Generac Residential 3100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer Engine
Credit: Courtesy of Lowes

The 8 Best Pressure Washers For Every Outdoor Cleaning Job

For more power, we like the Generac Residential 3100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer Engine (CARB), but the Greenworks Pro 3000 PSI 2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer is a great electric alternative.
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If your deck, patio, grill, car, or outdoor furniture could benefit from a spring cleaning, a pressure washers could be a good investment for you. The outdoor appliance runs by an electric motor or gas engine and pressurizes the water from your garden hose (or whatever water source you hook it up to) through a spray wand to wash away stains, mildew, or dirt without lots of scrubbing on your part.

"When shopping for the best power washer for your cleaning needs, keep in mind that power determines what kind of jobs it can handle," says Gary McCoy, Lowe's Store Manager serving the Charlotte, NC market. This particular power is measured by the PSI and GPM. "A pressure washer rated with a higher PSI and GPM cleans better and faster but also costs more than the lower-rated units," he says. Some tough jobs might require the high pressure of a gas unit, but using too powerful of a machine can damage delicate materials, like car paint, so more powerful isn't always better.

We looked at power, special features, hose length, and versatility to help us determine the best pressure washers for a variety of jobs. Overall, we think the Generac Residential 3,100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer Engine (CARB) is best for those looking for a gas model, and the Greenworks Pro 3000 PSI 2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer is a great pick if you'd prefer to go electric.

Below, the best pressure washers for every type of job.

What We Recommend

Generac Residential 3100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of Lowes

Best Gas: Generac Residential 3,100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer Engine (CARB)

View At Lowe’s ($459)

Also available at Home Depot and Amazon

Why You Should Get It: If you need the most heavy-duty cleaner you can find, this pick will make quick work of tough jobs like paint stripping, as well as lighter-pressure ones like car washing.

Keep It In Mind: Despite the high price tag, this is a cold water-only model.

The Generac Residential 3100 PSI Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer has four different application settings—car, wood, concrete, and soap—to make outdoor cleaning as thorough and efficient as possible. Specifically, it is intended for those looking for a high PSI to clean larger outdoor spaces or difficult to remove stains. "Gas models give you the mobility and power you need to tackle large jobs, such as driveways, home exteriors, and heavy-duty work like removing paint," says McCoy. 

The hose has 25 feet of extended length, so it can reach almost anything in medium to large outdoor spaces. It's also built with a compact design to simplify maintenance, like changing gas or cleaning out the machine. With a PSI of 3,100, it can blast away almost anything, which is why it's considered commercial in terms of strength. "A PSI of 3,100 or more is ideal for commercial-grade cleaning, graffiti removal, and paint-stripping," says McCoy. Therefore, it would be great to use on peeling paint, oil or tar stains, and other more intense cleaning tasks.

Since it is a cold water pressure washer, it'll be less expensive than the hot water models and is most common for DIY at-home usage. It also features helpful additions like an ergonomic spray gun and an onboard 0.5 gallon detergent tank, which make the cleaning process a bit easier. 

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 25 feet
  • Pressure rating: 3,100 PSI
  • Flow rate: 2.4 GPM
  • Machine weight: 57 pounds
Greenworks Pro 3000 PSI 2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer
Credit: lowes.com

Best Electric: Greenworks Pro 3,000 PSI 2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer

View at Lowe’s ($399)

Why You Should Get It: When it comes to electric models, this pick is about as powerful as you'll find.

Keep It In Mind: You'll need to connect to a power source, which might be inconvenient for large jobs, like power washing a driveway.

Greenworks Pro Electric Pressure Washer is your best bet if you're looking for a powerful electric pressure washer. "With a hassle-free push-button start, it powers up easily and gets to work fast," says McCoy. "It features a gas-style continuous run brushless motor and pump that allow it to run consistently while in the 'on' position." In addition, thanks to its digitally controlled motor, it'll automatically adjust the pressure and temperature to provide a consistent, cool water flow based on the specific nozzle tip that's in use. 

It also includes a durable metal spray gun with an anodized coating that is resistant to corrosion, so you won't have to worry about constantly replacing it. Plus, it has a 35-foot long power cord and waterproof power plug so you can use far away from your house. This particular pressure washer has a max PSI of 3,000, which means it's heavy-duty and meant to clean and remove tough stains from driveways, walkways, patios, or any other larger spaces. However, it's not commercial grade, so it is forceful, but not among the strongest on the market. 

