Best electric pressure washers to tackle dirt and grime

Get rid of dirt and grime in no time at all with the best electric pressure washers.

electric-pressure-washer - Edited

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

Sprucing up outdoor areas, cars, and patios may seem like a huge and daunting task, but it can be made so much easier by using the best electric pressure washers. Instead of traditional cleaning methods that involve brushes, soapy water, and a load of scrubbing and elbow grease, an electric pressure washer allows you to pull a trigger and blast away the grime, leaving a much cleaner space. You can tackle jobs that will take hours in minutes. Investing in a pressure washer can be a great way to save water, too as they use much less than a garden hose.

A pressure washer is fairly simple, really, as it is just a water pump powered by an electric motor. The difference between models is that they all vary in size, power, hose length, and the number of attachments available. Most pressure washers work with cold water, whereas a power washer, in comparison, uses very hot water and steam to wash away dirt and grime and is much more expensive. There are budget-friendly pressure washers out there, too.

Best pressure water at a glance

• Best overall: Bosch High Pressure Washer UniversalAquatak 135 - view on Amazon UK
• Best large pressure washer: DEWALT DXPW001ME High Pressure Washer - view on Amazon UK
Best for deep cleaning: Nilfisk 128471255 Core 140 Bar High Pressure Washer - view on Amazon UK

Compared to its alternative - the petrol pressure washer - electric pressure washers are the best for us regular home users. They have high power, are comfortable to use, and require little maintenance in comparison.

However, there are loads of different pressure washers on the market, from the more heavy-duty ones that tackle the big jobs to cordless pressure washers and smaller, handheld versions. In this guide, we'll round up the best electric pressure washers around and give you all the information you need to find one that suits you and your cleaning needs.

Best electric pressure washers

Best overall

Bosch High Pressure Washer UniversalAquatak
Price: £144.88 (was £209)

This is a pressure washer for both big jobs and the smaller ones as it has a long hose reach of seven metres. It is relatively simple to use, with no nozzles to swap over, and the powerful and effective cleaning will do wonders on your patio, garden furniture, or your car. The two handles make it easy to move around the garden as you clean, and the upright handle also folds down for easy storage. The pressure washer is supplied with three nozzles – pencil, jet and fan nozzle – and additional accessories, such as a wash brush or patio cleaner, can be bought separately.

Customer review: "I bought this machine to clean our patio (about 10x10m). It does this easily. Make sure you have it correctly set up - for most jobs you will want the "fan" spray. The "jet" is more powerful but it will take much longer to clean a flat surface. Be careful with the mortar between slabs as it is powerful enough to dislodge this. One thing I didn't expect is that it cleaned the yellow bricks at the base of our house very effectively. I would recommend this machine. Obviously, if you need to clean a bigger area, you may want a more powerful model, but this is ideal for my needs."

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Powerful with big wheels
  • Lightweight and good value

Cons

  • Some reviews say it doesn't feel robust

Best large pressure washer

If you're after a pressure washer that is sturdy enough to handle pretty much anything, the DEWALT high-pressure washer is built from high-quality materials to see you through all your outside tasks. The pump motor will give reliable service in even the most extreme environments, and the high-pressure foam tank allows for soap distribution - if you need it - in a quick and effective way. You can turn the wash nozzle to switch between jets, but it's worth noting that this is only suitable for home and garden use, not professional.

Customer review: "Best pressure washer I have ever used."

Pros

  • High pressure
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • A little bulky and heavy

Best for easy pressure change

Nilfisk 128471255 Core 140 Bar High Pressure Washer with In-Hand Power Control for Home
Price: £225 (was £235.99)

The Nilfisk high pressure washer easily handles your deep-cleaning tasks, including auto and car, patio, grills, outdoor furniture and a variety of surfaces such as wood decking, tile, stone, metal, driveway, and so much more.

Our review: "After unrolling Nilfisk's neatly packed 6m long ultra-flex hose, connecting it to the water and switching on the power, I realised I didn't need a high amount of pressure to clean the car.

"Leaving it on the lowest setting out of three, one being the lowest and three being the highest, it was supremely easy to handle with one hand. After wetting the car, I fixed the 90-degree hose attachment which allowed me to get right under the wheel arches of the car without bending down at any awkward angles - a huge bonus.

"However, because of how close the hose ends up being to the chassis of the car, you need both hands to manage the pressure, otherwise, it spins around."

