In this guide we’ll take a look at the best pressure washers for the UK market.
I’ve compared power, pressure, cleaning performance and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Pressure Washer?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Best pressure washer
The Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer allows you to achieve professional-level cleaning in your own home. Easily cleaning cars, patios and brickwork with its powerful jet, you’ll love the results this pressure washer gives you.
Things to Know Before Buying a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are excellent tools for getting cleaning jobs done fast (and effectively!). If thoughts of tedious tasks, like de-griming the wheel arches of your car, have you running for the hills, you’ll love how much easier a pressure washer will make your life.
If you want to take the plunge and buy a pressure washer, check out the tips below to help you make an informed purchase.
There are several benefits to using a pressure washer. Pressure washers draw water from a tap or bucket and shoot it out at high speed to blast away dirt, dust, and grime. They also use less water than a standard hose to do the same job. What’s not to love!
Using water alone is such a great way to clean things; it’s non-abrasive and gentle on surfaces like car paint or the grouting between patio slabs. Some models also have a little compartment for detergent if you want to add some to the cleansing mix.
Some models allow you to use water from different sources, like buckets and water bottles. This is great because you can use them away from home, or use recycled water from your water butt keeping bills low!
Here are a few other more unusual uses:
- Prepare outside surfaces for painting
- Clean kids play equipment
- Clean outdoor furniture
- Clean up garage or shed floors
- De-slip the front door entrance steps
- Clean mouldy fencing
- Collect leaf fall
- Spot-clean mould
- Clean out wheelie bins
- Wash encrusted garden tools
- Clear guttering and unblock drains (with the right accessories)
- Clean the BBQ
And, more imaginatively, blast a stuck football from a tree or peel your new potatoes!
First up, read the instructions. This is important because brand models vary, but here’s the standard way to use a pressure washer:
- Attach the machine’s high-pressure hose to the lance. Let your garden hose run for a bit to clear any debris in the pipe (you won’t want high-velocity gravel flying into your car paint!).
- Connect the hose to your garden tap or place the suction hose into a body of water such as a water butt. Check all the fittings are nice and tight – important!
- Plug it in, or in the case of a petrol pressure washer, start the engine. Turn the pressure washer to its lowest setting and let it warm up a little
- Squeeze the trigger handle gently. If water sprays out it’s time to clean. If it doesn’t, check your connections.
- Hold the nozzle at 45 degrees to the surface and begin cleaning. Start at the top of vertical surfaces and keep moving the lance.
- Add detergent now if you’re using it.
- Rinse with plain water and spray surfaces at the pressure washer’s widest setting for a final rinse down.
Connecting a Garden Hose to a Pressure Washer
This sounds simple, but it can be tricky. What makes things more complicated is that different models use varying methods! Here’s the standard method, but do check the manufacturer’s instructions:
- Fully unwind the hose so that kinks don’t prevent water flow. Let it run for a minute to clear out any debris. Turn it off and let water drain free.
- Now you need to attach the garden hose to the water inlet port on the pressure washer. It’s often colour-coded, or labelled ‘screw attachment’ or ‘free flow connector’. It basically a hole through which water can flow into the machine (and ultimately blasting out jet hose on the other side!).
- Screw it in tightly making sure the connectors are straight. If it won’t screw on, check to see if there’s a pull back valve. These clip the hose into place rather than screwing it in.
If you can’t get it working working, the manual is a good place to search for help. Some pressure washer companies, like Wilks, even have a customer service line to call so don’t hesitate to contact them if you’re having problems.
It’s no good choosing a low-strength pressure washer with only 22 bars if you need to clean tough algae or a mould spotted patio. Equally, going overboard with an industrial petrol fired 440 bar washer just to clean the car on Sundays will only lead to tears and shredded paint.
