Thursday 15 May 2014

Kärcher K4 Compact Pressure Washer review

You may remember me telling you about being selected as a Kärcher Clean Ambassador earlier in the year and sharing my review of the Kärcher Steam Cleaner SC 2.500 C - this is a great piece of kit and one that we still use regularly, on the hard floors and in the bathroom and kitchen to remove limescale and other grime that's built up. 

Our latest mission was to try out what I see as the iconic Kärcher product, the K4 Compact Pressure Washer. As soon as I hear the name Kärcher, this is what I instantly think of. In fact, in French, "un karcher"  (pronounced carshare) is how you translate "pressure washer", which slightly confused me the first few times I heard my French in-laws say it !

This has caused a lot of excitement whenever it's been spotted at The Madhouse. The postman who delivered it went into raptures, wistfully saying that he's always wanted one of these, sounding as if he was talking about a luxury yacht or a Porsche ! While it was still boxed up and sitting in the hall, some friends visited and immediately said "wow, didn't know you had one those, can you lend it to us? We've got a cheap one but it's rubbish, the proper Kärcher one would be ideal for cleaning down my algae-covered patio and the dirty garage walls" !

I have to admit that I wasn't personally quite as enthusiastic initially. It's not that I had any negative thoughts about it, I just couldn't really see how we'd manage to use it. I've been told that it's VERY powerful so I was worried about it washing out the cement in between the paving slabs on the patio or damaging the paintwork on the car ! Having seen Mummy of Two's fab review though, I decided to bite the bullet and see what we could do with it. I was also reassured by the fact that you can vary the pressure.

First of all, I unpacked the box. It comes with various attachments, including :

- a Vario Lance which can be connected to the trigger gun and allow variable pressure control from low-pressure to high-pressure jet by simply twisting the spray lance

- a Dirtblaster which is a powerful rotary nozzle designed with a rotating pencil jet which provides up to 50% greater cleaning power than a standard high pressure lance, for instance used for removing stubborn dirt on moss covered or weathered surfaces

- a T250 Patio Cleaner, designed for the splash-free cleaning of even surfaces such as patios and stone walls, offering increased cleaning power with two rotating flat jet nozzles. It can also be used on verticle surfaces such as garage doors.

- a Suction Hose & Filter which can be used with the enclosed Stone & Facade Cleaner

It also has a water-cooled motor to enhance the performance and extend the life of the machine. One feature that I really like is that most of the attachments can be stored away inside the machine so that it takes up less space (and this also prevents them getting lost). It's quite a heavy machine but you can roll it along on the sturdy wheels which makes it easier to use. You can't attach it directly to the kitchen tap but you can attach it, via a hose, to an outdoor tap or, if you buy an extra attachment, use a siphon to reuse collected water from a rainwater butt for example.

I decided to tackle the dirty steps at the front of the house. They're white so they show up all the muddy footprints and splashback when it rains. The walls are also grimy with moss and lichen.

As always seems to happen when I bring out a Kärcher product, someone (in this case Madhouse Daddy) came along and offered to take over. No arguments from me !

You can see how we got on in this video. As this was a first attempt, we used the Vario Lance and, with hindsight, I think we'd have done better with the Dirtbuster attachment. It's still impressive though, especially on the wall where you can see it cutting through the marks and dirt ! If you're wondering why Juliette squeals and puts her thumb over the camera lens at one point, it's because she suddenly got a soaking ! This can be avoided by using the Patio Cleaner attachment apparently. We're on a steep learning curve at the moment !

I decided to move on to an area that really annoys me - the top of the door. I can't usually get to it because it's out of my reach and, as it's up some steps, I can't set up the stepladder to get to it.  

A quick spray with the Vario Lance and you could literally see the filth washing away down the door !

Thirty seconds' work and it's now spotless - yay !

I said to Madhouse Daddy that I had enough for my review, he could stop now. He mumbled "ok, I'll be in in a minute" and I could still hear him "playing" outside half an hour later !

I wasn't sure what uses we'd find for it but now that I've started experimenting, I can think of loads of jobs - cleaning filthy outdoor kids toys that have been out in all weathers over the winter, the car (rather than taking it to the carwash), the pavement outside the house if dogs have been weeing or pooing there, the kids' bikes when they're covered in mud, the insides of the wheelie bins ...

It's a very expensive piece of kit but it is a very versatile machine that does give remarkable results.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £253.19

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review. Look out for our other Kärcher Clean Ambassador reviews throughout the year. :)

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Kärcher Steam Cleaner SC 2.500 C review

Viakal Challenge : The Kitchen Taps !


  1. Excellent review and you can really see the dirt coming off the door.

    1. I must admit, I was impressed - so much easier than my usual half-hearted attempt with a spray and cloth !

  2. I interested to buy a pressure washer, but I didn't know about it. I tried to search on the internet and I got your blog post, and It's really great to read this post. Now I got the full idea about a pressure washer, and I got some important information that I really didn't know, and I should need to understand about the pressure washer properly.


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