Summer is one of the most energizing times of the year. This is when everything feels new: the weather, the garden, the very joy of the outdoors. One of the best places to enjoy the season is on your patio.
But your patio accumulates grime and muck through the fall and winter. That means crusted mud, mildew, bug nests, pollen, and bird droppings on surfaces you’d rather be clean.
That’s why it’s good practice to wash your patio and outdoor space before summer rolls around. There’s only one quick and efficient way to do that, and that’s with a pressure washer.
Choosing the Best Power Washer for Your Home
Pressure washers rely on two methods of power – a gas engine or an electric motor. Experts say that if the job at hand requires 15 to 30 minutes of washing, go electric. For cleaning tasks of more than an hour, go with a gas-engine pressure washer.
That said, choosing a pressure washer that’s right for you can be difficult. To help you make the right choice, we’ve listed the top-rated pressure washers below.
We put these machines through the wringer. Read on for our evaluations.
The Best Overall
Unless you need to clean a sizeable barn, the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 is an excellent product for home use. This electric pressure washer relies on a 14.5-amp 1800-Watt motor to blast dirt away from outdoor surfaces.
We had heard good things about this product. But right out of the box, we noticed that the instruction manual lacked details about assembling the unit. This might not be much of a problem for experienced users, but a beginner is likely to be stumped.
To set up the SPX3000 2030, you need to slide the trigger gun holder and handle onto the machine’s body. You’ll have to secure the handle, the wand protector, and the wand holder with supplied screws. The two detergent bottles meanwhile snap into place on the back of the handle without much trouble.
Assembling the SPX3000’s wand is easy. Simply screw it together by hand and attach the spray hose. Putting together the inlet assembly requires no tools, as well. Just screw everything into place on the front of the machine and that’s it.
Once all that’s done, plug the machine into a socket and attach your garden hose. Turn the adaptor-counter-clockwise to tighten, making sure it’s not cross-threaded to avoid leaks. From there, you just turn the unit on and you’re good to go.
This machine generates 2030 PSI of water pressure. That’s enough to deliver a concentrated blast of water at a rate of 1.76 gallons per minute (GPM). The unit has a GFCI plug to prevent electrical shock in wet environments.
The SPX3000 2030 also comes with five nozzles with storage nooks in the back of the unit. They range from a zero-degree orange nozzle for removing grease stains to a black soap nozzle for low-pressure cleaning.
Given its power, we found that the SPX3000 2030 makes quick work of typical backyard cleaning tasks. We put it to work on an RV, a truck, a driveway, lawn equipment, and our test patio. The machine never faltered, performing quite well in all scenarios.
We found ourselves using the 15-degree yellow nozzle the most. With it, we were able to strip paint, get rid of mildew, and even blow rust away from steel.
A total stop system automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged. The manufacturer claims this feature saves energy even as it prolongs pump life.
Our opinion? The Sun Joe SPX3000 is a good choice for most homeowners, offering great value for your money. It’s one of the most powerful electric pressure washers in the market and is easy to use and store. We liked this product so much we gave it the top spot on this list.
This machine does sell quickly, though. This means you may have to wait a bit if online sellers are currently out of stock.
The Best Gas-Powered Option
If you’re looking for a portable gas-powered pressure washer, you’ll do well to consider the Westinghouse WPX2700. Like the Sun Joe SPX3000, this machine will clean decks, sidewalks, garage floors, cars, patio furniture, and exterior walls.
Unlike the SPX3000, beginners should have no problem setting up this machine. The instruction manual for the WPX2700 comes complete with instructions for assembling the unit.
You’ll need a 10mm wrench, but beyond that, everything clips, slides, and bolts on quite easily. We were done within a few minutes of unboxing.
You’ll also find a plastic bottle of engine oil in the box. Some reviewers have noted the poor quality of this oil and recommend you purchase oil separately. Make sure the engine is adequately lubricated before you move on to the process of starting the machine.
This pressure washer is powered by an OHV Horizontal Shaft Engine – a 4-stroke gas-powered mechanism of tough, heavy-duty construction. The engine comes with a recoil start system, which means you crank it up using a pulley.
Like all gas-powered power washers, the single most noticeable advantage of the WPX2700 over its electric rivals is portability. You don’t have to bother with the limitations of a power cord while moving this machine around.
The WPX2700 comes with four nozzles for various cleaning scenarios. You’ll also find a handy 1.6L soap tank on its side.
As its name implies, this machine delivers a spray on a formidable 2700 PSI pressure output. This pressure is enough to power a flow rate of 2.3 GPM. Both these specifications are suitable for deep-cleaning on different surfaces – and that the WPX2700 does that quite well.
