Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila
An electric pressure washer is a great piece of equipment to have because it produces dramatic cleaning results. It can quickly and safely wash a muddy vehicle or strip grime and goo from patio furniture, decks, or the siding on a house. Cleanup jobs that take a lot of time and elbow grease with a scrub brush and a garden hose are achievable in minutes with a pressure washer.
Pressure washers use pumps and engines to amplify water pressure, turning your garden hose into a high-powered cleaning machine. There are two general types of pressure washers: electric powered and gasoline powered. While gas-powered pressure washers typically offer more power, electric pressure washers are growing in popularity for their combination of cleaning power, portability, and overall versatility. Plus, the best electric pressure washer models can tackle many of the same jobs as gasoline-powered washers used by professionals, and they are more affordable, lighter, quieter, and easier to store and maintain.
There are many electric pressure washers on the market with a wide range of features, so it can be tough to choose the best electric pressure washer for your cleaning projects. In order to figure out which models are right for different jobs, we chose some of the most popular models and tested them for cleaning power, portability, and versatility.
Keep reading to learn more about shopping considerations, and take a look at our detailed hands-on product reviews of some of the best electric pressure washers on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Greenworks Pro Electric Pressure Washer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Wen 2000 PSI Variable Flow Electric Pressure Washer
- BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Greenworks PW-1800 Electric Pressure Washer
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Greenworks Pro 3000 PSI 2-GPM Electric Pressure Washer
- MOST VERSATILE: Westinghouse ePX3100 Electric Pressure Washer
- BEST FOR DRIVEWAYS: Ryobi High Performance Electric Pressure Washer
- BEST FOR AUTO DETAILING: Earthwise Cold Water Electric Pressure Washer
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila
How We Tested the Best Electric Pressure Washers
An electric pressure washer is capable of cleaning the same surfaces as larger gas-powered ones. Those who choose to go electric sacrifice psi and GPM, which translates to cleaning speed; but an electric version eliminates the need to purchase and store gasoline, eliminates exhaust fumes, is about half of the noise, and is at least half of a gas machine’s size and weight. Electric pressure washers offer aggressive cleaning power, but without the hassle of gasoline. We used these considerations to develop our criteria for our hands-on tests.
In our tests, we evaluated cleaning power, range, and mobility, along with ease of transport and storage. Our driveway test area included multiple surfaces for cleaning, such as a lawn mower, car tires, vinyl house siding, and the concrete driveway. Scoring favored practical strengths that affect the user’s experience, like hose length and flexibility, spray gun trigger stiffness and kickback, spray nozzle and accessory options, ease of mobility while cleaning, noise, and perceived durability.
Our Top Picks
Portability, size, power, cord length, and accessories are some of the top features that set some electrical pressure washers ahead of others. Check out the individual product reviews ahead to learn how each pressure washer performed in our hands-on driveway tests.
Those who need a bit more cleaning power for bigger projects like siding, fences, and driveways may want to consider the Greenworks Pro 2300 Max PSI Brushless Pressure Washer. The higher pressure and flow rates of 2,300 psi and 2.3 GPM help get the work done faster. A bulky frame and large 10-inch wheels allow easier access to projects that are away from pavement. The kit includes a turbo nozzle and 4 spray tips: a soap applicator and 15, 25, and 40 degrees. It also includes an onboard injection system for cleaning solutions.
We found the spray wand grip and trigger comfortable to work with. The 25-foot flexible hose was easy to maneuver while cleaning all sides and under the hood of a riding mower. Combined with the 35-foot power cord, this washer has lots of reach. Those who are short on storage room may find this one to be a bit of a space hog.
- PSI: 2,300
- GPM: 2.3
- Hose length: 25 feet
- Large 10-inch wheels move well on all terrain types
- Tall 37-inch transport handle with comfort grip
- Flexible 25-foot pressure hose suitable for most tasks
- Bulky frame takes up more storage space
- Short lag time from triggering to pressurizing
Get the Greenworks Pro electric pressure washer at Amazon or Greenworks.
