Every year our vinyl siding needs a good rinse-off to remove mildew and pollen. After renting a pressure washer a few times, I realized that I could save a lot of money by purchasing one.
A good pressure washer can reduce mold growth and extend the lifespan and value of our most important possessions.
There are a lot of companies vying for the title of the “Best Portable Pressure Washer.” For this list, we prioritized lightweight washers that still packed a kick. These might not be the most powerful washers, so head over to our “Bes Gas Powered Pressure Washers” article if you are looking for more powerful options.
Some of these washers weigh less than 10-pounds but can deliver pressure that is 30x or more than what you get from a garden hose.
With as little as 2-day shipping, you can start saving money on car washes and more within 72 hours. Check it out!
Reviews Of The Top Portable Pressure Washers
Sun Joe SPX6001C-XR iON – Best Portable Pressure Washer With Tank
This Sun Joe model might be the most portable model without a hose. At less than 20 pounds, it is extremely lightweight. Additionally, the fact that it runs on a cordless rechargeable battery means that you can move it easily from job to job.
It has a 5.3-gallon water tank that you can fill with water. The pump itself only uses .79 GPM, which gives you nearly 7 minutes of continuous washing per fill up.
Or, if you are near a garden hose, you can take the bucket off and screw the garden hose on.
With only 1,150 PSI and weighing at a heavier 19 pounds, this isn’t my top pick for most scenarios. In most cases, I would give up a little portability and go with one of the electric pressure washers that weigh less or offer more power.
However, I know my readers have some remote cleaning jobs without a power supply or easy access to water, so I wanted to throw this one out there.
Sun Joe SPX201E 1350 PSI – Micro Compact Power Washer
This little tool only weighs 11.7 pounds, making it one of the lightest on the market. You’ll find yourself carrying it around with two fingers.
It is only 12 inches by 9 inches, making it great to store in your RV or boat for immediate cleaning access. The extension wand makes it easy to clean taller objects.
The working PSI is 1150. This is great for pressure washing the car, deck, and outdoor furniture. However, I feel like it is underpowered for some of the more stubborn mildew spots for deep-cleaning concrete.
But as a portable cleaning machine, it is hard to beat.
As with the other SunJoe machines, this one pair well with their own components. Even though it only puts out 1.45 GPM, they have a snow cannon that works well for cleaning cars and getting that good coverage of car cleaning soap.
It comes with a 35-foot cord and 20-foot hose, which gives you plenty of reaches, even if you are working in a long driveway. And, as with most of these models, it has a built-in GFCI that trips should water enter the power supply to prevent electrocution.
Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer
At 31 pounds, this isn’t the lightest model but is still lightweight enough that it is easy to move around.
The advantage of the SPX3000 is that it is a 2030 PSI electric pressure washer. This gives you enough power for cleaning paint, removing mold from siding, and washing the deck or back fence. After a muddy day on the 4-wheeler, it will remove dirt and grime with ease.
I own some SunJoe tools, and my neighbor has an older version of this pressure washer. Their place always looks great.
At 1.76 GPM, it’s a little light to power a foam cannon. However, it can do just about everything else, and SunJoe has a nice array of accessories that you can add.
The other neat feature is that it has a .9 Liter soap tank. This makes it easy for soaping up mildewed surfaces and for deep cleaning stubborn spots.
One of the neat features of this model is that it stops the pump anytime you release the trigger on the spray wand. This helps extend the pump lifespan since the pumps tend to be the weakest part of these kits.
The biggest complaint with this model has historically been a poor fit between the sprayer and the garden hose. They have recently upgraded that with a metal connector.
If something does go out, you have SunJoe’s handy, two-year warranty.
This hidden gem checks in nearly 10 pounds lighter with a weight of 23.4 pounds. It also includes the hose reel to make it easy to store the 26-foot high-pressure hose. The 25-foot long cord gives you plenty of reach to the nearest outlet.
With a higher pressure 3,000 PSI rating, cleaning is a breeze.