Consider the jobs you will be using your pressure washer for, and use the following guide to help choose the best pressure washer power for your needs:
100 bars and below
- Wheelie bins
- Garden furniture
- Guttering and facias
- Car cleaning plus caravans and boats
A lot of people use a pressure washer for car cleaning AND patios – so, is this safe? If you need it for a mixture of jobs it’s about how much time you have to spare. You could choose a higher pressure but use it on the lower settings – just be careful and always pay attention; too high a pressure can strip paint.
Alternatively, you could go mid-range and spend longer on the heavy duty jobs. A 120 bar pressure washer will also clean your decking – it’ll just take longer than one with 130+ bars.
In general, you won’t need much (if any!) detergent because the sheer force of plain water is usually enough to dislodge most grim; however, sometimes maybe you’ll want to give your car a good foamy wash down, or polish up the patio slabs. It’s a good idea to use detergent on mouldy patios as plain water can spread mould spores.
Detergent directions will differ from model to model, so always read the instructions. Some units have built-in detergent compartments, or a corresponding accessory, which you might look out for if you’re thinking about using detergent with your pressure washer more often.
Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle or sponge to apply detergent to the surface and then pressure wash it clean. You should always remove the majority of dirt before applying detergent so it can really get into the stains.
Its best to buy purpose-made pressure washer detergent as soap, laundry liquid, or washing up liquid can foam up into huge amounts that just won’t wash away.
You may have a particular task in mind for your new pressure washer, such as cleaning a gutter – a job which needs a handy tool. Here are a few pressure washer accessories currently on the market for completing different jobs:
- Drain and gutter cleaning kits – helps you clean without ladders or opening up a drainpipe.
- Patio cleaner – These are fast, splash-free attachments that often have several rotating heads.
- Telescopic lance – Get high-pressure water to high places such as shutters, fascia boards and eaves.
- Extension Hose – An extension hose gives you more reach.
- Under chassis nozzle – this helps you clean the wheel arches beneath your car
- Soft Pressure Washer Brush – a large brush with an outer ring to prevent scratches on glass or caravans
- One Way Lance – for spot cleaning high-pressure areas.
Whether you buy an electric pressure washer or a petrol one depends on what you want to use it for.
Electric pressure washers are usually better for home use, as they require an electrical socket, whereas petrol pressure washers are noisy but can go anywhere.
Should I buy an electric pressure washer?
They are quieter than petrol ones and easy to start with the flick of a button. Electric pressure washers are now powerful enough to clean encrusted patios and driveways and can tackle any outside townhouse job.
They are more lightweight than their petrol-powered cousins, and simply plug into a power source and outside tap. Some will even draw water from a bottle or bucket.
The disadvantage of electric pressure washers is that they have to be plugged in. This is a problem if the object or area you want to clean isn’t near a socket.
There is one more choice for lighter jobs – a battery-powered pressure washer like the WORX model featured in the review above. This runs from an interchangeable lithium battery which is perfect if you have lighter jobs to do without a power supply nearby.
Should I buy a petrol pressure washer?
These are best for regular- to large-scale jobs and heavy-duty use. Farmers, landscape gardeners and other professionals tend to use petrol pressure washers as they are incredibly powerful and don’t need to be connected to a power socket.
If you have a big outdoor space, a petrol pressure washer gives you portability and power. On the downside they are noisy, smelly and often heavy.
As with all tools you must keep yourself safe. Always keep in mind that electricity and water are not a good mix so stay alert.
Poorly maintained cables
If you need to move your pressure washer, pick it up. Don’t drag it by the hose or cable – this leads to wear and tear on the power supply, and potentially electric shocks. If you notice damage to your pressure washer don’t use it. Whip out that warranty and get the problem sorted.
Power cables and hoses are serial offenders for ‘tripping people up’. When cables are trailing around, watch where you step and keep pets or children well away.
Water is slippery. So is detergent. Always use the right amount of detergent to avoid unnecessary soap suds.
You will get wet using a pressure washer so dress accordingly with sturdy shoes. Wearing eye protection is a good idea as it will protect you from any water and filth that splash back from walls, fences and patios.