This Wen pressure washer has up to 2,000 psi with a water flow of 1.6 GPM, which is enough power to clean a deck or lawn equipment. It’s just under 12 inches tall and wide, and weighs just 14 pounds—about the size and weight of a small cooler full of ice—so it’s easy to move around. The Wen washer has a 36-foot power cord and a 16.5-foot hose, so it can clean objects that are relatively far from an electrical outlet. This model includes a detachable soap tank plus a built-in nozzle adjustment to adjust the angle and pressure of its spray.
At first glance the Wen 2000 PSI looks more like a portable tire inflator than a pressure washer. It is very lightweight and has no wheels or place to hold the power cord or pressure hose when not in use. But in operation it proves itself admirably, with enough water pressure and flow to wash a car, clean patio furniture, or eliminate a driveway stain. Although very portable in the sense that it is small and lightweight, making it easy to load up in the car, this pressure washer lacks maneuverability while cleaning. It’s best, and surprisingly effective, for small tasks.
- PSI: 2,000
- GPM: 1.6
- Hose length: 16.5 feet
- Compact unit is easy to store in smaller spaces
- At just over 14 pounds, it is lightweight and easy to carry
- Plenty of power for washing automobiles, lawn equipment, etc.
- Lacks onboard storage for the hose, wand, and power cord
- Needs a carrying case or a tote to store everything in one place
- Lacks wheels; needs to be carried from place to place
Get the Wen electric pressure washer at Amazon or Wen.
The Greenworks PW-1800 Electric Pressure Washer is a good choice for tackling lighter projects around the house. This machine produces up to 1,800 psi and has a water flow rate of 1.1 GPM, which is enough power for cleaning boats, patios, or siding. It comes with three quick-connect tips in varying angles and a soap nozzle, an onboard soap tank, a 35-foot power cord, and a 20-foot hose. The long hose and cord let you reach jobs a long way from an electrical outlet. It has a rack that holds the nozzles—a nice feature that keeps them organized and close at hand.
We like that this light-duty pressure washer is built with large 8-inch wheels and a sturdy frame, which are conveniences not typically found on light-duty machines. The upright hand truck-style frame made it easy to roll across the grass to wherever we needed it. The 20-foot pressure hose was good for cleaning all sides of a rototiller, but the pressure hose was a bit stiff.
- PSI: 1,800
- GPM: 1.1
- Hose length: 20 feet
- Large 8-inch wheels roll easily over uneven surfaces
- Comfortable trigger operation is ideal for extended use
- Good reach with a 35-foot power cord and a 20-foot pressure hose
- Rigid hose may be cumbersome to work with
Get the Greenworks PW-1800 electric pressure washer at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Menards.
Tough jobs like cleaning the driveway, deck, or patio call for a heavy-duty tool like the Greenworks Pro 3000. It delivers 3,000 psi at 2 GPM for powerful cleaning action. Included in the kit are 15-, 25-, and 40-degree spray tips, a soap applicator tip, and a turbo nozzle. A 1-gallon detergent tank holds a full bottle of cleaning solution for direct injection into the spray stream. The pressure hose is 25 feet long for ample range. Built on a tubular steel wheelbarrow-style frame, this unit has a low center of gravity and large 10-inch wheels for stability on uneven ground.
Outstanding cleaning capability combined with an excellent working range and a highly flexible hose made it a pleasure to work with. This pressure washer was the most capable when it came to cleaning concrete, cleaning nearly twice as fast as the next closest performer. Although some storage space can be saved by standing the unit vertically on the front of its frame, storage could remain a problem for those who are spatially challenged.
- PSI: 3,000
- GPM: 2.0
- Hose length: 25 feet
- Horizontal wheelbarrow-style build with low center of gravity
- Pliable 25-foot pressure hose is easy to maneuver
- Good pressure and water volume for larger cleaning projects
- Bulky frame takes up more storage space
- Transport handle is only 23 inches high
- No lower spray gun support makes travel somewhat awkward
Get the Greenworks 3000 electric pressure washer at Lowe’s, Best Buy, Costco, or Greenworks.
The Westinghouse packs 2,050 psi and has a water flow rate of 1.76 GPM. It can handle cleanup jobs ranging from light tasks like cleaning cars to heavier tasks such as desliming sidewalks. The washer has four 3-inch casters that rotate 360 degrees, so it can turn on a dime and is easy to maneuver as you work. At just under 17 inches tall, it has a low center of gravity that makes it hard to tip over. The Westinghouse comes with four nozzles, a 25-foot hose, a soap applicator, and an onboard soap tank so you can pump up the cleaning power on your tasks.
