Pressure Wash Your Car In 5 Simple Steps

A car being pressure washed in a driveway.
Pressure washing cleans your faster and uses less water. image: REDPIXEL.PL /

It is one of your most important assets. It is there through the thick and the thin. It has offered some amazing adventures. And hopefully, it will offer many more in the future.

Of course, we’re talking about your car. If you’re like most people, then you truly realize just how important a car can be in daily life. There’s nothing quite like the independence and freedom that a car offers. That’s why it’s a good idea to take care of your car.

Check out our review of the best car pressure washers for the money.

Vehicles require plenty of maintenance. You have to change the oil every so often. Sometimes you need to replace engine parts. You’ll occasionally have to get those tires changed to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your ride.

But what else is there? Well… cars need proper cleaning! Some may say that having a clean car is just a “luxury,” and we think that is far from the truth. Keeping your car clean will help preserve the exterior and interior. But, of course, it helps keep that nice shine as well.

Today, we’ll be discussing the 5 easy steps you can take in order to pressure-wash your car. Here are the steps we’ll be covering in this article:

  1. Choosing & Setting-Up Your Pressure Washer
  2. Parking Your Car In A Convenient Location
  3. Pre-Rinsing Your Car
  4. Applying Detergent
  5. The Final Rinse

Are you ready to get your car looking brand new?

Step 1: Choosing & Setting-Up Your Pressure Washer

First off, why should you use a pressure washer? Wouldn’t a garden hose be sufficient? Well, here’s the thing: the garden hose may do an adequate job if your car isn’t too dirty. But garden hoses are far less efficient and also use more water.

You may be wondering which type of pressure washer you should choose. Should it be gas-powered? Or should you use an electrical one? To avoid chipping the paint off of your car, we recommend using the electric. Gas pressure washers are a little too strong for vehicles.

Numbers To Look For: The experts mention that your car will be safe with a PSI range from 1200-1900. Look for a pressure washer that can perform within this level. Also, it’s recommended to choose a pressure washer that releases 1.4-1.6 gallons of water per minute. Just be sure that your pressure washer of choice meets these standards.

Nozzles To Look For: Nozzles will come in handy for different parts of the cleaning process. You’ll want a 25-degree (green) nozzle tip for the pre-rinse. And you’ll want a 40-degree (white) nozzle tip for the final rinse. Avoid 0-degree (red) tips and 15-degree (yellow) tips because these will damage the exterior of your car.

Step 2: Parking Your Car In A Convenient Location

As we mentioned before, we recommend using an electric pressure washer. Gas pressure washers tend to be a bit too powerful for washing cars. With that being said, be sure that you’re parked close enough to an electrical outlet. Also, be sure that you’re not parked too close to anything that shouldn’t be getting wet. Try to park your car away from other cars. A street or driveway will more than likely be your best bet.

Step 3: Pre-Rinsing Your Car

You need to pre-rinse your car before you add the cleaning agent. This is going to assure you that you’ve removed all of the surface stains, such as mud. Before beginning this process, make sure that you’ve taken steps to avoid getting the interior wet. Close the doors, close the trunk, and roll all of your windows up.

Pre-rinsing your car is a simple step. Just make sure your pressure washer is fully set up. This involves plugging it into an electrical source and water source. And you’ll need to apply the 25-degree (green) nozzle tip as well. Finally, just start rinsing your car. Be sure to hit the entire exterior. Don’t forget about your tires.

Step 4: Applying Detergent

So, you’ve finally finished pre-rinsing your car. It’s already looking a lot better. Are you ready to really make it shine, though? It’s time to introduce the detergent. Your pressure washer should come with a compartment that holds the cleaning agent. Just be sure that you purchase a detergent specifically tailored towards pressure washers.

Keep in mind that detergents will need to be mixed with water before they can be used on your car. The detergent bottle should show the specific mixing instructions. After you’ve diluted the detergent, then you can add it to the compartment of the pressure washer. Spray a nice even coat onto your car’s exterior. Let the diluted detergent sit for at least 5 minutes.

But what if your pressure washer doesn’t have a detergent compartment? This isn’t much of a problem if you’re not afraid of some elbow grease. Just apply the diluted detergent onto a washcloth. Then hand-apply it directly to your car’s exterior.

Step 5: The Final Rinse

This is it. You’ve made it to the final step. After letting the detergent sit for at least 5 minutes, it’s time to rinse it off. Be sure that you switch to the 40-degree (white) nozzle tip. Once you’ve done that, make sure that you’ve switched the control on your pressure washer from “detergent” mode to “water” mode. It’s time to rinse.

Use a top-to-bottom approach whenever you’re executing the final rinse. That car should be shining like new after you’ve rinsed it off. How about the drying process? This is completely up to you. A cloth or towel can be used. Or you can just air-dry your fresh-looking ride.

Your Car Will Thank You

Maybe not literally. But you will surely be thanking yourself for prolonging the paint job on your clean ride. Aside from that, having a clean car will speak volumes about the person who drives it. Pressure-washing your car takes very little time and water. Did you find this guide helpful? We hope this is the case. And as always, avoid riding dirty.

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