Pressure washers blast out water so fast it can seriously hurt a person. The eyes, ears and mouth are particularly vulnerable, but even tougher body parts can get horribly bruised – it is not the same as a garden hose. Keep the lance pointing downward.
Never fire water at electrical cables, into open windows, or at living creatures.
There’s lots of terminology when it comes to pressure washers. It can make it hard to understand what you’re looking at.
Here’s a quick guide to the main terms:
- Bar Pressure: The higher the bar measurement, the more force the water sprays out with. The numbers – for example ‘220’ – mean its 220 times more powerful than the air pressure around you. It’s also called PSI which is ‘pounds per square inch’.
- Water Flow L/h: Water flow in litres per hour. This indicates how much water the pressure washer can deal with. It’s usually measured in litres and hours but sometimes per minute and on occasion gallons per minute. The more water flows the quicker and more forceful the pressure washer is. A higher litre per hour means less time cleaning.
- Detergent Intake: This is the container or pipe that soap travels down before spraying out.
- High Pressure Hose: The hose that runs from your machine and holds the nozzle and attachments. A standard hose would explode from the pressure so don’t use one there. If you need to replace a high-pressure hose get one that can withstand more pressure than the machine pumps out.
- Water inlet: A hose that connects the pressure washer to the main water supply
- High Pressure Outlet: This is the connection for a high-pressure hose.
- High-Pressure Pump: The pump is the part that pushes water from the washer. It’s driven by the electric or petrol motor, so the more powerful the motor the higher the pressure.
Everything We Recommend
More Detailed Pressure Washer Reviews
Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer Review
The Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer is the best pressure washer on the UK market today. It’ll clean anything from your patio to your car, and you get a lot for your money too. Like most other Karcher pressure washers the K4 isn’t cheap; however, it’s well-built and delivers on performance.
The pressure washer offers 1800 W of power and a has water-cooled engine. This means you can get a lot of cleaning done, but stay safe in the knowledge that the engine won’t overheat.
This powerful pressure washer can spray 420 L of water per hour with 130 bars of pressure. It’s capable of cleaning 30 m in one hour – that’s enough to tackle the majority of household tasks!
There is an easy-to-use LED screen on the handle, making it easy to select the right pressure for the job in hand. The pressure level can be changed in an instant, and there are pre-set modes for different tasks; there’s one setting for washing the car, and another for cleaning stone or brickwork on a patio, for example.
The display screen is powered by two AAA batteries loaded into the trigger gun handle.
So what about attachments you ask? Well, this pressure washer has a dirt-blasting lance with a powerful rotating head – it makes light work of washing dirt from tyres or wheel rims. It also has a water butt attachment to help cut water consumption, a patio cleaning attachment, patio cleaner, vario lance, and a spray lance too.
This washer gets my vote as the best power washer on the UK market; it’s easy to handle and simple to change from one function to another. The 130 bars of pressure, along with its variety of attachments, make it perfect for outdoor cleaning tasks.
- Pressure: 130 bars
- Power: 1800 w
- Litres Per Hour: 420 L
- Hose Length: 6 m
WORX WG629E.1 MAX Cordless HYDROSHOT Portable Pressure Cleaner Review
Worx 20V Battery High Pressure Washer Hydroshot WG629E is the best pressure washer if you’re looking for versatility. It can draw water from any source; if you have a tap at the front of your house, it’s perfect for cleaning your car; or if you have a water butt in your garden it’s great for re-using water.
You don’t even need a tap; it’ll turn a bucket of water or even a bottle into a high-powered jet of water. If you’re by a lake, pond, or river, that’ll work too. This, plus its cordless design, makes it extremely versatile. You can chuck it in the car to wash off your mountain bike, blast your kids’ muddy wellies when camping, wash off winter grime from a balcony, or clean an entire car from any water source.
The water pressure is limited to 22 bars. This doesn’t seem much in comparison with other pressure washers on this page, but it’s still 10 x the power of a garden hose.
