Can using a pressure washer damage paintwork?


It’s something of a common misconception that you can damage the paintwork by pressure washing your car. As with most things in life, a bit of forward thinking and preparation means that you can safely pressure wash your car, given you have the right tools.

Why do people mistrust pressure washers?

Whilst people believe that the intensity of force in a pressure washer will cause the tiny, sand-like particles to oscillate and scratch the bodywork. However, arguably even a hosepipe could do the same thing. And have you seen the pressure exerted by a drive in car wash? In truth, the water applied using pressure to the surface actually often forms a protective layer of water, elevating the dirt particles and lifting them away from the paintwork.

Tips for pressure washing carefully

Pressure washers, as the name suggests, use high pressure air mixed with water to create a powerful cleaning tool that can effectively remove dirt from many surfaces.

Choose a car pressure washer

There are many different types of pressure washer, and to achieve the smoothest, safest and sparkliest option, it makes sense to opt for a pressure washer specifically made for cars. SGS Engineering have a fantastic range of affordable car pressure washers, which have distance instructions to help you maintain a safe distance and achieve optimum results.

Keep your distance

Because the effect of the air and water creates a blasting, you ultimately want to make sure you are not standing too close to the surface you are washing, in this instance, a car. For one thing, you’d struggle against the pressure, secondly you might get wet and thirdly, standing too close could damage loose paint.

Use soap

As you would with a standard, manual car wash, soap up the paint work using a quality car wash soap and sponge first of all. This helps to loosen any dirt particles, which can then be blasted off using the high pressure of the washer.

Fix rusty spots

It stands to reason that if you had a car with particularly fragile paintwork, you would risk loosening paintwork or dislodging bits of rust. Keep the car in good condition and attend to any rusting as soon as you can to avoid this problem.