The Best Pressure Washer Soaps of 2022

Learn the best formula to use for washing homes, cars, driveways, decks, and grills.

By Tony Carrick | Published Aug 25, 2022 2:56 PM

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The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option

Photo: amazon.com

It’s possible to clean driveways, siding, grills, or automobiles by hand, but a better option is to use a pressure washer. When combined with the proper pressure washer soap, this tool can make a stained driveway or dirty home exterior look like new again. The best pressure washer soaps will remove dirt, mildew, grease, and grime with ingredients that are safe for the environment, ensuring plants and wildlife are not damaged in the cleaning process.

Since pressure washer soap comes in a concentrated form, 1 gallon of cleaner can be used to clean thousands of square feet of surface area, be it a deck, driveway, or house. Ahead, learn more about the qualities to look for in this type of cleaning product and find out why the products below are some of the top pressure washer cleaners on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sun Joe All-Purpose Pressure Washer Cleaner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Karcher Pressure Washer Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap
  3. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner
  4. BEST ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE: Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Pressure Washer Cleaner
  5. BEST FOR CARS: Karcher Pressure Washer Car Wash & Wax Cleaning Soap
  6. BEST FOR DECKS: Zep Wood Deck & Fence Pressure Wash
  7. BEST FOR SIDING: Krud Kutter House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner
  8. BEST FOR GRILLS: Krud Kutter Parts Washer Cleaner/Degreaser
  9. BEST FOR DRIVEWAYS: Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Zep All-In-1 Premium Pressure Wash
The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pressure Washer Soap

Understanding how a pressure washer soap’s ingredients impacts its cleaning ability are crucial when shopping for the right cleaner. Ahead, learn more about this and other attributes of the top pressure washer soaps.

Intended Use 

When selecting a pressure washer soap, it’s crucial to consider how one plans to use it. There are all-purpose pressure washer soaps that work on most outdoor surfaces and specially formulated cleaners for surfaces like pavement, siding, metal, and wood decking. Those who plan to use a pressure washer to clean a variety of surfaces should use an all-purpose cleaner, whereas those who want a pressure washer cleaner specifically for cleaning a house, car, or the driveway should look for a soap designed specifically for that purpose to achieve the best possible results.

Ingredients

Since pressure washer soaps are used to clean large areas such as entire home exteriors, driveways, and decks, much of the soap will end up draining into the surrounding yard and landscaping. With that in mind, it’s crucial to select a product with ingredients that are environmentally friendly. A pressure washer soap should not harm surrounding landscaping or be toxic to wildlife and pets.

Most pressure washer soap manufacturers prominently display whether the product is biodegradable on the label. A pressure washer soap sold on Amazon may also get the online retailer’s Climate Pledge Friendly certification, indicating that it is an eco-friendly product.

Water Temperature and Type

There are pressure washer soaps for both cold water and hot water. Cold-water pressure washer soaps are the most common for residential cleaning. They’re easy to use and don’t require the water to maintain a high temperature during the cleaning process.

Hot-water pressure washers are designed for industrial-strength cleaning that involves cutting through layers of grease and oil. Since they use heat, they’re also suitable for killing bacteria and algae. Hot-water cleaners are more expensive but require less cleaning fluid to get the job done. However, they do use more energy; the pressure washer must use heating coils to warm the water.

Concentrated vs. Diluted

Pressure washer soap comes in both concentrated and diluted solutions. Diluted solutions are already mixed with water and can be added directly to the pressure washer from the bottle, making them convenient to use.

Concentrated solutions must be diluted with water before adding soap to the pressure washer’s detergent tank. Since the fluid is concentrated, one can typically get as much as 20 gallons of cleaner out of a single gallon of concentration, making it much more economical than soap that’s already been diluted. The user can also customize the concentration of soap to suit the job. Since concentrated soap requires the extra step of diluting the soap prior to adding it to the pressure washer’s detergent tank, it isn’t as convenient as using diluted soap.

Our Top Picks

The list below includes both all-purpose pressure washer cleaners and some that have been formulated to suit specific jobs. All of the products below are considered environmentally friendly and safe to use around pets.

