When it comes to pressure-washing an area that’s exposed to foot and vehicle traffic, using a pressure washer wand can take a while and can produce mixed, inconsistent results. And, if you miss a spot, any streaks left behind are eyesores. The good news is that you can produce better results in less time with a pressure washer surface cleaner.
A pressure washer surface cleaner is a disc-shaped tool that connects to the end of your pressure washer wand. Under the disc, there is a spinning wand with pressure nozzles at each end that clean a surface quickly and efficiently. They save time and water and remove some of the guesswork involved in pressure-washing.
We scoured the market and researched top-rated pressure washers in a variety of categories. We did a deep dive into the specifications, features, and customer reviews. Then we tested each one to find out how they would perform on a variety of common outdoor cleaning projects. Read on to learn more about how we chose the best pressure washer surface cleaners and how each of our picks performed in testing
- BEST OVERALL: Simpson Universal 15″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
- RUNNER-UP: Briggs & Stratton 14″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Karcher 15″ Surface Cleaner
- UPGRADE PICK: SurfaceMaxx Pro 15″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
- BEST FOR GAS: Ryobi 16″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
- BEST FOR ELECTRIC: Greenworks 11″ Rotating Surface Cleaner
- BEST PROFESSIONAL: Simpson Universal 20″ Industrial Surface Cleaner
- BEST SEMIPRO: Edou 20″ Heavy-Duty Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
- ALSO CONSIDER: Twinkle Star 15″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
How We Tested the Best Pressure Washer Surface Cleaners
With different tool capabilities and different users in mind, we decided to test these surface cleaners with three different pressure washers. Our go-to machine was a 2,700-psi 2.3-GPM gas pressure washer. We felt like it represented a good midrange pressure and flow rate that would work for the broadest number of users. For the low-pressure surface cleaners we used a 1,800-psi 1.1-GPM electric pressure washer. A 4,200-psi 3.2-GPM machine served as the tester for the most powerful surface cleaners.
Our primary testing area was a large concrete driveway divided into 500-square-foot sections. The test involved installing the surface cleaner onto the pressure washer, giving it a quick trial to ensure that the pressure and flow rate of the machine were appropriate for the attachment, then running a timed cleaning of the 500-square-foot section. During this phase we assessed each surface cleaner for actual cleaning power, user comfort, and perceived durability. We also tested each model on a wooden deck to get a feel for maneuverability in smaller spaces and on uneven surfaces. Finally, each of the lightweight models was tested on a vertical surface: a wood privacy fence, vinyl house siding, or a low concrete wall.
Our scoring favored the versatility of midsize, wheelless surface cleaners. The 14-inch to 16-inch models tended to offer the best blend of durability, lightweight construction, multisurface performance, and cleaning power for a competitive price. However we also noted the practicality of smaller electric-powered models for limited use where storage space comes at a premium. The largest models, especially those with wheels, lend themselves to extended use on large expanses, which some customers will appreciate.
Our Top Picks
With all of that background information in mind, we tested the following models on a variety of surfaces. Read on to find out how each one performed and whether one may be right for your next cleaning project.
DIYers hunting for a quality pressure washer surface cleaner that can be attached to a wand may want to check out this model from Simpson. This semipro model features a 15-inch deck made from heavy-duty powder-coated steel for durability. With a 3,700-psi maximum rating and a 140-degrees Fahrenheit maximum water temperature rating, it works with most gas-powered cold-water pressure washers.
This pressure washer surface cleaner from Simpson features a ¼-inch quick-connect fitting. The fitting allows users to snap their pressure washer wand on and off the unit with ease. While it doesn’t have a grease fitting, the stainless steel wand and nozzles resist corrosion from typical use.
We especially liked the combination of durability and performance in the Simpson 15-inch surface cleaner. It was large enough to clean 500 square feet of driveway in less than 5 minutes and also lightweight enough to use comfortably on vertical surfaces like our fence. While most of the other midsize models we tested were housed in plastic, the powder-coated steel housing and stiff ¾-inch bristle ring felt much more durable. The rotating spray arm worked smoothly and quietly. The price was competitive, but it was not cheap.
