In short, no. You really should not be using a pressure washer to clean your vehicle as it can cause more damage than good.
Do many people do it anyway? Yes.
It’s important to note that gas-powered pressure washers are extremely powerful and can damage your vehicle’s paint and clearcoat easily. It is also reasonably common for pressure washers to hit against nearby gravel and rocks that can be blasted against your car and cause further nicks and chips. Using a soapy sponge and a hose with a spray nozzle or taking it to a car wash should be just fine.
If, however, you decide to forgo our warnings and pressure wash your vehicle anyway, there are some things that you should keep in mind:
The Dos and Don’ts of Pressure Washing Vehicles
- Do use a lower-powered pressure washer; use electric-powered if possible
- Do use a pressure washer that distributes both water and detergent
- Do make sure that the detergent is properly diluted
- Do make sure that all windows and doors are fully closed
- Do use a wide-angle tip for your hose. We suggest a 40-degree tip.
- Don’t wear open-toed shoes as you may hurt yourself
- Don’t hold the hose too closely to your vehicle; remember, you risk damaging the paint
- Don’t use a setting of PSI greater than 1200
And there you have it! Follow the above suggestions, and you will be less likely to damage your vehicle during a pressure wash. However, we still suggest not pressure washing your vehicle unless you are not worried about damaging your paint.
If you need to wash hardened mud on a work truck and you’re not worried about the paint, then you may even be able to increase the PSI to 1900 and reduce the nozzle to a 25-degree opening which will be able to easily clean out truck beds and hardened mud and debris.
If you have any questions, please get in contact with one of our professionals.