Which pressure washer surface cleaner you choose, will decide how clean and shiny your driveway or patio is going to look. A surface cleaner might seem a small investment, but it’s a crucial one.
The right model will make your cleaning job so much easier, while the wrong one will only increase hassle. You don’t want to deal with fixing the cleaner instead of cleaning the surface, do you?
In this piece, I’m going to help you to pick your best pressure washer surface cleaner that’s only going to make your job easier, not the other way around.
Should we get started?
What is a surface cleaner for pressure washers? How does it work?
Is a surface cleaner an essential part of a pressure washer? Is it a separate tool? Or is it just an attachment? And how does a surface cleaner for pressure washer work anyway?
If you had this sort of confusion of what exactly a surface cleaner is and how it works, here you go –
Pressure washer surface cleaners are an attachment to the pressure washer that is usually sold separately. This attachment is best attached with a pressure washer when there is a requirement of cleaning a large surface with your pressure washer.
Usually, a pressure washer wand is not the best choice to capture and clean a large area at once. That’s why a surface cleaner attachment is added to that to distribute the pressure and clean a larger surface area at once.
So, how does it do it?
A surface cleaner attachment has one or two nozzles inside its body. When a pressure washer is added to it and it’s powered on, a trigger mechanism will shoot the water through the nozzles and make it spin very fast in the process.
The jet spray through the nozzles cleans the surface that needs to be cleaned, and the spinning action of the nozzles helps produce a clear path that does not leave any streaks or unevenly cleaned area.
Also, all this process is done inside the covering so there’s no splash of water that comes through it which could make you wet.
Why do you need a surface cleaner? Advantages of using one!
One might randomly ask me, what’s the point of a surface cleaner anyway? Why do I have to use surface cleaners for pressure washers for cleaning? I mean, couldn’t you just use the default pressure washer to wash away the dirt?
Probably you could. But how satisfied would you be with the result? And why would you put in the extra effort if you could get the job done without it?
Here’s why a pressure washer surface cleaner is worth the little investment –
How long would it take for you to clean 50 sq feet of the concrete surface with just the pressure washer? If it took 10 minutes, I can assure you that with this attachment, you could do it in under 3 minutes, and the results would be much better too.
Surface cleaner reduces the time required to clean a surface to even less than half. That’s because it captures a large area of surface at once, whereas a normal jet spray would capture a very thin area.
More Efficient & Effective Cleaning
A surface cleaner does not only reduce the time required but also cleans with fewer resources meaning water and the outcome are much better than it would be without this attachment.
It decentralizes the water flow so less water is required to clean the surface with it vs. without it. And on top of that, the cleaning is much better since the way it works, it does not leave any streaks that a jet spray does. So the cleaned surface looks much better.
Minimize Damage Risk
With a surface cleaner, you just have to hold it against the surface and move it around, there’s no other decision to make.
Without it, you’d need to decide how much away you want to keep the nozzle from the surface so the pressure on the surface is optimum to clean it but not to damage it.
I mean, if you hold such high-pressure water spray for too close and too long on a surface, it might get damaged regardless of what it’s made of. With a surface cleaner, there’s no such risk.
Top 10 Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner Reviews
When you want to clean the driveway or patio quickly, the Karcher pressure washer surface cleaner is one of your best bets.
The high-quality dual spinning nozzle ensures that it cleans flat surfaces up to 4x faster than standard nozzles, while the 15” diameter of it captures large surfaces at once.
It is capable of cleaning both horizontal and vertical surfaces so if you want to get your garage door clean, you can do that too with this attachment. It works similarly well on woods and decks as it works on concrete.
The maximum pressure capacity is rated for 3200 psi while it works well with most of the gas-powered pressure washers.
For electric models, it’s compatible with a few models from Karcher themselves (K1700-K2000). It might work with similar electric pressure washers, but you have to do your research first.
