How to Properly Pressure Wash Your Car

So you’ve just bought your first pressure washer. Great! I am sure you are eagerly anticipating washing the dirt and grime off your patio, siding, and even your car in a quick and easy fashion. Because cars are a bit more vulnerable than many surfaces a pressure washer is intended for, it is important to remember certain rules to follow to make sure you wash your car properly and without damaging it. If you follow these steps, you can wash your car without any streaking, refrain from damaging any fragile bits, and ensure the hardest-to-wash parts of the car, such as the grill and wheel wells, get squeaky clean.

  1. Apply Detergent

First of all, attach the garden hose to your pressure washer and fill up the detergent tank with capable pressure washing detergent. Attach the 65 degree nozzle (the black nozzle) to the tip; this nozzle has low pressure and so will draw from both the water and the detergent tanks.

Begin by holding the nozzle about three feet from the car and spray the car. Be sure to spray the car from bottom to top, as this method prevents streaking. You can move closer than three feet as needed to wash certain parts of your car. For example, you probably want to get as close as 6 inches (but no closer) to wash the grill and the wheel wells. This method of starting from far away prevents damage to the delicate parts of your car. Additionally, you can use the scrub brush attachment for getting insects and other stubborn bits of debris off your grill.

Be sure to wear the correct protection when you are using your pressure washer – never wear flip-flops! Instead, wear safety goggles or glasses, safety gloves, closed-toed shoes, and pants. Damage to these parts of the body is easy to come by – but even easier to prevent.

  1. Wait for 5 Minutes

Next, let the detergent sit for about five minutes, so the soap can really soak in and give your car a deep clean. Be sure to spray the car intermittently to keep it wet, as you don’t want the soap to dry on the car (especially if it is a hot or sunny day).

  1. Detach Detergent & Rinse

Once five minutes has gone by, remove the detergent from the pressure washer to ensure no more soap will come out. Then after it is detached, point the trigger away from the car (in a safe direction) to flush the remaining soap out of the system. Remove the black nozzle and attach the white 40 degree nozzle. You are ready to rinse!

Spray your car from top-down this time, staying three to four feet away from your car the entire time. There is no reason to get closer at this point. Also, be careful about fragile parts (such as mirrors or light covers). You can back even further away when rinsing these, since your white nozzle has made the water even stronger. If you have stickers on your car, spray them directly (not from the side) to prevent peeling. You are finished!

Remember, it is recommended that you use medium duty pressure washer. Electric is preferred, as they tend to be cheaper, lighter, and a bit less strong, but you can wash your car with either if you follow these directions.

  • April 8, 2017
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