Pressure Washing vs. Soft Washing

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

Is Soft Washing really a superior, safer approach to clean your home then pressure washing?

To start, let’s look at how the two systems operate. They both run water through a pump and a hose, and the water is then sprayed onto the exterior to remove dirt, mold, and the like.

1. A Pressure Washing service provider will just use the high pressure to blast away the dirt.
A pressure washing Service tech will have to keep a steady an close distance to the surface to make sure to keep a even look especially on siding because they will be disturbing any oxidation that may be on the siding.

“Oxidation is caused by the sun and will make vinyl an metal siding to fade creating a small white chalk like powder.”

Here are the key contrasts to pressure washing: With pressure cleaning, the water is pressurized, so it sprays harder to remove mold, dirt, and so on.

The advantages of this system are that you can utilize fewer chemicals when cleaning and that you can provide a more thorough cleaning for tougher surfaces such as a concrete driveway.

Pressure washing

Is pressure washing  safe?

Yes. But like anything, if you don’t utilize the equipment appropriately, you can cause harm. But if you appropriately use a pressure cleaning system, you will cause no harm to any surface and you can get surfaces clean with few, if any, chemicals.

Roof cleaning

2. Soft washing runs water through a pump with very little pressurization.

This system normally consists of a higher volume of water rather than pressurized water being sprayed from the hose.

Soft Washing also uses a higher concentration of chemicals or cleaning solutions when cleaning a home. Where a pressure cleaner may be able to remove some dirt with no chemicals because of the pressure, soft washing systems need the chemicals to loosen the dirt before the water is sprayed to remove it.

deck cleaning

The benefit of soft washing is that there is less pressure being applied to a home, meaning there is a smaller chance of causing damage and the biodegradable chemicals creates a deeper an longer lasting clean by killing all organic growths at the root whereas pressure washing will only blast off the surface leaving a tiny root to sprout again.

Is soft washing safe?

Yes. Like pressure cleaning, though, if you do not use the system properly, you may cause damage. High chemical concentrates can kill plant life and damage certain surfaces. Properly used, though, soft washing is a safe way to clean.

So, which system is better? Well, being a exterior cleaner myself I highly recommend soft washing.

For example with pressure washing you have to climb ladders with your high pressure wand which is not safe or you have to rent a lift to somehow get you up close to where your cleaning but with soft washing a cleaner can usually do it all from the ground.

When You Should Do Pressure Washing:

A Professional Pressure Washing Service would be a recommended application when the substrates are hard and very resilient to damage of any kind from pressure.

They (Pro Pressure Cleaning Service) will have the proper ratios equipped in a downstream injector (the thing that sucks up the chemicals from the tank and into the hose) in order to not place too much or too little on the siding of your home.

Pressure Washing substrates include:

gum removal

The thought here is to apply the solution and let it dwell long enough to loosen up the mildew or soiling where when you hit it with pressure or hot water.

Since the solution concentrate is back seat to pressure, one can begin pressure washing within about 5 minutes of applying the solution.

It is always best practice to apply the solution with a professional grade surfactant (contains wetting agents to keep the solution wet longer) in order to maximize the cleaning process and to kill any mildew spores that are present.

Follow chemical treatment with high-pressure wash and rinse and even heat in order to remove any contaminants from the surface.

When You Should Soft-Wash:

A Soft Washing Service will normally be a professional Pressure Washing Service with the right Soft Washing equipment.

90% of the time, the fly by nighters will not have the correct equipment in order to apply the right amount of chemical at the right ratios in order to perform a proper Soft Washing of your home.

With that being said, I would recommend a Soft Washing process on substrates that are notoriously hard to get clean with pressure or would be damaged if one were to use high pressure on them.

Soft-Wash substrates include:

Wood Decking
Wood Siding
Cedar Shake
Asphalt Shingles

Soft Washing requires being cognitive of your landscape and of the substrate you are washing as direct harm can happen to landscape if the plants are not pre-soaked with water before treatment begins.

How To Soft Wash Your Home:

house washing

Start by premixing your Sodium Hypochlorite and your surfactant,(you want to make sure that you use the correct amount because you do not want visible bubble bath like suds on the house nor do you want to much SH as this could harm the siding) many Professional Soft Washing companies choose to use a proportioner system that does this automatically in order to control the flow and ratio of chemicals on the fly.

Then, after you have pre-soaked the landscape with water, start applying your mix, apply generously because if you have mixed your ratios correctly for the substrate you are cleaning you won’t have to worry about over applying. Now, allow to dwell on the siding.

Come back in about 5 minutes and see what your effect to the mildew has been.

When dealing with Vinyl Siding, you may only need to apply once, if you are cleaning a more porous stubborn substrate like stucco, you may need to up your concentration on your proportioner then reapply.

Apply as many times as you need to in order to get the desired result, then turn all chemicals off and rinse with pure water. Make sure you rinse enough to dilute any and all chemicals that were present.

The secret to great results in pressure washing and soft washing is to understand the capabilities of your equipment and chemicals.

Many Professional Soft Washing Companies have access to chemicals at concentrations that consumers just cannot obtain at the local hardware store.

This completely changes the game entirely, because they can also control what concentrations get sprayed where. (ex. Higher concentration for the roof, low concentration for vinyl siding) all on the truck, within the same day.


If you are considering getting this service for your home, make sure that you hire a reputable company with great reviews and a wealth of knowledge about what they will be applying to your home (also, weather soft washing or pressure washing would be a good fit).

If they know what they’re doing, you shouldn’t have any problems and your home should shine bright when they’re done!



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