Pressure washers, which generate extra pressure to concentrate water into an efficient cleansing jet, can be useful machines for artists. If you have an indoor/outdoor workspace, like a garage, you can use one to clean paint and other substances off the floor. Mural artists can use a washer to clean moss and debris from a wall before painting. Creating a sidewalk installation? A power washer can sweep through pedestrian grime to yield a fresh canvas for your public intervention. You can even use a pressure washer to make art, as one North Carolina woman famously did, and even purchase stencils for this process.
When choosing a washer, you should pay attention to its cleaning power, measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and its flow, measured in gallons per minute (gpm). Varying each will result in different cleansing and lifting capabilities. For artists, a PSI of less than 2,000 should be more than sufficient for most cleaning needs, but in our picks below, we’ve included a couple of machines with even more force should you need it.
1. Greenworks 1500 Pressure Washer
This washer packs some impressive power in a compact design. Capable of exerting a maximum pressure of 1,500 psi and a flow rate of 1.2 gpm, it can blast away stubbornly lodged dirt in a blink. The corded electric machine weighs just 17 pounds, making it easy to carry to and around target sites, and its slim body measures just 17 inches tall. Intuitive to operate, it comes with an attached soap applicator and 20-foot hose. Also included is a 25○ pressure nozzle for general use and a 40○ attachment for less intense washes.
2. Rockpals Cordless Pressure Washer
If you’re working outdoors, it can be challenging to find a nearby power source. Go cordless with this battery-operated washer, which can handle light-duty jobs and run for about 30 minutes on a full charge. Capable of delivering a maximum force of 870 psi and a flow of 0.88 gpm, it works by pulling water from a bucket (or similar source) up through a tube attachment, and dispensing it through a precise nozzle with six pressure modes. Incredibly portable, this washer weighs under seven pounds and can be connected to a soap dispenser.
3. Tacklife Gas Pressure Washer
Looking for a washer with more power? You might want to try one fueled by gas. These cleaners generally yield higher pressure than their electric counterparts, and you won’t be limited by power outlet locations. This machine from Tacklife offers the best combination of smooth operation, size, price, and power. It has a maximum flow rate of 2.4 gpm and can provide up to 3200 psi of force—enough to strip paint. Mounted on a trolley with anti-slip wheels that also carries a large-capacity detergent box, this washer can tackle the toughest of stains.
4. Erie Tools Flat Surface Cleaner
Industrial-grade pressure washers can be beasts, which is why we like this one from Erie Tools. Its polypropylene structure is sleek—some might say elegant—consisting simply of a round base attached to extended handles. It has a maximum working pressure of 4,000 psi and an impressive maximum flow of 10.5 gpm, making this the most powerful machine on our list. It can also handle hot water up to 212 ○F. Designed to cover large areas, it can blast away at layers of grime or strip away paint, getting the job done with speed and efficiency.
5. Sun Joe Pressure Washer
This washer is like a cousin to the watering can. It consists of small nozzle, a hose, and a water tank that you tote around with you as you work. Powered by a rechargeable 24-volt battery, it has a maximum water pressure of 116 psi and a flow rate of 1.5 gpm, making it a pretty low-key washer but still a sufficient cleaner for small jobs (like loosening bird droppings from sidewalks). The tank can hold 5.3 gallons, but note that once filled, it is quite heavy.