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 25 feet
  • Pressure rating: 3,000 PSI
  • Flow rate: 2.0 GPM
  • Machine weight: 47 pounds 
WORX 40V Power Share Hydroshot 2X20V Portable Power Cleaner
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Cordless: Worx 40V Power Share Hydroshot 2X20V Portable Power Cleaner

View at Amazon ($182)

Why You Should Get It: For around the house jobs that require just a little more power than a garden hose, this cordless option provides a little extra muscle.

Keep It In Mind: The pressure rating on this model is very low, so it won't deep clean concrete or your home's exterior.

WORX's cordless pressure washer has a PSI of 450, so it's good for light cleaning jobs that need just a little bit more power than a garden hose can provide. Its PSI is considered light-duty and can be used to wash window screens, vehicles, boats, grills, outdoor furniture, and other items of the sort. This model in particular is cordless, meaning there's no need to worry about cords getting tangled while you're removing dirt from hard-to-reach areas. 

Other helpful features include its small, compact size and light weight for effortlessly carrying it around when you use it. In addition, its nozzle arrives with four settings, from zero to 40 degrees, to provide different options for each item you plan to clean, and its fuel gauge will alert you on how much battery power you have left so you can easily recharge or swap out the batteries when needed. And, since it runs on two 20V batteries, it has a two-slot charger for faster charging. 

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 20 feet
  • Pressure rating: 450 PSI
  • Flow rate: 0.9 GPM
  • Machine weight: 11 pounds

Related: The 8 Best Electric Pressure Washers to Make Your Home Look Brand New

CRAFTSMAN 1900 PSI 1.2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of Lowes

Best Budget: Craftsman 1, 900 PSI 1.2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer

View at Lowe’s ($149)

Also available at Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This model is perfect if you're using a power washer to clean deck furniture, patios, or other medium-duty jobs.

Keep It In Mind: If you want a machine that can tackle any task, this one won't have enough power for you.

The Craftsman pressure washer is a fraction of the price of most pressure washer models, yet still has a whole slew of features that make it worth your while. "It's durable, mobile, and powerful enough for your outdoor cleaning tasks," explains McCoy. "With three nozzles, including a turbo, you have all the accessories you need to wash your car or clean your back patio." Furthermore, its integrated soap tank allows you the option to clean with soap, great for washing your car or plastic lawn furniture. 

This pressure washer also arrives with a comfort grip on the wand and onboard storage for the wand, hose, and nozzle, so when it's time to bring it out for the season, everything's in one place. This Craftman's handle is designed to keep the wand locked into place during transport, which will help avoid any potential accidents. Also nice: it's built with 8-inch wheels for easy maneuvering around objects outside. 

With a 35-foot power cord,  this model has the same reach as more expensive pressure washers. Its PSI of 1,900 is considered medium-duty; it's best to use it to remove dirt, mold, and other substances from decks, exterior siding, fencing, and patios. 

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 25 feet
  • Pressure rating: 1,900 PSI
  • Flow rate: 1.2 GPM
  • Machine weight: 25.6 pounds
Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP Electric Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Cars: Sun Joe SPX3001 2,030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel

View at Amazon ($184)

Why You Should Get It: The built-in reel makes it faster to tidy up when your car washing session is over.

Keep It In Mind: You'll need to hold down the trigger to keep water moving, which can lead to fatigue on your hands during longer cleaning sessions.

Sun Joe's SPX3001 pressure washer has a strong motor, so it's ideal for making your car, patio, or siding sparkly clean. This particular model is fantastic for removing tar, tree sap, insect splats, and other stubborn stains from any vehicle with just the switch of a button. With an 1,800 Watt motor, it can reach a PSI of 2,030, which is plenty for casual DIYers who are just looking to use a pressure washer for cleaning jobs. 

The machine itself has an onboard reel to maximize your garage space and keep the hose organized, which means it's not bulky. In addition, its extra-large detergent tank is ideal for getting your car to shine. The pump automatically shuts off when the trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life. Plus, you can customize the adjustable spray to perfectly suit your cleaning task with the right pressure. Other helpful features include a 20-foot high-pressure hose, 35-foot power cord, garden hose adapter, and a warranty.