- Deck size: 15-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 2,200 psi to 3,700 psi
- Flow rate: 2.3 GPM
- Heavy-duty powder-coated steel build can stand up to heavy use
- Versatile model can work with most gas pressure washers
- ¼-inch quick-connect fitting is easy to use
- Rust-resistant wand and nozzles can last several seasons
- No wheels makes cleaning large areas more strenuous
Get the Simpson 15″ pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
Users with less powerful pressure washers can join in the surface cleaning action with Briggs & Stratton’s 14-Inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner. This model features an operational range between 2,200 and 3,400 psi, so it’s worth a look for smaller electric washers and gas-powered models alike.
Beyond compatibility, this model from Briggs & Stratton has some desirable features. There is a ¼-inch quick-connect fitting for wand attachment. The Briggs & Stratton also features a lightweight deck that is 14 inches across, allowing users to clean both horizontal and vertical surfaces. And, since it weighs just 3½ pounds, users won’t likely wear themselves out pushing it around.
The Briggs & Stratton surface cleaner glided smoothly across our rough concrete drive thanks to its shorter ½-inch guard bristles. It was easier to use on vertical surfaces because of the lightweight housing, but the lighter housing also made it more susceptible to kickback when triggering the pressure washer spray gun. The 14-inch body is a bit smaller than average for surface cleaners with comparable pressure and flow ratings.
In our tests, the compact size seemed to increase maneuverability while cleaning smaller surfaces like the sidewalk and deck. We also noted some low-level vibration and noise with this surface cleaner that we did not find with the others.
- Deck size: 14-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 2,200 psi to 3,400 psi
- Flow rate: 2.5 GPM
- This flexible pick works with both electric and gas pressure washers
- Lightweight deck at 3½ pounds; ideal for cleaning large areas without tiring out
- Short guide bristles move smoothly over textured surfaces
- Susceptible to kickback under higher pressure; better for light-duty cleaning
- Noisy operation may disturb nearby neighbors
Get the Briggs & Stratton pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon or Lowe’s.
Those looking to stretch their surface cleaner budget as far as it will go may want to check out the Karcher 15-Inch Surface Cleaner. This unit is compatible with a gas-powered or electric pressure washer with ¼-inch quick-connect fittings, doubling the value of this model. This is unlike many of Karcher’s homeowner-grade pressure washer cleaners that accept only Karcher-specific nozzles.
This model from Karcher features a maximum operating pressure of 3,200 psi, offering a high-powered approach without a bank-breaking price tag. The entire kit weighs just under 4 pounds, so it’s suitable for cleaning vertical surfaces like fences, concrete walls, and more.
We noted that the maximum pressure rating on this budget-friendly Karcher 15-inch surface cleaner is close to that of the gas pressure washer we used for testing. We only experienced minor kickback with no clogging or damage to the unit. The spray arm turned smoothly and the higher water volume flushed away debris easily; however, we did note that cleaning power was somewhat less than that of the Simpson 15″ and Briggs & Stratton models, requiring a second pass in some heavily soiled areas.
- Deck size: 15-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 3,200 psi
- Flow rate: 2.7 GPM
- Budget-friendly model compared to similar options
- Lightweight at 4 pounds; suitable for cleaning vertical surfaces
- Higher flow rate flushes soil and debris efficiently
- Slightly less cleaning power than higher pressure models
Get the Karcher 15″ pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon or The Home Depot.
The SurfaceMaxx Pro 15-Inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner boasts professional-grade stainless steel construction and powerful water handling ability. Compatible with pressure washers from 2,800 psi to 4,500 psi, this is an ideal choice to make fast work of large cleaning projects like driveways and patios.
This professional-grade surface cleaner features a corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing and replaceable pro-quality spray nozzles. Nonmarring swivel wheels make the job even easier as they improve mobility while taking the sprayer’s weight. The standard ¼-inch quick-connect coupler works with most gas pressure washers.
