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

You don’t need to spend a ton to get started on an effective setup for washing your car.

 

For those of us who are crazy about car care, a pressure washing setup is a must have. 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, $80 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:

This brings our total (without looking for any online deals) to $303

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.

Ryobi 1,700 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer: When my first ever pressure washer, a Karcher, broke, I picked up this model from Home Depot and have been happy with it ever since. Its 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.

 

I’ve installed the pressure washer in the bottom section of some storage shelves so I don’t need to lug it out every time I want to use it.

 

Uberflex 50ft Kink Resistent Pressure Washer Hose: The hose that comes with the Ryobi 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 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.

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!

 

 

18 Comments

  1. The QD is sold out, will I still be able to use everything else without the QD kit? Everything fits together without it?

    • You will need the QD’s for this to work. It seems like the only QD from the package that they don’t have is the 1/4″, so perhaps buy the rest from the OG store and source the 1/4″ elsewhere.

  2. When I click on the link for the quick connect set, it show me a website to buy it for $55, when the article says $35.

    • It appears that the price has been increased quite a bit, I’ll look why this has happened and update the article.

  3. It’s a great post, Scott. The price of the pressure washers is really affordable. The washers also look good. I hope it will also be long lasting.i was thinking to buy a pressure washer for some days. But didn’t find this type of low budgeted product. Will you please tell me where i should find this? Thanks in advance. 🙂

  4. I have an SPX3001 with OG store gun, wand, and QD package. The Sunjoe hose needs to go. Would I be able to replace the hose with the Uberflex you show here? With my set up in mind, What would be involved in doing that?

    • You absolutely can, you just need to get an M22 14mm to 15mm adapter to allow the hose to work with the 15mm outlet of the SunJoe.

  5. I’m looking to copy this exact setup, any updates or broken links I should be aware of before I purchase everything? Thanks!

  6. I have just finished watching the pressure washer videos where y’all tested every brand. Are you saying that after this review that the ryobi 1700 is the overall winner from these tests? Or was the greenworks 2000 a better choice with this same set up? Just asking as the greenworks is only $40 more and seemed to flow better in the videos.

    • Jordan,

      I am not necessarily saying that, this article was written a while before those tests. I’m sure the Greenworks would also work great with this setup.

  7. thanks for the write up! i’m at weekend warrior detailer for my personal vehicles and would love to step up from my garden hose foam gun. would you recommend this PW or the sun joe spx3000? i have narrowed it down to those 2, unless you have a different recommendation for a $150ish PW. this package looks great! do you feel that the gun is a necessary upgrade for any budget PW?

    thank you!

    • You’re welcome Dave! Honestly, either will do the job just fine, just remember that with the SunJoe you’ll also need M22 14mm to 15mm adapters, the rest is the same.

  8. Hi Scott , I have been looking for a reasonably priced PW for a while. I keep looking at Obsessed Garage . Matt sure has done at lot of research but I just don’t want to spend that kind of money. Like most of us I wash at least 2 cars every weekend and want to get a PW.
    I like your recommendation of the Roybi. Question, does the Roybi have the auto shut off?

    • Hey Tim,

      The Ryobi unit does have auto shut off, I’m fairly confident almost all of them do. I haven’t seen an electric Ryobi without it yet. Even the cheapest one.

      -Scott

  9. hello! i just came across this awesome post. Scott, do you still recommend this setup, a year later? Specifically, any other pressure washers to consider?

    • Hey Tommy,

      As of now, yes, I think it’s still overall the best bang for your buck, and I still have no problems with my setup. I do look into it every once in a while, and the offerings haven’t changed significantly.

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