The Best Pressure Washer for Professional Auto Detailing

The Best Automotive Pressure Washers for Professional Auto Detailing. Find out which is best for you.

The Best Pressure Washer for Professional Auto Detailing

If you run an auto detailing business then it is important that you invest in a good professional auto detailing pressure washer. A pressure washer is extremely helpful in cleaning the extremely dirty paint, tires, rims, wheel wells, and engine bays. Your cleaning process will be quicker and more efficient with a proper power washer setup.

Pressure washers also use less water than you would think because it is more directed and powerful forcing the water out instead of relying purely on water pressure from a hose. Most standard hose nozzles emit 20-25 GPM where these pressure washers listed are anywhere from 1.6 to 5 GPM.

You might be confused on which features are needed for a pressure washer and how to choose the best pressure washer for car washing, here you will find an explanation of each feature in detail and a table comparing the specs for each model. The selections here are suitable for both large and small detailing businesses.

Full disclosure, some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links, I do get a commission when you purchase at no extra cost to you. This helps me continue to deliver great content for you, thank you for your support!

Types of Pressure Washers

There are two main types of pressure washers available, either gas or electric. As an auto detailer, having a gas pressure washer can be overkill and they cost a lot more than the electric ones.

You don't need the power that is being pushed out in a gas unit for detailing cars, they are also a lot heavier and not as easily moved or navigated. The benefits of a gas pressure washer would be the quality and longevity you will get from it if you maintain it well. If you are in a fixed shop then having a gas pressure washer is recommended if you can budget for it.

Electric pressure washers are becoming more and more common for auto detailers to rely on and great for mobile detailers. They are easier to move around and navigate and come with plenty of pressure and GPM needed for auto detailing.

If you plan to use a foam cannon, you need a pressure washer to do so. Not all are compatible with a standard foam cannon so that is something that we will walk through as well.

Most Affordable Auto Detailing Pressure Washers under $250

With this tier of pressure washer, you will not be getting the best quality of machine, these will not last you 3+ years of detailing on a daily or weekly basis, but these are a great starter option for those who don't have the budget for the next tiers we will go over. Most of the hoses and connections are not the best of quality and can be upgraded.

If you are a professional detailer as a side hustle and only works on the weekends, then these cheaper options would be an acceptable solution for you. Also keep in mind that the actual pressure and GPM stated on these is not the real-world actual numbers you will get, the max PSI would result in your lowest GPM and your max GPM would be when the machine is putting out the least PSI.

The best pressure washer would be the one that can give the highest GPM at roughly 1000 PSI. This can be achieved by using different nozzle sizes, which we will go over at the end of this post on customizations available from Obsessed Garage.

Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI

Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Washer Product Image

The Sun Joe SPX3000 is a good starter pressure washer for auto detailing. With this machine you get 5 quick release tips which provide different a good range of options for the task at hand, whether you are rinsing the paint or working on wheels, tires and wheels wells.

The Sun Joe SPX3000 is easy to move around and navigate while you are detailing. Starting out car detailing, this pressure washer will do great, especially for a mobile business. This unit also comes with the detergent tank, but most car detailers don't use it as it does not work well for car soap like a dedicated foam cannon would. You could use an APC in the tank but you are better off using a dedicated spray bottle for that.

With the SPX 3000 you will get 2030 max PSI at 1.76 GPM. The hose is 20 feet long and the wand length is 34 inches. The weight is 27.6 pounds and the cord is 35 feet long which is perfect for most detailing jobs.

The MSRP for the Sun Joe SPX3000 is $199 but is frequently less on Amazon. This is by far the most popular starter pressure washer for auto detailing. Honestly, if you are planning to go with this model, I would splurge and get the XT1 Xtreme which we will walk through next!

Sun Joe SPX3001 XT1 XTREME

Sun Joe SSPX3001-XT1 Xtreme Product Image with Accessories

The Sun Joe SPX3001 XT1 Xtreme PSI power washer is another good starter option for auto detailing. This washer will give you a lot of the same features of the previous, you get the 5 quick release tips along with the same spray gun and hose.

