Best Pressure Washer for Tesla in 2022 (Buying Guide)

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 08/22/22 •  15 min read

No one really likes a Tesla covered with dirt. 

Except when you wrap it in Dirty Martini Wrap.

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla
Credit to autoevolution 

Now THAT is cool. 

But I would rather have a clean-looking Tesla.

Not to mention that wraps can be really expensive, and not all of them turn out as pictures portray.

Especially the chrome wraps — stay away from them (they only look good in pictures).

Don’t ask me how I know.

So let’s talk about how to not fall for chrome ⁠— I mean ⁠— how to use a pressure washer and make your Tesla shiny in 20 minutes tops. 

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla

On a side note, if you want to learn more about wraps, you can refer to my complete wrap guide, where I take you through all your options and the budget so you can get the best bang for your buck.

All right, all right. Let’s put the car in Car Wash Mode and dive into the best pressure washers for Tesla.

But First, Can You Pressure Wash a Tesla?

The simple answer is yes — you can power wash a Tesla. 

However, there are a couple of precautions (20+ actually) that you need to keep in mind when cleaning your Tesla on the driveway, in the garage, in the parking lot, etc. 

If you want to go through all of them, here’s the link, but I will guide you through all the important ones as required. 

Now let’s find the best pressure washer for your Tesla and try not to blow your battery by pointing the hose directly at the charging port when it’s plugged in. 

And don’t let this socket come near your charging port either. 

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla
Credit to Justin Abner on YouTube

That can’t be right. 

Does it mean you can wash your Tesla while it’s charging? 

Kind of. Tesla only mentions not to point the hose directly at the charging port. 

We need to get into the depths of it.

Stay tuned. 

The Best, Most Efficient Pressure Washers for Tesla 

Let’s talk about all the options for cleaning a Tesla. 

I would rather save the elbow grease and not spend three hours just on the exterior doing the two-bucket method. 

As satisfying as it is, I don’t always have time to carry it out.

Meanwhile, a quick car wash can take about five minutes, but then you also have to drive to the car wash.

Not to mention the time figuring out the neutral on your Tesla — which is a pain.

Here’s the link to one of my articles, which, after reading, you won’t be a noob when it comes to Tesla’s Car Wash Mode. 

All in all, a pressure washer is a good choice if you really want to save time and money. 

I will give you my top choices for different categories — from the best budget to the best overall option — and take you through all the technical aspects of a pressure washer. 

Without further ado, let’s get washed.

Best Budget Pressure Washer for Tesla: Sun Joe SPX1000

You might be expecting those cheap $50 options that are not really cut out. 

But I have a better one which is only slightly more expensive but comes with a two-year warranty, no questions asked. 

The Sun Joe SPX1000 pressure washer has a 1,500-watt motor capable of producing 1.45 GPM at 11.5 amp. 

To give you a better idea, 1.45 GPM means that this particular pressure washer is capable of forcing 1.45 gallons of water out of the nozzle in one minute. 

The psi at which it all works is 1450, which is a reasonable number as most ceramic-coated cars would have a recommended psi of 1450 when it comes to pressure washing. 

If you have PPF or vinyl wrap installed on your Tesla, it’s best not to exceed 1450 psi. 

Going for a higher psi, i.e., 3000, can be very useful when cleaning every other household stuff but can damage your Tesla’s paint job.

With variable pressure settings, you can clean your driveway, patio, walls, deck, and carpets without a sweat. 

So going for a higher psi-rated pressure washer can make your life much easier. You would only have to adjust the pressure settings accordingly. 

This particular Sun Joe model might be a little low on versatility, so you can opt for the SPX3000, which is much more durable and can tackle a variety of cleaning tasks.

Although not exactly 3000 psi, it works great according to several users and is one of the most reliable electric washers you can get. 

The only con of the SPX1000 is that it’s underpowered. 

Other than that, it’s all good.

The SPX1000 is equipped with an adjustable pressure nozzle, with the TSS added into the mix to make things much more efficient. 

TSS means total stop system, which indicates that the motor won’t be running unless the trigger is engaged, increasing the motor life and saving electricity. 

When it comes to the maintenance aspect, like every other pressure washer, you would have to use the pressure washer pump protector every once in a while.

The pump protector fluid is very inexpensive — just the price of like a dozen donuts — and would help keep your pressure washer in great shape. 

The SPX1000 pressure washer is also lightweight and easy to carry around.

However, the problem with being lightweight is that it could get damaged pretty easily. 

Make sure to secure it in place when using it and try not to bump it into something like your pinky toe.