It rotates at 1500 RPM max and leaves no streaks behind, so the cleaning is clean I’d say. The splash-free skirt prevents you from getting wet.
And the fact that it has replaceable parts pleases me as you won’t have to replace the whole attachment if a little component turns it back on you.
-Good for woods and decks as well.
-The durability is somewhat questionable.
It’s a professional-grade pressure washer so contractors will find this ideal for uninterrupted service.
It’s quite a costly tool considering using for home purposes. But if you’ve got the money to spend, this will clean your surfaces more precisely, multiple times faster, and with less effort than any home-grade surface cleaner.
The cleaner has a 20” diameter cleaner so it’ll capture a lot of ground at once. It also features a 43” inch high handle which lets you grab it firmly with 2 hands so you get more control and do not need a wand anymore for the job.
It has a maximum pressure capacity of a whopping 4000 PSIs and a maximum flow rate of up to 5 GPM. So power it with any big boy pressure washer and it’ll stay strong and clean in the blink of an eye.
Cleaning your decks, patios, driveways, sidewalks, etc. will be bliss with this attachment. However, it’s not the best suit for cleaning vertical surfaces.
-Professional-grade heavy-duty cleaner.
-Strong-bristled brush cleans thoroughly.
-Cleans very quickly.
-Withstands and delivers high pressure and flow.
-Not great for vertical surfaces.
This unit too features dual spinning nozzles (made of brass this time) which ensures faster cleaning of the surface, in fact, up to 4 times faster than standard nozzles. And it has a similar 15″ diameter cleaning surface so pretty good coverage.
Where it outperforms the Karcher’s by a little margin is its capability to withstand pressure. It can handle up to 3300 PSIs compared to 3200 PSI’s of the Karcher’s, which, actually not that significant, but I’ll take whatever more I get.
It’s a great fit for almost all the surfaces, be that horizontal driveways, patios, or sidewalks, or vertical doors and walls – it works equally well. Cleaning the wood surface isn’t a problem either.
The compatibility is not specifically mentioned by the manufacturer but I’ve learned that it’ll connect with most standard gas pressure washers having ¼” Quick-connect Wand with its quick-connect coupler system.
At 1500 RPM rotation speed, it cleans fast and also leaves no stripes or streaks behind.
-Cleans both vertically and horizontally.
-Shows an issue with rotation in a few cases.
Who needs a compact and kinda cute surface cleaner? Well, they’re in for a treat because GreenWorks has got the perfect solution for them. At a diameter of 11 inches and coming in a light green color, it’s a compact and sweet surface cleaner.
People who need to clean in tight areas are going to find this ideal. It reaches those narrow areas where most regular-sized surface cleaners can’t.
You can clean almost any vertical and horizontal surface with it, regardless of that being made of wood or concrete. However, this tool is best used for wood surfaces I’d say. On concrete, it does not deep clean as thoroughly as it does on the wood.
It goes below standard on concrete surfaces on a few occasions. But I cross-matched that with the price tag so didn’t complain much.
It’s not slow but it’s not the fastest either. I mean, it has a standard nozzle so do not expect as fast cleaning as the Karcher’s or PowerFit’s which have dual-spinning nozzles. It’s on par for the standard. I’d recommend going slow and thorough for better cleaning.
The maximum rated PSI count is 2000. It works best with most electric pressure washers. And it’s compatible with all the electric pressure washer under 2000 psi’s that Greenworks offers.
-Compact, good for tight areas.
-Cleans wood surfaces well.
-Does not splash water at all.
-Does not do great on concrete surfaces.
Yamaha ACC-31056-00-18 Surface Cleaner
This surface cleaner from YAMAHA looks so identical with the Karcher’s and PowerFit’s that many people think that they’re the same products rebranded under different names. But for me, the actual performance creates the difference.
The overall outlook may look the same, but there are little differences here and there that impacts the performance and separates one from another. After all, it’s YAMAHA and they tend to make their product perfect.
