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Best Pressure Washer Detergent

When it comes to detergent for a pressure washer, not all soaps will work. Most of the time, because of the water to soap ratio, it is recommended that you use a concentrated detergent to ensure it is strong enough to cut through the toughest grime. There are not many detergent options available for a pressure washer, but of the ones that are available, they each do different jobs. You will have to decide which one you feel is right for the job at hand.

AutomotiveMulti-PurposeHome
Karcher Car Wash and WaxKarcher Multi-PurposeHome Armor FG503
Size: 1 gallonSize: 1 gallonSize: 1 gallon
Application: car, motorcycle, boat, truckApplication: decks, driveways, sidewalks, stone, brickApplication: vinyl, aluminum, wood, siding, stucco, concrete, fences
Cost: $Cost: $Cost: $
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Types of Detergent

There are some pressure washer detergents that cause very little foam. In some cases, this may be exactly what you want, in others you may prefer more foam, especially if you are using a foam cannon. This may be ideal for washing your deck or your driveway, but when trying to foam your car, this will not be what you want from your detergent. Therefore, it is important that you look closely to discover whether it foams the way you would expect for it to.

It is also not recommended that you use dish soaps in your pressure washer because they may hurt your eyes or an animal’s eyes if your pet happens to get in the way and catches some of the spray.

However, there are people who say that this is not a concern and that any type of soap in a concentrated pouch can work, but you have to figure out the right amount of water mixed with how many pouches. For this you will have to use your own discretion, but most people do think it is best to stick with the concentrated detergents that are designed to work with a pressure washer.

Best Automotive Detergent

Karcher Vehicle Detergent for Pressure Washers

This detergent provides both a wash and a wax for your vehicle using your Karcher pressure washer as well as others. It is highly concentrated and one jug can make up to 20 gallons of soap when mixed with water to dilute it. It is safe to use on all automobile finishes and does not leave any residue behind.

If you want to get the hard to reach areas or the interior of your vehicle, this detergent is gentle enough for you to wash with it using your hands. When you are finished washing, it will rinse away leaving no spots and shining like a new car. It is ideal for getting the dirt off campers, ATVs, motorcycles, and more.

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Karcher Car Wash and Wax

This biodegradable car wash and wax is ideal for people who want to make their car look as good as new, every time they wash it. It reveals the original luster while leaving zero residue and spots behind. It has a built-in measuring cup so that you know you are always going to get the right amount of soap for your pressure washer.

This soap does not contain any bleach, so you can use it without worry about damaging your pressure washer or your vehicles more delicate surfaces. The fact that no harsh chemicals are used in it also means that it is safe to use around pets, kids, plants, and more.

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Best Wood, Deck, Concrete, Siding Detergent

Sun Joe House and Deck Cleaner

This cleaner is specifically designed to be safe for pressure washers and the environment. It is biodegradable and does not contain harsh chemicals, such as bleach, but it can clean wood, brick, and virtually all other materials. You can also use it with a brush, a mop, or your hands and not worry about skin irritation.

Even though it is gentle, you can still expect a cleaning power that will rejuvenate the dirties of decks. It can even remove mildew and other types of stains. You can use it with a soap cannon on all your vehicles, fences, and more.

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Oil Eater Original

This cleaner is a degreaser that can dissolve grease and oils stains on most surfaces, but it does not contain acid, petroleum, or other abrasives that may damage surfaces. It is a water-based formula that can even be safe in septic systems. In fact, we have discovered many uses for it that include cleaning grills, laundry stain removing, and scrubbing exhaust hoods over the stove.

It is safe for all types of cleaning projects, but you should still keep it out of the reach of kids and eyes. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that all metals should be cool to the touch before cleaning and you should avoid using it on oil based asphalt since it will break down the oils in it.

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Home Armor E-Z House Wash

This cleaner works to remove stains including mold, mildew, and algae without scrubbing. It is ideal for all areas of a home. You can pressure wash vinyl, wood, stucco, painted surfaces, brick, and aluminum. You can apply it using a pressure washer or using a sponge and it is effective enough to be used by professionals.

In most cases, you should use three parts water to one part cleaner. However, if you are dealing with a heavily stained area, you can use it without diluting. It does have bleach in it, so you do need to make sure that bleach is okay to use in your pressure washer, but even if it isn’t; you can still rinse with your pressure washer and enjoy knowing your home is clean.

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Best All-Purpose Detergents

Karcher Multi-Purpose Cleaner

If you have a variety of things to clean and want them to look great afterward, Karcher’s multi-purpose detergent could be for you. It is specially formulated to work well with your pressure washer so that you can get things, “Cleaner. Quicker”. It is biodegradable and able to clean all types of surfaces. It has a measuring cup built-in which makes it easy for you to fill the reservoir and then pour it into your detergent tank. Fill the rest of the tank up with water and enjoy getting everything clean.

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Sun Joe All-Purpose, Heavy Duty Cleaner

This heavy-duty cleaner is also a degreaser to remove the toughest gunk you can find. It is concentrated and designed for use with a pressure washer. You can use on all wooden, metal, and brick surfaces. The concentrate is biodegradable and safe to use around plants. It can go a step above washing mud off the tires and can remove oil stains, rust, mildew, and so much more.

If the area you are cleaning is only a little dirty, you should mix a half a gallon of the cleaner with five gallons of water. If the surface is heavily soiled, you will want to use a full gallon to get the cleanest clean possible.

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ZEP All-in-1 Premium Concentrate

This pressure washing detergent is powerful enough to remove algae stains from driveways, stucco, wood, and brick. It can also remove mold and mildew from those same surfaces. This does mean that there are some chemicals in it, but you do not have to worry about it causing your plants harm.

The only recommendation is that if you get it in your eyes, you should flush them with water and you should not ingest it. In really dirty and stained areas, it may be beneficial to let it sit for a few minutes before running clean water over it.

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Karcher 20X Multi-Purpose Cleaner


One bottle of Karcher gives you 20 gallons of cleaning power just waiting for you to use it. It can then clean decks, driveways, brick, stone, and siding, plus much more. You can even use it inside with a mop and bucket if you want to deep clean your kitchen floor tiles or need heavy-duty power in your bathroom.

It rinses away without leaving any type of residue, which is great for restoring the original beauty of your paint, siding, and other areas. It is biodegradable and packaged in only recyclable containers so that it is good for the environment.

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