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 20 feet
  • Pressure rating: 2,030 PSI
  • Flow rate: 1.76 GPM
  • Machine weight: 36 pounds

Related: The 7 Best Pool Cleaners for Crystal Clear Waters All Summer Long

RYOBI 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Best Small: Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

View at The Home Depot ($99)

Why You Should Get It: This compact model is the perfect size for storing on a shelf in your garage or basement.

Keep It In Mind: The small size means giving up features like wheels and an on-board soap tank. 

Whether you're dealing with limited storage space or just don't want to dedicate a ton of space to an outdoor tool you'll only use occasionally, this compact model is the perfect pick for households looking for a light-duty model. Although its max PSI is only about 1,600, that's enough power for spring cleaning tasks like sprucing up outdoor furniture or washing the outside of your windows. It comes with a soap nozzle, a 15 degree nozzle, and RYOBI's special "turbo" nozzle, which should only be used on heavy-duty materials like brick or concrete. 

Though this unit's small size does come with a fair amount of power, that doesn't leave a lot of room for features. Most of the other picks on this list have wheels to make transporting the washer around your yard easier, but this just has a handle for carrying. At just about 17 pounds, that's not impossible, but it's certainly less convenient than rolling it into place. 

This model also doesn't come with a separate soap tank—you'll need to use the soap injection hose to connect your soap container to the pressure washer. Without the on-board tank, set up and clean up may take a bit longer, but it shouldn't affect the performance of the pressure washer during use.

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 20 feet
  • Pressure rating: 1,600 PSI
  • Flow rate: 1.2 GPM
  • Machine weight: 16.39 pounds
Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WPX3400 Gas Powered Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Heavy-Duty: Westinghouse Gas Pressure Washers 3400 PSI 2.6-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer (CARB)

View at Amazon ($341)

Also available at Lowe's and Home Depot 

Why You Should Get It: You're often tackling jobs like paint stripping, oil removal, and cleaning farm equipment. 

Keep It In Mind: 3,400 PSI is more than the average person will need, so unless you think you'll use it at maximum pressure often, it's not worth the investment.

If you're worried about the pressure washer not cleaning all those tricky stains, your best bet is to snag a heavy-duty one like this option from Westinghouse. "With a 3,400 PSI and 2.6 GPM, it's designed to tackle your heavy-duty cleaning jobs with ease," explains McCoy. "It has the versatility to handle a variety of situations and surfaces including brick, stone, concrete, wood, aluminum, and iron." Since its PSI is 3,400, it's considered commercial level and is ideal for cleaning just about any stain off of all different types of surfaces, including mold, mildew, oil, tar, and more. 

You'll get all fo the common bells and whistles, including rubber wheels, five nozzles ranging from 0 degrees up to 40 degrees (and a soap nozzle), and an on-board soap tank. The soap tank is on the smaller side at just 0.5 gallons, but it's in a convenient place if you need to refill it. The pressure washer is also considered CARB-compliant, which means it produces fewer harmful chemical emissions, toxins, and particles than some other machines.

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 25 feet
  • Pressure rating: 3,400 PSI
  • Flow rate: 2.6 GPM
  • Machine weight: 64 pounds

Related: The 8 Best Lawn Mowers to Keep Your Yard Neat and Trim

Easy Kleen Commercial 4000 PSI 3.5-Gallon-GPM Hot Water Gas Pressure Washer
Credit: Courtesy of Lowes

Best Hot Water: Easy Kleen Commercial 4000 PSI 3.5-Gallon-GPM Hot Water Gas Pressure Washer

View at Lowe’s ($3,585)

Why You Should Get It: The most powerful pick on this list, this hot water pressure washer is for grimy messes. 

Keep It In Mind: With a maximum PSI of 4,000, this particular model is likely too powerful for beginners and occasional users to handle.

Hot pressure washers—like this option from Easy Kleen–are best used for industrial or farm use. Typically, they cost more and tend to be more difficult to operate, so this is not a good pick for first-time pressure washer shoppers. However, they make faster work of big messes than cold-water pressure washers and can clean your toughest dirt, germs, and grime. With a PSI of 4,000, it's best for commercial-grade cleaning, removing paint, and deep cleaning concrete driveways. 

