Sometimes a quick spray from the hose isn’t enough to get things clean. When you need a real cleaning, the best pressure washer can get it done quickly and effectively – but which pressure washers are worth buying (or renting)? Let’s find out.
[amazon box=”B00NPXQSNM,B004MXKUCY,B01CA4PRBA,B01FSJ8GZ8,B00CPGMUXW” template=”table”]
How We Chose Our Ratings
Honesty is a fundamental part of our recommendation process – after all, if you don’t trust us, why would you listen to our suggestions? As part of this, we’d like to explain how we selected the products on this list.
First, we examined the ratings and reviews for a variety of pressure washers, removing any that had a low score from consideration. No matter how much you test a unit, there are some things you can only learn by hearing about the experiences of others.
Next, we considered the types of pressure washers available. These products are often designed to fit a particular niche, such as heavy-duty use or being light enough to carry on your back. After some internal debate, we decided that we wanted our recommendations to reflect this diversity and better support your needs, so our reviews fall into several categories based on the type of pressure washer.
After that, we looked at the features of each unit. It’s possible to go too far, but in general, we preferred washers that offered more ways to control the pressure washer (how much soap it uses, how hard the spray is, and so on). Units that only had one or two basic settings didn’t earn as many points as those with a full set of features.
Finally, we considered the price of each unit. Pressure washers range from the low $100s to about $20,000, but for home use, you don’t need anything industrial-grade. There are some pressure washers in the sub-$100 range if you’re on a tight budget, but none of those are good enough for us to recommend.
The prices listed below were taken from Amazon at the time of this review and may vary by retailer.
The Best Pressure Washers For Your Home
Here are the pressure washers that made our list after our exhaustive review process.
[amazon link=”B00NPXQSNM” title=”Best Overall: AR Blue Clean AR383S” /]
This is easily one of the best choices for most buyers, offering fast, high quality washes at an entirely reasonable price. As the single best pressure washer on this list, it comes with a 30-foot hose capable of handling the high pressures it needs, a 35-foot power cord, an integrated 48 oz. detergent tank, four different nozzles for different needs, a garden hose adaptor, and a one-year warranty.
We talked about this product in our office for a while, but eventually, we decided that running off electricity was better than running off of gas. That helps to shrink the size of the pressure washer (making it easier to store and move around) while ensuring that you’re not going to run out of fuel in the middle of a big cleaning job.
The large detergent tank – holding about six cups – is another big plus on this model. We were also quite happy that it includes a low-pressure nozzle head, because the truth is, you don’t want to wash the side of your house with a full-power blast. That’s more likely to blast the paint off, so this nozzle is vital for the best results.
The one drawback is that, like all electric power washers, you need a cord long enough to reach everywhere you’re going. That’s easy to solve if you have some extension cords, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you have a large area to clean. It’s also a little less powerful than most gas pressure washers – 1900 PSI isn’t bad, but there are more powerful options on the market.
Otherwise, there’s nothing exceptionally unique about this pressure washer – it’s just affordable, high-quality, reasonably light, and generally an excellent choice for most needs.
[amazon link=”B004MXKUCY” title=”Best Gas Pressure Washer: Simpson Cleaning MSH3125″ /]
Simpson Cleaning’s MSH3125-S is a great pressure washer, and the price is what stopped it from being #1 on our list. At 3200 PSI, it has the power to blast through the toughest bits of dirt and debris. The heart of this unit is a Honda GC190 engine designed specifically for home use. All gas engines are heavy, but the GC190 is one of the lightest engines in its category and helps keep this washer at a manageable weight.
A 25-foot high-pressure hose supports the cleaning process. Honestly, we wish this hose was a little longer – it’s five feet shorter than the AR383SS, and those five feet make a big difference on most properties. On the bright side, what it lacks in range it makes up for in versatility. Five nozzles offer four different spreads of water, with the last focuses on applying soap. This is a good spread of options.
The professional-grade spray gun also comes with a safety lock-out to limit the chances of things going wrong – an important feature that’s not on as many washers as it should be. At 59 pounds, we don’t recommend trying to lift this product unless you have to, but the excellent balance on its wheels make it easy to roll on flat surfaces. (Try to avoid hills.)
While we don’t like this product quite as much as the AR383SS, it’s a better choice if you need more power and have the budget to absorb the extra cost.
[amazon link=”B01CA4PRBA” title=”Best Portable Unit: Greenworks GPW1600″ /]
The most portable unit on this list is also one of the most affordable, making it the ideal choice if you’re on a tight budget. Greenworks’ GPW1602 shoots water at 1600 PSI (half of the Simpson Cleaning model above), which is enough for most ordinary jobs. It won’t power through particularly tough grime all on its own, but it does come with a soap applicator that significantly improves its effectiveness.
