Portable Car Washers: Everything You Need to Know

portable car washer


Everyone loves a clean car - but not everyone wants to pay $60 and wait in a line for a car wash. Washing your car at home helps you save money, and you don’t have to wait for anyone else -  though there may be a little elbow grease involved. The only thing is, car washing at home is limited to those that have access to a hose, and sometimes you may want to wash your car on the road, and may not have access to a water source. So what’s the solution for those that have no hose access but don’t want to pay car wash prices? Enter portable car washers.

What is a Portable Car Washer?

Portable car washers, also known as mobile car washers or mobile pressure washers, are compact and lightweight portable water sprayers designed for efficient vehicle cleaning on-the-go. They are typically powered by electricity or rechargeable batteries and come with a water tank or hose connection for a constant water supply. They come in a wide variety of shapes and with a wide variety of functions, so knowing which one to get for your vehicle is important.

The Popularity of Portable Car Washers

Portable car washers have become very popular due to their versatility and user-friendliness. From car enthusiasts who want to maintain their vehicles' shine, to busy parents trying to keep their family car clean while saving money - many people have realized the benefits of portable car washers. But what makes a portable car washer?

Key Components of Portable Car Washers

  • Water Tank: Most portable car washers have built-in water tanks or reservoirs. Some, as we discussed earlier, have hose connections, but in order for it to be actually “portable” a portable car washer should be able to be carried around and therefore, ones with built-in tanks are better for portability.

  • Water Pump: The core of a portable car washer is its water pump, which pressurizes the water from the source. The pump determines the strength of the spray and ultimately the ability to knock dirt and grime off the car. Some portable car washer pumps are powered by batteries, and some plug in - either way they need some kind of power to provide adequate pressure.

  • Nozzle: The nozzle is where the high-pressure water stream is delivered. Portable car washers often include adjustable nozzles, allowing users to change the spray pattern and intensity for different phases of the cleaning process.

  • Power Source: Portable car washers are typically powered by electricity or rechargeable batteries, which affects both their functionality and portability

  • Detergent Tank: Some portable car washers have built-in detergent tanks, enabling users to mix soap or cleaning solutions with the water for more effective cleaning.

Benefits of Portable Car Washers

  • Convenience: Portable car washers offer the convenience of cleaning vehicles anytime and anywhere - saving you a trip to the car wash.

  • Water Efficiency: Portable car washers are designed to be water-efficient, using less water compared to traditional hose and bucket methods, conserving water and reducing water bills.

  • Versatility: Portable car washers can clean various surfaces, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, decks, driveways, and more. They come with adjustable nozzles and pressure settings for different cleaning tasks.

  • Time Savings: Portable car washers significantly reduce the time required for vehicle cleaning, making the process quicker and more efficient with their high-pressure water jets.

  • Eco-Friendly: Their water-saving capabilities and reduced chemical usage make portable car washers an environmentally friendly option for vehicle cleaning, minimizing water waste and harmful chemical runoff.

  • Money Savings: Car washes are expensive, so while the initial investment in the portable car washer may be steep, you will quickly recoup your investment after a few uses.

How to Use a Portable Car Washer

Using a portable car washer is straightforward, but following these steps ensures safe and effective cleaning:

  • Preparation: Ensure the portable car washer is fully charged or connected to a power source. Fill the water reservoir with clean water or connect it to a hose if applicable.
  • Nozzle Adjustment: Depending on what you’re cleaning, adjust the nozzle to achieve the desired spray pattern and pressure level.
  • Optional Detergent Addition: If the portable car washer has a detergent tank, add an appropriate amount of car wash soap or cleaning solution to it.
  • Vehicle Spray: Begin spraying the vehicle from a reasonable distance, working from top to bottom to prevent streaks and ensure thorough cleaning.
  • Optional Scrubbing: For stubborn dirt or stains, use a soft brush or microfiber cloth while spraying water.
  • Thorough Rinsing: After cleaning, switch the nozzle to the rinse setting and thoroughly rinse off soap and dirt.
  • Vehicle Drying: Use a clean, dry cloth or chamois to wipe the vehicle's surface and prevent water spots.
  • Machine Maintenance: Empty the water reservoir and clean any remaining detergent from the tank. Store the portable car washer in a cool, dry place.

Comparing Portable Car Washers

As we have mentioned, there are different types of portable car washers with varying forms and functions. It’s important to understand how the portable car washer you’re purchasing functions and what features it has to make sure you are making the best purchase for your situation. Following are the main categories of portable car washers:

Portable Pressure Washers

Portable Pressure washers are powerful cleaning tools that use high-pressure water streams to remove dirt and grime from your car's surface. They are available in both gas-powered and electric models.


