Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006
Car washing

Five Tips for Safe and Effective Pressure Washing of Your Electric Car

The popularity of electric cars has been on a steep upward trend over the last decade, and rightfully so. They are an eco-friendly option that has captured the interest of over ten million buyers and counting, with more than 2.5 million in the US alone.

The advantages are indisputable, including:

  • Saving money on petrol (owners of electric vehicles in the US save approximately $700 in fuel costs)
  • Overall better performance (as EVs have instant acceleration)
  • Lower maintenance required (electric motors have fewer parts)
  • Environmentally friendly (reduced CO2 emissions due to no exhaust pollutants)

However new EV owners have many questions about their maintenance – one of the most common of them being How do you wash an electric car? 

You can always safely run them through a car wash, since most services cater to all types of vehicles, whether they are fuel-powered, hybrid, or electric. Or – you can do it yourself with the help of a pressure washer and a few accessories.

Let us put your mind at ease with these five simple steps.


What you’ll need:

  • A pressure washer
  • A microfibre towel
  • A foam sponge
  • A car-wash soap solution.

You need to pay attention to several things before getting to work, such as keeping water away from the charging port and the battery. Make sure that the ignition is turned off and that the car is not being charged at the time. Also, double-check the doors, windows, mirrors, and the sunroof. Retract the antenna.

Put your gear in Park and you’re all set.

Set up your pressure washer

An electric pressure washer provides a gentle touch, perfect for washing a car without causing damage to it and, best of all, no emissions whatsoever. Also, ensure your electric washer has the appropriate PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). The higher the PSI, the stronger the force of the water stream, so use the pressure washer with a 1200 to 1900 PSI setting.

Choose your cleaning agent (if you wish to opt for an eco-friendly one, there are options) in appropriate concentration and quantity and attach it to the nozzle.

Once you’ve plugged the hose into the pressure washer, it’s advisable to start with the lowest available pressure option. You can slowly increase the pressure as you go along, but remember the pressure should not exceed 1900 PSI.

Additionally, keep your distance at about 7 to 13 inches from the car with the nozzle at hand.

Start at the bottom

It makes sense, actually, to start from the lowest point since the tyres and wheels are the dirtiest part of the car. Once you hose off the wheels, you can use a separate sponge for your tyres. Warm water will help with getting rid of any bacteria.

Apply the soap solution (or dish soap) and clean one wheel thoroughly, one at a time. Scrub the tyres, then the wheels, and rinse.

Rinsing and applying soap

What you need to do first is rinse off all the dust and dirt. Start at the top of the car, i.e., the roof, working your way down to the windows and body. Now it’s time to sponge it up – using your sponge apply soap to a wet sponge and cover the whole surface, again top to bottom.

When you’re sure you gave it a thorough clean, rinse it off one more time.

Dry off with a microfibre towel

As excellent liquid absorbers, using a microfiber towel is a great way to dry the car’s surface from top to bottom. It would be best to do this in the shade since direct sunlight speeds up evaporation, creating watermarks.

As an alternative, you can also use an old T-shirt. It may take longer, but it’ll still do a great job.

To summarise

There’s really nothing to stress over when it comes to washing your electric vehicle. It may seem that way at first due to its reputation of being high-tech, but with the right equipment, it’s the same as washing any other car – prep, clean and dry.

So relax and enjoy the process so you can show off your EV in its best light.