The jet spray on this bad boy can go from zero to 45 degrees, which is insane. 

The best setting for washing a car is 40 degrees for the panels. 

When washing the wheels, you can use a lower setting on the nozzle to get to the nooks and crannies. Make sure not to point it directly at the paint when using the lower settings. 

Lastly, the maximum temperature for the water inlet should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. 


✅ Very inexpensive
✅ Portable
✅ Small and lightweight
✅ Reasonably powerful motor
✅ Variable nozzle settings
✅ Auto-off 
✅ Can be used for moderate household cleaning
✅ Efficient 


❌ Its light body may get damaged easily
❌ Might be underpowered for some

Best Quality Pressure Washer Used by Professionals: Nilfisk Premium 180

There are numerous well-known pressure washer brands out there like Karcher, AVA, Nilfisk, Bosch, DeWalt, and the list goes on. 

Even after tons of research and comparison, it’s hard to declare one winner. 

However, from the price point of view and considering the pros and cons and the smallest details, the Nilfisk comes on top. 

If you are from the UK, this is the pressure washer for you.

From the softness of its hose to all the conveniences it offers, the Nilfisk pressure washer is an excellent choice, especially the Premium 180 model. 

The competition really struggles against this model. 

AVA also makes some well-thought-out pressure washers that amaze me, but their top end is kind of expensive and beyond the reach of most people.

The biggest selling point of AVA is their ridiculously insane warranty period — 20 years. 

The only reason I didn’t put AVA on the top is that it has yet to show its prowess against the battering of time.

AVA is a relatively new company, while Nilfisk has been proving its metal for decades.

Now coming to the Nilfisk’s metal — it’s kind of heavy. 

However, when something is heavy, it’s good. It shows that the material used in production is of high quality. 

Which means, you won’t have to worry about Nilfisk going to heaven anytime soon. 


✅ Great quality 
✅ Great portfolio
✅ Beats the competition
✅ Heavy (which is good)
✅ Soft hoses 
✅ Easy to use


❌ Heavy (which is not really a con)
❌ The premium ones might sound a little expensive

Runner-Up Pressure Washer: SIMPSON MSH3125

The only reason why this pressure washer is not on the top of my list is the price point. It’s a little on the expensive side but worth every penny.

It’s not the generic $200 pressure washer that would end up bailing on you after every two years of consecutive use. 

Its only major drawback is the state restrictions as fuel additives in some states like California have ethanol which can clog the motor with gunk.

However, it’s nothing an ethanol shield cannot solve. 

Now in terms of its cleaning prowess, it does the job so well that you will forget every other electric pressure washer on the market. 

Even though it runs on gas and it’s a bit loud, it’s nothing but amazing. 

If you can put aside twice the amount of every other generic pressure washer, this will be your best bet. 

This is the all-rounder pressure washer that you didn’t know you needed. 

And it’s got a Honda engine.

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla

Not really VTEC, but it’s got the soul. 

This pressure washer has an adjustable RPM, though. 

The max psi is rated at 3200 psi, so if you want something in the lines of a 3000 psi pressure washer, the SIMPSON MSH3125 is the way to go. 

The psi is adjustable, so you don’t have to worry about using too much on your Tesla.

It’s best to go for less than 2000 psi, but not more than 1450 psi if you have a vinyl wrap or PPF installed

Aside from a two-year engine warranty and a one-year pump warranty, you also get three months of warranty for the accessories. 

For the powder-coated frame, you have a five-year limited warranty. 

The Axial Cam pump delivers 2.5 GPM, including thermal relief in case it overheats. 

It’s not as portable as those small electric pressure washers, though the frame is fitted with 10-inch tires to make it easy to maneuver.

You get a 25-feet-long hose and the ability to switch to four different nozzles.

You also get a spray gun and an extension wand to make hard-to-reach areas more accessible. 

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla

So yeah, you wouldn’t have to climb up to the roof to clean. 

When you order this pressure washer, you might notice fuel odor, which doesn’t mean that it’s actually previously used. 

The company states that they test each unit before shipping, so some fuel leftover might be there when it reaches you. 

The biggest benefit of having a gas pressure washer is that you don’t have to fiddle around with long wires when working outside the house. 

So in a sense, gas pressure washers are more portable than small electric pressure washers. 

Note that you need to take care of the oil pressure while working with a gas-powered pressure washer. 

If the oil is not leveled, it might have difficulty starting. 

You don’t have to change the oil as it’s a maintenance-free crankcase. It’s just the pressure that needs to be addressed sometimes. 