It’s powered by a rechargeable battery that’ll last around an hour with continuous use. Charging takes 5 hours from dead to recharged. If you already own other 20 V Worx products their batteries are interchangeable – alternatively you can buy them individually to extend cleaning time.
5 hours is a longer charge-up time than some lithium batteries, but this avoids battery burn-out from heat build-up. To get a longer running time, switch on the ‘variable use’ setting – it’s not as powerful, but still shifts dirt.
There are multiple pressure settings on the 5-in-1 pressure nozzle. From a fine mist to a pulsating sprayer– just turn the head to pick out the setting you need. The fine mist is gentle enough to remove dust or bird mess from plants. The nozzle has a rotating head to get into all the nooks and crannies.
The hose is 6 m long which is plenty to get round your car without having to move the bucket. Alternatively, you can fix the nozzle straight onto the machine (leaving out the hose) for close-up jobs. The lance attachment adds an extra 35 in to the overall length.
This is a fully portable and versatile machine that you can take anywhere without a power source or water supply. Even if you already own a pressure washer, this is a useful, cordless tool which opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
- Pressure: 22 bars
- Power: 20 V
- Litres Per Hour: 150 L
- Hose Length: 10 m
Bosch EasyAquatak 120 Pressure Washer Review
The Bosch EasyAquatak 120 is powerful yet compact, and it can draw water from any source. It’s a reliable all-rounder and many consider it the best pressure washer available for tighter budgets.
The Easy Aquatak is one of those things that, as soon as you get one, you can’t understand how you lived without. One of its best functions is the ability to draw water from any source and still push out a whopping 120 bars of water pressure.
This Bosch is small but mighty. It knocks out enough pressure to blast down your walls and patio no problem and the water stops when you release the trigger. This keeps water consumption down and prevents the biblical-style flood that can happen with other makes.
This pressure washer will draw water from a garden hose or an unpressurised source such as a bucket (you need to buy a separate suction hose for this, though). It opens up a whole new cleaning world – one without the necessity for an outside tap!
The design of this pressure washer is a bit different. It’s made with a low centre of gravity so it looks pretty quirky, but that design feature stops it toppling over. The wide base means you can tug it and it won’t fall down like the majority of pressure washers do. You can even set it on a table and it won’t fall off easily.
When it comes to accessories, this pressure washer is well equipped. It has fixed fan jet nozzle for basics, a rotary nozzle for stubborn dirt in hard-to-reach places, and a high-pressure detergent nozzle to blast away built-up grime that needs a proper wash.
All the accessories store on the machine. This is a real perk as it keeps things tidy; it’s also invaluable if, like me, you’re constantly losing tool parts. Having all the accessories to hand is a real time saver, and they just click in and out of place when required.
This is one of the best portable pressure washers. It has with a built-in handle, is versatile, and ready to go straight out the box. It’s perfect for town life – ideal for washing the wheelie bin out, cleaning the car, spraying windows and balconies and even blasting the decking clean.
- Pressure: 120 bars
- Power: 1500 w
- Litres Per Hour: 350 L
- Hose Length: 5 m
Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer Review
The Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer is a great all-rounder. It’s also one of the best pressure washers on the market for getting the most bang for your buck, especially when you consider all its great features.
It has an air-cooled 1400 w motor, 110 bars of pressure and a water flow of 360 L per hour. It’s not as powerful as Karcher’s K4 model, but if you don’t need all that power then why spend more?
This jet washer is ideal for cleaning cars, bicycles and tidying up patios in small gardens. It’s lightweight, and versatile enough for simple surface-grime tasks: washing the winter off a furniture set, hosing down a muddy patio, or cleaning your bike.
In terms of attachments, this pressure washer comes with several. It has a dirt blasting lance with a rotating point whose jet spray gives you up to 50% greater cleaning power than a hose. Additionally, it comes with a standard lance which offers constant high pressure, a T50 T-racer patio cleaner, a detergent pouch, and a trigger gun. That’s a lot of attachments for such a reasonably-priced pressure washer.
You can store all these attachments in a compartment inside the unit to keep nozzles readily available and tidy.