Despite the high pressure, this unit only sprays about 1.2 gallons of water per minute of washing, meaning your water bill won’t increase by much even if you spend a lot of time using this machine. Unfortunately, the hose is just 20 feet long, which limits its application for larger properties. You may need to buy a longer hose if you want to get the most out of this lightweight washer.
While this unit is available alone, it has two optional accessories – a high-pressure soap applicator and an indoor/outdoor extension cord. If you buy this pressure washer, we strongly recommend getting the extension cord with it. An extra 50 feet of range (on top of the existing 35-foot cord) gives it the reach needed for almost any home.
Several similar models are available – including the smaller GPW1501 and the larger, less-portable GPW1702, but we think the GPW1602 offers the best balance between price, portability, and power.
[amazon link=”B01FSJ8GZ8″ title=”Most Flexible: Generac 7019 OneWash” /]
Most of the best pressure washer options on this list use nozzles to adjust the range and strength of the water coming out. Generac’s 7019 has four nozzles (three for range and one for soap), but it also comes with a dial that lets you adjust the pressure of the water. This makes it easier to use on a variety of different surfaces, ranging from lower-pressure soap to blasting dirt off of concrete.
Honestly, we’re surprised that more pressure washers don’t use this kind of function. For consumer products, we usually think that more is better, but there’s such a thing as too much power when you’re blasting high-pressure water at different surfaces. By going between 2000 PSI and 3100 PSI, this pressure washer aims to always be the right tool for the job.
Supporting this is a 1/2 gallon onboard detergent tank, as well as a 25-foot hose to give it decent (though not great) range. One thing to be aware of is that the gas engine is fairly loud – you may need to wear ear protection while washing items.
[amazon link=”B00CPGMUXW” title=”Most Popular: Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe” /]
The Sun Joe SPX3000 is one of the most popular pressure washers on the market – and with good reason. This unit offers five quick-connect spray tips to support a variety of cleaning tasks, while the onboard motor can pump up to 2030 PSI at 1.76 gallons per minute. That’s a little higher than some of our other choices, but it’s still quite reasonable for a high-quality pressure washer.
Several other features help this product stand apart. The most notable part is the Total Stop System that turns the pump off when you’re not pulling the trigger. This reduces internal wear, saves energy, and significantly prolongs the type of the pump. It also has two different detergent tanks – you can fill them with the same detergent for long projects or with different cleaners to instantly switch between two projects.
The Sun Joe comes with a 35-foot power cord and a 20-foot high-pressure hose. Honestly, we’d probably get a longer hose before using this device, which will increase the final cost of the unit. Even with that added cost, the price is reasonable, but it’s something to be aware of when you’re ordering it.
Together, these five pressure washers represent the best home units currently on the market. If you still aren’t sure which of these models is most appropriate for your needs, here’s a quick rundown.
- AR Blue Clean AR383SS: This is the best unit overall. It offers an outstanding blend of construction quality, affordability, and pure power. It’s not as specialized as most of the other options on this list, but it will get most ordinary jobs done with no trouble at all. If none of the others seem like a better match for your needs, pick this.
- Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S: This is the best gas-based pressure washer. It’s significantly heavier than our top choice (and may, therefore, be harder to use, especially on hills), but it has power to spare and one of the best engines on the market. That makes it a durable, long-lasting choice when you maintain it properly. (Electric units don’t need as much maintenance.)
- Greenworks GPW1602: Greenworks’ model is the most portable option on this list. It’s more than 10 pounds lighter than the AR Blue Clean washer and more than 40 pounds lighter than the Simpson Cleaning model. This makes it a good choice if you need to climb up a ladder, use it on a hill, or have trouble with heavier devices. It’s also the most affordable option.
- Generac 7019 OneWash: This is the most flexible unit on the list. Between the multitude of nozzles and the knob for changing pressure, this unit is the best choice if you need to wash many different surfaces. It’s also more affordable than the Simpson Cleaning model, so there’s a lot to love here.
- Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe: The Sun Joe is one of the most popular units on the market – and it earned its spot. Between its power, detergent flexibility, and Total Stop System, it has enough distinct features to make it worthy of serious consideration. We don’t think it’s as good as the similarly-priced AR Blue Clean, but it’s a viable alternative.
The last thing to consider is storage. In general, gas pressure washers are larger than electric units – especially if you want the largest and most powerful cleaners. If you have a lot of storage space, it’s okay to get whichever machine you want. If storage is limited, get an electric washer instead.
Oh, and if you’ve never used a pressure washer before, check out this guide from Family Handyman. Pressure washers can be dangerous if misused and safety is always the most important thing. You should also review the various risks before you use a pressure washer for the first time. As long as you use the machine correctly, there should be no danger.