess pressure washer delivers. 

This electric power washer can eliminate even the most stubborn and encrusted dirt in seconds – quickly, easily, and effortlessly to keep your home looking its best. It has a high pressure of 2100 PSI plus an adjustable pressure nozzle that will work to your preference.

The attached detergent tank removes easily so you don’t have to worry about messy hoses! With the Total Stop System for easy-on-easy-off function, getting in and out of your work zone has never been this simple.

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  • Built-in foam wand
  • Adjustable fan and foam pattern (instead of removable tips)
  • Affordable


  • Cheaper reel
  • Some cheaper components

Briggs & Stratton Electric Pressure Washer

Finally, we have the Briggs & Stratton Electric Pressure Washer. Briggs & Stratton is known for making great pressure washers in general, and this electric model is no exception.

This one features a max PSI of 1700 and can be used on both light-duty projects like cleaning your vehicle as well as more heavy-duty jobs such as removing oil stains from asphalt or concrete surfaces with its powerful water spray. 

Briggs & Stratton’s electric pressure washer is perfect for light-duty projects such as car cleaning or outdoor furniture. With an ergonomic design and 22 lbs in weight, this one makes taking care of your home quick and easy!

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  • Good pump from a reputable brand
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Very portable, stores easily


  • Not as powerful as some
  • Only 3 quick-connect spray tips (15°, soap, & turbo)

Why do I Need a Pressure Washer to Clean my Car?

The pressure washer’s main function is to clean, and in this case, car cleaning. Many would wonder why you need a pressure washer to clean your car when you can just hose it down with water? 

For the most part, that works. However, for those who are serious about their vehicle (we included), it doesn’t get that much dirt off.

The reasons why you should pick the best electric pressure washer for car detailing are:

Pressure washers provide you with a deeper and more thorough cleaning of the surface than just hosing them down. Remember, they can reach up to 1,500 PSI! That means it’ll clean your car (or any other object) from multiple angles and remove dirt that you wouldn’t even normally think about. 

Pressure washers can reach places that are hard to get at, like the underside of a car or in the cracks between your vehicle’s bodywork. 

Pressure washers have more than just one spray tip/nozzle; they usually come with multiple tips so you can adjust the clean accordingly. Make sure to use nozzle tips that are safe for cars (black, green, and white).

Factors to consider in selecting an Electric Pressure Washer

So, now that we’ve covered the best pressure washers for car detailing that are available on the market, let’s take some time to discuss a few pointers of things to look out for in a good electric pressure washer.

Power (PSI)

The first thing you are going to want to consider is the power of your pressure washer. This determines how much work it can handle. And also what parts and nozzles it can utilize effectively. 

Generally speaking, most electric pressure washers have a maximum PSI between 1,000-2,000 PSI; some can go higher than that, up to 3,000 PSI.

The higher capacity means that your power washer is capable of being more versatile. And getting a wider range of jobs done at once. 

Gallons per Minute

Aside from PSI, another thing to think about is GPM, or Gallons per Minute. This lets you know how much water the machine can pump out per minute. Lower GPM means that the pressure washer has a smaller engine and less power.

Typically speaking, electric pressure washers fall between 1-3 GPM. Anything outside of that range will run not only too slowly. But also lower PSI than expected (unless they are adjustable).


This might seem like a minor point in the grand scheme of things, but it’s pretty important to consider. When you’re dealing with high amounts of water and pressure, sometimes you don’t want a heavy machine that is difficult to maneuver or control.

A lightweight washer will be easier to move around and won’t put as much stress on your arms and hands. They usually have adjustable handles as well which can make them more comfortable to hold and work with for extended periods.

You’re going to try and find a balance between weight and power. Because that is what you need your pressure washer to be. It has to be effective, but also lightweight enough.

Number of Nozzles/Spray Tips

Electric pressure washers will come with a nozzle attached; however, most will offer expandability by allowing multiple other nozzles to attach. These nozzles will alter the water stream from a narrowly concentrated spray to a wider body of water.

Depending on what you are going to use it for, you will need different attachments. For example, if you want to clean your car with an electric pressure washer, then you’ll want the basic nozzle that comes with most of them attached. As well as one or two others which create a higher and more concentrated spray (like 15°).

You should be looking at getting about 2-4 attachments for your specific project needs; these can all either work with your current nozzle or they come with an additional one.

Pressure adjustment

The ability to adjust the pressure is also a feature that you’ll see in many of these machines, which will give you greater control over the flow of the stream as you are cleaning.

Different nozzles have different outputs, so being able to adapt the pressure output on your pressure washer will allow you to match it with your nozzle if need be.

Some pressure washers come with multiple adjustable spray tips that can be removed and attached depending on the work at hand; this is a great feature for those who like having a wide variety in their arsenal!

Warranty & Price

Pressure washers are not cheap to buy or repair so we recommend getting one from a reputable brand (SunJoe, Briggs & Stratton). And also look for models that offer good warranties as well as price points since they’re all priced differently. The SunJoe SPX3000 has an impressive warranty; Briggs & Stratton is also a trusted brand that offers comparable warranties as well.

Our best pick SunJoe SPX3000

Because of its features, solid performance, and great warranty, we decided that the SunJoe SPX3000 is the overall best electric pressure washer for car detailing. It’s lightweight, affordable, easy to use and maneuver while also being able to take on tough jobs (which it does quickly).

Pressure Washer Tips for Car Detailing

Some things to watch out for when using your pressure washer on your car are:

Make sure you don’t spray the car bodywork directly, as it can warp and damage the paint if left on. Instead, work with the adjustable nozzle to direct a “stream” of water a few inches above the car.

Some pressure washers have a hose attachment, which can be perfect for rinsing off your car after cleaning it. Unfortunately, these hoses are generally stiffer and less flexible; 

Keep in mind that you can damage your paint if you’re too rough on it with an improperly attached hose.

Always use a non-abrasive cleaner like SOFT SCRUB or other gentle detergent mixed into water to clean your car instead of just spraying soap directly onto your paintwork! 

The pressure will cause scratches and unwanted swirls/scratches on the surface, especially when directed toward areas like rubber moldings. Just spray down the area, scrub lightly with a sponge/cloth, rinse off quickly by blasting with the pressure washer.

Attachments & Tools to Buy

First things first: 

You’ll need an assortment of nozzles, which will come in all shapes and sizes. This allows you to alter the power/intensity of your stream. Nozzle attachments will vary in size; they also come in a few different configurations (straight, 15°, 25°).

Attachments and Tools for pressure washers:

Some models have handy attachments to get you going. These include a power spray wand (which is good for general cleaning), turbo nozzle (good for rinsing off dirt and mud after you’ve cleaned your car) as well as soap/wax spray tip attachment which allows you to direct soap through the water stream while cleaning! 

If you want others, we recommend getting an extension wand, which is generally very cheap and helps with added length so there isn’t too much distance between you and your car. 

If you can, we also recommend getting a pressure washer gun, which will attach to the end of the wand for added precision when removing tough stains.

Looking for more car care product buyer’s guide? Check out our top picks for the best car carpet extractor and dual action polisher!

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