Best Overall

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Sun Joe All-Purpose Pressure Washer Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

With its all-purpose formula, Sun Joe’s pressure washer cleaner is a great option for those using a pressure washer to clean a variety of surfaces around the house. It’s effective at cleaning grime off of wood, brick, metal, vinyl, and various other surfaces, so it’s a suitable option for cleaning siding, decking, masonry, and cars.

The cleaner is concentrated, so the 1-gallon bottle will go a long way. Sun Joe’s formula is also biodegradable and safe for use around landscaping, wildlife, and any family pets. In addition to use with a pressure washer, the formula can be applied using a mop or brush for spot cleaning sensitive areas not suitable for pressure washing.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: All-purpose (wood, metal, vinyl, masonry, etc.)
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Works on a broad range of surfaces
  • Concentrated formula lasts longer
  • Biodegradable

Cons

  • May not be as strong as some specialized cleaners

Get the Sun Joe pressure washer soap on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Karcher Pressure Washer Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap
Photo: amazon.com

Budget-minded homeowners would be hard-pressed to find a more affordable cleaner than Karcher’s Pressure Washer Soap. It costs less than other pressure washer cleaners, and 1 gallon makes up to 20 gallons of cleaner. Karcher works with a variety of surfaces, including concrete, pavement, decks, cars, boats, and fencing.

In addition to being versatile, Karcher is biodegradable, so it’s safe to use around landscaping and pets. Karcher comes in 1-gallon and 1-quart bottles, though for maximum savings, it makes the best sense to go with the larger container.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: All-purpose (wood, metal, vinyl, masonry, etc.)
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Universal formula works on a variety of outdoor surfaces
  • Affordably priced
  • Concentrated formula makes up to 20 gallons of cleaner

Cons

  • May require scrubbing to remove tough stains

Get the Karcher Multi-Purpose pressure washer soap on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

With its higher concentration of detergents that can break down grunge and grease, Simple Green’s cleaner is ideal for jobs that require industrial-grade strength. The cleaner is ideal for removing brake dust, oil, transmission fluid, and other grime from vehicles such as RVs, ATVs, trucks, boats, and motorcycles, as well as appliances like grills.

That means it’s safe to use on aluminum, plastic, stainless steel, polished steel, chrome, and other materials typically found on vehicles. It’s versatile too. In addition to pressure washers, the product works with carpet cleaners, floor rubbers, and ultrasonic cleaners. As with all Simple Green products, the heavy-duty cleaner is biodegradable; however, surrounding plants and landscaping should be saturated before use and rinsed after use.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: All-purpose (finished wood, metal, vinyl, masonry, etc.)
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Safe for use with machinery
  • Concentrated formula cuts through grease
  • Works with other types of power-cleaning equipment
  • Biodegradable with no harsh chemicals

Cons

  • Not suitable for some materials, such as decking

Get the Simple Green Pro pressure washer soap on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Environmentally Safe

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Pressure Washer Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Most pressure washer soaps are biodegradable and safe for the environment, but Simple’s Green’s Oxy Solve cleaner is one of a few that make Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly list and the EPA’s Safer Choice Program, which means it meets a high level of sustainability standards. The cleaner uses the eco-friendly power of hydrogen peroxide to clean.

In addition to making this cleaner safe for the environment, hydrogen peroxide is compatible with a variety of surfaces, including masonry, plastic, metal, vinyl, wood, and even fabric. The cleaner is concentrated, so 1 gallon of Simple Green Oxy Solve is enough to make up to 21 gallons of cleaner.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: All-purpose (wood, metal, vinyl, masonry, etc.)
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly and EPA Safer Choice certified
  • Works on most outdoor surfaces.
  • Concentrated formula makes up to 21 gallons

Cons

  • May not clean as well as harsher formulas

Get the Simple Green Oxy Solve Total pressure washer soap on Amazon.

