Power Washing

Messages
33,512
Location
Southern NJ
Thread starter
I have an electric power washer I use for siding/deck etc. I thought about using it to clean the cars. I know you have to be careful with a pw but are there any advantages of using one instead of a regular garden hose? I can see it being beneficial on the wheels. They also use less water.
 
Messages
7,003
Location
North Carolina
I use one before I polish paint to remove the dirt that gets trapped in tight panel gaps. The vibration from polishing can shake it out and then you're sanding. No bueno.
 
Messages
9,796
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Yes, they can remove sand and dirt from a very dirty vehicle without the mechanical scratching action that can happen with a brush. There are a few surfactant products that can be "foamed" on prior to pressure washing. Some work very well to release dirt, some do not. I wish I had suggestions on the best products, but I can no longer aquire the alkaline "touchless" product that used to work for me. Many people tend to like the "Chemical Guys" products. I'm not so sure about them. They sure don't work like the commercial grade alkaline products like "Kleen Rite" presoak.
 
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33,512
Location
Southern NJ
Thread starter
Originally Posted by painfx
I prefer the coin op wash over the hand wash. The less you touch the car, the better.
True. I think one of the reasons my Mazda 3 still looked so good after 5 years was due to the fact that I didn't wash it so much. The paint was barely touched over the 5 year period.
 
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3,279
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
We met a New Yorker couple on a cruise and visited them last summer. He proudly announced that he had never washed his second generation Fit--probably about seven years. Scary looking, semi corroded paint which he corrected with a the heaviest, narrowest blast from his high pressure washer. Was too upset to take a close look at the results. The car was more or less white (as opposed to a rusty gray) when he was done. Who needs clear coat, it's just a fad. It's a Long Island kind of thing, I guess.
 
I would stay away from anything with really high pressure. I'm sure my 2600 psi pressure washer could damage paint no matter what you tried to do to use it. Water pressure here at the house is 90, so that does well enough for me. Using a high lubrication car shampoo and top of the line wash mitts will do more towards not damaging the paint than anything else. Blow the car dry, mop up anything else with a microfiber towel.
 
Messages
1,441
Location
CA
I pre spray with ONR before power washing. Takes care of 70% to 80% of the dirt. It means less water used, less stuff on the car that could scratch and wash mitt goes further before needing rinsing.
 
Messages
776
Location
Texas, USA
I got a Sunjoe 2030 psi (doubt that PSI is true) that does well enough. Looking for an electric with greater GPM, as it takes a long time to work your way around a large vehicle at 1.76 GPM. Works great on wheels & fender liners, where even the sharpest nozzles on the garden hose fall short.
 
Messages
9,796
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted by CharlieBauer
I pre spray with ONR before power washing.
ONR, the Office of Naval Research? I guess you mean Optimum No Rinse. That's not likely to be a product designed as a pre-soak release agent. But if it works, it works.
 
Messages
8,271
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by DriveHard
They work great! Stay away from emblems and names, as they can take them off (this is actually how I usually take mine off on purpose!)
^^^^^ Got that right LOL I blew off the SE emblem on my car from that... Super glue to the rescue.
 
Messages
58
Location
Great Lakes State, USA
1800-1850psi is all you need. The electric cheapie from harbor freight works well. Also use a foam cannon. Makes a huge difference in removing the dirt before washing with a soft mitt.
 
Messages
2,044
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
I use a 1,600psi Ryobi and most typically a 20 degree tip. It's perfect in my experience. It has good cleaning power and you can get up to a couple inches away from the clearcoat without worry of damage. I also use a MTM Hydro foam canon with it which I fill with a dilution of Meguiar's D111.
 
Messages
1,609
Location
Ocala, Florida
I've used my Home Depot 3200psi PW for years on vehicles with NO issues whatsoever. You use the 40* fan nozzle and keep the tip far from the surface, its all about common sense... I first use the soap nozzle and foam up the surface really well and then blast it all off. Works miracles for heavy brake dust on wheels etc.
 
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