Although the housing of the SurfaceMaxx surface cleaner is moderately sized, we had to use the big pressure washer to test it. This model required both the higher pressure and the higher flow rate as shown in the specs below. We first tried it with a 3,200-psi 2.7-GPM pressure washer, and the surface cleaner underwhelmed, but after upgrading to a 4,200-psi 3.2-GPM washer, we found a sweet spot.
The weight of the stainless steel and aggressiveness of the higher flow rate made vertical surface cleaning excessively strenuous and potentially dangerous, so we kept it on driveways and decks where it worked smoothly, quickly, and efficiently.
- Deck size: 15-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 2,800 psi to 4,500 psi
- Flow rate: 3.5 GPM
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing provides impressive longevity
- High water-flow rate easily tackles most cleaning projects
- Compatible with larger gas pressure washers
- 3 nonmarring swivel wheels; ideal for driveways and decks
- Not for use with hot water power washers
- Not compatible with smaller gas or electric pressure washers
- Premium price point compared to similar models
Get the SurfaceMaxx pressure washer surface cleaner at Lowe’s.
The Ryobi 16-inch gas pressure washer surface cleaner is a great choice for most horizontal hard surfaces like sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways. The rotating jets clean a 16-inch streak-free path on each pass. Four swivel wheels save the user’s back as they glide across the surface carrying the weight of the washer. The 16-inch housing is made of durable plastic. This tool features a ¼-inch quick-connect coupler to attach with most gas pressure washers rated 2,700 psi to 3,700 psi.
The Ryobi surface cleaner’s capability was similar to that of the Simpson 15-inch, but having wheels was a game changer. Where the bristles of nonwheeled surface cleaners occasionally grab the surface or otherwise slow the progress, it’s just the opposite with the Ryobi. Occasionally we moved a bit too quickly across the driveway and left unwashed areas. No matter, it was a simple matter to roll back across.
The process was far less strenuous and tedious than with nonwheeled surface cleaners. The two aspects of this unit that kept it out of the top spot were the cost, which is nearly twice that of our Best Overall pick, and the plastic housing. Stainless or powder-coated steel is nearly always a more durable choice, but we really liked using this one.
- Deck size: 16-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 2,700 psi to 3,700 psi
- Flow rate: 2.5 GPM
- Works with most midsize gas pressure washers
- Rolls smoothly over flat and textured surfaces
- Cleans a wide path quickly; perfect for dealing with larger areas
- Plastic housing is less durable than steel; not ideal for frequent use
Get the Ryobi pressure washer surface cleaner at The Home Depot.
Outfitting a large pressure washer surface cleaner onto an electric model is bound to disappoint, so Greenworks offered an answer. This surface cleaner was designed for a maximum pressure of 2,000 psi for efficient cleaning with lightweight electric pressure washers. And with its 11-inch width, most of those pressure washers can handle it.
This model might be light-duty, but it’s fitted with some sturdy features. The Greenworks has a ¼-inch quick-connect fitting that users can attach directly to a wand for stand-up use or to a hose for handheld scrubbing on vertical surfaces. And since it weighs less than 2 pounds, it’s a breeze to push around.
We tested the Greenworks surface cleaner using a 1,800-psi 1.1-GPM electric pressure washer. Because of the lower pressure and flow rate, the cleaning performance was weaker than the other models we tested on more powerful machines. It was significantly slower than the others on the driveway (although twice as fast as the electric pressure washer with a conventional 40-degree spray nozzle), but it did the job. It worked well for light-duty cleaning on fairly smooth vertical and horizontal surfaces like vinyl siding, wood privacy fence, and a small deck, which is where electric pressure washers make the greatest impact.
- Deck size: 11-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 2,000 psi
- Flow rate: 1.4 GPM
- Ideal for small electric pressure washers up to 2,000 psi
- ¼-inch quick-connect fitting; can attach directly to wands for stand-up use
- Lightweight at 2 pounds; very easy to push around
- Light-duty model; not ideal for heavy cleaning or large spaces
Get the Greenworks pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon or Lowe’s.
