There are few things more liberating in the modern world than replacing a corded power tool with one that uses a battery. Particularly if, as with this Worx Hydroshot, you can attach a bottle of water to the bottom and effectively do away with a hose pipe too.
But other than creating the ultimate Super Soaker, what’s the real benefit of this cordless power cleaner? Well, as someone forced to use a watering can to wash their car while living in a flat with no outside water, I can think of several.
This isn’t the first of its kind though - Karcher has a 12v model and Worx itself has a less powerful brushed version, but neither is convincingly pokey enough to do away with a corded machine entirely.
That’s where this Hydroshot with its powerful brushless motor and a large capacity battery that charges in a fraction of the time the normal model does steps in. This is very much the Porsche Taycan of the portable pressure cleaner world.
Can the brushless Worx Hydroshot also crack 0-62mph in under three seconds?
Answering that risks stretching this already creaky metaphor a bit too far, but the same anxieties around replacing a petrol-powered 911 Turbo S with its electrical counterpart apply here. Namely the battery dying mid-job and whether the motor can spin fast enough to dislodge dirt.
On paper, the 22 bar of pressure it puts out pales in comparison to a corded cleaner but in reality, you don’t want to scrub your car’s paintwork down to the bare metal anyway, so what matters is the volume of water the Hydroshot is capable of spraying out.
And it’s here that the brushless version makes a case for itself over the cheaper brushed model, thanks to a flow rate of 210 litres per hour vs 120 litres per hour. This makes it much more effective at cascading water from the top to the bottom of the car and carrying loose muck and leaves with it.
What’s the benefit over a corded cleaner though?
As well as the aforementioned lack-of-outside-tap-problem there’s the ability to wash cars in remote locations (car shows, CAR photoshoots, etc) plus a bigger mass appeal too.
I’ve upgraded to a house with a hosepipe and while that’s a big step up in convenience over the watering can method it’s still a pain in the neck washing a car with my Karcher pressure washer. If the hose isn’t getting jammed under a wheel, it’s snaking itself around the power cable or simply detaching from the tap and spraying water all over the drive my shoes.
Removing the power cable but retaining the hose takes away one potential tangle point, but a much tidier solution is to drop the filtered end of the included six-metre hose into a large water container, which can be repositioned as I move around the car.
A 25-litre water tank is more than large enough to do the job (in fact I managed to clean three cars with it, so a smaller one or even a bucket would suffice) and while the cleaner itself is heavier than the brushed Hydroshot (2.5kg vs 1.7kg) it’s light enough to hold onto while doing so.
More to the point, the 20v, 4.0Ah battery survived three car washes too, so it’s got plenty of capacity. Then when it eventually runs out you only have to plug it into the supplied charger for 40 minutes before it’s full again.
The base station is a lot larger than the slower-charging one you get with the brushed Hydroshot, but given that takes 3-5 hours, I don’t mind it taking up a bit more space.
Is the brushless Worx Hydroshot any good at cleaning cars though?
Yes! Surprisingly so, given its size, convenience and relatively low running volume. It puts out enough pressure to dislodge bird dirt and baked-on alloy wheel grime but not so much that it makes me worry about my paint.
Distributing the water is a long lance (the brushed one gets a shorter version) with five spray patterns – the most powerful zero-degree mode for troublesome dirt, then 15, 25 and 40 degrees, plus a shower setting. I just use the 15-degree one as it seems to cover all bases.
The WG630E.1 bundle also comes with a six-metre hose, Powershare battery and charger (that can be used with many other Worx tools), plus a special fitting with something like a drinking straw attached so you can run the Hydroshot from a plastic bottle.
To do this you need to screw it into the bottom of the unit, which obviously adds a kilogram of weight for every litre of water, but it does ramp up the portability benefit. In all honesty this feature is more useful on the less powerful model purely because of how much water the brushless cleaner uses. It gets through three litres pretty quickly.
One accessory worth adding on is the shampoo bottle, which enables you to blast soap at your car. Fill up the container using the admittedly narrow nozzle (use a funnel) and this can either serve as a comprehensive prewash or as the main event.
Finally there’s a three-year warranty included, which is a lot of car washing.
How did you test it?
In this review, I focussed on this portable cleaner’s ability to clean my car, rather than the patio (although I did try that, and it worked quite well) and as such waited until it was properly filthy before blasting the dirt off.
Then along with my colleagues Chris and Ryan I tried out a couple of different snow foam solutions to see how well the shampoo bottle distributed soap, and hosed it down with clean water afterwards. In real life you’d add a mircrofibre step in there, but the car was so clean we didn’t bother. Drying it with an appropriate towel would have helped though.
As mentioned before I regularly washed one of my old cars outside a flat with no water and it was a total pain. This gadget would have made it significantly easier. In fact, even now I have a tap, I prefer using this cordless unit to unpacking my Karcher cleaner.
In a lot of ways it reminds me of the convenience of a cordless vacuum cleaner – no wire to get tangled up, no need to faff around in a cupboard for five minutes at either end of the job and nothing to trip over while concentrating on the task at hand.
For jobs where you stand still a lot and only move around a small area (cleaning the patio or driveway for example) a corded cleaner is still better. But for most other jobs, including washing the car, the Hydroshot is king.