On test: Kärcher OC3 Portable Cleaner reviewed

Taking to the great outdoors in Britain inevitably means encountering mud at some point. Boots and bikes will get mucked up and need cleaning. Usually, this has to be done back at home or your holiday base, but there is an alternative: the Kärcher OC3 Portable Cleaner.

The cleaner is self contained, with its own water reservoir and rechargeable battery. It’s small enough not to take up much room in the car boot, and provides enough pressurised water for a quick hose down of your mountain bike or boots.

It has two main sections. The top part is the water reservoir, which holds up to 4 litres.

The bottom section, accessed by folding down one section of the handle, contains the coiled trigger.

The unit needs to be charged up first, which takes about three hours for a full charge, indicated when the flashing LED goes steady. It comes with a charger that plugs into a mains socket and at the other end, a connector slots into a two-pin socket that is covered by a rubber plug when not in use.

The reservoir can then be filled and slotted on top of the base. The rubber filler cover is a little tricky to get into position at first, but sits firmly once this is done. This is important to stop water escaping while the washer is on the move, being carried in the boot of your car, for instance. A valve and filter allow water to flow into the hose, which exits the unit via a notch at the rear.

A push switch at the front of the washer activates the pump, and the trigger then releases the spray.

The Outdoor Washer is designed to rinse muddy mountain bikes and boots rather than power washing them, and the spray, delivered at 5 bar pressure, is in a fairly narrow horizontal pattern.