With this model, you get the extra brush tips that can be useful for wheel wells and engine bays for caked on mud and dirt. This model also comes with a foam cannon. This foam cannon won't compete with the higher-end dedicated foam cannons, but it will work great for just starting out!

With the SPX3001 XT1 Xtreme, you get 2200 PSI and a pressure of 1.65 GPM. You also get the same as the previous Sun Joe with 34 inch wand length, 20 foot hose, and a 35 foot power cord.

The retail price for the Sun Joe SPX3001 XT1 Xtreme pressure washer is $239.99.

RYOBI 1800 PSI

Ryobi 1800 PSI product Image

The Ryobi 1800 is another great starter pressure washer for auto detailers. This style is different than the previous with no wheels and less bells and whistles, but this machine still does a great job.

You do get 3 quick-connect nozzles with this Ryobi, 15 degree, soap and turbo. This is a great no-frills pressure washer to go with and it is very portable, it weighs only 16 pounds. Some detailers prefer this style over the Sun Joe's having the cheap wheels and are taller because they sometimes can get knocked down or fall over which can be annoying to deal with.

With the Ryobi 1800, you will get 1800 PSI and 1.2 GPM. You will have a hose length of 20 feet and a 35 foot power cord.

The price for the Ryobi is $130-$150.

Stanley SHP2150

Stanley SHP2150 Pressure Washer Product Image

The Stanley SHP2150 pressure washer is another great starter option for auto detailing. This unit is a nice and compact unit with a telescoping handle for easier storage and maneuverability.

This Stanley SHP2150 is of good build quality and feels slightly higher quality than the Sun Joe. You get 4 quick connect nozzles and o-ring replacement kit which is an added bonus with this unit.

The Stanley SHP2150 puts out 2150 PSI and 1.4 GPM. It has a 25 foot hose and a 35 foot power cord.

The price for the Stanley SHP2150 is $150-200.

Karcher K1700

Karcher K1700 Pressure Washer Product Image

The Kärcher K1700 Pressure washer is the best option out of the ones we walked through already above. This is the best starter pressure washer under $150, the next one (Active VE52) we will walk through is the best out of all of these starter washers.

The reason this one is the best so far is because it is the least expensive but you get closest to the output numbers desired for a unit of this price. The K1700 has a telescoping handle and wheels for easy maneuverability. I like the storage bin and power cord management of this pressure washer more than the previous we discussed, especially for the hose.

With the Karcher K1700 (or K1700 Cube) you get 1700 PSI with 1.2 GPM. You also get a 20 foot hose and a 35 foot power cord.

The MSRP of the Karcher K1700 is $189.00 but it is frequently priced lower on Amazon for $139.00.

Active VE52

Active VE52 Pressure Washer Product Image
         

We have saved the best for last, the Active VE52 Pressure washer is by far the best starter auto detailing pressure washer for your business. This unit puts out the most GPM out of all the above which is what we want for washing cars.

This Active Pressure Washer is well built and feels like it will last and not be destroyed quickly. You also get a metal wash gun which is a nice added bonus. You get 3 spray tips as well as a foam "blaster", but again this will not be as good as a dedicated foam cannon.

With the Active VE52 Pressure Washer you get 1800 PSI and a whopping 2.0 GPM. The hose length is 20 feet and the power cord is 35 feet long. You will notice the quality of the hose is actually pretty good in this price range.

The MSRP of the Active VE52 Pressure washer is $210.

Best Affordable Pressure Washers Under $250 Summary

Sun Joe SPX3000 Best Seller

PSI 2030
GPM 1.76
Total Stop Yes
Weight 27.6 lbs
Hose Length 20 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Sun Joe SPX3001 XT1 XTREME

PSI 2200
GPM 1.65
Total Stop Yes
Weight 28.4 lbs
Hose Length 20 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

RYOBI 1800

PSI 1800
GPM 1.2
Total Stop Yes
Weight 16.0 lbs
Hose Length 20 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Stanley SHP2150

PSI 2150
GPM 1.4
Total Stop Yes
Weight 25.6 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Karcher K1700

PSI 1700
GPM 1.2
Total Stop Yes
Weight 20.7 lbs
Hose Length 20 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Active VE52 Best GPM

PSI 1800
GPM 2.0
Total Stop Yes
Weight 26.0 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Best Starter Commercial Auto Detailing Pressure Washers under $500

The next level up are the best starter commercial pressure washers. With these you will get similar to the same function and features as the affordable ones, but a better built machine that will put up to more of the work a detailer will use it for.