This pressure washer has a detergent pipe and detergent suction tube for washing off tougher dirt – something that’s unusual to find at this price point. It also has a built-in filter to prevent dirt particles from damaging the engine and pump.
It doesn’t have wheels but includes clips to carry it around.
This is an excellent, budget-friendly unit. I’d say it’s the best pressure washer you’ll be able to find at this price with so many features and accessories.
- Pressure: 110 bars
- Power: 1400 w
- Litres Per Hour: 360 L
- Hose Length: 4 m
Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer Review
This Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer is the Kärcher K4’s main competitor. It’s got to be said, Nilfisk have done a great job with this model. It’s small but powerful and well worth your consideration.
The C130 has a powerful 1700 w air-cooled motor, can produce 440 L of water per hour, and delivers a might 135 bars of water pressure – but it’s still gentle enough to leave the paint on your car.
This pressure washer’s powerful water flow makes it ideal for small- to medium-sized patios and driveways. It has a 6 m high-pressure hose, and 6 m mains cable, making it easy to clean big objects such as cars. The handle has an auto stop/start button for safety; it doesn’t matter how far from the base unit you are.
This excellent piece of kit comes with a click-and-clean nozzle for more accuracy when spraying , a spray lance with 360-degree rotation, and a built-in low-pressure nozzle. There’s also a wash brush and click-and-clean spray bottle for detergent.
The Nilfisk C130 is made from recycled plastic and is lightweight and wheel-mounted; you don’t need to be an athlete to use it!
This is a great pressure washer because it can hold a bit more water than the others making it the best pressure washer for bigger tasks. It’s ideal for cleaning your car, motorbike, patio or decking – a great all-rounder.
- Pressure: 135 bars
- Power: 1700 w
- Litres Per Hour: 440 L
- Hose Length: 6 m
Wilks-USA RX525 High Powered Pressure Washer Review
The Wilks-USA RX525 High Powered Pressure Washer delivers 165 bars of pressure, making it one of the top models for power whilst still remaining easy to use and versatile.
This product is well built from high-quality materials. It includes an extremely reliable, copper-wound, brushless 2400W motor capable of delivering 450 L of water.
The unit is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre with sturdy wheels and a comfortable telescopic handle.
It comes with a full range of accessories including a lance, a gutter lance, 5 x varying nozzles, a turbo wand, a fixed washer brush, a rotary brush and a patio cleaner. The pressure washer also comes with an 8 m hose and 5 m power cable. These allow you to get into difficult areas, like gutters for example, and complete tricky jobs with less hassle.
The patio cleaning tool makes removing grime from winter, or general algae build up, an absolute breeze. The unit also has a detergent spray system to make cleaning even quicker and easier.
Overall this is good option if you are looking for a pressure washer which is easy to manoeuvre and has build quality.
- Pressure: 165 bars
- Power: 2400 w
- Litres Per Hour: 450 L
- Hose Length: 8 m
Nilfisk C110 4-5 X-Tra Pressure Washer Review
The Nilfisk C110 4-5 X-Tra Pressure Washer offers great value for money. In my opinion it’s one of the best budget pressure washers for home use.
The air-cooled 1400 Watt motor, 110 bars of pressure, and high water flow rate of 440 litres per hour makes the Nilfisk C110 great on small areas, but I’d recommend a higher bar pressure model for thorough cleaning of large driveways or very dirty patios.
The Nilfisk has a 5-metre high-pressure hose and five-metre electric cable to let you move from patio to washing cars easily.
The C110 has a pre-fitted filter to keep dirt out of the water supply. That’s a good feature if you get caught up in your work and have no time to manually check.
It also features an automatic on/off function powered by a thermal sensor. The sensor shuts off the pump when the load is too high, which saves energy and water.
Reviewers say the C110 can easily clean moss from garages and bird droppings from patios with the standard accessories that come with the unit.
One of the best accessories is the click and clean tornado nozzle that gives you fan jet power for cleaning and rinsing average surfaces such as patio furniture and plant pots.
