Cleaning cars with Pressure Washers

Nothing makes car cleaning quicker and easier than using a pressure washer. They can blast away mud and thick grime, leaving just a thin film to be taken off with a sponge. This reduces the risk of scratching paintwork.

Brake dust can be hosed away, leaving only the toughest spots for a washing brush and wheel cleaner.

And most pressure washers can be used to apply specialist detergents to help with removing even the most stubborn of dirt and grime.

Based on such compelling reasons, deciding to buy one is the easy part! However, picking what specification, make and model is more complicated, as there is a huge range of pumps, accessories and prices to consider.

Cleaning cars with a pressure washer

Can the bodywork of a car be cleaned with the pressure washer? Of course it can. But there are various ways of doing it.

Even the most basic model of pressure washer can have almost 40 times the water flow power of a garden hose, which comes in handy when trying to remove tough dirt, bird droppings, dried on insects and winter salt stains on a vehicle.

Tips for pressure washing cars

Rinse the car thoroughly. As far as coarse, loose dirt is concerned, it is often sufficient to simply spray down the car with the high-pressure jet.  Even if you’ve washed the car recently, there will be some dust and dirt that can be removed with a water spray.

Don’t forget the bottom. Just because it can’t be easily seen, it doesn’t mean it can’t get dirty. Use an angled extension wand to clean the vehicles underside and inside the wheel arches.

A traffic film remover detergent (TFR) is recommended if you want a more thorough wash. Apply the detergent using the pressure washer’s chemical injection system. Make sure to use a pressure washer-approved detergent so as not to damage the car or the pressure washer.

Set the pressure washer’s nozzle to low pressure. Immerse the detergent pickup hose in the detergent solution.

Use smooth, overlapping strokes, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Wait five to 10 minutes, giving the solution time to work.

Use a washing brush attachment to help loosen stubborn dirt and grime. Why use elbow grease when you have a powerful scrubbing brush to do the work for you?

Rinse under high pressure. Start at the top and work down to ensure the entire area is soap free.

Pay close attention to both the spray angle and distance while using a pressure washer. Spraying too closely could damage an area of the car rather than clean it, so hold the wand a couple of feet from the surface and gradually move closer if additional cleaning power is needed.

Choosing the most suitable pressure washer

There are many types of pressure washers available including cold water, hot water heated by diesel, cold water powered by combustion engines, wall mounted and stationery units and even trailer mounted systems.

Choosing the right type is dependent upon many factors including the available power source, the intended application and, of course, how much budget is to spend.

There are lots of suppliers and manufacturers of pressure washers but it is important to choose one from a reputable manufacturer who uses quality components (fittings, pumps etc) and has a reputation for build quality.

Buying cheap certainly doesn’t make economic sense with pressure washers as the components used will generally be of lower quality and the design can make some units extremely difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

That is why we recommend quality yet cost-effective pressure washers from Cleanwell and Interpump.

Pressure washers

For more information on the range of pressure washers available from IFM (UK) contact us today at or call 01442 823090.


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