Working with the Westinghouse feels somewhat like using a wet/dry vac, in a good way. A feature unique to this 4-wheeled pressure washer is that if the casters are unlocked, it can follow the operator with just a slight tug. The pressure hose had a high degree of flexibility for excellent maneuverability. While it may not be the best choice for big projects out in the yard, it’s a great choice for most cleanup jobs that are done in the driveway.
- PSI: 2,050
- GPM: 1.76
- Hose length: 25 feet
- (4) 3-inch locking casters roll easily on hard surfaces
- Compact size is easy to store in tight spaces
- Surprisingly strong cleaning power in a small package
- Locking/unlocking the casters may not be convenient for some
- The transport handle is best for carrying, not rolling
Get the Westinghouse electric pressure washer at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
A pressure washer is essential for driveway cleanup. The Ryobi is built for all-purpose cleaning, easy transport, and convenient storage. With a water pressure of 2,300 psi and a flow rate of 1.2 GPM, it is capable of cleaning up the driveway, washing the car, and many other everyday tasks. The 25-foot pressure hose and 35-foot extension cord give it plenty of range for cleaning large areas. Its upright, hand truck-style build and large 12-inch wheels make it easy to move this pressure washer around the yard, while minimizing its footprint in storage. The kit comes with a turbo nozzle, two spray tips, and includes an in-line soap dispenser.
The hose connections on the Ryobi are some of the most easily accessible of all we tested. The pressure is adequate for most cleaning jobs, but the flow rate feels somewhat low for bigger projects. That said, it thoroughly cleaned 20 square feet of filthy concrete in about 5 minutes.
- PSI: 2,300
- GPM: 1.2
- Hose length: 25 feet
- Large 12-inch wheels roll easily over all surfaces
- 35-foot power cord and 25-foot pressure hose offer excellent reach
- Includes turbo (spinning) nozzle and 2 fan nozzles
- High pressure unit is able to deep clean tough stains
- Hose is stiff and cumbersome during setup and pack up
- The flow rate may be too low for larger projects
Get the Ryobi electric pressure washer at The Home Depot or Ryobi.
Detailing a vehicle requires more than just a strong jet of water. The Earthwise offers plenty of water power, 2,050 psi and 1.4 GPM, along with a host of extra tools. The kit includes zero-, 25-, and 40-degree spray tips, a soap applicator tip, a turbo nozzle, a hub brush, a fixed brush, and a foam cannon. A 36-foot power cord and 20-foot pressure hose offer good range and mobility.
In testing, this was our top choice for cleaning up power equipment. Using just the spray tips and turbo nozzle, which are standard equipment among all of the pressure washers we tested, we removed heavy, caked-on dirt. The foam cannon and brushes make quick work of surface residues and embedded grime on tires and rims. Pressure and flow rate were effective without risking damage to painted surfaces. The only negative comment is about the pressure hose, which is stiff and could be a few feet longer for better reach and maneuverability.
- PSI: 2,050
- GPM: 1.4
- Hose length: 20 feet
- Includes a wide assortment of cleaning tools to handle a range of jobs
- Pressure and flow rate cleans well with less risk of damaging paint
- Slim upright design is ideal for easy storage
- Brushes and foam cannon cannot be stored on the washer housing
- Pressure hose is stiff and cumbersome when not pressurized
Get the Earthwise electric pressure washer at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Although this electric pressure washer from Wholesun is offered up as a compact, powerful tool with numerous conveniences, unfortunately it did not bear out in our tests. It did not seem to produce its advertised pressure or flow rate, and the motor sounded as though it was struggling. In order to clean concrete, the spray tip had to be within very close range and even then, it only cleaned a 2-inch strip per pass. The hose reel actually impeded setup and storage—pulling out the hose caused the unit to fall over. The small reel size and collapsible crank felt extremely awkward and flimsy. In terms of cleaning power, portability, effectiveness of accessories, and overall quality, it did not meet our standards.
What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Pressure Washer
Keep the following factors in mind while shopping for a pressure washer so you can find one you can use for years to come.
