Car Washing on a Budget, Our Best Pressure Washer Setup for $300

For those of us who are crazy about car care, a pressure washing setup is a must have. In this guide, we'll go over the best pressure washer setup for car washing on a budget. Pressure washers allow us to blast dirt and grime off of our cars in a way that a standard hose rinse can't. It also allows us to use the oh-so-satisfying foam cannons that we've all come to love. However, there are lots of options on the market for pressure washers, ranging all the way from cheap, $60 toys, to $1,000+ german engineered machines. If you're not looking to break the bank, but still want a quality setup, this guide is for you.

Let's first start out with a simple list of everything you'll need to get started, then we'll go over why we've chosen these items as well as how to set them all up together.

Here's your shopping list (links):

This brings our total (without looking for any online deals) to $253

If you want to add quick disconnects to your garden hose to make attaching the pressure washer easier, I'd recommend these from Gardena:

Let's begin with a quick breakdown on why we've chosen each item.

Greenworks 1600 PSI 1.2 GPM Pressure Washer: When my first ever pressure washer, a Karcher, broke, I picked up this model from Amazon and have been happy with it ever since. It's been going strong for several years of weekend warrior usage and it hasn't missed a beat. The PSI rating is plenty for car washing and with a good foam cannon, it produces thick foam. This model also uses industry standard M22 connectors, which makes life easier when it comes to buying aftermarket hoses.

You can ignore all the accessories, we're going to be getting rid of that garbage.

Uberflex 50ft Kink Resistant Pressure Washer Hose: The hose that comes with the SunJoe washer can go right from the box into the garbage. While it appears to be strong and never formed a leak in the year or so I used it before replacing it with this hose, it is extremely tough to coil and kinks very easily. This Uberflex hose coils up incredibly easily, doesn't kink, and is much longer than the stock hose, allowing for a much easier reach without having to drag the pressure washer around.

MTM Hydro sgs 28 Uberflex hose
The MTM Hydro SGS-28 paired with the UberFlex hose

MTM Hydro SGS-28 Pressure Washer Gun: This is really the only choice for a replacement gun without springing for the Mosamatic. The SGS-28 has a built in swivel, which makes maneuvering the gun in tight spaces like wheels incredibly easy. It has a solid feel and a smooth trigger, plus, it has full stainless steel internals.

MATCC Foam Cannon: This cannon was extremely well reviewed, so I decided to give it a shot. I have had (and still have) the MTM Hydro gun for comparison. This cheap cannon foams extremely well, although I have noticed it goes thru soap very quickly. Regardless, it seems to work fine and didn't have any issues with leaking out of the box.

The MATCC cannon next to my MTM Hydro cannon.

Obsessed Garage Complete Quick Disconnect Package: You don't need all of the connects included in this package, but just buy it. It's a great price for everything that you need, and you'll only wind up with 1 or 2 spare bits. They come pre teflon-taped which is great and you're supporting an amazing community by buying from OG.

Now that you know the why, and have purchased everything, it's time to assemble! Luckily this is pretty simple. The first thing you'll want to do is install the Uberflex hose to the pressure washer. Next, you'll install the M22 NPT Male to 3/8 NPT Male adapter on the other end of the Uberflex hose. Once that adapter is snugged tight, you'll connect the 3/8 NPT Female to 3/8 QD to the male 3/8 NPT. At this point, one end of your Uberflex hose should be in the pressure washer, and the other should be terminated with a 3/8 quick disconnect.

Connection Diagram for the MTM SGS-28 and Uberflex Hose

Next, you'll take the 3/8 NPT Male to 3/8 QD and install it on the inlet of the SGS-28 gun. This will allow you to connect the gun to the pressure washer hose. Lastly, you need to install the QD receptacle for the outlet of the gun. Take the 1/4 NPT Male to 1/4 QD and thread it into the outlet of the SGS-28.

You're all set to get washing now! Make sure that all of your connections are snugged tight and leak free. Theres no exact science or torque value to go by here, but I typically snug everything up and then go another 1/4 turn. This produced a completely leak free setup for me on the first go. If you purchased the Gardena quick connects, take a moment to Teflon tape those as well, and make sure you snug them nice and tight to prevent leaks.

As I continue to use this setup I'll be keeping the blog up to date on any changes I make or any other products that I find to integrate with this setup. If you have any questions or comments drop us a line in the comments section below!