When you are looking to clean the exterior of your home, it is important to understand the difference between soft washing and pressure washing. Soft washing is a gentle cleaning method that uses low pressure and detergents to clean the surface.
Pressure washing, on the other hand, uses high pressure and can damage surfaces if not used correctly. We will discuss the differences between soft washing and pressure washing and when each should be used. We will also provide tips for a safe pressure wash!
What is Soft Washing?
Soft washing is a type of pressure washing that uses much lower pressure, usually lower than 500 PSI, to wash surfaces with the help of detergent.
Soft wash pressure washing is perfect for surfaces that can be damaged by high pressure. A soft wash is also great for removing built-up dirt and grime from roofs, decks, and driveways. It can remove mold, mildew, and algae, too.
Surfaces That Are Ideal for Soft Washing
Some surfaces that can be thoroughly cleaned with a soft wash system include cedar shake siding, wood panel siding, stucco and coquina, outdoor wooden furniture, vinyl siding, windows, and much more.
Additionally, any surface that makes you nervous – like a new roof, for example – can be safely cleaned with soft washing.
What Supplies Do I Need for a Soft Washing System?
To soft wash your home, you will need a pressure washer that can be set to a PSI of 500 or lower, a nozzle with a wide spray, and a cleaning solution. You can buy a soft washing kit that includes all of these items, or you can purchase them separately.
Also, you can create a cleaning solution by combining water, bleach, and a cleaning surfactant. This will create a solution that can properly break down grime and kill mold, mildew, and algae. Be careful when handling bleach, as it can be dangerous if not used correctly.
Lastly, you’ll need to connect your pressure washing device to a sturdy garden hose. Be sure there are no holes or kinks in the hose.
Why Soft Washing Instead of Pressure Washing?
Gentle But Not Too Gentle
There are a few reasons why soft washing is a better choice than pressure washing for cleaning the exterior of your home. First, soft washing uses much lower pressure, so it is gentle and will not damage surfaces like vinyl siding or wood paneling.
However, just because soft washing is not as strong as pressure washing does not mean it won’t get the job done. Soft washing can seriously remove all kinds of buildup. Sometimes, intense pressure washing is simply not necessary.
Safer For the Environment and You
Soft washing is also safer for the environment because the cleaning solutions used are biodegradable. This is not always the case with pressure washing, where harsh chemicals are often used to get the job done in place of these softer cleaning solutions.
Finally, soft washing is much safer for you, the individual. While you still must be cautious and follow the directions, you will not have to worry as much about the dangerous, high-pressure stream from pressure washing harming your body or your clothes.
When to Choose Pressure Washing Instead of Soft Washing
Some surfaces should not be soft-washed because they require a high-pressure wash to be cleaned effectively. These surfaces include concrete, brick, stone, and asphalt. Additionally, if you have a large area to clean, like a parking lot or driveway, pressure washing is a better choice than soft washing.
Pressure washing is also a great option for removing loose paint, as well as for preparing surfaces to be painted or stained.
If you have already attempted to soft wash an area and did not find it thorough enough, consider increasing the water pressure for a standard pressure wash. You can always start low and increase in pressure, but damage can be hard to reverse if you started too strong.
Difference Between Pressure Washing and Power Washing
What is Power Washing
Power washing is a type of pressure washing that uses hot water instead of cold water. Power washing is often used for industrial cleaning because hot water can break down grease and oil.
However, power washing can damage surfaces like wood, so it should not be used on your home’s exterior. Because power washing is so powerful and dangerous, it is often best left for the pressure washing pros. Save power washing for extreme circumstances.
When Are Power Washers Needed?
There are some circumstances when a power washer is necessary. If you have extremely heavy build-up, grease, or oil, then a power washer may be required to break it down.
Additionally, if you need to clean concrete that has not been properly sealed, a power washer may be your only option.
Can I Soft Wash on My Own?
Yes, soft washing is a safe and effective way to clean your home’s exterior, and it can be done by anyone, thanks to its safer, lower pressure.
Whereas regular pressure washing may require professional help (and power washing machines are even more likely to require professionals), soft washing is safe to DIY.
Maintaining your home’s exterior surfaces with a regular soft washing method is an excellent method of preventing the need for expensive, professional help in the future for both pressure washing and power washing. Soft wash now, so you don’t have to hire someone to help with pressure or power washing later.
Why You Should Pressure Wash Your Home
Pressure washing your home has many benefits. Not only will it make your home look better, but it can also increase its curb appeal and value. Additionally, pressure washing can improve air quality by removing mold, mildew, and algae from your home’s exterior.
Maintaining Your Home
Pressure washing can also extend the life of your home’s siding and other surfaces by removing the dirt and debris that can cause them to deteriorate. You can prevent damage to your roof by regular soft washing or pressure washing it to keep it in tip-top shape.
Soft washing can even maintain paint and masonry longer, saving you from expensive future fixes.
When Will I Know to Pressure Wash My House?
If you have a home with vinyl siding, you will need to pressure wash it every two to three years. If you have wood or cedar shake shingles, then you should pressure wash at least once a year. You can also soft wash your home’s exterior surfaces as part of your regular maintenance routine.
Sometimes, a visual inspection of a dirty roof or mossy gutters that it’s time for a soft wash or pressure wash. The beauty of soft washing is that, because it’s not too strong, you can soft wash your surfaces often to prevent this buildup in the first place.
Where to Get a Pressure Washer
Purchase a Soft Wash Machine
If you’re in the market for a pressure washer, there are many places where you can purchase one. When purchasing a pressure washer, be sure to read the reviews to ensure that you’re getting a quality product.
You can find pressure washers at most hardware stores, home improvement stores, and online retailers. You can also rent pressure washers from some hardware stores or equipment rental companies.
Rent a Soft Wash Machine
If you only need to wash a few surfaces here and there, renting a pressure washer may be for you. However, if you plan to use a pressure washer regularly or for regular maintenance, it may be in your best interest to make a well-researched purchase.
Soft Wash Pressure Wash Safety
Even though soft washing is less dangerous than pressure washing, it’s still extremely important that you adhere to safety guidelines.
When you’re about to pressure wash, always be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Additionally, wear protective clothing, including gloves, safety glasses, and long pants and sleeves to protect your skin from debris.
Check Your Surroundings Before Soft Washing
Be sure to stay aware of your surroundings and keep children and pets away from the area while you’re soft washing. If you are using a gas-powered machine to pressure wash, always make sure that there is good ventilation. Do not use a gas-powered machine in an enclosed environment.