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Hose storage wheel is a handy addition
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Hand controls are a little temperamental over time

Best compact pressure washer

Yard Force 1800W 135Bar Compact Pressure Washer
Price: £89.99

www.diy.com

Small and lightweight, this pressure washer is perfect for most cleaning tasks, giving you gleaming results with minimum effort. It is perfect for cleaning large areas of the patio, decking, and block paving, as well as cars, garden furniture, caravans, boats, and more. As well as the range of accessories (including high pressure and a turbo nozzle), it also features a fully foldable handle, minimising storage space. A great buy for small households and less full-on tasks.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Turbo nozzle

Cons

  • No reviews to reflect on the customer's experience

Best for small jobs

Less than 40cm high and 22cm wide, this tiny Karcher washer weighs only just over 4kg, unfilled with accessories attached. If you only do one job that requires a pressure washer, this is a great option as you don't have to think about storage or accessories that you'll never get around to using. It hasn't got wheels, but you can hold the machine in one hand and move it as you work. Although it hasn't got the power to blast heavy-duty stains from concrete, it will happily scourge your patio or decking of ground-in grime and algae just in time for the spring and summer months.

Customer review: "I'm a newcomer to the world of power tools, and forgot to thank about a water source. I came back to this site for a suction hose - it uses less water and means you don't need an outdoor tap. The machine itself is pretty much plug-and-play. Grand for light household duties, but I doubt it would be any use to someone who required a washer for commercial use."

Pros

  • Good for beginners
  • Lightweight
  • Is more powerful than it looks

Cons

  • Some reviews say attachments are fiddly

Best heavy-duty washer

This is the one for the big jobs and is probably a little too much for some people. However, if you're serious about buying a heavy unit, the Nilfisk P 180 stands at nearly 1m tall and weighs 26.8kg, which is all enclosed in a built-in trolley that is relatively easy to push around. Watch out for the power, though, as even the gentle nozzle will blast off dirt and residue.

Customer review: "This is the 180bar not the 150 as per most reviews here. This has replaced my e140 Nilfisk and the superior pressure is immediately noticeable. I had engrained areas on my decking that the 140 had difficulty to remove. However this 180 bar has now removed them, and is very powerful. Also bought the patio cleaner attachment on special offer and to my surprise it actually works very well."

Pros

  • Super powerful
  • Works on a variety of surfaces

Cons

  • Tricky to assemble

Best cordless electric pressure washer

The WORX Hydroshot is for people who have small areas to clean. The full kit includes a brush, soap bottle and foldable water bucket, meaning you'll have all the accessories you need to make your garden furniture sparkle. This compact 1.75kg machine is 10 times stronger than a garden hose. With 120 litres per hour (l/h) flow rate, 25 bar maximum pressure, and 20V, you'll make light work of smaller jobs. Either drop the draw hose into a water butt, pond, or bucket - or hook it up to your garden tap.

Customer review: "Need to use in context of it being a cordless washer, and therefore not as strong as a powered unit. Excellent product thought and superb for spraying down your car after a wash. Plenty of power to clean under wheel arches on your car. Battery lasts around 20 mins."

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable and cordless

Cons

  • Not overly powerful - it can't clean patios, for example

Buyers Guide

Below, we have some more guidance on choosing the best pressure washer for your responsibilities. After all, you want to use the correct electric pressure washer - ideally something versatile if you're a busy bee with lots to do.

With the help of AO.com, we have a guide to help you determine which type of pressure washer is best for your task.

Pressure

The primary function of the pressure washer is - you guessed it - its pressure. Essentially, this determines the force used to expel water. The pressure needed depends on your home and garden tasks, measured in bars or PSI:

Light – is around 100 bars, for smaller jobs involving wood and delicate objects.

Medium – is 110-130 bars, suitable for a medium-sized job like the patio.

High – is between 130 to 150 bars, needed for objects that require a deep clean.

Remember, before using the pressure washer, always start with lower pressure settings and test on a small area to ensure it doesn't cause damage to the surface being cleaned. Take advantage of a pressure washer's features and adjust the pressure or nozzle settings based on the cleaning task and surface type to get the best results.

So, which pressure is right for me? Find out below...

Garden Living

Garden Furniture - can be cleaned with a light-to-medium pressure washer, depending on the material.