And that accounts for the price bump too. This one costs more than double than the other two, and we’ll find out just why.
Now, spec-wise, they all are pretty similar. The Yamaha cleaner too got a 15” cleaning surface which captures a good amount of ground.
It too has dual-spinning nozzles that help to clean 4 times faster than standard nozzles. And you can still get any surface done with it no matter it’s horizontal or vertical, concrete or wood.
Where the Yamaha shines is the build quality and reliability, as you’d expect from such a brand. I mean, the Karcher’s and PowerFit’s worked great and they’re steals for what they cost, but they had their issues, right?
I was not a huge fan of Karcher’s build quality, and the Powerfit’s had occasional hiccups with rotation, which nobody would love to deal with in the middle of a cleaning job.
The engineers at Yamaha ensured that this was not the case with their cleaner. I suppose they made design changes and also ensured the quality of every single component so this tool continued to work with a breeze for an extended period.
If I had the money, I’d every time buy one of these Yamaha surface cleaners which I hope will last longer than two of the cheaper cleaners would.
-Zero-issues with the operation.
-Cleans fast and thoroughly.
If you wanted to stand in a sweet spot between the cheaper yet effective surface cleaners and the somewhat high-end & well-built Yamaha surface cleaner, then the SIMPSON surface cleaner would help you to do that.
In such a sweet spot, you want something that’s better built and engineered than the cheaper models yet does not cost as much as the Yamaha’s, and that’s exactly what the SIMPSON’s has to offer you.
I mean, you could tell it’s better-built just by holding it. It’s made of higher quality steel and it feels sturdy to the touch.
And that point is further proven by its maximum PSI rating. It’s rated for 3600 PSI which is quite more than the other models we discussed. This added freedom of pressure helps you to get the job done faster.
The diameter stays the same as 15 inches, so it’ll clean just as fast as the Karcher’s or so. And it too has got the dual-spinning nozzles which will help you to clean faster and with less effort.
It also leaves no streaks behind that nobody asks for.
If I had to talk about downsides, I’d have to talk about the manufacturer than the product itself. I mean, they barely provide any support for this and they also don’t sell repair parts and components which is ridiculous.
-Good for all surfaces.
-Leaves no streaks.
-Questionable customer support.
Karcher is back in our list and this time with a more advanced, compact, and somewhat visually more attractive surface cleaner. At 11 inches in diameter, this one is a worthy competitor of the Greenwork’s for the title – “Best Compact Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner”.
This is a compact cleaner so it means that it’s better for tight areas. However, you can still clean no matter how big of an area you want, but you’ll need to do more rounds for that, requiring added time and effort.
The reason I said it’s a more advanced cleaning attachment is that you can control the pressure that passes through it.
There’s a knob on the tool that lets you control the pressure you want to let through. So you can alter the pressure direct from here depending on the delicacy of the surface that you’re cleaning. Woods require less pressure whereas concrete demands more.
However, it’s rated for a maximum of 2600 PSI.
Another nice little addition to it is that it comes with its wand so you can rest the one that you use with your pressure washer. It’s a 32” long plastic wand which is not the most durable one but gets the job done.
This is well-suited for almost any surface, be that horizontal or vertical, wood or concrete. It does better than the GreenWorks on the concrete surfaces thanks to the added pressure capability.
This model is designed to work with electric pressure washers mostly. Karcher’s very own K2, K3, and K5 electric pressure washer is the best companion for it. However, you may not use this attachment with gas pressure washers.
-Compact and lightweight.
-Pressure altering capabilities.
-Comes with a wand.
-Good maximum PSI for a compact surface cleaner.
-Does not work with gas-powered pressure washers.
Want something that’s a little more well-engineered and feels premium than average surface cleaners? I think Briggs and Stratton has you covered here. Their 6338 rotating surface cleaner is what I’d a tier above than the average cleaners and correspondingly costs more as well.
