Pressure washing (or power washing as it is sometimes known) is the use of high-pressure water spraying equipment to clean outside surfaces and buildings. The pressure of the spray can remove mould, loose paint, grime, dirt, dust and mud from surfaces and this type of cleaning is usually used on concrete, the outer walls of buildings and vehicles. The sheer force of the water exiting the washer means that its simply not a suitable method for cleaning anything that’s easily damaged. This is heavy duty outdoors cleaning for the most stubborn and difficult to manage surfaces!
Here, we review the top 10 pressure washers currently available in the UK, and these span a range of budgets, cleaning types and pressure variances. Read on for more info and to help determine which pressure washer is the one for you.
A popular ‘jack of all trades’ system for homeowners who are looking for a versatile washer to cover off their many requirements, the Karcher K2 is a lightweight pressure washer with a Full Control system to allow for the selection of a suitable pressure for a variety of surfaces. It’s portable, so easy to use around the home and garden, and aside from its standard programming also comes with a Car kit and a Patio Cleaner. The flow rate for the K2 is up to 360-litres per hour at a maximum temperature of 40c.
The Car Kit includes a foam lance to apply foam, a bristle brush for delicate areas and car shampoo. The Patio Cleaner is a T-150 system for cleaning 5x faster than a standard vario lance, and includes a specialist patio and decking detergent to cleanse and protect outdoor areas.
The Karcher K2 Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer is perfect for suburban homes who need their pressure washer to be multi-use.
The Karcher K5 Full Control Plus is essentially an industrial pressure washer system for a home environment: delivering a range of features and functions to tackle cleaning in a variety of areas and on a variety of surfaces.
The 3-in-1 Multi Jet lance works with vario lance, dirt blaster and detergent application settings. A touch-control trigger gun is included, and the high pressure hose measures 8m for easy coverage of large area. The motor within is water-cooled; something still not found often outside of industrial machines. The K5 has a 500-litre per hour flow rate and its 2100 watt induction motor unit is on wheels for ease of transportation. Pressure can be easily adjusted and the equipment is simple to connect - just click in and out and start cleaning! The K5 comes with a three-year manufacturer’s guarantee.
The Karcher K5 Full Control Plus Pressure Washer is perfect for homeowners of larger properties, or those who will need medium to heavy cleaning coverage periodically.
The most advanced of Karcher’s home pressure washers, the K7 Premium Full Control Plus system makes for the ideal addition to the cleaning cupboard of a large property that requires regular heavy-duty cleaning.
The K7 takes on the K5’s 3-in-1 Multi Jet lance for differing levels and types of clean, and the touch-control trigger gun ensures ease of use for pressure setting and detergent application. This is the K5, but amped up: upping the water flow capacity to 550-litre per hour, the water-cooled induction motor to 2800W, the hose length to 10m, and the maximum water temperature to 60c.
There’s plenty of accessories included with the K5: a specific ‘dirt blaster’ lance, an adjustable pressure lance, a quick and click connector, patio cleaner and detergent. Karcher recognise that this will be used considerably more heavily than its two lower-function counterparts, and so this comes with a 5-years manufacturer’s guarantee as standard.
The Karcher K7 Premium Full Control Plus Home Pressure Washer is perfect for those responsible for the regular cleaning of large properties with vast outdoor areas.
Designed for the house proud who need a pressure washer for outdoor areas that vary in surface, the Nilfisk Titan 120 comes with a box full of lances and accessories – there truly is something for everyone in there!
It’s not the most powerful of systems available on the market, but with an 85-bar aluminium pump and a flow rate of 440-litres per hour, it’s no shrinking violet either. The Nilfisk Titan 120 can be used directly from a water butt tap, and it’s compact and light enough that it’s easy to walk around with. The new wash brush included is ideal for the cleaning of windows, greenhouses and conservatories, giving it a real advantage over many home pressure washers for its versatility – not many can also tackle surfaces so delicate in comparison to their normal brick and concrete.
What’s more, the nozzle variety pack included; that is, the cycle/auto nozzle, the under chassis nozzle and the foam spray nozzle with a detergent bottle; are designed to clean vehicles and transport, and will make light work of dirty cars, vans, motorbikes, caravans and horse boxes.
The Nilfisk Titan 120 Pressure Washer is ideal for those who have more delicate glass surfaces that they may not have considered pressure washing before.
