Stuff We Use: Under Pressure (Washers)

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

On our never-ending quest to improve this place by listening to feedback from the B&B, we are taking a new tack with these product posts, choosing instead to focus on items we use and have purchased with our own meager income. After all, if we’re giving you the truth about cars, we ought to give you the truth about car accessories.

We’ve mused before on these digital pages that a clean car seems to run better – a missive that apparently holds true for sports cars and hot hatchbacks, though burly off-road pickup trucks and SUVs may take umbrage with that assessment. Nevertheless, most gearheads tend to like keeping their ride relatively clean, explaining the sheer number (and type) of pressure washers marketed toward consumers.

For ages, this writer used a gasoline-powered pressure washer, firm in the belief it ran better and more reliably than any cheap electric plug-in unit ever would. Besides, having an extension cord flailing about whilst water is sprayed wildly does not inspire confidence in the back of my brain. Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of CSI, studying Gil Grissom’s investigations into strange and grisly deaths.

All but identical to this example, the pressure washer was biblically loud under load but always provided great performance – even during times when the water pressure from my artesian well was less than ideal. It came with a metal lance and spray gun, a quartet of tips in different spray angles, and a decently robust metal frame. For those unfamiliar, those spray tips that attach to the end of a nozzle dictate the aggression with which the water flows forth from your pressure washer. A 25-degree tip is not as vigorous as a 10-degree, for example – though you might not wish to use the latter on yer new car. Read the manual and know what’s best for your particular task. And, yes, I speak from experience after accidentally blasting away paint that was precariously hanging on over rust bubbles on my old Ram pickup truck.

This author has recently discovered that (gasp!) battery-powered household tools have come a long way from the Bad Old Days – and are even light years ahead in terms of performance than those on sale just a few years ago. In my garage now resides, of all things, a pressure washer powered by a lithium-ion battery from a company called DK2, belting out 2,200 psi and blasting away dirt from my Challenger and house siding alike.

The battery is a large cube and sits where the gasoline engine resided on my old pressure washer, consuming about the same amount of space. Its total capacity is just over 1.0 kWh and is paired with a brushless electric motor which the manufacturer claims is very similar in construction to units found on road-going EVs. It sure seems stout and I have no reason to doubt that claim.

All the literature I could find failed to make much (official) mention of run time on a full charge but my experience so far has been very positive. It’s no trouble to wash two or three cars at a time and not run out of juice, even at my notoriously leisurely pace. The same goes for washing the siding of my home, a surface that gets reliably gnarly thanks to a droke of trees surrounding our place. It is estimated recharging takes about twice as long as discharging, though I tend to just simply plug the thing in overnight; it’s always full the next time it is needed.

In fact, the battery can apparently be used as part of a DK2 ecosystem of products which include the likes of woodchippers and log splitters. Extra batteries can be stacked for more endurance at work or turned into a power bank for home use when the grid goes dark. By itself, the battery in my pressure washer can juice items through a couple of USB ports located on its anterior side. A separate device can be purchased to provide household-style outlets if you plan to double the thing as a 2000-watt source of backup power. My sole complaint is that this is a heavy bugger, weighing more than a hundred pounds which is way more than my old gas unit. Good job it rolls easily on its tires.

As planned, this series of posts will continue to focus on items we actually use and have bought with our own money. We hope you found this one helpful.

[Image: Author]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
6 of 12 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Oct 30, 2023

    1600 bucks? Not for me.

    Since we have a freeze warning tonight, on my to-do list for today is to run some 'pump saver' through both pressure washers - the 'serious' gasoline-powered one and the wimpy plug-in electric one. And bring the 56V batteries inside the house (and 40V, and probably the M12 batteries too why not).

    My electric pressure washer has its own GFCI, so the chances of electrocution are less than 27.4%.

    My sister's kid works on a farm sometimes. He chose to clean his truck wheels using the Very Serious hot-water pressure washer on the farm. Which is fine if you want to remove the finish along with the dirt...

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Oct 30, 2023

      I ordered a "EVEAGE 2-in-1 Undercarriage Pressure Washer Water Broom, 16" Under Car Pressure Washer Attachment with Extensions" back when it was cheaper and I was more optimistic. I use it as a 'broom' (pointing forward and down) after using my 15" Surface Cleaner on paved areas, but if I lived in a place where road salt was an issue, it would be just about ideal (spraying 'up') for cleaning off the bottom of a vehicle.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Oct 31, 2023

    Thinking of getting (a much cheaper) one to clean off my wheels.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Nov 01, 2023

      I am thinking that if I had totaled the vehicle of any of the women in my immediate family by rear-ending another vehicle, I would probably not be alive now.

  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys dudes off the rails on drugs and full of hate and retribution. so is musky.