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  1. #1
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    Dec 2019
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    Pressure Washing?

    We have a Honda gas pressure washer being on a farm that comes in handy. Now I was always under the assumption that you wouldn't use one to wash your car since they can very easily strip paint off if you get too close or have too narrow of a stream on. Obviously for a foam cannon you would use it, but these days I am now seeing a lot of detailers using pressure washers.

    Is the general consensus on here that pressure washers are safe for rinsing and such? Or do most people on here try to shy away from them?


  2. #2
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    Mar 2018
    Conroe, Texas
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    Re: Pressure Washing?

    If you have one, use it wisely!

    If your pressure is above 1700-psi make sure you only use the 25-or-40 degree spray tips and stay at least 3-feet from the car panels. That is for the purpose of rinsing off either initial start of the process or at the end to remove the soap application.

    As to Foam Cannons, AG gives several options but my personal one is the Griot's Garage Boss Foamer.

    What is not wise use?
    If you use narrow jets (15 or smaller) on the PW, you can strip paint especially if you have any breaks in the clear coat.
    If the spray can cut your skin then it is not going to be good for the car.
    Be smart, PWs are handy to remove that initial grime if you use the vehicle on the farm or just drive down some of the muddy roads.

    My first thoughts. I use electric PW for years and only use gas models for special cleaning projects on the house and yard.

  3. #3
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    Re: Pressure Washing?

    What's the specs from the Honda gas PW you have in gpm and the psi?

    I always use a PW when washing my cars. If you have damaged paint like it's flakes just don't get the PW nozzle over it. Then it's much of the gpm from the PW in how powerfull the PW are. But you can lower the psi from it with a bigger sized nozzle tip orifice. The same is with the orifice in the foamcannon and which you should have depends on the gpm. If you use a too small orifice you get a very high psi from it. And that in the longrun can mess up the PW pump. If you go on to MTM webshop they have a calculator on there where you can put in the gpm from the PW and the wanted psi from it and you get which size of the orifice in the nozzle tip and foamcannon to use. When you comes over 2.0-2.5gpm then you are good with around 2000psi. And when you get above 3.0gpm I would not go over 1500psi. With the more gpm and it's gets powerfull and effective to use as a cleaning tool. Just adjust with a 25 or 40 degree nozzle tip and you can have the nozzle tip further away from the paint and it still gets you an effective cleaning ability from it. I have a Kärcher K7 electric PW with 2.6gpm and between 2200-2300psi from the nozzle tip that's original like a 15 degree width from it. Even if I can lower the psi very easy on the spray gun handle. I always use it on the highest psi from it and have had zero things happen. It's just useing a common sense. It takes very much power from a PW to damage paint even when you come close to it. With my K7 I have the nozzle tip about a foot away from the paint at most and down to half of a foot. What you don't ever are going to be useing is the 0 degree nozzle tip and the turbo nozzle tip. This can damage the paint easly. I don't understand how why a knowned YT channel that sells his own products has been started to selling a turbo nozzle tip for doing the wheels with. Even a low gpm electric PW with a turbo nozzle tip if this is like all them I have seen and know of has a 0 degree nozzle tip that swiwel around for more effective cleaning I would never use it on any part of a vehical that's for sure. Then you have another one that claims that 1000psi is some kind of sweet spot. No on a small and even up to the bigger electric PW 1000psi is too low IMO and IME. Sure if you use your PW like a garden hose then it's fine. But if you want to do any cleaning with the PW 1000psi from the nozzle tip on an electric PW is just not effective to clean with. And don't get me started on the snubb gun setup LOL. Sure being able to attach the foamcannon right on the spray gun handle is great. And in some parts like the wheels and wheel wells it can be a little handy. But then put on a wand extension and the nozzle tip on that and you get a much better ergonomics if you use the PW to clean with and not just like a garden hose. Or you get to far from the paint without a wand extension and no real cleaning is done and actually a garden hose would be more effective to use instead if you get to far from the paint. The same if you use the PW to rinse off the car soap solution with it. If you don't get close enough with an electric PW and like hold it 3-4 foot away from the vehical then your garden hose will be more effective to rinse off the car soap solution. You get a lot more gpm from the garden hose than any PW. It's the water pressure from the PW that makes it effective. And the lower psi and the farther away from the vehical you are the lower of a water pressure on the paint you get. So now my rant is over LOL. But if you setup your PW the right way you get a much better and faster car wash. So don't be afraid of useing a PW when washing and just have the knowledge and common sense and you will be fine. Flaking clearcoat and paint you can get off with a garden hose also like you can with a PW. And especially with a wash media of any kind. But if your don't have them and you don't have the nozzle tip an inch away from any trim with a 10 degree nozzle tip and wider you are perfectly safe to the PW to clean with. I use it like I use the wash media with a distance from the paint and use the water pressure from the PW to clean with. This gets you a great pretreatment and a cleaner one before you do a contact wash. Then you have either foamed on prewashes or sprayed on pretreatment that aid the cleaning ability a notch more. But the PW to clean with is what do the heavy part of the cleaning for me when I wash the car.

    I can help you out if you have the gpm from the Honda gas PW you have. And which size of the nozzle tip orifice you should have. And what orifice you should have in the foamcannon to both get a nice foam and you don't put the PW pump over it's psi limit. Then I need to be knowing how much of psi it can handle. It's a little tricky as it's the same orifices but they use mm on the foamcannon one and something else on the nozzle tip orifice. But it's pretty much the same calculation to get the right orifices LOL. Or call MTM and I'm sure they are willing to help you out. Know what the PW pump gpm and psi is and what psi you want out from the nozzle tip. Also if it says anything about max psi on the foamcannon that you have. But usually all equipment on a PW can handle up to 3000psi in general with hoses and PW pumps and all that. So a setup for the use of car washing you don't get up there when they help you. But those that have a high gpm gas PW and put in the smallest foamcannon orifice of 1.1mm instead of the original 1.25mm orifice. Can actually getting over 3000psi from the nozzle of the foamcannon. But this goes backwards to the PW pump in the end and it's even a little higher. And if you getting over the 3000psi then bad things can happen from the foamcannon and back to the PW pump. If they don't can handle that pressure. Have seen a lot of people useing the smaller orifice in the foamcannon and that's not so good when you have a lot of gpm from the PW.

    / Tony

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  5. #4
    Senior Member MIsnowman's Avatar
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    Re: Pressure Washing?

    We also have a large pressure washer that we use on our farm, 4000psi/4gpm and we often use it for washing vehicles. Ours has an adjustable pressure regulator/dump valve so we can turn the pressure down, but even at full pressure it won’t hurt the paint as long as you use a wider angle tip and stay a safe distance away like was already mentioned. The higher flow rate is really nice for rinsing, which is where I think the smaller electric models fall short.

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