This pick features five different nozzles, an adjustable thermostat, and an electric start to speed up the set up process. Thankfully, given that the machine is over 400 pounds, it comes with an extremely long, 50-foot hose, so you can move around while you clean without pausing to reposition the pressure washer. 

Product Details: 

  • Hose length: 50 feet
  • Pressure rating: 4,000 PSI
  • Flow rate: 3.5 GPM
  • Machine weight: 430 pounds

The Bottom Line

All things considered, there is no one choice that fits all when it comes to selecting the best pressure washer for you. Overall, the Generac Residential 3,100 PSI 2.4-Gallon Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer Engine is the best gas option, if you want a high-pressure nozzle with a relatively affordable price tag. On the other hand, those wanting an electric model should go for the Greenworks Pro 3,000 PSI 2-Gallon-GPM Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer, since it's a high-powered residential power washer with a great battery life. 

What To Know About Pressure Washers Before Shopping

PSI 

When shopping for pressure washers, the most important feature to keep in mind is the PSI. In general, the stronger the PSI, the more power the machine has. For instance, those looking to clean vehicles, boats, and outdoor furniture can go for a light-duty PSI of 1,000 to 1,899 whereas those looking for something that can strip paint or remove graffiti will want a commercial level PSI of 3,100 or more. 

Motor type 

Another factor to consider is the motor type. Electric and gas-powered pressure washers can typically handle the bulk of outdoor cleaning products that one would need them for. However, according to McCoy, it's worth considering factors such as power, noise level, mobility, and maintenance when deciding what machine is best for you. "Electric pressure washers feature push-button start buttons, run more quietly and cleanly than gas models, and tend to require less maintenance," he says. "Gas models give you the mobility and power you need to tackle large jobs, such as driveways, sidewalks, home exteriors, and heavy-duty work like removing paint yet may be louder and require more maintenance." 

Special features 

You can also look for additional features to make using the machine easier to use, like interchangeable nozzle tips, adjustable wands, and a triplex pump. Some models might even have built-in storage compartments that allow you to put it away simply so you can use it seamlessly. 

Your Questions, Answered

Can you pressure wash your car? 

According to McCoy, a light-duty pressure washer can absolutely work to pressure wash your car. However, there are a few precautions you should take ahead of using it. "Check your vehicle's owner manual for specific cleaning instructions, as well as your pressure washer manual for operating instructions and details about spray settings and how far the pressure washer's spray tip should be from the vehicle," he says. You should also always test a spray pattern on a hidden area before cleaning to avoid potential damage and make sure it's safe for usage.  

How do you winterize a pressure washer? 

Allowing water or gas to freeze may cause expansion and blockage in your pressure washer, so it's imperative to winterize it. This only needs to be done on gas pressure washers, since electric pressure washers do not need to be winterized. McCoy recommends draining all the water from the machine (including supply lines and hoses) and then using a funnel to pour plumbing antifreeze through a hose connected to the pump until the solution comes out, ensuring all water has been removed. "This will guarantee that any remaining water is mixed with antifreeze and unable to freeze, protecting your pump." He advises following that by removing any fuel from the tank and then mixing a fuel stabilizer solution with any drained fuel. "Add to the fuel tank before turning your pressure washer on to send the mixture through the carburetor."

What PSI do I need for different pressure washing projects? 

Different power washing projects require different PSIs. According to McCoy, a light-duty would be considered 1 to 1,899 PSI and is ideal for washing vehicles, boats, grills, and outdoor furniture

On the other hand, medium-duty (which is PSI 1,900 to 2,788) is great for removing dirt and mold from exterior siding, fencing, decks, and patios, whereas heavy-duty (which has a PSI of 2,800 or more) is best for cleaning and removing tough stains from driveways, walkways, and second-story exteriors. The largest and most powerful PSI, which would be 3,100 or more, is considered commercial and is ideal for graffiti removal, paint stripping, and other commercial-grade cleaning projects. 

Who We Are

This article was written by Rachel Dube, who has written for a wide variety of publications across all topics related to beauty and lifestyle. To come up with this list, she consulted Gary McCoy, a Lowe's Store Manager, and thoroughly researched the best pressure washers while considering factors like PSI, motor type, and utilization purpose.