So, it has a diameter of 16 inch which is a tad more than the standard cleaners of 15 inches. This extra inch helps a little and means you probably have to do a few fewer rounds. While this ain’t that much significant, I’ll take whatever extra I get.
It has a 15-degree dual nozzle setup that cleans even faster than the Karcher’s or similar models, which is already faster than standard nozzles. They tweaked the nozzle angle a little to get this faster cleaning speed, a nice little piece of engineering.
The gliding of this tool is somewhat smoother than other similar cleaners and requires less effort from you thus. You can clean any surface with that, except the narrow corners where you’d have to use the pressure washer wand directly.
The build quality feels better than the average cleaner. It has a nice finishing that feels good to touch and it feels sturdy. The dome controls overspray to protect walls and flower beds.
Compatibility is also a plus. It’s compatible with most brands’ gas pressure washer whereas few other models seem to love their own company manufactured pressure washers only.
As far as it’s a gas pressure washer between 2200 and 3400 PSI, it’s good to go.
-Compatible with most gas pressure washers.
-Some units show issues with spinning.
Want something compact? Even smaller than the two compact models I discussed above and also want to save some buck in the process? The AR Blue 10” compact pressure washer surface cleaner might be the choice for you.
At 10 inches, it gets as compact as you want it to be. Cleaning tighter and narrower space with it is the best use for this tool. However, it cleans well so you can clean larger spaces too, but you’ll have to do quite some more rounds.
It comes with a complimentary 15” lance which you can directly connect to your spray gun. However, when you’re standing tall and cleaning something at ground level, this lance might feel to be shorter and uncomfortable for you. It’s best to use your regular pressure washer wand for those cases.
But when you’re cleaning a surface that’s elevated off the ground but you’re standing on the ground, then this attachment will make your job comfortable.
Its outer surface is made of plastic and it can withstand up to 2500 PSIs. This surface prevents splashes onto the user.
-Extra lance included.
-Harder to glide, tends to flip up.
Again, this is more suited for contractors who do a professional cleaning, but if a homeowner can afford this, he’ll clean his surfaces way easier.
This big boy cleaner is made of stainless steel and it is highly durable. It has its rotary swivel bar so you don’t need any wand for it.
It can withstand a whooping 3500 psi and 5 GPM. So there’s plenty of power to clean any surface that you might need, from concrete to asphalt.
It has a diameter of 16 inches which is kinda big but I would’ve liked to see a little more coverage since it’s a professional-grade cleaner.
It has two powerful spray nozzles for cleaning a variety of surfaces fast. Greasy factory floors, gas stations, dirty garage floors, etc. are no big deal for this tool.
On top of that, they’ve added two bonus nozzles with an O-ring and Teflon back ring in case you need to replace any of those, which is a nice gesture from them.
Maneuvering this attachment is also quite easy thanks to the 4 non-marking rubber swivel casters and the rotary swivel bar.
However, the bearing in this attachment makes weird noises on a few occasions which can be a bit bothering at times.
-Cleans any surface.
-Swivel casters for easy maneuvering.
-Catches no corrosion over time.
-The bearing makes weird sounds sometimes.
-A little more diameter would help.
There you have your pressure washer surface cleaner reviews. Let us learn a little more to get the best performance out of them when you get one home.
Best Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner – The Buying Guide
How do you pick the best pressure washer surface cleaner for yourself? This buying guide will teach you that.
What’s the diameter of the cleaning surface? The bigger it is, the lesser time you’d need to clean a particular surface.
The standard diameter for most of them is around 15 inches. However, if you opt for a professional-level surface cleaner, you’ll find 20” inch cleaners as well, which will reduce the time and effort needed to get done with the job.
However, if you need a compact model, there are 10- or 11-inches models as well which also costs less. These could help you with cleaning tighter areas and corners but keep in mind they’d need more time on an open surface.
The nozzles inside the surface cleaner are responsible for the cleaning. The more it has of that, the faster it cleans.