Make sure you keep an eye out for that oil pressure and you will be good to go. 

All in all, it’s one of the most durable pressure washers you can buy for way less than the premium options out there, which makes it the best bang for your buck. 

As it’s more of an all-rounder pressure washer and not specific for cars only, you would need a soap lance/cannon to make your Tesla shiny. 


✅ All-rounder pressure washer
✅ Extremely durable
✅ Zero-maintenance design
✅ Thermal relief to prevent overheating
✅ Portable
✅ Adjustable rpm 
✅ Adjustable psi 


❌ A little on the expensive side
❌ Oil level must be leveled with the ground 
❌ Does not deliver to some states due to ethanol additives 
❌ Foam cannon not included

Some Precautions While Using a Pressure Washer

Ever wondered why your cars lose their shine after a year or two down the line?

Well, thanks to the high-pH chemicals in some low-end car shampoos, you are bound to get a faded exterior. 

Tesla gives us 23 precautions to be exact when it comes to cleaning. 

The major thing to note is to avoid wiping directly on the camera lenses and not to use abrasive cleaning compounds. 

The pH should not exceed 13. Alkaline cleaning agents can cause the decorative trims to lose their shine and fade.

Check the labels to see if the cleaning shampoo contains hydroxide cleaning agents and avoid them.

It is also advised not to use washing mitts for cleaning. Instead, use a high-quality microfiber cloth.

I still remember that day when I was little and unknowingly used washing powder for clothes to clean my bike, and it lost its shine at that very moment. Never gonna do that again. 

So getting the best-quality car shampoo, which is close to pH neutral, is the best way to avoid color fading. 

You’ve probably heard of or used Mr. Pink. It’s not biodegradable, so it does pose a level of harm to the environment. 

Being a Tesla owner kind of makes you look into chemicals being biodegradable, which is why the best choice for any Tesla owner is Adam’s car shampoo.

It’s biodegradable and pH neutral.

So not only does it help prevent fading damage, but also you will be able to keep that ceramic coating intact for years to come. 

And it’s made in the USA — for detailing perfectionists, as the label states. 


How to wash a Tesla without a pressure washer?

It’s simple, with lots of elbow grease, meaning you would have to use the good old two-bucket method. 

One bucket is for soapy water, while the other is for rinsing. 

It’s crucial to rinse the microfiber cloth after wiping it on the car and before putting it in soapy water as the dirt on the cloth can cause streaks on your paint. 

In a nutshell, soap, wipe, rinse, repeat. 

Can you pressure wash a Tesla at home?

Yes, you can. You only need 15–20 minutes of your time to get the job done. 

However, there are some precautions you need to keep in mind.

I will take you through all those precautions below so you don’t end up damaging the paint or the plastic trims. 

Can you wash a Tesla while it’s charging?

Yes, but it’s best to avoid it as much as possible.

Tesla warns us not to direct the hose at the charging port when charging. It does not say that you can’t wash it while it’s charging; just don’t point it at the charging port. 

So be very careful. 

Just think of it this way: Superchargers can be used in the rain, right?

The only scary part is that when something goes sideways while washing, Tesla won’t cover the damages under warranty. 

Which nozzle setting is best for Tesla when using a pressure washer?

To avoid paint damage, do not use the jet stream setting (the thinnest) directly on the panels as it can damage and peel the paint off.

The best setting would be the flat fan-like stream for washing your Tesla — ideally, the 40-degree nozzle.

Best Pressure Washer for Tesla
Credit to royalbrassandhose

If you don’t have the 40-degree nozzle, you can use your hand to expand that stream into a bigger area to avoid harsh contact with the delicate paint job. 

The maximum psi shouldn’t be more than 2500 and definitely not more than 3000.

For vinyl-wrapped or PPF-wrapped Teslas, it’s best to keep the psi setting at 1450.

Final Thoughts 

[deep breath] 

There was so much pressure I had to take a deep breath. 

I recommend that you get your own pressure washer — it will be much better than relying on someone else to do all the satisfying work. 

The feat of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from a pressure washer is surreal, and the elbow grease you save by having a pressure washer is 100% worth it. 

If you only need something lightweight to wash your Tesla, the Sun Joe SPX1000 will be enough, and it’s also the most inexpensive on the list.

If you want to experience the best of what pressure washers can offer, the SIMPSON MSH3125 is the way to go. 

It’s a little on the expensive side but worth every penny. 

Among the top competing brands, Nilfisk and AVA are your best choices. 

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

Keep Reading