For the largest and toughest cleaning jobs, the Simpson 20-inch industrial pressure washer surface cleaner is a go-to tool. It works with cold-water or hot-water (up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit) power washers that deliver 2.3 gallons to 4.0 gallons per minute at 3,450 psi to 4,500 psi. The 20-inch rotating spray arm offers 10 times the coverage of a spray wand with a 40-degree nozzle. This is a great choice for scrubbing the largest and dirtiest driveways, patios, decks, sidewalks, and more.
The large powder-coated steel housing and stiff bristles prevent overspray and provide excellent corrosion resistance. Brass sprayer components and an in-line filter increase the cleaner’s durability. A ⅜-inch quick-connect coupler provides the attachment to the high-pressure hose. The ergonomic handle with handlebar-style grips reduces operator fatigue on big jobs.
Our 4,200-psi 3.2-GPM pressure washer delivered plenty of water pressure and flow to operate this Simpson surface cleaner. The large coverage area and powerful water-handling ability of this tool made quick work of our driveway test area, cleaning 1,000 square feet of concrete in just under 15 minutes. It also did a great job on the main part of the deck without damaging the wood but was really too large and bulky to really get to the edges and corners properly.
The handle setup was comfortable, making it easy to control the surface cleaner, but it also increased the amount of clearance we needed to navigate the space. This tool would be an excellent choice for someone who makes their living pressure-washing driveways or other large, open spaces.
- Deck size: 20-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 3,450 psi to 4,500 psi
- Flow rate: 2.3 GPM to 4.0 GPM
- 20-inch powder-coated steel housing provides huge coverage
- Compatible with hot-water power washers
- Heavy-duty cleaning capability up to 4,500 psi, 3½ GPM
- Handlebar-style grips increase control
- Requires a powerful pressure washer with high flow rate
- Expensive price point due to the increased pressure and flow rate capabilities
- Large size takes up lots of storage space
Get the Simpson 20″ pressure washer surface cleaner at The Home Depot or Toolbarn.
Edou’s 20-inch pressure washer surface cleaner is worth checking out for anyone shopping for a semipro-grade surface cleaner. This model’s 20-inch deck makes it larger than most others, and the 4,000-psi maximum rating allows it to hook up to some heavy-duty gas-powered models.
This model comes with two 17-inch pressure-wand extensions, so users will be able to stand up comfortably while cleaning a driveway, deck, or other horizontal surfaces. The Edou also features hard composite construction that helps to reduce its weight (around 14 pounds) without compromising capability. And for those who prefer the wide capability of a semipro model but own a consumer-grade pressure washer, this model’s 1,600-psi minimum pressure might just work.
We tested the Edou surface cleaner using both our midsize (2,700-psi 2.3-GPM) and large (4,200-psi 3.2-GPM) gas pressure washers. The heavy-duty composite housing material felt much more substantial and durable than other plastic surface cleaners we tested. Our midsize washer delivered satisfactory results at a slightly slower rate than the larger washer, but we would have considered either to be more than acceptable.
The surface cleaner delivered plenty of water-jet pressure to scour away caked-on dirt with an adequate amount of water flow to flush the debris from the surface. As with the Simpson 20-inch industrial model, this washer felt a bit too big for tight spaces and would be best for cleaning large, open areas.
- Deck size: 20-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 1,600 psi to 4,000 psi
- Flow rate: 1.8 GPM to 6.0 GPM
- Suitable for heavy-duty gas pressure washers
- Comes with two 17-inch wand extensions
- Hard composite housing is durable and long-lasting
- 4 caster wheels makes it very easy and smooth to push around flat surfaces
- Too large and bulky for detailed projects
- Composite housing may not be as durable as steel
Get the Edou pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon.
Twinkle Star’s 15-Inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner is a semipro model suitable for use with smaller gas-powered pressure washers and large electric models. This unit has a 15-inch-wide path and a maximum pressure of 3,100 psi, allowing users to clean horizontal and vertical surfaces quickly.
