What Color Nozzle to Pressure Wash Car? Which Size Should You Choose?

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

what color nozzle to pressure wash car

Car washing is a vital step in the ownership maintenance process to ensure that your car’s paint job and body last for a long time.

Pressure washers come in different sizes and shapes, but do you know what color nozzle to pressure wash car?

If your pressure washer comes with a variety of tip colors, always remember to use only two of them alternately – the white and green washer tip nozzles.

Types of Nozzle Colors


Most pressure washers in the market are made for various cleaning uses and applications, such as car washing, concrete, home exteriors, or deck cleaning.

While pressure washing cars are quicker, more thorough, and more effective than the manual hand-wipe, rinse, and dry process, it needs to be done with a good understanding of how the device works.

Otherwise, using the wrong nozzle for pressure washing car can yield costly results.

So, let’s explore further why you should use the right nozzle color tip to power wash your car.

Generally, most pressure washers come with an array of nozzle tips, and the most standard color-coded tips are the following;

  • Red tip – (for maximum concentrated and pressurized water blasting) also known as the zero-degree tip shoots a straight high-pressure stream of water with a steady flow.


This nozzle tip is commonly used for concrete and hard metal surfaces to remove rust, caked mud, grime or tough grease.

However, while this nozzle type maintains a strong jet, the water pressure is concentrated on a small area and could cause significant damage to paint or dent the car body metal.

As such, this nozzle tip should not be appropriate on thin or softer surfaces such as wood, siding materials or cars.

  • Yellow tip – (for medium stripping) also known as the 15-degree nozzle tip is primarily used for cleaning and stripping surfaces in preparation for painting.


This nozzle tip is also used for removing tough caked mud and dirt that collects on the underside of heavy-duty 4 x 4 trucks and semis, as well as thick grime on home exterior walls and for deck cleaning.

The yellow tip nozzle is also not recommended for use on wood and thin-sheet metals.

  • Green tip – (for car and general outdoor, as well as household cleaning) also known as the 25-degree nozzle tip and one of the recommended pressure washer tip for cars.


The green pressure washer tip is by far the most common nozzle type used regularly for car washing, cleaning driveways, garden or patio furniture, and boats.

The nozzle tip creates a wider sheet of water jet stream that distributes lower pressure to a wider area to make for fast and easy cleaning.

  • White tip – (for minimum spray cleaning and home interior cleaning) also known as the 40-degree pressure washer nozzle, is ideal for using alternately with the green tip for safe pressure washing of cars.


Since this nozzle tip delivers low water jet pressure over a wider surface area, it can also be good for indoor cleanings such as on glass windows, wall tiles, and blinds – particularly on fragile surfaces.

  • Black tip – (soap application nozzle) also known as the 65-degree nozzle and can be utilized optionally for car washing.


This nozzle type delivers the widest spray over a large surface and can only muster enough water pressure for soap applicators and spray it onto a surface for cleaning.

The black nozzle color tip for pressure washing your car can also be proper for general-purpose cleaning.

  • Special nozzles – (special use applications) are primarily adjustable hose nozzles that offer several options for special cleaning or use cases.


Among the common features available for these nozzle types are variable or adjustable streams, rotary or turbo spray, and foam cannon spray, just to name a few.

This hose nozzle type is usually sold separately from the pressure washer unit.

Frequently Asked Questions


First, read and understand manufacturer instructions to fully understand the various pressure washer nozzle colors, what your washer is capable of doing and the cautionary measures to take when handling pressurized equipment.

Here are some FAQs that could provide you with valuable assistance;

What color pressure washer tip is ideal for your car wash needs?

As mentioned before, the two most common nozzle tips for pressure car washing are the white and green nozzle tips, as well as the black hose nozzle for applying car soap before pressure washing.

Does high-pressure car wash damage car paint?

Yes, strong water jets especially under intense and concentrated water pressure in thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI) can cut through and damage a car paint’s surface and cause dings or dents on sheet metal.

Worse, ignoring the damaged paint on cars could cause body metal to corrode and cost more to get fixed.

What is the best way to take note of hose nozzle colors?

One of the best ways to visually remind you of the different nozzle colors and their uses is to make a hose nozzle chart complete with the color codes and label them accordingly.

You can place this chart in a conspicuous area where you have access to your pressure washing equipment.

How should you take care of your pressure nozzles?

Check your nozzle tips regularly and use a pin to clean each nozzle hole, before and after using them to remove residue or other deposits that could accumulate over time.

What is the best water pressure for washing your car?

Always be mindful of the water pressure you use, in this case, the pressure which your washer is capable of generating.

Make sure to adjust your water pressure between 1200-1900 PSI and maintain your hose nozzle at a 45-degree angle to avoid direct pressure on your car’s surface.

For classic cars, make sure to check your paint specifications to avoid causing damage to the paint job.

The jet pressure increases or decreases depending on the power washer tip colors that are attached to it, so always check your nozzle specifications before using.


It is critical to determine what color nozzle to pressure wash your car because using the wrong nozzle can either give you a shiny ride or a costly car paint and body damage dilemma.

Always remember to take caution when using pressurized equipment as it may also cause injury when used improperly.

Being aware of the power washer nozzles colors and following the pressure washing tips mentioned, your car will be in great shape and will last you a long time.

Do you have more practical and out-of-the-box pressure washing tips? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

5/5 - (2 votes)



"As the content writer of Charmcitycirculator, I intend to bring just the best purchase options and straightforward answers to your problems. Other than what we put up on our website, we hope to hear more from you. "

– Bruce Sonnier