Karcher K5 Premium

Karcher K5 Premium Pressure Washer Product Image

The Karcher K5 Premium is the first of the starter commercial pressure washers. This unit has a lot of the similar look and feel as the previous but has a better motor for a longer lifespan.

The downside of the Karcher K series is the proprietary fittings, which doesn't offer easy customization or replacement of parts when things break or need to be improved. You are not able to use a foam cannon because of this unless you do some weird customizations to accomplish this, you are better off getting another one below.

If you are okay with no added customizations then this is still a solid unit and you will notice the pump sounds a lot better than the Sun Joes or Ryobis above.

With the Karcher K5 Premium Pressure Washer you get 2000 PSI with 1.4 GPM. The hose length is 25 feet and the power cord is 35 feet long.

The MSRP for the Karcher K5 Premium is $330 but can often be found cheaper on Amazon and sometimes has a coupon available for even more off.

AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS

AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS Pressure Washer Product Image

The AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS is another great pressure washer for professional auto detailing. With this pressure washer you get a removable cart which is nice if that flexibility is needed. You also get a cheap foam cannon with this unit, but as mentioned above on the others, the foam cannons are not the best quality so don't expect amazing results.

You are also able to run hot water (up to 122 °F / 50 °C) through this pressure washer which is a nice bonus but most of the time if you are a mobile detailer, you won't want to deal with running hot water through your pressure washer. If you have a fixed location shop you could do this easier but most of the time it is not needed.

With the AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS you get a max of 2300 PSI and 1.7 GPM. The hose length is 25 feet and the power cable is 35 feet long.

The MSRP of the AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS is $289.

Greenworks GPW2200 / GPW2300

Greenworks GPW2200 Pressure Washer Product Image

The Greenworks GPW2200 and GPW2300 is a great step up in overall quality and finish as you can see the wheels are not as cheap and you get a metal wand and connections. I have both GPW2200 and GPW2300 listed because it appears Greenworks might not be making the GPW2200 any longer so availability may be lacking.

The GPW2200 and GPW2300 have a brushless motor as well which gives you an almost instantaneous control of power and rpm, it is highly efficient and has lower maintenance than the typical brushed motors.

This is a great professional pressure washer option. The quality of motor and overall finish makes it worth the price difference on the above models.

With the GPW2200 you will get 2200 PSI or with the GPW2300 you get 2300 PSI and 2.3 GPM with both. The hose length is 25 feet and the power cord is 35 feet long.

The MSRP price of the Greenworks GPW2200 and GPW2300 is $299.

Adam's Electric Pressure Washer 2.0

Adam's Polishes 2.0 Pressure Washer Product Image

The Adams Polishes Pressure Washer 2.0 is a fantastic pressure washer option when it comes to quality and finish. You can tell that Adams took time to build a car detailing pressure washer specific to the automotive industry.

The hose is a 40 foot steel braided hose which is longer and of better quality than all the previous hoses we have covered. The handle is extendable and it has a balance bar which is great to keep it from toppling over while in use.

The wash gun is a short-nose gun and is the best quality stock gun and wand combo so far.

With the Adams Pressure washer 2.0 you get 1.4 GPM and 2000 PSI. You get the longest hose so far at 40 feet and a 35 foot power cord.

The MSRP of the Adams Polishes Pressure washer 2.0 is $360.