Best for Cars

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Karcher Pressure Washer Car Wash & Wax Cleaning Soap
Photo: amazon.com

Cleaners that leave streaks aren’t an option when selecting a pressure washer soap for washing a car. Karcher’s formula is designed to leave a clean finish thanks to a soap mix that rinses away with grime and dirt without leaving a film or residue. Plus, the cleaner includes a wax concentrate that leaves a shiny luster on the car after rinsing.

Shoppers can also expect to get a lot of car washes out of a single gallon of this concentrated formula, which makes up to 20 gallons of cleaner. Karcher’s Pressure Washer Car Wash & Wax Cleaning Soap is also biodegradable, so it won’t harm grass or landscaping when it runs off the driveway.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: Vehicles
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Won’t leave film or streaks
  • Includes a wax for a shiny finish
  • Biodegradable formula won’t harm plants

Cons

  • More expensive than standard cleaners

Get the Karcher Car Wash pressure wash soap on Amazon.

Best for Decks

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Zep Wood Deck & Fence Pressure Wash
Photo: amazon.com

The first step to any deck refinishing job is cleaning the surface of all the dirt and grime that’s built up on it over the years. While it’s possible to do that by hand, using a pressure washer with a cleaner is a better option. Zep is specially formulated for the job with its ability to kill and remove mold and mildew. It also brightens wood as it cleans, ensuring good results when the deck is refinished. The product also works on wooden fences and is safe to use on composite and PVC decking.

The formula is diluted, so 1 gallon produces more than enough cleaner to wash up to 5,000 square feet of decking or fencing. Just keep in mind that it will damage paint and stain, so it should not be used on painted or finished wood surfaces that aren’t going to be refinished afterward.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: Decks and fences
  • Biodegradable: N/A

Pros

  • Kills mold and mildew
  • Brightens wood for refinishing
  • 1 gallon covers large area

Cons

  • Only suitable for decks that are going to be refinished

Get the Zep Wood pressure washer soap on  Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best for Siding

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Krud Kutter House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner
Photo: lowes.com

With a formula designed to take care of all that green stuff and the other dirt that builds up on the sides of a home, Krud Kutter’s House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner is ideal for house washing. It includes an additive that’s designed to remove stains and dirt from siding. It will also take out mold, algae, mildew, and fungus, and it works on a variety of house-exterior materials, including siding, gutters, stucco, brick, and even roofing.

Since it’s biodegradable, it won’t damage landscaping or present a hazard to any pets that might be in the yard. The concentrated formula makes up to 20 gallons of cleaning solution, which is enough to clean up to 5,000 square feet of surface area.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: Siding
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Works with all types of home exteriors
  • Specially formulated to remove stains
  • Covers a broad area
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Not a good all-purpose pressure washer soap

Get the Krud Kutter House and Siding pressure washer soap at Lowe’s.

Best for Grills

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Krud Kutter Parts Washer Cleaner/Degreaser
Photo: amazon.com

Grills are notorious for getting gunked up with thick layers of grease and char that are a challenge to clean, especially by hand. Since this pressure washer cleaner is safe to use on steel, aluminum, iron, and plastic—the materials used to make grills—it’s a better option for cleaning that nasty grill.

This cleaner is versatile, too. In addition to working with a power washer, it can be used to create a solution in which to soak smaller parts such as grates and grease trays. It’s also biodegradable, which means there’s no need to worry about containing overspray. The cleaner is not concentrated, so it is ready to use out of the bottle. This leads to easier setup by eliminating the need to first dilute it with water, but the soap won’t last as long as concentrated cleaners.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Diluted
  • Surfaces: Metal surfaces and parts
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Cuts through grease on metal parts
  • Can be used to soak parts
  • Biodegradable formula

Cons

  • More expensive since it’s not concentrated

Get the Krud Kutter Parts pressure washer soap at Amazon, The Home Depot (for 5 gallons), or Tractor Supply Co.

Best for Driveways

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

Simple Green uses the power of hydrogen peroxide to penetrate deeply into porous masonry materials. This recipe allows it to remove difficult stains created by automotive fluids and dirt, yet it’s eco-friendly; this cleaner has Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly certification. Still, it’s important to note that surrounding vegetation should be saturated prior to and after use.

