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10 Best Pressure Washer Detergents (Review & Buying Guide)

Pressure washers are efficient devices to have around. You can boost their efficiency by using premium detergents and soaps. Most power washers come with a detergent tank where you can pour your desired washing detergent. Usually, a hose combines the detergent with water, and you begin to see the effect when spraying on the surfaces.

You need these detergents to help you clean your home faster and make it look neater. You can also save money on cleaning agents by getting multipurpose detergents. These detergents can wash your dishes, clothes, cars, and clean surfaces in the home without any issues. 

Below we have picked some of the best pressure washer detergents on the market. Let’s get started.

For those who wants to skip straight to the final verdict, here are our top picks.

best value

  • Perfect for outdoor cleanings
  • Integrated Tru-measure for precise dispense
  • Biodegradable

for cars

  • Perfect for automobiles
  • Able to clean tough stains without scratching your car

Top 10 Best Pressure Washer Detergents Product Reviews

1. Simple Green Industrial SMP11001 All-Purpose Cleaner (Editor's Choice)

best pressure washer detergent

SMP11001 all-purpose cleaner concentrate is made for cleaning both at home and workplaces. It is a fragrant free detergent, so you won't have to worry about finding a particular fragrance. It easily removes dirt and stains from hard surfaces and dishes.

It has a mixing ratio of 1:64. This means you can expect the 1-gallon detergent to last longer than many other detergents.

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2. Sun Joe SPX-HDC1G House and Deck Detergent

This washer detergent is exceptional in cleaning a variety of surfaces within the home. It can remove rust from metal surfaces. Also, it can remove dirt and grime with ease.

If you are looking for a bleach-free, biodegradable, and safe detergent, this is an excellent choice. You can use it in pressure washers, a mop or a brush, and still achieve excellent surface cleaning. Dilute according to instructions to get maximum performance.

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3. Karcher Multi-Purpose Detergent

This washer detergent is very versatile. It can clean kitchen utensils and surfaces in the home excellently. It is safe to use indoors as your family's health was considered when formulating and manufacturing the detergent.

You can expect the quarter gallon of detergent to yield 5 gallons of diluted and usable solution. The container comes with the True-Measure System to help users make accurate dilutions without the need for guessing.

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4. Krud Kutter HS01 Concentrate

Krud Kutter HS01 is specially made for indoor cleaning. It comes with advanced cleaning technology, SPOREX, which cleans up deep and tough surface stains faster and easier.

It is quite easy to use. Simply dilute the detergent as required in your pressure washer. Spray the surface you want to clean and allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrub off dirt and rinse to achieve the desired result.

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5. Sun Joe SPX-FCS1G Premium Snow Foam (Cannon Pineapple)

This washer detergent is specially made to give your car a brilliant shine after every wash with the detergent. Whether you use the detergent for personal or commercial car wash purposes, you will find that it will last you longer than you expect.

The detergent can remove grease stains and dirt easily from your car and metal surface. The pineapple fragrance keeps your car scenting fresh after each wash.

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6. Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II Car Wash Shampoo 

Maxi Suds II wash shampoo from Chemical Guys comes with grape fragrance and advanced cleaning formula. It can dissolve grease, oil, and rust from the surface of your car. It can work perfectly in many pressure washer models to give brilliant results.

You can also use the detergent to wash your car manually because it is confirmed safe to use. One container of this detergent can give two buckets of ready to use washing solution.

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7. Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner

Looking for a dual-purpose detergent? Simple Green Oxy Solve detergent may be a great option. It is meant for cleaning vehicles, including cars, boats, trucks, and others. You can also use it for various outdoor purposes such as washing the verandah, playground, and other outdoor space. You can also use the detergent to remove dirt and stains from rugs using cannon wash.

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8. Star Brite EZ-ON EZ-OFF Hull & Bottom Cleaner

Star Brite is made EZ-ON EZ-OFF for boats only. It uses advanced cleaning technology to remove rusts and stains from the bottom of boats. It can work through tight spaces to remove scum and rust lines.

The product is made of special buffers that offer safer use than many acid-based cleaners. Both the hull and the bottom of the boat can be easily cleaned using a cannon pressure washer.

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9. Briggs & Stratton 6826 Multi-Purpose Cleaner

This multipurpose detergent can be used indoor or outdoor for both personal and industrial use. It is made of an advanced formula for the removal of tough stains, rust, mold and mildew.

The dilution ratio is included on the label so users can get the required concentration needed for an effective wash. There is no need to scrub so hard before dirt and stains come off surfaces.

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10. Mold Armor FG503 E-Z House Wash

Mold Armor FG503 is another multipurpose cleaner on our list. It can remove molds, dirt, and oil stains from aluminum, concrete, metal, wood, and vinyl surfaces. Its powerful formula enables it to remove dirt and stains without scrubbing.

The detergent is suitable for use both indoor and outdoor. A gallon of its concentrate can give up to 2000 square feet of cleaning space. The dilution ratio is 1 part of detergent to 3 parts of water.

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Differences between detergent and Pressure washer soap

The basic difference between pressure washer soaps and detergents is that soaps are made of natural ingredients. On the other hand, detergents are made from synthetic materials such as chemicals produced in the lab.

