Best pressure washers 2020

Blast away grime with our pick of the best powerful pressure washer cleaners on sale

After a bucket and sponge, a decent pressure washer is next on the list of car-wash essentials. Instead of shifting muck by hand or with a hose, a high-powered blast makes the job quick and easy.  

But it’s not all about power, because excessively strong jets could actually damage your car. A good pressure washer will give you the chance to adjust the flow to suit the job, ranging from a focused jet to work on an oil-stained driveway, to a gentle flow for applying snow foam or detergent.

Professional washers can cost thousands, so here we’re concentrating on the models aimed at the keen DIY motorist. Which of the eight candidates would blast away its rivals and take our Best Buy?

How we tested them

To help us judge the best washers, we drafted in the help of Richard Tipper of Perfection Detailing. He has been using pressure washers professionally for more than 30 years and has cleaned thousands of cars in that time, including some of the world’s most valuable models. 

Together we scored the washers on ease of use and storage, accessories, cleaning ability and value for money. 

Verdict

For the occasional user who is cleaning one or two cars every couple of weeks, there’s no need to spend a fortune to get decent cleaning performance. Both the Titan and Blaupunkt offer decent cleaning performance for less than £85. Ultimately, the Titan’s longer hose and sturdier fittings mean it took the top spot ahead of its rival. But if you are more of a serious enthusiast and plan to tackle bigger cleaning jobs more regularly, then the sophisticated Kärcher K5 is worth the extra investment. 

1. Titan TTB669PRW

2. Blaupunkt PW3100c

3. Kärcher K5 Full Control Plus

Results

Titan TTB669PRW 

  • Price: £84.99
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Flow: 6.0 litres/min
  • Accessories: adjustable nozzles, built-in detergent bottle, 6m hose, patio cleaner

We weren’t expecting much from this bland-looking washer, but were very pleasantly surprised. The lance, nozzle, hose and connectors were the best quality of any of the machines here and seem to have been borrowed from a professional machine. It had more than enough power and adjustability to make it suitable for car washing, plus a built-in detergent tank. If you’ve made a mess on the driveway there’s also a patio-cleaning attachment, which makes sure you don’t blast dirt and stones onto your car. 

A 6m hose meant there was a some moving about needed to reach around larger cars, but it’s mounted on sturdy wheels and has a solid adjustable handle.

The Titan isn’t perfect, but at this price it is impossible to beat and feels like it’s built to last. 

Buy now from Screwfix

Blaupunkt PW3100c

  • Price: £84.99 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Flow: 7.1 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzle, detergent tank, 5m hose

Blaupunkt is a name you’d usually associate with stereos in eighties German cars, but the brand is now used on various electrical items, including a range of pressure washers. And this one looks decent value, at less than £85 for a machine with an amazing flow rate and decent features, including a snow-foam bottle. 

The hose is only 5m long but the machine is light enough to carry around and the lance adjusts easily between a pin jet and an accurate, dribble-free wide fan. We also liked that the jet could be rotated horizontally or vertically to suit which part of the car you were cleaning. Our only major criticism was the built-in reel, which we found impossible to use. In the end we removed it and simply wrapped the hose around the handle. 

Buy now from Amazon

Kärcher K5 Full Control Plus

  • Price: £299 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Flow: 8.3 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzle, detergent bottle, 8m hose, variable flow

The K5 feels a level up in terms of quality from most of the other washers on test here, including Kärcher’s own K2. The K5 also has a few gadgets to help justify its price, including an electronic ‘3-in-1 Multi Jet’ lance with an LCD display that can be adjusted to suit different tasks, such as blasting patios or applying detergent. It works really well and the 8m hose means you can get around an average car without needing to move the washer unit. 

It’s not perfect though. You’ll need to buy a separate snow-foam attachment and use or refill Kärcher’s own detergent bottles. More of an issue is the hose and cable storage, because there is just a simple hook for both, which makes packing up a chore. 

Buy now from Amazon

GMC GPW165 

  • Price: £183.99 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Flow: 7.1 litres/min
  • Accessories: 2 x brushes, 3 x nozzles, 8m hose, detergent tank

The GMC is a big, heavy washer with an impressive specification. The flow rate, power and hose length are among the highest here. It also has a 10m power cable, which might save you the trouble of using an extension lead.

Rather than having an adjustable nozzle, the GMC uses interchangeable heads, which vary from a powerful pin jet, to a soft detergent applicator. In practice this took more time than its rivals to use, and we worried that the heads would be easy to leave lying around and lose.

The GPW165 kit also comes packaged with two brush attachments, either rotating or static, which would make it easier to scrub away dirt, although we wouldn’t recommend using these on paintwork. They could be perfect for scrubbing a caravan or other less scratchable surface, though.

Buy now from Amazon

Halfords PW20 

  • Price: £65 
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Flow: 5.0 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzles, detergent  bottle, 5m hose

Everything about this Halfords-branded washer is tiny and almost toy-like, including the price. Despite this, it has the essential two features for car cleaning: an adjustable nozzle and a snow-foam bottle. However, the bottle is so small it needed refilling several times to clean an entire car and would only just cover a scooter. The hose is only 5m long, too, but the PW20 is so light that carrying it around is hardly a chore.

The water delivery pressure was more than adequate and the nozzle had a good level of adjustability, ranging from a pin jet to an accurate and dribble-free fan. You’d soon outgrow this washer if you had a larger car or want to tackle big patio-cleaning jobs, but for the occasional user it’s gimmick-free and good value.

Buy now from Halfords

Kärcher K2 Full Control 

  • Price: £99 
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Flow: 6.0 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzle, detergent bottle, brush, 4m hose

The K2 is a best seller and it’s easy to see why – it has the brand name of Kärcher behind it and costs less than £100, even in this package with a brush and detergent bottle included. On the plus side it is low in weight, which is just as well because the hose is just 4m long, so you’ll need to carry it a lot to get around a car. The detergent is picked up through a tube at the rear of the unit, and this means you’ll also need to move the bottle as you work, which soon becomes tiresome. 

The washer produces a decent blast with the nozzle set to the highest setting, but the softer and medium settings caused drips and dribbles, which mean you lose a lot of water and precious detergent.

Buy now from Amazon

Silverline 2100  

  • Price: £138 
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Flow: 7.2 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzle, detergent dispenser, 5m hose

The Silverline is right in the middle of our price ranges for this test, but has the largest flow rate and one of the more powerful motors. It has substantial-feeling metal connectors on the hose, a built-in detergent tank and an integral reel. But that’s where the good news stops. The hose is only 5m long, so you need to constantly move the heavy 20kg unit around to reach all parts of your car. The nozzle is more of an issue, though, because it fits poorly and won’t stay on a single setting, so you constantly need to twist the end back to get the setting you want amid a shower of dribbles. It’s enormously frustrating. 

Buy now from Amazon

Clarke JET 9500 

  • Price: £215.98 
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Flow: 7.0 litres/min
  • Accessories: Adjustable nozzle, detergent tank, 8m hose

Buy now from Amazon

Read here to discover the most reliable cars currently on sale...

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020