Comparing petrol pressure washers and electric pressure washers with cordless pressure washers for patio

A patio has the ability to transform the look of a garden, breaking up the monotony of a plain old lawn that reaches all the way to your house, and providing you will a focal point where you can set up your garden furniture and enjoy your barbecues.

Unfortunately, here in the UK, we don’t get to spend as much time out on our patios as we would like, even with a nice fire pit or garden heater to help us, the weather soon gets too cold and wet for us to want to sit out there.

After the weather improves, we are ready to rush out there again, but before we can do that, we need to tidy the place up. That means dealing with the weeds that have grown through the paving and blasting the dirt away with a pressure washer.

If you’re new to using a pressure washer to clean up your patio, you might be wondering which type to buy. However, there’s no need to fret as we have provided this article that looks at the pros and cons of electric pressure washers, cordless pressure washers, and petrol pressure washers, and tries to answer the question- which is the best one for your patio?

A word of advice, once you have your pressure washer ordered, keep  it to yourself or you might get roped into cleaning others 😉

Comparing the different types of pressure washer for use on patios

Here we will take each type of pressure washer and look at the pros and cons of each one, particularly as it pertains to use on a patio. Hopefully, this will help you to make up your mind about which is best for you.

Electric pressure washers

Unless you have a ridiculously grimy patio, a top-quality electric pressure washer, such as a Wilks or a larger Karcher model, should provide you with more than enough power to bring those paving stones back to their best.
What’s more, most of the top brands will actually include patio cleaner attachments and have their own specific patio cleaning fluid available to buy, to make the job even easier.

Often when comparing different types of pressure washer, the main negative point against electric models is that they are limited in range and movement by their power cord, but as the vast majority of patios are right next to the house, this isn’t an issue at all. In fact, not having to worry about the power source is a bonus when tackling a job like cleaning a patio, which can take a fair old while.

With any pressure washer, you’re going to need to carry out occasional maintenance, but with electric models, this is kept down to a minimum, and the controls on these machines have usually been made as simple as possible for the masses.

if you’ve never seen a patio cleaner attachment for a pressure washer, here’s a video of one in action-

Cordless pressure washers

For cleaning portable BBQs on camping trips, and other types of cleaning away from a mains supply, or just used for getting into very awkward spots, cordless pressure washers are excellent. Their compact and lightweight design makes them easily the most mobile of the three main types, and this is only magnified by their ability patioto be fed from a bucket of water or similar.

However, I have to say that for cleaning patios, they are not the best choice. I say this because when it comes to power, even the ‘beefiest’ cordless pressure washers are far, far, behind corded electric and petrol models, although they do provide a lot more ‘grunt’ than a pump sprayer.

Then there is the fact that just like cordless strimmers, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, etc. these products run off batteries, and usually, the maximum amount of run time you get between charges is 30-45 minutes. Hardly ideal for a long patio cleaning session.

It is also hard to find special attachments such as foam lance or a patio cleaner to fit cordless pressure washers, and for these reasons, I can’t recommend them for the purpose of cleaning patios.

Just for reference, the cordless pressure washer in this clip is one of the more powerful models avaiable-

Petrol pressure washer

If your patio looks like BP have had another oil spill on it, and then someone has dumped a ton of moss on top, you might need the type of power that comes from a petrol pressure washer.

The water pressure and water flow rates that these tools can manage is second to none, and this equates to very high cleaning performance, easily blasting away the most stubborn dirt, algae, and stains.

However, if you have patio paving that is made of a softer material such as concrete that is less than a year old, the power from a petrol pressure washer can actually damage the paving stones if you use the wrong nozzle and don’t dial the pressure down.

If used correctly and safely, they do outperform all other types of pressure washer, but you should be aware that they are noisier and also emit fumes. You will also have to remember to keep fuel around and perform more complicated maintenance on the machine when compared to an electric pressure washer.

In this tweet, you can get a sense of both the extra power and noise that comes with a petrol pressure washer-


After years of trying out different pressure washers on my patio, I have to say that a corded electric model is the best to use. They are connected to the mains, so you don’t have to worry about batteries dying or the engine running out of fuel, they run quietly compared to petrol machines, and yet still offer you enough cleaning power to get the job done.

If you have a very tough cleaning task ahead of you, then by all means use a petrol pressure washer, just be careful with it and follow the instructions provided with the machine to avoid accidentally damaging your property.

Petrol pressure washers are also a good choice if your patio or paved seating area is far away from the house, as you don’t need to connect to the mains electricity. Having said that, you will still need an outdoor tap, hoses and connectors.
Is your patio not that dirty? Then save yourself a lot of money, grab a bucket, patio cleaning fluid, and a good brush, and get scrubbing. A little bit of elbow grease can save you a lot of money.

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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