Pressure Washing vs. Soft Washing: Which Do You Need in 2024

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Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

Lots of companies offer a service called soft washing. They all claim it's better than pressure cleaning, gets things really clean without pressure, and is the top way to clean your home.

Is Soft Washing Truly the Best and Safest Way to Clean Your Home? 

Let's start by comparing how both systems work. They both use water and a hose to spray the house and remove dirt, mold, and similar substances. These systems can easily apply cleaning solutions to the house or surface being cleaned through the hoses.

The main difference is that pressure washing uses highly pressurized water to blast away mold, dirt, and other grime with maximum force. This method requires fewer chemicals and is ideal for thoroughly cleaning tough surfaces like concrete driveways.

Is Pressure Cleaning Safe?

Using a pressure cleaning system is totally safe! As long as you handle the equipment properly, you won't cause any damage. With the right use of a pressure cleaning system, you can effortlessly clean surfaces with minimal or no need for chemicals.

How Does Soft Washing Work? 

Soft washing uses a pump to push water at low pressure, focusing on a large amount of water rather than high pressure. It relies on strong cleaning solutions to break down dirt before using water to wash it away, unlike pressure washing, which can remove dirt with just water and high pressure.

Benefits of Soft Washing

Soft washing is really gentle on homes, so you're less likely to cause damage. But, it does use more water and chemicals. Is soft washing safe? Yes. Just like pressure cleaning, if you don't use it right, you might cause damage. Strong cleaning solutions can harm plants and surfaces. When used properly, though, soft washing is a safe cleaning method for your home and for the environment.

Is Pressure Washing or Soft Washing Better?

When it comes to comparing the two methods, soft washing comes out on top for many people. People tend to feel safer with the word "soft" and are more likely to want to use that method on their house. Plus, applying a cleaning solution helps to kill off organic matter, resulting in a longer lasting clean. However, from a cleaning perspective, pressure is still highly necessary. It can be essential for harder surfaces like driveways and sidewalks, which soft washing can't effectively clean.

When You Should Pressure-Wash

An expert pressure washing service is perfect for tough surfaces that can handle a lot of pressure without getting damaged. These pros have the right equipment (like a downstream injector) to make sure they don't use too much or too little cleaning solution on your home's siding. They know just the right amount to use to get the job done without causing any harm.

Pressure Washing Substrates

Surfaces you can typically pressure wash include brick, concrete, stone, and pavers.

To get the best results, make sure to let the solution sit for a good amount of time to loosen up any mildew or dirt. Once it's had some time to work, you can use high-pressure water or hot water to really clean the surface. It's a good idea to use a strong cleaning solution with wetting agents to make sure it stays wet for longer and does a thorough job of cleaning and getting rid of any mildew. After using the cleaning solution, follow up with a high-pressure wash and rinse, and if needed, apply some heat to make sure the surface is free of any contaminants.

When You Should Soft-Wash

An expert Soft Washing Service needs to have the proper cleaning equipment to get the job done right. Most of the time, those quick, untrustworthy services won't have the right tools to apply the correct amount of chemical at the proper ratios for a thorough Soft Washing of your home. Because of this, I suggest using a Soft Washing process on surfaces that are notoriously tough to clean with pressure or would be harmed by high-pressure cleaning.

Soft-Wash Substrates

Surfaces you’d want to soft wash include roofs (asphalt shingles, metal, barrel tile), siding (vinyl siding, wood siding, stucco, hardie board, etc.) fences (wood or vinyl), wooden decks, pool screen enclosures and porch screens. The list goes on, but essentially anything that is delicate and could be damaged by high pressure should be soft washed. 

Soft Washing requires you to really pay attention to your landscaping and the surface you're cleaning. You could cause serious damage to your plants if you don't give them a good soaking before, during, and after the treatment.

How To Soft Wash Your Home

First, mix your sodium hypochlorite and surfactant together. It's important to use the right amount to avoid having too many suds or causing harm to the siding. Many professional soft washing companies use a system that automatically controls the flow and ratio of chemicals. After wetting the landscape with water, start applying the mix generously. If you've mixed the ratios correctly for the surface you're cleaning, you won't have to worry about over applying. Let it sit on the siding for a while.

Check back in about 5 minutes to see the impact on the mildew. For vinyl siding, you might only need to apply once. If you're cleaning a more stubborn material like stucco, you may have to increase the amount of cleaner you use and reapply. Keep applying until you achieve the result you want, then turn off all the chemicals and rinse with water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to dilute any chemicals present.

How to Get Incredible Results Washing Your House

The key to getting fantastic results with pressure washing and soft washing is knowing what your equipment and chemicals can do.

Professional soft washing services have access to super powerful cleaning solutions that regular consumers can't get at the local hardware store. This makes a huge difference because they can also decide how strong or weak the solutions should be in different areas. For example, they can use a stronger mix for the roof and a weaker one for vinyl siding, all in one day from their truck.

If you're thinking about getting this service for your home, make sure you pick a really good company with awesome reviews and tons of knowledge about what they're going to use on your home (whether it's soft washing or pressure washing). If they really know their stuff, you shouldn't run into any issues, and your home should look super shiny once they're finished!


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