This model from Twinkle Star comes with two extension rods with an overall length of 30 inches. Those extensions and the units both have ¼-inch quick-connect fittings for snapping onto a pressure washer wand easily. The entire kit weighs just more than 5 pounds, so cleaning vertical surfaces like brick and stucco walls is well within its capabilities.
Attached to our 2,700-psi 2.3-GPM pressure washer, the Twinkle Star pressure washer surface cleaner performed similarly to our Best Overall pick. It cleaned quickly and efficiently for the most part, and the 1-inch guard bristles effectively blocked overspray while still allowing debris to be flushed away.
However, the overall construction quality is a notch lower than the top performer. Twinkle Star’s housing is made of hard plastic instead of steel, and the bristle ring actually came off after 20 minutes of cleaning (although it was not difficult to snap it back on and keep going). We also noted that this one has a lower maximum pressure rating, which may be another indication of lower durability. On the positive side, we appreciated the additional wand extenders included with this kit, and it’s priced quite a bit lower than the competition.
- Deck size: 15-inch diameter
- Pressure rating: 3,100 psi
- Flow rate: 3 GPM
- 2 extension rods; ideal for cleaning high vertical surfaces
- Lightweight at 5 pounds; another advantage when cleaning vertically
- Budget-friendly price compared to similar options in the market
- Low maximum pressure rating; not a heavy-duty cleaner
Get the Twinkle Star pressure washer surface cleaner at Amazon.
Karcher 11″ Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
When searching for a consumer-grade pressure washer surface cleaner, the Karcher 11-Inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner may be worth considering. This affordable option hooks to electric Karcher model pressure washers with a maximum pressure of 2,300 psi, allowing users to get more utility out of their washers. However, the connectors are not universal like the ¼-inch quick-connect couplers on all of the others tested. For this one, we would specifically need a Karcher electric pressure washer, so it has a significant limitation.
What to Consider When Choosing a Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
Pressure washer surface cleaners can make quick, efficient work of tidying up heavily soiled surfaces. But, there’s quite a bit to know before choosing one. The following sections include the most important considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best pressure washer surface cleaner based on your needs.
Pressure washer surface cleaners come in varying grades. While these grades are largely unofficial, they are helpful for understanding a model’s capabilities.
- Consumer-grade models are popular for lightly soiled applications. Most manufacturers design them to work with electric pressure washers, and they use lower-grade hose connections. They’re the least expensive option.
- Semipro pressure washer surface cleaners feature heavier duty components, nozzles, and bearings. They’re very popular for homeowners and DIYers, and they bridge the gap nicely between consumer and pro-grade models.
- Pro-grade pressure washer surface cleaners are heavy-duty stand-up models that can handle a lot of pressure and even hot water. They’re expensive, and sometimes overkill for a DIYer, but they’re essential for full-time pressure-washing crews.
Pressure washers use one of two power sources: gas or electric. And as such, many of the best pressure washer surface cleaners are rated for specific power sources. Since gasoline-powered models offer more pressure than electric models, the pressure washer surface cleaners for gas machines are more robust.
Why is this important? Since they use water volume to power the spinning, there are no electrical components driving the wand or nozzles under the surface cleaner. Using a gasoline-powered model on an electric pressure washer might not provide enough pressure to spin the wands, while the opposite could destroy the surface cleaner.
Size and Weight
Just like the different power sources and grades, pressure washer surface cleaners come in a variety of sizes and weights. When it comes to DIY applications, size is the most important.
The most popular width for consumer-grade pressure washer surface cleaners is 11 inches. For semipro models, the most common size is 15 inches, but 20-inch and 24-inch models are available as well. For pro-grade, there are pressure washer surface cleaners that exceed 36 inches.
Weight is less of a consideration for DIYers and homeowners. Most DIYers and homeowners can handle the up to 10-pound weight of most semipro and consumer-grade pressure washer surface cleaners. However, pro-grade pressure washer cleaners can be so heavy that users often leave them in the truck.