The detergent tank is at the back of the machine near the bottom. One of the nice features of this tool is the adjustable spray nozzle. You can dial it down for a wide foam spray for applying soap. Then, turn the spray nozzle back to high pressure and get down to business.
One of the unique features of this model is that it can pump water from a static source. If you are working away from a water supply, you could drop a hose into a 5-gallon bucket of water and run this power washer. It runs 1.76 GPM, so a 5-gallon bucket would last for about 2 minutes before needing a refill.
This model also has a Ground Fault Interface built into the power cord to help prevent electrocution. It’s a nice safety feature.
I am big on warranty support, and this model has a 24-month warranty. The phone number on their website connects you immediately to a human for personalized customer support (I called the number to make sure).
Sun Joe is a well-known brand, but I could see Paxcess giving them a run for their money.
Karcher K1900 Pressure Washer
Karcher is known for its German engineering. Their tools have been used for some of America’s biggest cleaning projects, including the Statute of Liberty.
It is awesome that they make a medium-duty model for using in your own driveway.
This K1900 model offers 1900 PSI of cleaning power. This is more than most of the ones on this list without being so powerful that it will peel the paint of your car ( I mean, it could, but only if you put the tip right up to the paint).
The Spray Gun screws into the high-pressure hose with an M22 screw-on connection, and the hose itself connects with a quick-connect. The hose and gun store nicely on the cart, and the handle folds down for storage or vehicle transport. The Quick Connect nozzles slide in easily, making it simple to switch between the different spray options.
It also has a more stable base than most of the other models on this list. With the low center of gravity, it is super hard to knock it over.
With the 3-year Karcher warranty, this is a solid unit. And, since it only weighs 23 pounds, it is still an extremely portable pressure washer.
GreenWorks 1500 PSI Pressure Washer
The Greenworks model is very similar to the other ones that we have talked about. With an advertised 1500 PSI, it delivers plenty of power for basic cleaning activities.
It comes with a soap dispenser that you can add in place of the gun to apply soap. Or, a lot of people seem to have success pairing it with the Chemical Guys Torq Foam Cannon.
It also comes with both a 20 degree and 45-degree tips for choosing between high power or a wider, lower power water stream.
A lot of retired folks love this pressure washer. You can easily wheel it out, wash the car and sidewalk, and put it away. It’s cheap, accurate, and durable.
At only 16 pounds, it is easy to carry downstairs or load into the back of your car for taking over to wash the son-in-law’s house.
With a 1-year warranty, you are covered for the common failures.
PowRyte Elite 4000 PSI – High-Pressure Electric Pressure Washer
In prioritizing machines that are extremely light, this list has been anemic on power. The PowRyte Elite is one of the most powerful electric power washers on the market.
It has a lot of features that you only see on bigger models. For starters, it comes with the five most common nozzle sizes. Just pop in the one you need and get a perfect stream every time.
With the added power, you are going to get a deeper clean when working on concrete and brick. You’ll especially appreciate when cleaning mud off your ATV.
It also comes with a detachable soap container, or you can purchase a foam cannon to use with it.
It also comes with that Total Stop System that everyone loves with the SunJoe models. This prolongs the lifespan of the pump system.
With a 35-foot cord and 20-foot hose, you have a pretty standard length.
This is one of the most heavy-duty pressure washers among electric models. This would be a fun one to keep around the shop for cleaning your work trucks.
Simpson 61082 Gas Pressure Washer
Gas-powered pressure washer delivers an unbelievable amount of power. Even though this is one of the smallest washers on the market, it delivers 2,400 PSI, which is almost double the power of most of the washers on the market.
The trade-off is that this model weighs over 72 pounds. This means that it takes both hands to roll it down the stairs. (Thanks to the 12-inch tall wheels, it isn’t too difficult to take it up and down the stairs.)
The Honda motor delivers a long-lasting experience with a perfect start every time.
It’s 16 inches wide, and the handle folds down so it should fit into most trunks. With these gas models, you want to keep them upright during transport, so they don’t leak.