The WPX2700 is safe to use on brick, stone, concrete, wood, aluminum, and iron. With a 3.3L fuel capacity and never-flat wheels, you can maneuver the strength of this washer quite easily.
We wish the machine had come with a better-quality hose, though. As it is, we see this becoming a problem after a few years.
We nevertheless put this Westinghouse product through the same gauntlet through which we put the SPX3000. The WPX2700 did just as well, if not a little better.
The only thing that kept the WPX2700 from occupying the top spot on this list is its price. This Westinghouse machine will cost you considerably more than the Sun Joe SPX3000. Having tested both machines, we’re not sure the difference in performance justifies the difference in cost.
The Best Heavy-Duty Power Washer
There are power washers and then there are heavy-duty power washers. The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer belongs to the latter category. Plainly stated, this machine stands out because of its terrific power.
Th MSH3125 delivers water pressure that’s rated at 3,200 PSI. This is enough to blast a concentrated spray of water at 2.5 GPM. These numbers are on the high side for pressure washers.
The machine comes partially assembled. You just need to snap the handle into place, attach the wand, and add some oil and fuel. The instruction manual is quite easy to follow.
The machine comes with its oil – but do be careful. Unfortunately, the manufacturers packaged the oil in a soft pouch that can break open when mishandled. But in all, the entire assembly process took us no more than 15 minutes.
The MSH3125 is driven by a fuel-efficient Honda GC190 engine. Its fuel tank holds half a gallon of gas. That’s enough for an hour or two of cleaning, depending on usage.
This looks to be a tough and durable machine. The frame is made of heavy-duty welded steel. The hose is kink- and abrasion-resistant and all the important fittings are brass. The power wand has a brass fitting with a quick-release mechanism that lets you switch fast five nozzles.
The cart has rugged 10-inch pneumatic wheels and a compact frame. These combine for easy maneuverability despite the machine’s size and weight.
The first thing you’ll notice when you fire up the engine is the noise. This is a gas-powered model, so expect some decibels when you use it. The sound is not deafening, though.
The machine’s power is readily apparent. The MSH3125 performed exceedingly well while cleaning everything from an oil-stained driveway to a mud-encrusted truck.
In fact, the unit we tested was so powerful, we had to be careful where we pointed the jet of water. The zero-degree nozzle, in particular, can scar the wood of your deck or damage the siding of your house!
You should be cautious even when using the gentler 40-degree nozzle to clean your car or motorcycle. You are liable to strip paint if you get in too close.
However, we were disappointed to realize that the unit lacks a dedicated soap tank. Instead of a soap container, the unit has a tube you insert into your soap bottle. We think this is an unnecessary inconvenience in a top-quality, heavy-duty tool.
Our verdict? The Simpson MSH3125 will cost you around $400. If you can afford it, we think it’s an excellent product for heavy-duty cleaning.
Also Worth Considering
The Wholesun 3000 PSI electric pressure washer is another budget-friendly option in the power washer market. This machine can handle most cleaning tasks around your house and garden without breaking the bank.
You should have no problems setting up this Wholesun product. However, the task does require a Philips screwdriver, so have one handy when you unbox this product.
Assembly is easy. Just screw in the hose reel on top and the cord holder on the backside. The pressure wand snaps into place with a simple twist-lock mechanism.
You’ll find a fixed hose dangling from the side of the machine. That goes into the threaded hose reel in front of the power washer. Once that’s attached, just connect the pressure washer lance to the hose and you’re ready to go.
The product comes with four nozzles, a plastic thumb cannon, and a brush attachment. Each of these accessories – including the wand – has storage compartments on the machine.
Most of the important connections on this Wholesun pressure washer are plastic. You’ll notice some parts flex when you apply pressure, as well. While we had no problems with the quality of the material, this is something that might be worth considering.
We could not verify both the water pressure and the GPM of this product. As advertised, its 1600-Watt motor should generate up to 3000 PSI at1.85 GPM. We estimate that it’s just about equal to the SPX3000 in both respects, though.
Be that as it may, this machine – which is about the size of carry-on luggage – performed satisfactorily under testing. The only downside we encountered was the 20-foot cord. We found this length wasn’t nearly enough to wash a car all the way around.
That said, we say this product is worth checking out, especially if you are a budget-conscious buyer. It’s certainly good enough to earn an honorable mention in this line-up.
Without exception, we found all the pressure washers in our line-up useful for cleaning a range of surfaces. Taken on their own, each did well from light cleaning to deep cleaning of concrete and other hard-to-clean surfaces.
Choosing the right one for your home will depend on your budget and how much power you need. You should also consider which features are important to you.
All in all, we say any of the products on this list is well-suited for typical home use. That says a lot in a market that’s full of less than worthy competitors.