Pressure washer soaps are usually made from natural oils from plants like coconut, pine, palm, and other oil plants. Animal fats can also be used for washer soap production. These oils, when mixed with chemicals like caustic soda and fragrance, give washer soaps.

Detergents, on the other hand, consists of a combination of man-made chemicals to give a more effective washing solution. The need for detergents arose around 1916 when raw materials for pressure washer soap making were no longer adequate to meet the global demand for soaps.

Surfactants are major cleaning ingredient in detergents. They increase the surface area of stains and dirt, allowing water and cleaning agents to penetrate and remove specks of dirt easily.

Detergents are more popular than pressure washer soap as cleaning agents today. One of the reasons is that after rinsing objects washed by detergents, no film or oil is left behind. To achieve the same results with soaps, more water will be needed for rinsing.

Another difference is that pressure washer soap reacts with hard water to form scum. Scum can make clothing fabrics to deteriorate. However, detergents can still work effectively in hard water since they do not react with it to form scum. These are parts of the reasons why detergents are used in a wide range of cleaning agents such as shampoo, dishwashers, hand washers, and others.

Many cleaners still claim to be washer soaps, although they are made of detergents.

Chemicals used in different types of Cleaning Detergents

Below are some chemicals used in the manufacture of detergents. You should find information about the percentage composition of these and other ingredients on labels pasted on the detergent containers.

  • Sodium Hydroxide: This is one of the basic ingredients in most detergents. It is also called caustic soda. It easily removes grease and stains from the surfaces of fabrics, glass, plates, and floors.
  • Potassium Hydroxide: This is a chemical used in the making of liquid soaps.
  • Bleach: Combining sodium hydroxide with sodium hypochlorite gives a bleaching effect on detergents. The bleach can act as both disinfectant and sanitizer - killing and removing germs from surfaces.
  • Vinegar: This gives polish and shines qualities to surfaces after detergents have been used to clean them. It can be used in detergents suitable for cleaning tabletops, windows, brass door handles, and marble floors.
  • Citric Acid: Suits detergents for cleaning hard surfaces such as wooden and concrete floors.
  • Ammonia: Helps detergent to clean glass and stainless steel.
  • Oxalic Acid: Makes cleaning rusted metal surfaces easy and fast
  • Fragrances: Give your surfaces and fabrics pleasant scent after washing

Manufacturers may use other ingredients apart from the ones listed above. Usually, the ingredient used by the manufacturer is intended to make a particular impact.

Buying Guides

There are lots of soap detergents out in the market. Since most manufacturers use similar basic ingredients, it may be harder to choose the best from the rest. However, below are tips to help you pick the one that will suit your needs.

1. Define Your Need

Before you get a cleaning detergent, you need to spell out why you need one. Many people avoid this step and simply go for the so-called multipurpose detergents. In the end, they find that the multipurpose detergent X is not good for specific applications. A friend complained of having to repaint his car after the multipurpose detergent bleached the car body.

To avoid this condition, go for the type of detergent that is suited for one or two specific needs. For instance, most soap detergent can also be used to clean kitchen floors made of concrete.

You should also note that washing detergents are broadly classified into two based on use. There are those for residential use as well as professional use. Both types of detergents are generally biodegradable and environment-friendly. Manufacturers try to make detergents meant for residential use very safe to health. The ones for professional use are utilized by an outdoor car wash and building cleaning contractors' services.

Don't just use any type of detergent. Use the one that suits your purpose. You may check the label on the product to see which applications the detergent is suited for.

2. Consider your allergy and other health-related issues

Some people are allergic to some components of detergents. Before you purchase any brand of detergents, be sure to check the components for any substance you are allergic to. If there is none, then the product may be probably safe for you to use.

Apart from allergies, you need to be sure that the ingredients in the detergents would not pose health hazards later on. You should also read safety precautions on the label and ascertain that you can keep the safety rules.

3. Patronize a licensed home detergent depot

Licensed home detergent depots often try to stay in business by distributing or sometimes manufacturing high quality and safe detergents. They also have excellent customer service where you can go if you are still uncertain of which detergent is safe enough and suitable for your use. You may also find many exciting and new detergents you never knew about.

4. Choose detergents that a suitable for pressure washer

It is not uncommon for pressure washers companies to produce their detergents or partner with other companies for detergents. Find out if your pressure washer company is producing its detergents or partnering with any detergent company.

One way to ascertain this is to check if your pressure washer company included any detergent in your kit when you first purchased it. All things being equal, using detergents that are certified by your pressure washer company will help keep your pressure washer working better and for longer.

Final Verdict

From the best pressure washer detergents listed above, we have our favorites for different categories. 

Simple Green SMP11001 is our top pick. It is very versatile and safe to use, fragrance-free.

Karcher Multi-Purpose Soap Detergent is our choice for best value detergent on the list. It is also versatile, cleans easily, and cheaper when compared to others.

Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II is popular among car owners as the washing is intriguing.

If you need detergent, let our top picks guide you to choosing the right cleaning detergent for you.

    Jeremy Delores

    Jeremy is here to help you get the right tools and equipment for your yard and garden. Being obsessed with them for almost a decade, he knows how important quality and reliability is when using them. For this reason, he will focus on creating and sharing content that not only cover the latest information and trends but also his insights on the best products that will suit your needs and requirements.