Pounds per Square Inch
Pounds per square inch (psi) refers to the amount of pressure the pressure washer surface cleaner can handle. The higher the number, the more aggressive the jets will be, and the deeper they’ll be able to clean.
Lighter-duty consumer-grade pressure washer surface cleaners tend to operate in the 2,000 psi range. They’re able to handle light-duty stained areas, decks, and other surfaces without damaging them.
Medium-duty semipro models range between 2,500 psi and 4,000 psi, with most landing around 3,500 psi. These models are sufficient for cleaning tougher stains, garage floors, and concrete surfaces.
Professional-grade models offer more than 4,500 psi, which can be far too much pressure for a homeowner or DIYer.
Gallons per Minute
Each pressure washer surface cleaner has a gallons per minute (GPM) rating as well, referring to the amount of water it will use each minute. It’s a significant factor when choosing a professional model, but most consumer or semipro-grade pressure washer cleaners only use a few GPM.
The minimum or required GPM rating is most critical for semipro and consumer-grade surface cleaners. Using a pressure washer surface cleaner that requires a minimum of 3 GPM on a pressure washer that can only supply 2 GPM will result in very little cleaning capability.
Beyond spray pressure, volume, and pressure washer compatibility, there are some additional features that can make a pressure washer surface cleaner more appealing.
Pressure washer surface cleaning wands spin at more than 1,000 revolutions per minute, and they kick up a lot of sand and dirt. To ensure they keep operating correctly, some have grease fittings for restoring worn grease. This is best done every 10 to 12 hours of runtime.
Also, many of the best pressure washer surface cleaners feature quick-connect fittings. Users can snap their pressure washer wand onto the cleaner via these fittings and switch back to the wand whenever necessary.
The Advantages of Owning a Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner
Hiring a pressure-washing service to take care of soiled surfaces can be very expensive. A small deck will be charged on the lower end of the price scale, while larger areas like driveways can be considerably more. Owning a pressure washer surface cleaner allows users to clean those surfaces anytime without hiring a contractor.
Driveways and walkways are expensive, and they take a lot of abuse. Whether being used to clean up oil dripping from a car or the typical dirt and grime on the average outdoor surface, a pressure washer surface cleaner allows users to clean up any issues before they stain and discolor the surface.
Pressure washers can be big purchases, and many DIYers opt not to purchase one for fear they’ll never use it. With the best pressure washer surface cleaner on hand, you’ll be adding versatility to your pressure washer and increasing the variety of things you can pressure-wash.
- You’ll be able to save money by not hiring a pressure-washing contractor.
- You can remove dirt, grime, and discolorations before they have a chance to stain.
- Pressure washer surface cleaners transform a pressure washer into a more versatile tool.
Even with all of the above information about the best pressure washer surface cleaners, you may have some additional questions. This section aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pressure washer surface cleaners.
Q. Can I use hot water with a pressure washer surface cleaner?
Pro-grade and some semipro-grade pressure washer surface cleaners can handle hot tap water.
Q. Can I use a surface cleaner on fences or walls?
Yes, you can use certain surface cleaners on walls, fences, and, in some cases, even houses. But for vertical surfaces, it’s easier if the model is lightweight. Also, make sure to dial back the pressure.
Q. Will water consumption increase when I use a surface cleaner attachment?
Pressure washer surface cleaners are more efficient than washing a driveway by wand alone. They reduce the amount of water required to clean a surface properly.
Q. Does a surface cleaner require heavy maintenance?
Most semipro and consumer-grade pressure washers are relatively maintenance-free. Simply ensure that they’re clean after each use. Pro-grade models with grease fittings also require cleaning, but topping off the bearings with grease every 10 to 12 hours is necessary.
Q. Will a pressure washer surface cleaner lower my machine’s cleaning power?
Pressure washer surface cleaners do not hinder the cleaning power of a pressure washer as long as the product selected is compatible with the machine. Selecting the best pressure washer surface cleaner starts with matching the product to your machine. Check the manufacturer specifications on both to ensure an accurate match.
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