The Nilfisk Compact 110 is the ideal pressure washer for moving around easily and storing without taking up a lot of room, making it a firm favourite amongst those with pressure cleaning requirements but not a large property.
Operating at a maximum temperature of 40c with a flow rate of 440 litres per hour, the performance isn’t hindered by its size. It moves on wheels for easy manoeuvrability and assembly is minimal for fast first use. It comes with three nozzles as standard as well as a Compact Patio Cleaner for patios, driveways and solid decking, and a soft bristled fixed brush designed for vehicles. This is the ideal pressure washer system for basic pressure cleaning jobs around the house and outside; and can even handle conservatories and windows on its lighter settings. The Nilfisk Compact 110 can be used directly from a water butt tap and with a 5m hose and 5m mains cable, can be used about small and medium spaces easily.
The Nilfisk Compact 110 Home and Car Pressure Washer is ideal for those who need pressure cleaning but don’t have the room to store bulky equipment.
A good ‘all-rounder’, the Bosch Universal Aquatak looks like an industrial piece of kit but is expertly designed for home use – so you can look the part even if it’s your first time pressure washing! A 1700W induction motor powers a 380 litres per hour water flow rate and a 450ml detergent nozzle works with high pressure too for rapid and even soap application.
Quick and easy ‘push-click’ connections fit everything together, so once you’ve found a cleaning job to be done, you can get straight on it. For peace of mind, Bosch offer a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee and a 5-day turnaround repair service should you ever have a fault.
The Bosch Universal Aquatak 130 Pressure Washer is ideal for those who need a pressure washer for a variety of different tasks around the home.
With a water flow rate of 450 litres per hour and a 2100W motor delivering 140 bar of pressure, the Bosch AQT 45-14 X is a pressure washer system not to be ignored. It makes slight work of even the most stubborn of surface cleaning tasks and is a quick and efficient washer even for larger jobs.
The easy set-up means that you can be cleaning just minutes after opening the box for the first time, and the all-terrain wheels give you the ability to transport the cleaner to wherever it is you need to around the home and garden. What makes this machine really is its performance; and it’s suitable for walls, patios, driveways and vehicles – but may actually prove too powerful for greenhouses and fragile glass surfaces. All attachments and nozzles sit within the main body of the washer, so you’ll have easy access to everything you need as you move from site to site for cleaning. It also has an on-board water tank, so can be worked from static sources as well as a mains supply. For the price, it’s very competitive: this is industrial versatility at a domestic price tag!
The Bosch AQT 45-14 X Pressure Washer is perfect for those who need pressure washer cleaning to be completed across a variety of surfaces outdoors.
This compact and lightweight pressure washer system from Spear & Jackson is a budget bargain – it’s everything you’d need for small pressure washing jobs around the home and garden, particularly if you’ve never used one before.
It comes with a variable lance, fixed brush and detergent bottle, and is highly commended for its performance at cleaning garden furniture and BBQ equipment… so makes for a great summer buy if you’re intending n spending a lot of time in your garden! It’s extremely compact for easy storage in your shed or utility room, but with a flow rate of 270 litres per hour, it proves that size is little factor in function. The hose is 5m, the mains cable 5m, and washes at a maximum temperature of 40c.
The Spear & Jackson Pressure Washer is the perfect cleaning system for someone who only needs sporadic use of a pressure washer and doesn’t want to spend a great deal of money on a first time buy.
The McGregor Pressure Washer bats well above its weight when you consider the price tag: this pressure washer system can tackle medium sized cleaning jobs and is versatile enough to make this a great buy for any homeowner.
The adjustable spray lance can be easily moved about to change the cleaning programme from surface to surface without having to remove it or turn it off, so there’s no excuses for stopping a job halfway through! 300 litres per hour water flow rate makes quick work of stubborn jobs, powered by the 1400W universal motor working efficiently and quietly.
Compatible with all main brands of hose, the McGregor Pressure Washer works well as a base unit if you’d like to extend the cleaning range to other jobs, too. This is a total snip at just £60 – it’s a fantastic ‘all-rounder’ and a medium range machine for a seriously budget price tag!
The McGregor Pressure Washer is ideal for someone looking for a pressure washer for periodic cleaning, as well as anyone who has access to a variety of hoses to use for different jobs.
Unusual in that it’s battery powered rather than running from the mains, the Worx Hydroshot Pressure Washer looks great and performs well – but is incomparable to other models because it’s so much newer and more efficient!