The concentrated 1-gallon bottle creates up to 21 gallons of cleaner, plenty of fluid for cleaning a large driveway several times. In addition to driveways, it’s suitable for patios, pavers, and sidewalks. And since it’s biodegradable, there’s little need to worry about the cleaner damaging the lawn or landscaping.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: Porous masonry surfaces
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Pros

  • Able to lift and remove oil stains
  • Environmentally friendly ingredients
  • Enough product for cleaning large driveways

Cons

  • Not suitable for use on some surfaces

Get the Simple Green Oxy Solve Driveway pressure washer soap on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Also Consider

The Best Pressure Washer Soaps Option: Zep All-In-1 Premium Pressure Wash
Photo: amazon.com

This budget-friendly all-in-one pressure wash cleaner from Zep is ideal for cleaning a broad range of surfaces, including vinyl, wood, brick, masonry, metals, and plastics. This makes it suitable for removing stains from driveways, siding, automobiles and decks. It’s also effective at killing mold and mildew, though it may require scrubbing for tougher stains.

A 1-gallon bottle is enough to make up to 28 gallons of cleaner, so this is a great inexpensive pressure washer soap. Just make sure to rinse surrounding landscaping and plants prior to and after use.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Concentrated
  • Surfaces: All-purpose
  • Biodegradable: No

Pros

  • Works on broad range of materials
  • 1 gallon can cover more than 6,000 square feet
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Scrubbing required for tougher stains
  • Not biodegradable

Get the Zep All-in-1 pressure washer soap on Amazon or at The Home Depot (for 64 ounces).

Our Verdict

Sun Joe pressure washer soap cuts through heavy grime and dirt, can be used on a variety of surfaces, and is biodegradable, combining for the best all-around pressure washer cleaner on the market. Those looking for a high-quality budget option should consider the Karcher Multi-Purpose pressure washer soap, which works on a variety of surfaces and makes up to 20 gallons of cleaner.

How to Make a DIY Pressure Washer Soap 

While you can purchase a concentrated power washer soap, there are ways to make a soap at home using household products. To make a DIY pressure washing soap, mix ½ cup of borax with a gallon of water, ½ cup of washing soda, and a tablespoon of liquid soap. Mix the dry ingredients first and let them sit overnight. The next day, add the dish soap and water, and slowly mix. Bleach can also be added to this mix; however, it will no longer be environmentally friendly.

How We Chose the Best Pressure Washer Soaps

We used several criteria to narrow the field of the best power washer soap products down to the top 10 for our list. There is a large variety of surfaces that can be cleaned with a pressure washer, ranging from automobiles to decks to siding. With that in mind, we included pressure washer soaps that are suitable for cleaning all types of surfaces as well as those with formulas designed to clean specific materials.

Since pressure washers are used outdoors around plants and animals, we chose multiple soaps that are biodegradable and leaned toward those with eco-friendly certifications. Finally, we limited our selections to mainly concentrated soaps, which are more economical than diluted cleaners.

FAQs

If you’re wondering how to load soap into a pressure washer or if you can use any type of soap in one of these cleaning machines, then read on for answers.

Q.Are pressure washer soap and detergent the same thing?

Pressure washer soap is specifically designed to be used in a pressure washer, whereas detergent is a term used to describe all types of cleaners, including pressure washer soaps.

Q.Should I pressure wash with soap?

You should use a soap specifically designed for a pressure washer to pressure wash.

Q.Can I use any type of soap in my pressure washer?

You should not use just any type of soap in your pressure washer. Using a soap not specifically designed for a pressure washer could damage the machine.

Q.Which soap is good for a pressure washer?

Sun Joe pressure washer soap, which is biodegradable and can be used on a variety of surfaces, is an ideal soap to use with a pressure washer.

Q.How do I add soap to my pressure washer?

Locate the detergent tank on the pressure washer and add the pressure washer soap to it. Then adjust the dial near the tank to the proper mix ratio for the soap and water for the job.