There’s also the powerspeed nozzle that works well on tougher stains and dirt – the kind you might find on muddy patios or smudged shed walls.
The Nilfisk C110 offers a small but powerful unit comparable to many Karcher models. If Karcher pressure washers are too bulky or expensive for you, this is a good alternative. It’s a tough entry-level unit that doesn’t use a lot of power compared to the other best power washers on this list – but it works just as well.
Mobile and easy to transport from place to place, the Nilfisk C110 4-5 X-Tra pressure washer scores points for its practical attachments and strong, yet lightweight build -but some say it’s hard to disconnect attachments.
- Pressure: 110 bars
- Power: 1400 w
- Litres Per Hour: 440 L
- Hose Length: 5 m
Makita HW101 Compact Pressure Washer Review
The Makita HW101 Compact Pressure Washer is a compact machine that delivers more power than you would expect from a small pressure washer. It’s ideal for cleaning cars and patio furniture.
The powerful 1300 watt motor produces 360 litres of water per hour with bar pressure of 100 max.
This compact machine has a 3-metre hose as well as a lance and gun attachment. The unit itself is well built, light and compact – ideal if you don’t have much space to store a large pressure washer.
This pressure washer doesn’t come with all the attachments of larger more expensive machines and it doesn’t have a detergent spray system, so you have to apply detergent with the spray bottle provided.
That said this does a fantastic job of cleaning patios, decks and other general cleaning tasks without the hefty price tag.
This is an idea entry-level machine for general cleaning tasks and it won’t break the bank. Overall, it’s one of the best small pressures washers you can buy.
- Pressure: 100 bars
- Power: 1300 w
- Litres Per Hour: 360 L
- Hose Length: 3 m
VonHaus 1600W Pressure Washer Review
The VonHaus 1600W Pressure Washer is a compact, budget-friendly pressure washer that produces 330 litres of water per hour at 90 bar of pressure.
It has 1600 watts which is a good amount and helps get deep cleaning done quickly despite the lower bar pressure.
The pressure washer comes with a quick-connect spray gun as well as a detergent bottle to spray on your cleaning product before washing. The nozzle is adjustable and the 5-metre hose allows you to clean large items like cars with ease.
This is a compact and lightweight machine that nonetheless delivers on power with its 1600 watt motor. It does a great job on lightly soiled patios, garden furniture and cars. The unit is lightweight and compact making it easy to move around and store.
This is a good budget option for cleaning lightly dirtied patios, cars and garden furniture.
- Pressure: 90 bars
- Power: 1600 w
- Litres Per Hour: 330 L
- Hose Length: 5 m
Pressure Washer FAQs
Yes. If your time is valuable, and you’d like to cut down the time you spend on cleaning tasks, it’s well worth buying a pressure washer. Pressure washers cut cleaning time significantly. Think about it; instead of scrubbing at the wheel arches of your car with a sponge for hours, that grime could be gone in a few swift blasts.
Yes. You can use a pressure washer to wash your car and you can be sure that it will do a great job as well! Don’t use a pressure washer with more than 130 bars of pressure for car cleaning. Pressure higher than 130 could start to strip the paint.
Always be vigilant when using a pressure washer to clean your car. Keep an eye on the paint to make sure it is not getting damaged.
Yes, pressure washers work extremely effectively even without detergent. The benefit of detergent is that it can help kill germs and bacteria, and create more of a shine. If you’re cleaning mouldy areas, you should consider using detergent to kill the mould spores and stop them spreading.
- Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer
- Kärcher K7 Premium Full Control Plus Home Pressure Washer
- WORX WG629E.1 MAX Cordless HYDROSHOT Portable Pressure Cleaner
- Bosch EasyAquatak 120 Pressure Washer
- Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer
- Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer
- Nilfisk C110 4-5 X-Tra Pressure Washer
- Makita HW101 Compact Pressure Washer
- VonHaus 1600W Pressure Washer