The 20V Li-ion lightweight battery pack powers a 120 litre per hour water flow, with a maximum pressure of 22 bar and water temperature of 40c. It comes with a 6m hose, battery pack, carry bag, charger, long lance, short lance and multi-spray nozzle as standard, and can be run either from a standard garden hose or any remote water source – be that a bucket, lake, stream or even swimming pool! The 5-in-1 pressure nozzle can exert water at 0c, 15c, 20c, 40c or watering temperature, allowing it to perform at up to 10x the pressure of a standard garden hose.
The Worx Hydroshot Pressure Washer looks smart too, and is compact enough to be easily stored and moved around. The battery charger is also small enough to be transported easily so you can take the washer elsewhere for other jobs.
The Worx Hydroshot Pressure Washer is ideal for those who want a washer that looks great and is easily portable and sourced.
When forking out for a pressure washer, it’s important to be sure that you’ve weighed up your cleaning needs against the machine you’re intending to purchase. Research, compare, contrast, and speak to those who already own one to be certain that you have all of the relevant information to make a wise purchase to best service your home and garden.
Pressure washers used to be the domain of professional industrial cleaners, but now they’ve hit the mainstream and are widely available in high street retailers, more homeowners than ever are purchasing their own. There’s a huge range of models on the market, spanning a really large range of price tags; so what should you be looking for to ensure you buy the right one for you? We explain all.
Broadly speaking, the more expensive the pressure washer, the more power it has; but this isn’t always the case. What you need depends on your cleaning requirements. Cars, garden furniture, conservatories and greenhouses can be cleaned using a low power machine, but heavily soiled patios and property exteriors need a high-powered hose. Weigh up what you’ll actually use the washer for before you pick based on performance – because you may well not actually need something industrial strength.
Some cheaper pressure washers only feature small non-extendable hoses of about 3m in length. This isn’t enough to clean, say, a car, but would be fine for a bicycle. Make sure your pressure washer can get to where you need it to be, if that isn’t right next to a socket or outdoor tap. And that leads nicely onto…
Is the machine you’re looking to buy static or portable? Some smaller models are easily carried but pressure washers are often heavy, so be sure you can wheel it to where you need to if it’s travelling far from its permanent home in a shed or cupboard.
Most machines now come with accessory packs to increase the versatility of their use. These include specific nozzles and detergents for car cleaning, patio cleaning attachments, and adjustable nozzles to change the water pressure and spray. If you’re planning on using your pressure washer for some specific cleaning, ensure first that it comes with what you need it to – as not all brands offer all accessories, and not all machines will be compatible with add-on packs.
Alongside these things, practicality is key. Do you have space to store your new pressure washer, the budget to cover its purchase, and the water source to keep it running? Research online and never be afraid to check some out in shops to ensure they’re right for you. A good pressure washer can be worth its weight in gold, so don’t scrimp on searching out the right one.
Pressure washer power is expressed in litres per minute expelled, which is designed into the pump. The higher the pressure, the faster and harsher the clean; but this isn’t always the best, dependent on the surface requiring cleaning.
Nozzles fitted to a pressure washer alters the direction of flow and the velocity of the water being expelled. The use of a nozzle can focus more pressure on a smaller area or expand the reach of the water across a greater distance. However, playing around with the water flow can, of course, be difficult if not properly managed, so it’s imperative that these are used correctly to prevent user error.
Historically, pressure washers have only really been used commercially and by professionals, but their use is becoming more and more mainstream amongst homeowners ‘getting the job done’ themselves. Now with the washers available for anyone to buy from all good electrical and DIY superstores, you too can purchase a washer and get cleaning your own gutters, roofs, decks, patio, driveway and external property cladding. When used correctly, the results aren’t just improved aesthetics as a result of cleaner surfaces – but also minimising allergies due to lessening levels of residual dust and dirt, and minimising the risk of surfaces deteriorating or becoming unmanageable.
Despite pressure washers now being used by homeowners themselves rather than always paying for a pro to do so, this still isn’t a purchase that should be lightly. Not all pressure washers are the same and not all have the same features, pressure or usage instructions. It’s important that you inform yourself on the options prior to purchase and buy the right washer for you and your cleaning needs.
As a general guide, light usage jobs include the cleaning of garden furniture, rubbish bins, bicycles and motorbikes; medium usage jobs include lawnmowers, family cars, boats, fencing and guttering; and heavy usage jobs are the likes of driveways, building cladding and concrete driveways.