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A pressure washer (or power washer) is a mechanical sprayer that delivers water at an extremely high pressure to remove dirt, grime, dust, mud, mold, algae and many more from surfaces and objects. These can be used on almost any surface including vehicles, buildings and concrete surfaces.
Investing in a pressure washer is well worth the money considering all the tasks you can get done with it. But to get the most out of your pressure washer, choosing a quality detergent or soap is imperative. The right cleaning product will help you to speed up the cleaning process and make the work effortless.
There are many different types of cleaning products for pressure washers on the market which can make it quite difficult to choose but don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. we cover the top 10 pressure washer detergents to help you accelerate your cleaning and get sparkling results.
Best Pressure Washer Soap Reviews
Sun Joe SPX-FCS1G-CRM Premium Snow Foam Car Wash Soap & Cleaner
The first on our list is the Premium Snow Foam Car Wash Soap and Cleaner from Sun Joe, ideal if you’re planning to use your pressure washer to clean your car. This cleaner comes in 1-gallon can of concentrate that’s available in 3 different scents: orange-vanilla, pineapple and coconut.
This product works effectively, removing the toughest road grime while at the same time being gentle on the paintwork of your vehicle. For best results, use it with a pressure washer foam cannon attachment to achieve maximum foaming action for a superior shine. It can also be used with a brush or mop and is perfectly safe for wax, metal and sealants.
AR Annovi Reverbi ARCTW04 Pressure Washer Detergent
Another pressure washer detergent to clean your vehicle, this product from AR Annovi Reverbi would be just the thing for you. Specifically made for trucks, cars, boats and RVs, this detergent is a non-toxic, non-corrosive, professional grade product made for multi-purpose applications. It’s very effective, quickly eliminating dirt, tough grim, dust, stains and safe for use on all exterior car surfaces.
This detergent is compatible with all pressure washers and makes up to 30 gallons of cleaning solution. You can also use it in a foam cannon, or a traditional wash bucket for manual washing.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Pressure Washer Cleaner.
The Simple Green Oxy Solve Pressure Washer Cleaner is an excellent choice if you need to clean grease, oil, automotive fluids, tire marks, rust and any type of tough stain from your driveway. This biodegradable formula uses the power of hydrogen peroxide which helps with removing tough grime from hard surfaces such as brick and concrete as well.
When used in a pressure washer, the Simple Green washer cleaner has the ability to clean up to 6,400 sq. ft. Once diluted, one gallon makes up to 21 gallons of cleaning solution and you can use it directly from the container or with the pressure washer. If you have very stubborn stains to remove, apply the solution and scrub well with a bristle brush.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Pressure Washer Cleaner
This product from Simple Green is an effective formula that uses peroxide to remove grime and dirt from all outdoor structures such as sheds, gazebos, carports, fences, decks and more. It’s also non-toxic and biodegradable, making it safe for waterways as well as your plants.
The Simple Green Deck and Fence cleaner comes in a 1 gallon jug that makes 21 gallons of solution. When using, all you have to do is siphon directly from the jug or you can pour it into the detergent reservoir of your pressure washer. It can be used with any pressure washer and cleans up to 6,400 sq ft of surface area.
Simple Green Oxy Solve House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner
Here’s yet another impressive product from Simple Green that’s specially formulated to clean your house siding without corroding mortar and metal or degrading plastic. It uses peroxide to lift grime, while removing discoloring and stains from algae, mildew and moss and can be used on vinyl, aluminum, stucco, brick and wood.
The best thing about this cleaner is that it’s orally non-toxic which means that it won’t cause any adverse effects if ingested by accident. Use with any pressure washer or manually to keep your house siding clean and sparkling.
Sun Joe SPX-HDC1G House and Deck All-Purpose Pressure Washer Concentrated Cleaner
1 used from $13.40
This formula from Sun Joe is designed for use with pressure washers and is deal for removing tough outdoor stains. It isn’t made of harsh chemicals meaning that it’s non-toxic and safe for use on any surface.
Although this cleaner is reasonably priced in comparison to most other products out there, it only makes up to 10 gallons of solution for lightly soiled surfaces and 5 gallons for heavily soiled ones which is a lot less than most other cleaners in its category. However, it’s highly effective and versatile since it can be used with all pressure washers or even with a mop and brush.
Karcher Car Wash and Wax Soap for Pressure Washers
Looking for an affordable vehicle cleaner that’s effective and safe to use? This gentle formula from Karcher is the perfect option for you due to its ability to clean your vehicle perfectly without leaving any residue behind. It enhances the original luster of your vehicle, making it look new again. It works well on any type of vehicle including cars, SUVs, motorcycles, trucks and many more.
This biodegradable vehicle wash is safe for your garden plants, lawn and pets. This means that you can use it in the yard and not worry about negative effects on your home. It’s highly concentrated and one quart can be diluted to make up to 5 gallons of solution.
Briggs and Stratton 6826 Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Concentrate for Pressure Washers
This multi-purpose cleaner from Briggs & Stratton is a highly robust formula that’s perfect for removing dirt, mildew and mold from multiple surfaces. The solution is a heavy-duty concentrated which effectively breaks down grime on sidings, patios and walkways with ease, making them look like new.
This cleaner is perfectly safe for plants and lawns, since it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It’s also extremely powerful and one gallon makes up to 16 gallons of the solution. You can use it in your pressure washer or manually if you prefer, but you might want to test it first on a small area of the surface that’s to be cleaned before you go ahead since it’s a powerful formula.
Chemical Guys CWS_110_64 Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash
The Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash from Chemical Guys is known to be the first auto shampoo that’s specifically designed to create generous amounts of sudsy foam when used in a foam gun or foam cannon.
