Home or business properties benefit from a soft wash clean to enhance curb appeal, promote healthy and safe exteriors, and get prolonged life for roofs, sidings, decks, patios, and more.
Especially effective in removing mold, mildew, algae, and stains, soft wash cleaning has become the preferred method for cleaning the outside of a building.
It is effective in roof cleaning and removing dirt from various surfaces. Unlike power washing, it is easier to apply and is gentle on roofing materials such as tiles because it uses less pressure.
The method uses specialized chemicals to treat biological growth and clean stains from delicate surfaces. The first thing we worry about when we hear chemicals is their safety and effectiveness.
Image source: Canva
There are various types of softwash chemicals, and they have different impacts on the environment. What are some safety precautions, and what are these chemicals’ efficiency levels for different surfaces? These are questions we will try to answer in this blog.
Types of Soft Wash Chemicals
Professionals use a variety of cleaning solutions to tackle different cleaning projects. Although what is used depends significantly on multiple factors, there are some typical detergents and chemicals they resort to achieve satisfying results.
Surfactants are widely spread chemicals used to lower the surface tension of water. In this way, water can effectively mix with soap and detergents. Typically, one-quart bottles are used.
Water spreads evenly onto the dirty surface, penetrating stains, dirt, or mold. Surfactants help the soft washing solution adhere to the surface.
Biocides are chemicals that dry and kill biological growth, such as mold, mildew, algae, or other organic growth. They effectively tackle these and other contaminants and play a key role in preventing their reappearance.
Biocides used in soft wash cleaning are chemical compounds. However, the term encompasses microorganisms as well. Both are available on the market for professional and non-professional use.
Image source: Canva
As an antimicrobial agent, sodium hypochlorite, widely known as bleach, has extensive use. Soft wash cleaning solutions include bleach to kill and remove microorganisms like mold and mildew.
It tackles organic stains effectively, and its controlled use has been utilized for decades. However, it is a chemical that poses health risks and should be handled cautiously.
Moreover, bleach has a specific odor that is unpleasant and not recommended for inhaling, thus, odor maskers are used to dilute the smell.
This chemical, sometimes referred to as caustic soda, is used to clean mildew and mold from sidewalks and concrete pathways. It is applied to the surface and left to sit and do its job.
It has to be thoroughly rinsed with clean, lukewarm water. Sodium hydroxide is commonly used in pressure washing, not soft wash. Unlike bleach smell, caustic soda or lay is colorless and smell-free.
It is used among pressure-washing chemicals for hard surfaces when a soft wash is insufficient.
Image source: Canva
Whether you consider algae to be a plant or bacteria, the black streaks that it creates on your roof are an ugly sight. Luckily, specific solutions on the market can solve the problem.
Algaecides are designed and used to treat algae specifically, preventing it from regrowing on surfaces. They not only kill this organism but create a protective layer against regrowth.
Soft wash cleaning is preferred because it uses low-pressure cleaning and thus works gently on various surfaces. Secondly, it encompasses using detergents and chemicals to deal with common problems.
Soft wash chemicals might contain weak acids like citric acid or acetic acid to help break down mineral stains, such as rust or efflorescence.
Each cleaning solution utilized in soft wash cleaning varies in chemicals used according to the scale and seriousness of the cleaning job.
There are a lot of options on the market that have different environmental impacts depending on their composition and usage.
A soft wash system uses up a lot of water for various cleaning scenarios. In any case, a lot of liquid chemicals are spread around the treated area. It means that they can affect the surrounding vegetation or spoil the soil.
The good news is that the market recognizes the importance of preserving biodiversity and producing substances that are harmless to the environment.
As a result, plenty of soft wash detergents are designed to biodegrade after use, reducing their long-term environmental impact.
It is essential to take note of the importance of proper containment. Controlled use of chemicals prevents severe and harmful consequences. The least unpleasant result of uncontrollable chemical use is the death of garden vegetation.
Preventing chemical runoff into water sources is crucial because it can lead to harm aquatic life. Professionals are very well aware of these risks and take every precaution to avoid harmful effects.
