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Soft Washing vs Pressure Washing: What’s the Difference?

May 18, 2017

soft washYou probably are aware of the importance of cleaning the exterior of your home on a regular basis, and have familiarized yourself with some of the benefits of pressure washing (such as increased property value, mold prevention, etc.).

But now you’re hearing about another option called soft washing.  Is that the same thing as pressure washing?  Do you need to do both?  Are there any benefits to soft washing vs pressure washing?

So many questions…but don’t worry–Odds & Ends Home Improvement has the answers!

Keep reading to find out all about soft washing and why more people are using it as an alternative to pressure washing (which is also sometimes referred to as power washing, although technically there are some minor differences between the two).

What is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a cleaning method that uses special nozzles on the end of a pressure washing wand to reduce the water pressure from several thousand psi down to something closer to that of a typical garden hose.

The reason the pressure can be reduced is because unlike pressure washing, with soft washing the water isn’t what actually cleans the surface of your house.

Instead, the cleaning is done by a biodegradable cleaning chemical that kills algae, mold, moss, and other biological elements from your house.  It also removes pollen, dirt, and stains, and it does it all without damaging surfaces with high-pressure water.

In the soft washing process, after the cleaning solution is applied to your home, it will be left to sit for several minutes so that it has a chance to be absorbed into the pores and cracks of your siding and break down the dirt and other materials it encounters.  It is then rinsed off using low-pressure water.

What are the differences between soft washing and pressure washing?

Pressure washing uses the force of high-pressure water (up to 4,000 psi in some cases) to blast surfaces clean of dirt, mold, and other contaminants.

It is very similar to power washing, and in fact the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.  However, technically power washing uses heated water while pressure washing uses unheated water.

The key difference between both of these methods (pressure & power washing) vs soft washing is what is actually cleaning the surface.  With soft washing, the environmentally safe chemicals are cleaning the surface, and with the other methods it is water pressure that cleans the surface.

Do I need to use both pressure washing and soft washing?

In most cases, you only need to use soft washing or pressure washing, not both.  We usually recommend soft washing for residential homes in order to avoid damaging your siding or roof.

Pressure washing should only be done on strong, durable surfaces like fences, decks, sidewalks, pathways, driveways, and patios.  Soft washing probably by itself might not work well on these surfaces, but it will usually work just fine on the sides and roof of your home.

Is soft washing something I can do myself, or do I have to hire a professional?

Soft washing is definitely something you can do on your own.  All you have to do is go out and find the right chemicals, purchase the equipment you’ll need to apply the chemicals (such as static-free rags, squeegees, extension poles, ladders, etc.), and then purchase a pressure washing machine with the appropriate nozzle extension.

Then, of course, you’ll need to learn how to use all of that equipment.

In other words, you’ll need to do everything that a professional would need to do, only your results won’t be as good, since you don’t have any experience cleaning houses using the soft wash technique.

So, while you certainly can soft wash your own home, the real question is, why would you want to?  Hiring a pro to do it all for you is not very expensive, and you won’t have to worry about hurting yourself falling off a ladder or your roof…or, for that matter, damaging your home by using the wrong chemicals or wrong setting on the pressure washing machine.

Save yourself the hassle, and just call a professional to clean the exterior of your home.  If you happen to live near Farmville, make that professional Odds & Ends Home Improvement–we’re the #1 rated contractor in the area, and right now we’re the only one that offers a soft washing service.