  • Very effective at removing stubborn dirt, mud, and stains.
  • Versatile, suitable for various cleaning tasks.
  • Faster cleaning compared to other types.


  • May require a power source (electric) or fuel (gas).
  • Higher initial cost.
  • Risk of damaging delicate car surfaces if not used correctly.

Cordless Water Tank Washers

Cordless water tank washers are compact and easy to use, making them ideal for on-the-go cleaning. They have a built-in water tank, eliminating the need for a hose or power source.


  • Highly portable, no cords or hoses needed.
  • Suitable for quick touch-ups and spot cleaning.
  • Rechargeable battery for convenience.


  • Limited water capacity, requiring refills for larger cleaning tasks.
  • Lower pressure compared to traditional pressure washers.
  • Not as effective on tough stains and grime.

Foam Cannon Washers

Foam cannon washers are popular for their ability to create a thick foam that clings to the car's surface, lifting and loosening dirt for easy rinsing.


  • Excellent at pre-soaking and loosening dirt.
  • Compatible with various car cleaning detergents.
  • Easy to use and control foam output.


  • Typically require a separate pressure washer or water source.
  • May not be as effective on extremely dirty surfaces.
  • Extra care needed to prevent detergent residue.

Hand-Pump Sprayers

Hand-pump sprayers are a budget-friendly option for those who prefer manual cleaning. They rely on manual pumping to create pressure and spray water.


  • Very affordable.
  • No need for electricity or batteries.
  • Suitable for light cleaning and rinsing.


  • Limited pressure and reach.
  • Can be tiring for extended use.
  • Less effective on tough stains and dirt.

Portable Showers

Portable showers are versatile devices that can be used for both car washing and cleaning on-the-go. They typically consist of a water tank, a pump, a hose and a nozzle.


  • Multi-purpose- suitable for camping, outdoor activities, and car washing.
  • Some models can provide good pressure.
  • Can be easily refilled and moved back and forth from car to water source.
  • Portable and easy to move around


  • May have limited water capacity, requiring refills for larger vehicles.
  • Water pressure may not be as strong as a portable pressure washer.
  • Some models may not require pumping and extra work.

Why RinseKit Portable Showers are the Best Portable Car Washers

portable car washing device


If you’re considering getting a portable shower to use as a portable car washer, you should highly consider RinseKit portable showers. RinseKit portable shower systems are the ideal choice for both outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a portable car cleaning solution, offering everything you need for a convenient and efficient car wash on the go. Here are five compelling reasons why RinseKit is the perfect solution for portable car washing:

  • Unmatched Portability: Each RinseKit is designed to house all essential components within a compact, box-like structure- which means there is no assembly or moving parts. This means that the water tank, pump, and hose are neatly integrated, making the RinseKit incredibly easy to transport. Additionally, the sturdy top-handle ensures easy portability, so you can easily carry it back and forth to your water source and around your vehicle.
  • Impressive High-Pressure Spray: The pump in a RinseKit is powered by an AGM car battery, which means every RinseKit delivers an impressive high-pressure spray at 50PSI. This ensures that you can enjoy the same high-pressure washing experience you would expect at a professional car wash, no matter where you are.
  • User-Friendly Operation: RinseKit's battery-powered pressurization system makes it exceptionally user-friendly. Filling it up is a breeze through the convenient top cap, and with the push of a button, you'll have access to a high-pressure spray on demand.
  • Versatile Functionality: The RinseKit stands out for its remarkable versatility, thanks to its battery-pressurization and all-in-one design. Beyond car washing, it can easily transform into a hose, a handwashing station, or a shower. Its adaptability ensures that it caters to a wide range of needs.
  • Built to Last: The RinseKit Cube and Rack Shower are constructed from rugged, military-grade materials. Additionally, the battery is designed to withstand over 15,000 hours of use. This durability ensures that your RinseKit will remain a reliable companion for years to come, providing consistent and effective car washing whenever you need it for the long run.

Portable car washers have emerged as a transformative technology for vehicle owners who want to wash their vehicles on the go, or those that don’t have access to a hose. Whether you're a car enthusiast, a busy professional, or a family on the go, a portable car washer can revolutionize your vehicle care routine. With their versatility, water efficiency, time and cost-saving capabilities, portable car washers are a valuable addition to any car owner's toolkit, offering an escape from long car wash lines and the expensive car washes.