The amount of power a pressure washer has is measured in a combination of pounds per square inch (psi) and flow, measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
- PSI indicates the water pressure delivered by the machine. The higher the psi, the more powerful the pressure washer and the more effective it will be at cleaning deep stains. Electric pressure washers typically range between 1,500 and 2,500 psi. A machine with a lower psi rating can do almost all the jobs a more powerful machine can do, but a machine with higher psi can do it faster.
- GPM measures the volume of water delivered by the pressure washer, which in tandem with psi, is a measure of how fast the electric pressure washer will clean. Higher GPM electric pressure washers are more powerful and will clean faster than models with lower GPM.
The proper hose length has a lot to do with the task at hand. Washing a full-size pickup truck might require a 25-foot hose, while pressure washing a deck might not require all that length. The extra length is needed to walk around the truck without dragging the pressure washer or pulling it over. On the other hand, that extra length could be a hassle when pressure washing the deck as it may become a tripping hazard.
There are two main types of pumps used in pressure washers: axial and triplex. Most electric pressure washers have an axial pump. Axial pumps are maintenance-free, meaning the oil doesn’t have to be changed. However, an axial pump can’t be rebuilt and its seals or valves can’t be changed like with a triplex. Once an axial pump fails, a new pump will need to be purchased or the entire pressure washer will need to be replaced.
Most pressure washers come with replaceable nozzles that fit onto the tip of the pressure-washer wand so the user can customize the water stream’s angle or intensity. Nozzles are measured in angles ranging from zero to 40 degrees. The higher the angle, the lower the water pressure.
A 40-degree nozzle might be used to wash a car or the siding on a house, a 25-degree nozzle might be used for general tasks, and a zero-degree nozzle may be used for the toughest cleaning jobs, like getting an oil stain out of a driveway.
Ease of Use
An electric pressure washer is easier to use than a gasoline pressure washer. It doesn’t need oil changes, spark plugs, or throttle adjustments. It doesn’t require a tricky pull-start either. The user just hooks up the hose and throws a switch to turn the machine on. Electric pressure washers are also a lot quieter than gasoline-powered pressure washers.
Another ease-of-use feature to look for is quick connect fittings for nozzles and hoses. These spring-loaded fittings snap on and off quickly and easily. No wrench is needed.
Electric pressure washers are smaller and lighter than gasoline-powered models. Some electric pressure washers aren’t much larger than a cooler and are easier to store.
It’s a good idea to pick an electric power washer that balances power with portability. Generally, the more powerful the pressure washer, the heavier it is. The ideal model is light enough to move around the yard or house without straining the user, yet it still contains the power needed to get the job done.
Deciding on an electric pressure washer can take measured research and assessment of needs. While every situation is a little different, there may be some lingering questions. If you still have questions about how to use an electric pressure washer or how to care for one, read on.
Q. How do you use an electric pressure washer?
Pressure washers are powerful enough to cut or hurt a person or an animal. When using a pressure washer, wear safety glasses and closed-toe shoes. Also, keep your hands away from the end of the wand, and don’t point the nozzle at anyone.
Using an electric pressure washer is straightforward:
- Choose the least aggressive nozzle that will get the job done and install it in your wand.
- Attach your garden hose to your outside faucet and to the inlet on your pressure washer.
- Plug the pressure washer into an outlet.
- Turn the machine on.
- Squeeze the trigger to spray the surface.
Q. How do you winterize an electric pressure washer?
Many electric pressure washers are small enough to be stored indoors and won’t need winterizing. If storing one outdoors at the end of the season, drain all remaining water from the pump and hose of the pressure washer, and pump a mixture of antifreeze and lubricant through the system. Consider using a pre-mixed pump-specific solution for the job.
Q. Why does my electric pressure washer keep shutting off?
When you turn on the pressure washer for the first time, it will run to prime the pump and pressurize the system. It will stop running when it’s pressurized. It will begin running again when you pull the trigger. If it won’t start in the first place, then there may be a different issue.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
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Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a product tester and writer with an extensive background in the nursery and landscaping industry. He kept his tool box well stocked in order to build or repair fences, walls, irrigation systems, and equipment on any given day. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest hand tools, lawn-care products, outdoor power equipment, and other outdoor-living goods.
Additional research provided by Tom Scalisi.