While traditional methods of washing just push dirt around on the surfaces, minimizing the shine of your car, this cleaning solution with its pH neutral formula does the exact opposite, leaving your car shiny and sparkling. To use, just dilute one cap with 5 gallons of water to produce massive amounts of foam.
Krud Kutter House and Siding Pressure Washer Concentrate
Finishing off our list, the Krud Kutter Pressure Washer Concentrate is specially formulated to focus on house and siding cleaning and contains an additive called Sporex which tackles mildew, mold, algae and moss. The solution is biodegradable and has a 1:10 concentrate to water ratio, penetrating surfaces, ridding them of dirt and stains.
This concentrate is economical and biodegradable, making it safe for use. However, when cleaning mildew, mold or algae, you might have to loosen them first by using a brush and putting some muscle into it which is the reason why this product is our last pick.
Can I Use Regular Soap in My Pressure Washer?
Pressure washers can be quite fussy when it comes to cleaning solutions and most of the time they require special detergents and soaps. The regular soaps used for laundry, dishwashing and household purposes aren’t formulated to handle the high pressure that a pressure washer delivers. Using these formulas can result in a bad combination and an unsatisfying cleaning experience.
When looking for the right cleaning product, make sure that you choose one that’s specifically designed for pressure washers.
Most products are compatible with any pressure washer but first check the user’s manual of your washer to see if the manufacturer recommends any specific products. It’s also important to check if there are recommended amounts of the product to be used in your pressure washer.
Following these recommendations not only ensures a longer life for your pressure washer, but it also boosts your cleaning, giving you the chance to make the most out of it.
What’s in Pressure Washer Soaps and Detergents?
First of all, what’s the difference between soap and detergent? Soap is a variety of detergent, but is normally made of natural products, like oils and fats from animals and plants. Detergents, on the other hand, are typically harsher or stronger, using synthetic chemicals. They’re used for washing clothes, cars, plates… basically anything that requires a good clean. From the two, soap doesn’t react well with hard water, and results in soap scum. This means that if you’re using soap with your pressure washer but you’ve got hard water, it’s likely that the cleaning will be ineffective.
Detergents can work with any type of water. They’re also created to be more effective on different types of surfaces (like glass, wood, concrete and plaster) and work in a variety of conditions. If you have hard water or you require versatile cleaning across a range of surfaces, opt for a detergent. The bottom line – if you need effective and easy cleaning, detergent might be the way to go.
It’s important to understand the three different types of soaps and detergents that are available on the market and what they do. These are cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers.
Cleaners are made for dirt removal, disinfectants eliminate ALL microorganisms in under 10 minutes and sanitizers kill up to 99.9% of bacteria in less than 30 seconds.
Here’s a list of the common chemicals you’re likely to see on the labels of many pressure washer cleaners and their purposes:
- Oxalic acid – ideal for stain and rust removal
- Bleach – this is a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite. It’s an effective disinfectant and sanitizer that’s ideal for the removal of mold and mildew.
- Potassium hydroxide – used for making liquid or soft soaps.
- Ammonia – excellent for stainless steel and glass
- Sodium hydroxide – a highly effective for disinfecting and stain removal
- Vinegar – for gentle cleaning of kitchen surfaces, fresh produce and windows. Great for polishing brass, neutralizing odors and safe for almost any surface.
- Citric acid – effective at removing stains from wood and concrete
Are Pressure Washer Cleaners Harmful on My Home?
Luckily, most pressure washer cleaners are biodegradable which means that they won’t cause any harm to your lawn or garden plants.
Many of them are approved by the EPA as a ‘safer choice, making them safe enough for wildlife and waterways and some are orally non-toxic so you can be sure they won’t hurt your child or pet even if ingested.
Before you purchase a cleaner to use in your pressure washer, take a good look at the labels first. The safety status of the solution should be easy to see. However, if you’re not sure about it, just contact the manufacturer or get your hands on the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all details about ingredients and the risks of using them.
How to Choose the Best Pressure Washer Cleaner
Using the above information, it’s clear that when choosing your pressure washer cleaner, there are several factors to consider.
- Your budget – consider how much you’re willing to spend on a pressure washer cleaner as this will help you eliminate expensive products.
- Purpose – consider what you’re using the pressure washer cleaner for. The most common uses of pressure washers are for cleaning cars, washing decks, driveways, pavements, rooftops, walls, outdoor furniture and so on. The product you choose should be compatible for use on that type of surface. While cars tend to have their own pressure washer cleaners, an all-purpose cleaner can be used for all other applications.
- Chemicals – consider the chemicals used in the cleaner. If you don’t mind harsh cleaners, you’ll have more options an at cheaper prices. But if you’re looking for a biodegradable cleaner, that won’t damage your plants, discolor paint or harm your pets, you’ll likely have fewer options and higher prices to contend with.
- Injector System – consider the injector system of your pressure washer as this can impact the functioning of the device. An upstream injector means that the cleaner has to travel through the pump before it’s used, which can harm the pump. A downstream injector means that the cleaner is located after the pump, giving you more options and minimizing any potential risk to the pump.
The Bottom Line
When searching for the ideal cleaner for pressure washing, make sure you always read the labels and the product description first. Choose your product carefully, considering the application as well, whether it’s car washing or keeping the outdoors of your house and siding clean.
If you have children, pets or a garden or lawn, take extra care in choosing a cleaner that’s safe since some products contain harsh chemicals that can cause damage.
We hope our article was useful and provided all the information that you needed so you can now go out and purchase the best cleaning product for your pressure washer.