When you use your car every day, it is bound to get a little dirty. Sometimes, a lot of dirty. While we usually don’t get the chance to wash our cars daily, a thorough wash once a week is highly recommended. So So you need to know what is the safe psi for car wash.
Washing and thoroughly cleaning your car is not as easy as cleaning anything else. It is quite large to clean and requires a number of special cleaning agents. Just a bucket of water is not enough to properly clean your car, you will need special shampoo, soap, and polish to take care of your car. It usually takes a whole morning or a few hours at least to clean your car until it gleams.
Why Need A Pressure Washer?
If you don’t want to spend so much time on cleaning your water, you can invest in a commercial-grade pressure washer. With the right pressure washer, it usually takes a person 10 minutes to clean the outsideof a whole car with almost no trouble. Pressure washers are also known as “power washers”. You can also use them regularly to clean your car as the whole process only takes a few minutes, as opposed to hours scrubbing your car.
You can clean almost anything with a pressure washer: from bird droppings on your car to all the dust that has fallen on it, as well as leaves in the spring and growing molds due to negligence. A pressure washer can also be used on the wheels as well as your car’s body.
What is PSI?
Pressure washers are actually extremely powerful hoses that spray out pressurized water jets. This pressure can be almost 100 to 200 times the pressure of air, i.e. more than 1500 to 3000 pounds per square inch. This measurement is known as PSI. Whether a pressure washer is safe for your car has to be determined by its PSI factor.
Anything less than 2000 PSI should be fine for pressure washing your car to get it clean.
Most cheap small electric pressure washers likely won’t come close to this amount of pressure but should be more than adequate for washing a car.
Gas powered pressure washers are more likely to be able to achieve more than 2000 PSI of pressure and you should take care to ensure that you are not using one that would be above this.
You also don’t want to get the tip of the pressure washer too close to the car. This concentrates the force and you also run the risk of accidentally scratching the finish with the tip of the sprayer.
A good way to ensure that your spray tip is far enough away from the vehicle and the pressure isn’t too high is to find a distance from the sprayer that you can place your hand without it becoming too uncomfortable to hold there. If your hand can take the force then your car or truck should be able to handle it as well. If you’re in the market for a quality pressure washer but don’t know what is best, we highly recommend the Karcher K1700 Electric Pressure Washer for its build quality, water cooled design, long hose, and long power cord.
Entry-Level Pressure Washer
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Durable Pressure Washer
Sun Joe SPX9007-PRO
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Pressure Washer Extension Cord
Yellow Jacket 15-Amp Cord
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Gas or electric pressure washer for car detailing?
Most gas pressure washers produce far too much pressure to be used for cleaning a car or truck. You’re much better off with an electric pressure washer. One good point to be aware of however with electric power washers is that some can not be used with an extension cord. Be sure that you are either purchasing a power washer with enough cord length or purchase one that is compatible with an extension cord.
Whether you go with a gas or an electric pressure washer, you want to use one that will produce between 1200 PSI and 1900 PSI or 1.4 GPM to 1.6 GPM. This will be ideal for removing stubborn road grime without harming the finish. If you intend to use the touchless method to wash your car you’ll definitely want to purchase one that is in this power range. If you plan to wash your car or truck less frequently and will be using the 2 bucket method then a lower power pressure washer will be fine for most people and allow you to save a few dollars. The touchless method isn’t terribly effective on very dirty vehicles and should be done every few weeks if this is your plan.
In addition to ensuring you have the correct pressure, you also should make sure that you’re using the correct nozzle. The best nozzle for car washing is the 40 degree nozzle. The 40 degree nozzle is typically white. The green 25 degree nozzle is good for wheels and a serious rinse of your car prior to washing but be sure to keep a good distance between the nozzle and your car.
Best electric pressure washer for car detailing?
When shopping for a good pressure washer for detailing your car or truck you want to make sure you get one capable of doing the job well. It should be capable of producing at least 1200 PSI and should come with a long power cord or can work with an extension cord. Not all can work with extension cords. You also want one that is going to last a reasonable amount of time before loosing pressure, leaking, and otherwise being a complete waste of money. You also need to understand what you’re compromising when you opt to go for a cheaper pressure washer compared to spending more money for one with the same output.
Cheap power washers usually can’t be used for long before they begin to get too hot and the cheap parts begin to break down. It’s not uncommon for you to only be able to use a cheaper model for 10 minutes before you should turn it off and allow it to cool down. This is a fact that you’ll rarely discover unless you’re reading the fine print. You also shouldn’t allow it to run for long without using the sprayer. The build up of the pressure within the motor when not flowing water will cause additional stress to the motor and build up heat faster. If you can keep these facts in mind and you don’t expect to put it to use too often then a cheap model may be a perfect fit for you.
If you’d rather spend a few dollars more to get a pressure washer you don’t have to worry as much about you’ll need to get one that is water cooled. You’ll pay a lot more for one of these but it should hold up to heavier use without any trouble. The pump motor in the water cooled model will also be made of more durable components which are typical made of metal. Cheaper models that aren’t water cooled typically have motors made almost entirely out of plastic. You can find cheap power washers for less than 100 dollars. Water cooled models that are ideal for car detailing will typically be less than 200 dollars.
Keeping all of this information in mind we can recommend one cheaper model and one more expensive model. Karcher is a great name brand in the pressure washer category and they have some reasonably affordable products in both the water cooled and non water cooled categories.
Consumer-Grade Pressure Washer:
Karcher K1700 Electric Pressure Washer
A good cheap pressure washer is the Karcher Karcher K1700 Electric Pressure Washer, capable of 1700 PSI and 1.2 GPM.
It is more than capable of doing a good job but you will want to take care when using it as it shouldn’t be used for extended periods of time and shouldn’t be left on without spraying for long.
It does come with quite a long power cord and a long hose which should allow you to get all the way around any vehicle you’re detailing.
Professional-Grade Pressure Washer:
Sun Joe SPX9007-PRO Commercial Series
The Sun Joe SPX9007-Pro is quite a bit more expensive than the Karcher K1700 for a modest improvement in performance by the numbers but what you’ll get is a product that will perform well and not break down on you. Its metal construction is far superior to the Karcher consumer-grade pressure washer.
At 1800 PSI and 1.6 gallons per minute it’s ideal for pressure washing a car. It isn’t too powerful but has more than enough umph to get the job done well.
Even though this pressure washer is considered professional-grade, I personally think it’s the ideal pressure washer for the DIY detailer. It’ll last and doesn’t break the bank when compared to most other high-end metal-constructed pressure washers.