Best Starter Commercial Auto Detailing Pressure Washers under $500 Summary

Karcher K5 Premium

PSI 2000
GPM 1.4
Total Stop Yes
Brushless No
Weight 32 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes w/ adapter

AR Blue Clean BC2N1HSS

PSI 2300
GPM 1.7
Total Stop Yes
Brushless No
Weight 36.4 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Greenworks GPW2300

PSI 2300
GPM 2.3
Total Stop Yes
Brushless Yes
Weight 46.9 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Adams 2.0

PSI 2000
GPM 1.4
Total Stop Yes
Brushless No
Weight 46 lbs
Hose Length 40 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Best High End Commercial Auto Detailing Pressure Washers

As we move into the best high end commercial car detailing pressure washers, you will notice a significant price increase. The price difference is indicative of the quality and longevity increase expected with these units. The fit and finish is of higher quality and you will notice better wash guns, wands, hoses and hose length.

You will notice that we stuck with only electric pressure washers, as discussed above, electric pressure washers are better because you don't need the extra PSI coming from a gas pressure washer for car detailing. Plus the maintenance on gas washers is a lot more than electric.

Adam's Pro-Series Pressure Washer

Adams Polishes Pro Series Pressure Washer Product Image

The Adam's Polishes Professional Series Pressure washer is another great electric pressure washer option from Adam's. Since this unit weighs 98 pounds, this will be one that stays on the truck/trailer for mobile detailers or stationary/mounted for detailers with a shop.

With the Adams pro-series washer, you get two settings, constant-on or total stop. This is useful for auto detailers who may not be concerned on excessive noise or power consumption and want to continuously foam or wash without delay.

The Adams pro-series has an extremely long 60 foot hose which is great considering the weight of the washer. The power cord is 35 feet long. You get 1800 PSI and 2.0 GPM which is a great combination.

The MSRP of the Adam Pro-series pressure washer is $899.

Comet Static 1700 Extra

Comet Static 1700 Extra Pressure Washer Product Image
         

The Comet Static 1700 Extra is a great professional pressure washer. This washer comes with a wall mount and is easily removed from the wall if you need to take it mobile. This is a great benefit so you don't have to spend extra just for a wall mount. It is not extremely large so it will not take up a lot of space, but is still great quality and puts out great numbers.

With the Comet Static 1700 you also get a hose reel which is usable and sturdy enough, but you can always get a better quality one if you are mounting it on your shop wall if you want to. Its definitely sturdier than the other cheaper pressure washers that have hose reels on them.

The Comet Static has a great wash gun and wand that will last. It comes with a rotating brush attachment that is great to use on rims and tires. You can also run hot water up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit if you wanted to. The pump head is made of brass which increases durability.

With the Comet Static you get 1300 PSI and 2.2 GPM. The hose length is 65 feet. The Comet Static 1700 Extra is definitely recommended for those who have the money to get in this tier of pressure washers, unless you have enough for the Kranzle which we will cover below.

The MSRP of the Comet Static 1700 Extra is $649.

AR Blue Clean AR630TSS

AR Blue Clean AR630TSS Pressure Washer Product Image
         

The AR Blue Clean AR630TSS is another great option for professional auto detailers. This unit is a slight step up in price over the Comet and you will see similar quality and features.

With the AR630TSS you get a good host and wand/gun similar to the Comet, but you do not get a hose reel or a wall-mount bracket built in which can be a downside for those who are looking for those features out of the box. You can run hot water up to 140 degree Fahrenheit.

The pump head is brass and has an induction motor which both will help in long-term durability. The connections and couplers are also brass. The TSS stands for Total Stop System, there are AR630s available without the TSS but I would recommend going for the TSS version in order to have that additional feature and improved experience/longevity of the machine.

The AR Blue Clean AR630TSS has 2.1 GPM and 1900 PSI. You get only a 25 foot hose which is a big difference in the Comet 1700 and the Adam's Pro-seriess which have longer hoses. This means you may need to move the unit around more often. The power cord is 35 feet long.

The MSRP of the AR Blue Clean AR630TSS is $869.

KranzleUSA K1122TST

Kranzle 1122TST Pressure Washer Product Image
         

The Kranzle K1122TST is the best professional pressure washer for auto detailing. The Kranzle brand is the top of the line for electric pressure washers. They are engineered and made in Germany and are of the best quality available.