Although some of the components of soft washing should be handled with care, there are eco-friendly chemicals in soft washing that can be used to treat microorganisms without harming the environment.
For many customers, this aspect of soft washing is crucial. They want to be sure that their property is cleaned effectively but consciously. Businesses that build an image of an environmentally friendly organization also seek ecologically wise cleaning options.
Safety Precautions and Proper Handling
Although soft wash cleaning poses less risk of injury than a high-pressure wash, using chemicals in this method should be handled with care and proper training.
Careful and controlled chemical application is a must in mastering the softwash technique. The operators’ well-being and the safety of the surroundings should always be considered.
Professionals are well-equipped to prevent any dangerous spills or inhales during their work with chemicals. They always wear appropriate protective gear to ensure their skin, eyes, and breathing ways are protected.
If you consider performing a soft wash clean on your own, ensure you know the risks and have taken all the necessary measures to protect your health.
Image source: Canva
Dilution is half of the successful soft wash clean. Proper mixing of chemicals, surfactants, bleach, and water is essential. Using chemicals at their correct strength for individual cleaning jobs is the key to success.
A buffering agent is required to balance and adjust the PH of the cleaning solution.
Avoiding Contact with Skin and Eyes
Specialized chemicals used in softwash cleaning are specifically designed
to kill bacteria. If they fall on the skin or in the eyes, they can burn them and cause serious health consequences.
Working with chemicals requires great caution and a good understanding of every mishandling. That is why protective gear is mandatory.
Chemicals with specific odors or ones releasing fumes should be used outdoors where fresh air reduces the danger of inhaling harmful substances.
In any way, a mask or some other protective component against inhaling chemicals should be used.
As end users, we rarely pay attention to what is in the cleaning solutions we use inside or outside the house. They all contain chemicals that should be handled with awareness.
Soft washing systems are an essential part of the cleaning trade. However, the use of chemicals with this method should be strictly supervised by skillful and trained professionals to ensure the safe disposal of chemical containers.
The waste accumulated during the cleaning process should also be disposed of following local regulations.
If you want to ensure your peace of mind and rely on professional cleaning services to perform an efficient and thorough job, you can look at what we at Sky SWC offer.
Effectiveness in Removing Mold, Mildew, and Stains
Soft washing chemicals are highly effective in removing mold, mildew, and stains, which is why this cleaning method is preferred over power washing.
However, working with chemicals is not a simple task. How effective they are depends on various factors.
You have to know the strengths of each chemical and how to apply it to surfaces. Correct application techniques are essential for success.
Chemicals need time to dwell and kill microorganisms. Each dwell time depends on the seriousness of the problem and the type of organic matter that is battled.
Higher concentration doesn’t mean better results. On the contrary, all chemicals should be applied as the manufacturer suggested.
Rinsing is another aspect of soft washing that needs to be mastered to achieve the best results.
The surface type plays a role in determining the best cleaning solution. Professionals are specifically trained to tailor their methods according to surface type and what has infected it.
In some cases, multiple treatments are required.
For example, metal fixtures might be damaged by some solutions and chemicals, so a cautious approach is recommended.
Dealing with microorganisms is not easy. They are very stubborn and require regular surface cleaning to prevent regrowth.
Proper cleaning and maintenance prolong the life of surfaces, prevent structural damage, and ensure they serve you the way they were designed.
Soft washing can rejuvenate the appearance of your property while maintaining its integrity, and when done responsibly, it’s a sustainable and safe cleaning option.
Soft washing roofs or clean surfaces like dumpster pads is easy and effective by utilizing the right soft washing equipment.
Sometimes, to remove dirt or stubborn build-up debris, you will need high-pressure water and the power of a pressure washer.
Yet again, this depends on many factors, such as surface tolerance, and professionals can successfully determine the cleaning method.
When performed by skilled technicians, softwash cleaning is safe and highly effective. Low pressure suffices for many cleaning projects, while more pressure is required for others.
Hot water will be enough for some surfaces to clean, while others will need more severe treatment. It is always a good idea to get advice from professional cleaners.