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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best electric pressure washers

    Last Updated October 2018

    When you come across tough outdoors stains like oil, caked-on mud, and mold, you have two choices: you can get down on your hands and knees and scrub for hours, or you can blast the mess away with an electric pressure washer.

    Pressure washers aren’t the right tool for every job or for every person. Used incorrectly, they can cause serious injury, so you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you don’t feel confident that you can handle it safely, you may be better off sticking with good, old-fashioned elbow grease.

    But if you’re ready to speed up the cleaning process, BestReviews can help you choose the right electric pressure washer for you. You can check out our top picks or keep reading to learn more about what makes a good electric pressure washer stand out.

    Some pressure washers come with brushes, extension wands, and other accessories. Make sure you choose one that has the right attachments for the jobs you plan to do.

    Why use an electric pressure washer?

    Pressure washers come in two types: gas and electric.

    Gas pressure washers are known for their high pressure and unlimited mobility, but they’re also noisier and require more maintenance. They can overheat if left idling for too long, and you have to winterize them every year since you cannot store them inside.

    Electric pressure washers don’t require special storage for winter, and there’s less maintenance required. They’re more compact and quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. The downside is that you’re limited in how far you can take them, but most units give you about 60 feet of range when you factor in the lengths of the cord and hose. The water pressure is a little lower than that of gas-powered models, but it should still be strong enough to tackle most household cleaning tasks.

    Unparalleled performance and durability

    The Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer comes with two spray guns for tackling light-duty and heavy-duty tasks. At 2,000 PSI, it’s one of the most powerful electric pressure washers on the market, and customers rave that it holds up exceedingly well over time.

    Power and efficiency

    There are two figures you want to pay attention to when comparing the speed and effectiveness of electric pressure washers: pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM).

    • PSI reflects the pressure of the water as it comes out of the nozzle. A pressure washer with a higher PSI will be able to tackle tougher stains than a machine with a lower PSI.

    • GPM tells you how much water is flowing through the pressure washer each minute. The higher the number, the faster the pressure washer will clean.
       

    Electric pressure washers are usually designed for light-duty tasks like cleaning patio furniture or washing the car. They can range anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 PSI, providing 1.5 to 2 GPM. This should be plenty of power for the occasional job, but if you use your pressure washer frequently or are tackling a tough stain, you may want to consider upgrading to a more powerful gas pressure washer.

    Some units come with variable pressure settings that enable you to select a lower pressure when you’re working on delicate surfaces, but you can achieve a similar effect by choosing a different spray nozzle.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Electric pressure washers may not work if you have well water due to the low water pressure these homes usually have.

    Nozzle types

    Electric pressure washers may have either adjustable or replaceable nozzles. The different settings enable you to change the spray angle to suit your task. The lower the angle, the more concentrated the stream of water and the more effective it will be at cleaning.

    Adjustable nozzles are easier to use. All you have to do is twist it until you reach the appropriate setting. Replaceable nozzles must be taken on and off, and there is always the chance that they could be lost if you’re not keeping track of them, but they may give you more options than a standard adjustable nozzle.

    There is no significant difference in performance between the two nozzle types.

    Hose

    Consider the length of the hose, and make sure it is long enough for the projects you need it for. You also need to think about the material and quality of the hose. It should be rugged and durable, but you also want something that is flexible and doesn’t retain too much coil memory. Too much coil memory can make it difficult to extend the hose to its full length, and it may get snagged on things more easily.

    A good pressure washer hose will also be easy to roll and unroll. Most units have a space to wrap the cord when the machine isn’t in use, and some even have a handle that enables you to quickly reel in the cord so you don’t have to wrap it up manually.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Most electric pressure washers have power cords of about 35 feet in length. It’s not advised to plug your electric pressure washer into an extension cord. In fact, some manufacturers specifically advise owners not to do this.

    Soap dispensing

    Some electric pressure washers have a built-in soap tank. You fill it with soap before you begin, and the pressure washer automatically mixes it with water when it comes out of the nozzle. Other models just have a siphon tube that you stick into a soap container. The soap is sucked up and mixed with water before coming out the nozzle.

    Each system has advantages and disadvantages. A built-in soap dispenser is easier if you’re going to be moving around a lot, whereas you may have to keep moving your soap container if you’re using a siphon hose. On the other hand, built-in soap dispensers must be cleaned after each use – otherwise, damage could occur to the pressure washer pump when it dries. But if you’re using a siphon tube, all you have to do is pull it out and rinse it off when you’re done.

    Mobility

    Most pressure washers come with wheels so you can cart them around, but the type of tire can impact your ease of mobility. Tires can be pneumatic (like your standard car or bike tire), molded rubber, or plastic. Plastic wheels may chip, and they tend to stick more easily. Pneumatic tires are usually the most rugged option, though they may need to be reinflated occasionally.

    You also have to consider the size and weight of the unit and the type of terrain you’re going to be covering. You don’t want to have to haul a bulky, heavy unit up and down hills or over rocky terrain.

    EXPERT TIP

    Clean the water out of the pump and hose thoroughly before storing your pressure washer for winter. Otherwise, water could freeze inside and break the machine.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Electric pressure washer prices

    You’ll pay anywhere from $100 to $250 for an electric pressure washer. The differences in price largely reflect differences in performance and durability.

    If you’re looking for a compact unit to handle light-duty tasks, we recommend spending at least $135 to $150. You can feel pretty confident that pressure washers in this price range will be easy to use and hold up well over time.

    You may want to think about spending $150 or more if you want something with added power or advanced features, such as a detachable soap tank or several nozzle choices.

    High power for a low cost

    This versatile electric pressure washer comes with five snap-on nozzles and a powerful motor that can generate up to 2,030 PSI. It has two onboard soap tanks and comes with a two-year warranty, though customer reviews indicate that you likely won’t need to use it.

    Tips

    • Read the manufacturer’s instructions before use, and follow them precisely. Improper use could result in damage to the item you’re cleaning, or worse yet, a serious physical injury.

    • Always start with the gentlest nozzle setting. You can move up from there if you need more power. You don’t want to start off too strong, as you could damage the area you are trying to clean.

    • Wear goggles and sturdy shoes when operating the pressure washer to protect yourself against injury. Consider earplugs if your machine is noisy.

    • Hold the pressure washer nozzle at least six inches from the item you are cleaning.

    • Never leave the pressure washer spray gun unattended while the machine is turned on.

    Whenever possible, choose an electric pressure washer that comes with a warranty. Most units should have at least a one-year warranty, and some may have two- or three-year warranties.

    FAQ

    Q. What cleaning solutions can I use in my pressure washer?

    A. You should only use detergents that are designed for pressure washers. Other cleaners (like bleach) could damage your pressure washer pump and shorten the life of the machine. If you have any questions about what types of cleaners can be used in your pressure washer, consult the owner’s manual.

    Q. Can I use hot water in my pressure washer?

    A. There are pressure washers specifically designed for hot water, but the standard pressure washer is meant to be used with cold water. Using hot water in one of these machines could damage the pump.

    Q. How do I clean out a clogged nozzle?

    A. Always shut off the machine and disconnect the spray gun before examining the nozzle. If it is clogged, you can use a small, thin piece of wire to poke out any obstructions. Then, run water through it again to remove any remaining debris. Connect it to the pressure washer and try again.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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