If you have a penchant for the boho aesthetic, your electric pressure washer needs to be on a lower setting to make sure the wood stays intact. Whereas, metals can take a little more pressure if grimy enough - provided they're dried afterwards to prevent any rusting. For garden furniture, we recommend the Kärcher Pressure Washer K2 Compact.

Fences - need a medium-duty electric pressure washer. If your garden fence is a source of great shame - and you're sick of it looking so grimy, the aforementioned Kärcher K2 or the Yard Force 1800W Compact model could be useful. A medium pressure helps in removing dirt and restoring the fence's appearance without causing damage. Good as new.

Decking and Patio- need something in the medium range, making it ideal for cleaning patios and wooden decking. Ideally, you could be able to adjust the pressure depending on the surface type to prevent damage. Luckily, the Nilfisk 128471255 has a power control dial - to easily change the pressure levels for precise cleaning needs.

Outdoor Grills - have requirements similar to your car. It can be done with a light to medium-duty electric pressure washer. For this, use lower pressure settings and suitable cleaning solutions on the WORX Cordless Cleaner. After all, you don't want to damage your prized outdoor grill - you want it grime-free for alfresco cookouts this summer.

Other Jobs

Car Cleaning - requires a light-duty electric pressure washer to protect your precious paint job. For this, we recommend most pressure washers that can vary their output - lowering their pressure to around 100 bars. From our round-up, we recommend the WORX Cordless Model if you're not looking to use a washer for anything else.

Exterior Walls - made of stucco, stone or something else, require a medium to high pressure, ranging between 130-145 bars. Consider the Bosch UniversalAquatak 135 to effectively remove dirt without damaging the surface of your walls. Say goodbye to grime and hello to decorated garden walls; a picturesque, shady spot to place an armchair.

Pavement - requires a medium-duty electric pressure washer of around 120-130 bars of pressure, which will effectively lift dirt. Cleaning your pavement will keep the outside of your home looking pristine. Don't be surprised when the neighbours come by to borrow your new piece of kit. For this, the Yard Force 1800W Compact model is best.

Driveways - are, usually, made of concrete or asphalt - and therefore, require a high-pressure washer. After all, this higher pressure will effectively remove tough stains, oil stains and everything else. For this sort of job, the DEWALT DXPW001ME Washer will come in handy - as its max bar pressure is 130. You'll certainly be envied in the street.

Gutters - will need a light to medium-duty electric pressure washer to clean effectively. Though it's not the most glamorous outdoor job of the bunch, it needs to be done. For this, we would recommend a washer with an appropriate nozzle and adjustable pressure settings to prevent damage. Try the Nilfisk or Yard Force washers for this task.

FAQs

Why should I choose an electric pressure washer?

With an electric pressure washer, you'll need to consider these two factors in particular:

Power rating: Given in Watts (W), this will correlate with the pressure and flow rate of your pressure washer. The higher the power, the more energy it has to deliver more powerful cleans.

Power supply: Powered by electricity, these types of pressure washers will need access to power to function. They'll either have a cable - for which you should double-check the cable length to your nearest power outlets. Or, be cordless. Cordless pressure washers give you unrestricted access but rely on battery power, making them only best suited for light cleaning jobs.

Are electric pressure washers any good?

Electric pressure washers are incredibly versatile and will be your right-hand pal for many jobs, including:

Cleaning your car
Cleaning exterior walls of your house
Cleaning decking and patios
Washing heavy-duty fabrics like rugs
Cleaning BBQs and grills
Brightening up outdoor furniture, wooden and plastic
Removing old paint
Removing chewing gum from stone floors

What pressure do I need?

The water pressure is measured in bars or PSI (pounds per square inch). The higher the bar, the more powerful the pressure washer is. For a light clean, up to 100 bars will do the trick. A medium clean will do well with 110 to 130 bars, typically found on pressure washers for patio and car cleaning. However, if you're working on more intense jobs, need to clean large areas or are looking to clean stone, 130 bars and up would be your best choice.

The best budget pressure washers

Best Kärcher pressure washers for a powerful yard clean

The best patio cleaners for effortless cleaning

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Hannah Mellin is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, A Modern Kitchen, Yours and Take A Break. She has been working in the Journalism industry for over a decade and has written for an array of brands including John Lewis, Daily Mirror and Grazia. When she's not writing, researching or testing products, she's renovating her Victorian terrace and chilling in the garden with her sausage dog Waffle.

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