What Pressure Washer Nozzle Is Safe For Car?

Pressure washers are powerful tools that can help you achieve a variety of tasks around your home or business on a budget. If used correctly, you could use it for car detailing as well. In this guide, we’ll answer “What pressure washer nozzle is safe for car?”

But if used incorrectly, pressure washers can also cause damage to any surface, including your car’s paint. And with color-coded nozzles coming in a wide variety of specifications, you need to know what pressure washer nozzle is safe for the car.

What color nozzle to pressure wash car?

Pressure washer nozzles are color-coded and also called degrees. The degree refers to the spray pattern of the nozzle.

Using a pressure washer safely on cars still depends on the pressure (PSI) and your distance from the car. Generally, the green (25°) and white (40°) nozzles are safe while red (0°) and yellow (15°) could damage the car’s paint. But the stream of water from any nozzle gets stronger with high PSI and closer distance.

You may want to avoid red and yellow nozzles if you want to stay safe. Red nozzles are designed for unpainted metal or concrete, while yellow nozzles are designed for grills, driveways, concrete, and brick walkways.


What PSI is safe for washing cars?

PSI stands for pounds per square inch (or in this case cubic inches per square foot). The higher this number, the higher the pressure that will be generated by water coming out of the nozzle.

A pressure washer nozzle comes with different PSI capacities and you will find them in different outlets. For example, if you want to wash your car at home, then you should go for a pressure washer nozzle with a 1500 PSI capacity. This is ideal and can be used in car wash and detailing.

Read more: Best Electric Pressure Washer for Car Detailing on a Budget

If you want to get extra cleaning power, then go for 2200 PSI capacity instead. But make sure not to go above 2200 PSI because it could damage your car paintwork or result in other problems like scratches or dents.

You don’t need a 3100 PSI pressure washer because it won’t make a noticeable performance difference.

Is it OK to use a pressure washer on a car?

Pressure washers are extremely useful for cleaning your home, but is it OK to use one to wash your car? The answer is yes, but you have to do so correctly. You should always test your pressure washer before using it on your car to make sure it doesn’t exceed 1500 PSI or soapy water pressure. If it does, you’ll need to reduce the pressure by using green and white nozzles.

Surprisingly, Consumer Reports do not recommend using a pressure washer on cars. According to their expert panelists, the majority of people who use them do so incorrectly and end up damaging their car’s finish.

On the other hand, Turtle Wax a household car care brand recommends only using water pressure of 1500 psi or lower. These are less aggressive than the standard 1900 PSI.

If you thinking of using a 3000 PSI pressure washer for your car, it’s overkilling.

Pressure washer nozzle chart

What Pressure Washer Nozzle Is Safe For Car
Pressure Washer Nozzle Chart

As a general rule, anything below 25° may cause damage to your car. Among the four color-coded nozzle tips of a pressure washer, three nozzles are safe for car-washing. These are the 25° and the 40° and the optional, 65° (black).

The 0° (red) and 15° (yellow) could damage the paintwork of the car. However, experts prefer using the 15° nozzle tip with a safe distance and lower PSI to get rid of tough mud and dirt from 4x4s.

25-degree (green)

The green nozzle is ideal for thoroughly removing dirt from your car’s exterior, as well as truck bed and wheels. You can use the 25-degree or green nozzle on wheels, emblems, grills, mats, and anywhere there’s stuck-on grime like between the cab and bed of a truck.

40-degree (white)

The white nozzle is ideal for cleaning large areas quickly. Use this nozzle when cleaning the body of your car and for rinsing off the detergent. Generally, the wider you go the safer it is. So beginners usually use quite a wide one like the white nozzle. The wider fan makes it more efficient at covering a large area.

When combined with a safe distance and under 1900 PSI, green and white nozzles are the safest nozzles for a car wash.

65-degrees (black)

Red, yellow, green, and white washer nozzles are designed to clean a variety of surfaces. At 65 degrees the fan spray from the blacktip nozzle is too low pressure for removing debris or mildew but perfect for wetting surfaces with detergents or chemicals.

0-degree (red)

The red nozzle can blast even the toughest stains out of your most stubborn surfaces. For concrete, metal, and more hard materials it’s best to use this powerful jet. However, for softer things like wood or your beloved car, you should stay away from using a waterjet that can ruin them completely by lacerating their surface.

Red means danger. Improper use can also result in injury, so we repeat, stay away from the 0-degree (red) nozzle.

15-degrees (yellow)

The 15-degree washer tip is versatile and can be used in a variety of different scenarios because it’s not as dangerous to use on most surfaces. As opposed to the red nozzle, this particular type will allow you more surface coverage for your desired needs.

However, you should use the yellow nozzle from a safe distance and with a lower PSI. If you choose this nozzle tip, you can use it for washing away stubborn mud and grime from the 4×4 bumper and wheel wells.

Turbo nozzle

A turbo nozzle is an alternative to the red tip nozzle that provides the same pressure but with a different spray angle. This type of circular rotating water jet blasts through tough dirt, removing rust from concrete and stripping paint off surfaces in minutes!

Adjustable/Variable Nozzle

Are you tired of changing nozzle tips frequently to get the job done? The 6-in-1 pressure washer spray nozzles are a godsend for anyone who needs different settings. Quick change over with six patterns include 0 °, 15 °, 25 °, 40°, and even soap and rinse.

It will save you CONSIDERABLE time for doing cleaning work with this amazing product. If you normally change standard nozzles often because of pesky design changes or just plain laziness, this is pretty much your go-to tool.

Lightweight and efficient by using a much smaller body and higher integrated design when compared with similar models from other manufacturers. Standard 1/4″ plug fits most popular brands.

Why Do Tips Affect Water Pressure?

Water pressure is a measure of how much water exits the nozzle. Pressure washer tips are designed to control the V-shape angle of the spraying wand and this determines how water will be released.

Different nozzle angles can help you adjust for different needs such as washing an area gently or cleaning away grease with a powerful jet stream from multiple nozzles — all at any degree desired.

If you’re not sure how to pressure clean a surface, the following points will help: 

Be careful about damaging surfaces by starting 4 feet from them and moving closer as necessary. Also start with lower PSI and increase it if needed. In general, 1200 to 1900 psi is seen as the best range for washing your car with a pressure washer.

If this doesn’t work, change the nozzles to more intense for stubborn areas, and remember that distance is an easy way to adjust the effectiveness of your pressure cleaning.


What pressure washer nozzle is safe for car? Make sure to pick the green and white pressure washer nozzle before you start washing your car. Don’t make the mistake of damaging your vehicle just because you wanted a clean car.

Although using the right nozzle is essential, a word of caution can’t hurt when you’re dealing with cars. The PSI still matters where paint is concerned, and distance is important. Plus, you should always test a nozzle before use to make sure it doesn’t damage the paint.

So as long as you keep these guidelines in mind, you should be able to have fun cleaning your car, or any other surface for that matter. We hope we’ve helped to make your car washing experience safer, easier, and as enjoyable as possible. As always, ask us your questions and share your experiences with us!

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