I mean, it must have one nozzle inside to clean but many of the models that I discussed above have dual-spinning nozzles. What does it do?
It makes the main water spray to come out of two places which not only ensure faster cleaning but also better as well. You should try to pick a model with dual-spinning nozzles anyway.
PSI, GPM, PC, etc. Ever heard of those? I’m sure you have.
The bigger the maximum limit of those numbers is, the better it is.
I mean, a bigger PSI and GPM number mean the surface cleaner is attachable and functional with a more powerful pressure washer. And more power means faster and better cleaning. Isn’t that all we want?
Compatibility & Suitability
Not every cleaner suit every washer. Few cleaners ask for gas washers only while some love electric models. And just because a particular cleaner says that it’ll work with gas pressure washers, doesn’t also mean it’ll support every model of a gas-powered pressure washer.
So do your research before taking the attachment home instead of regretting afterwards. The best way to find compatibility information is by looking at Amazon’s sales page, manufacturer website, other users’ reviews, and so forth.
If you’re still unsure, ask through Amazon’s Q&A section.
Another factor to consider here is suitability. What type of surfaces does that particular model suit? Is it okay to clean both concrete, asphalt, or wood surface? Can it clean vertical surfaces? These are the questions you want to ask before making the purchase decision.
You want to have your budget in the mind to take the right decision. There could be amazing models that might exceed your budget by way too much. So you shouldn’t go deep about them as they’ll make your budget surface cleaner look underwhelming. Consider the budget first and look for the best value for your money.
How to Use a Surface Cleaner with a Pressure Washer?
After you’ve brought your best pressure washer surface cleaner home, how do you use it properly? Here’s the simple 4 step process to using a surface cleaner with a pressure washer –
Clean the area
Before you start deep cleaning the surface with a surface cleaner, you must clear away the loose dirt and debris first. Otherwise, this could impede the motion of the surface cleaner.
Connect the surface cleaner with PW
Now, connect your newly bought surface cleaner with your pressure washer. You’re supposed to connect a wand with your pressure washer hose and connect the cleaner at the other end of the wand.
But if you’re using a professional-grade cleaner that has built-in swivel bars, then directly connect your high-pressure hose with the input hose of the cleaner.
Turn the unit on
Ensure that all the connections are firm, the squeeze your pressure trigger gun. The water should start flowing through.
Now you can get going with cleaning. It’s better to maintain an even cleaning pattern. Keep your surface cleaner moving at a steady pace to achieving that. Do not hold your cleaner at one spot for a long time if you think it could damage the surface itself.
Can hot water be used with a pressure washer surface cleaner?
Yes, you can, and that helps. However, you may still check the owner’s manual for further surety.
Can I use detergents with a pressure washer surface cleaner?
Yes, you can, and that helps with better cleaning.
Which models are better-with wheels or floaters?
Wheels are better when you’re cleaning a flat surface. Whereas, floaters do better on uneven surfaces.
Will the water consumption increase when I use a surface cleaner attachment?
No, rather it saves water by decentralizing it.
Can I use a surface cleaner meant for electric washers if I have a gas model?
Not the best practice. You want to check the owner’s manual for compatibility issues. And you want to find people that have done so and listen to their words. I’m not a big fan of such practice.
Can I use a surface cleaner on fences or walls?
Yes, if your surface cleaner is suitable for vertical use.
What is the best surface cleaner attachment size?
Around 15 inches is the standard. If you have a compact area, you want to pick a smaller model, and vice versa.
Should I throw away a clogged nozzle?
You can get your nozzle cleaned by professionals. However, if you can afford the replacement, that’s a better option.
How can I avoid having circle marks on the floor when using a surface cleaner?
Good surface cleaners usually do not leave marks in the first place. However, you want to keep moving at a steady pace to prevent it from happening.
If you’re with me by now, you know a lot more about surface cleaners than you knew at the beginning of this piece, right? Now let’s get the right surface cleaner for yourself and get your place cleaned and shiny.
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