The Kranzle K1122TST has an industrial-grade pump and is of the best quality pump that will last you for years to come. You will not need to keep replacing parts with a Kranzle, just an oil change after 50 hours of initial use and then you are good for the rest of the life of the washer.

This Kranzle has a good quality hose and gun/wand combo. You get two wand options depending on the cleaning power needed. The hose reel is of good quality and will work just fine as a stock option. This unit is considered to be mobile with the wheels for moving it around, but it does weigh a hefty 80 pounds, so most of the time it would be best to keep this on your truck/trailer or stationary in your shop.

With the Kranzle K1122TST you get 1400 PSI and 2.1 GPM. The hose length is 50 feet and the power cord is 35 feet long.

The Kranzle K1122TST MSRP is $1319.

Kranzle K1322TS

Kranzle K1322TS Pressure Washer Product Image

The Kranzle K1322TS is exclusively made for and sold by Obsessed Garage. Matt from Obsessed Garage worked directly with Kranzle to build this pressure washer to be essentially a stripped down version of the K1122TST.

This means you get the same quality of pump and everything that the K1122TST has to offer in a smaller package. The K1322TS comes with just the power cord and manual, this is intentional to reduce the cost of the unit for you. Obsessed Garage has upgraded hose and wand options available to choose from and these are the top of the line quality.

The KobraJet hose is the best quality hose you can get for a pressure washer and the Mosmatic swiveling wand and gun are one of the best options out there when it comes to customizations available.

With a 50 foot KobraJet hose length and the Mosmatic wand and gun upgrade, your Kranzle K1322TS has is an overall better solution to the K1122TST for those looking for a smaller option that can be wall mounted on a shelf. It also weighs only 43 pounds comparatively so it can be moved easier for those who are mobile.

Obsessed Garage tested the PSI and GPM themselves with the custom hose and wand/gun options and the Kranzle K1322TS has 1010 PSI and 1.9 GPM. The cord length is the same at 35 feet.

The MSRP of the Kranzle K1322TS with these upgrades is $1387. Which is only slightly more than the K1122TST and you get a much better quality hose and gun/wand setup. This is definitely the best pressure washer option for your car detailing business.

Best High End Commercial Auto Detailing Pressure Washers Summary

Adam's Pro-Series

PSI 1400
GPM 2.1
Total Stop Yes
Made in -
Weight 98 lbs
Hose Length 60 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Comet Static 1700 Extra

PSI 1300
GPM 2.2
Total Stop Yes
Made in Italy
Weight 48.5 lbs
Hose Length 70 feet
Cord Length - feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes w/ adapter

AR Blue Clean AR630TSS

PSI 1900
GPM 2.1
Total Stop Yes
Made in -
Weight 69 lbs
Hose Length 25 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

KranzleUSA K1122TST Best

PSI 2000
GPM 1.4
Total Stop Yes
Made in Germany
Weight 80 lbs
Hose Length 50 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Kranzle K1322TS Obsessed Garage Custom

PSI 1010
GPM 1.9
Total Stop Yes
Made in Germany
Weight 43 lbs
Hose Length 50 feet
Cord Length 35 feet
Can use Foam Cannon? Yes

Conclusion

We covered a lot of pressure washers to determine which was the best pressure washer for auto detailing. There are a lot more to choose from out there, I tried to narrow it down as best I could to bring the best in each price tier.

Depending on your budget you may not be able to afford the high end pressure washers and that is okay! Please don't go into debt in order to buy a pressure washer, it won't change your business enough to be worth the debt incurred.

The best pressure washers out of each tier are below, these are the ones that are either the best quality or have the highest GPM output in their bracket:

Good: Active VE52

Better: Greenworks GPW2200 / GPW2300

Best: Kranzle K1322TS Custom

When looking at all of the pressure washers, having one that can be upgraded via wash gun and hose and used with a foam gun is definitely preferable to not being able to upgrade and stuck with stock configurations.

Good luck deciding on which pressure washer is best for you and your business! As always, keep serving, learning and growing!

Full Disclosure, some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links, I do get a commission when you purchase at no extra cost to you. This helps me continue to deliver great content for you, thank you for your support!