With a 25 foot hose, you have plenty of room to move around easily. The Ergonomic spray gun is comfortable to use for hours at a time, and the four different nozzle tips to give you perfect control.
And, because it is gas-powered, you can move around easily without the need to plug it in.
In my opinion, I would choose a gas model over an electric one. I love the power and that you can use it with just about any accessory on the market.
Portable Pressure Washer Buying Guide
As you shop for pressure washers, the opportunities are endless. Having used some high-end pressure washers along with some extremely cheap ones, I’ve gotta say that having a high-quality pressure is way more satisfying.
Portable Vs. Standard Pressure Washers
There are two key things when shopping for portable pressure washers: How much do they weigh, and how well will they transport in a vehicle.
Because of the weight consideration, the electric models tend to win in this category. Electric models also have less mess, and there this no concern with oil leaking if they fall over during transport.
Of course, electric models have the downside of requiring you to be near an outlet. If you are working in an area without electricity, Gas-powered models run longer without stopping and deliver better power. However, they are significantly heavier.
Are Portable Pressure Washers Any Good?
Most of the models on this list tend to be light-duty. Professionals tend to invest is trailer-sized tanks of water with permanently mounted pressure washers. These offer a commercial-level of portability and power.
However, for cleaning your car, any of the models on this list will do a splendid job. And if you buy a model with more than 1500 PSI, it will make short work of cleaning siding.
I wouldn’t want to use an electric pressure washer daily, but they are excellent for the once-a-week use that a homeowner needs to use them for.
What Are Portable Pressure Washers Good For?
These are great for any area where it is hard to get things cleaned.
The most portable models with their own tanks and cordless power mean that you can clean your mountain bikes and kayaks in the middle of the woods.
It also means that for cleaning an RV or boat, you can get them shining, and then fold the power pressure washer up and slip it into a storage compartment.
They are extremely handy for folks going to car shows who need a way to keep their equipment look shiny on the go.
Plus, you can always use them for cleaning tasks around the home, such as keeping the patio furniture looking fresh and washing grass out of the deck of your mower.
Can Portable Pressure Washers Be Used For Hot Water?
Hot water pressure washers require specialized pump heads. These pumps have added brass in the head to help handle the increased heat and pressure.
These small units are not rated for hot water use. In fact, if you leave the garden out in the sun for too long, it will heat the water past the 100-degree Fahrenheit recommendation.
For the longest pump life, use cold water.
PSI and GPM
PSI is pressure per square inch. This is one of the handiest ways to compare the power that a pressure washer will produce.
The downside of this measurement is that almost all of the models are rated based on internal pressure. The real-world pressure, as experienced at the wand tip, tends to be 200-400 PSI lower.
For most tasks around the house, an 1100 PSI machine will get it done, and 2,000 PSI is more than enough to get the job done quickly.
Some manufacturers disclose this, but it seems to be a fairly universal experience with many of the models.
GPM or Gallons Per Minute measures how much water flows thought the wand. The excellent thing about these models is that they use about 10% of the water of a garden hose.
However, for some accessories, you need a greater flow rate. If you have a 4.0 gallon per minute tool, you are going to move more dirt faster.
The most common use for a pressure washer is cleaning a car.
Choosing a foam cannon that attaches to the wand is an excellent way to apply soap to a vehicle.
Compatibility is a big key. Most of these soap dispensers come with a quick-connect adapter. As long as your tool has that same adapter, it will go on, well.
For example, the Paxcess uses a specialized, adjustable tip. This tip may not be as compatible with some of the other soap dispensers.
Sun Joe makes their own dispenser.
If using accessories is important to you, be sure to research the connection types.
The warranty is only as good as the company backing it. Make sure the company has a website and that when you call them, you can easily reach a customer service representative.
Additionally, check their BBB rating to see if there have been any complaints filed.
Overall, most of the brands on this list are from well-known companies with a decent history that you can point to.
In my opinion, the best pressure washer is the Sun Joe SPX201E. It is lightweight, durable, delivers excellent cleaning power.