Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

Cleaning the exterior of a property is as important as cleaning the interior. A clean and well-maintained exterior is not only appealing to the eye but it increases the curb value of every type of property. 

Suppose you are interested in keeping your property well-maintained all year round. In that case, you are probably interested in finding effective property cleaning methods that guarantee good results. One of them is  power washing as it guarantees efficient results in a variety of household cleaning tasks. 

Power washing in fact is divided into two more  types – pressure washing and soft washing, which are both used for cleaning different kinds of outdoor surfaces around a building.

If you are wondering which method to choose, then you should know there isn’t a right or wrong type of cleaning method. It all comes down to different factors such as the type of surface you want to clean, the amount of accumulated dirt and the desirable results. 

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each power washing method is really important as using the wrong  cleaning type can lead to property damage and injuries.

So, we will explain to you in this article the characteristics of each cleaning method and what are its pros and cons.

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

What is pressure washing?

Pressure washing is an effective and powerful method for cleaning different types of outdoor surfaces. Just like power washing the effectiveness of pressure washing also relies on the power of the high pressure water stream.  

Pressure washing machines work with a PSI (pounds per square inch) of between 1,300-4,400.The temperature of the water pressure washers clean with is 140°F.

Pressure washing – pros and cons

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing


As pressure washing uses more power, the high-pressure water stream can clean even the most stubborn types of dirt, dust, mud, mold and grime. Pressure washing machines are mostly suitable for cleaning hard outdoor surfaces that cannot be cleaned easily with other cleaning methods.

Pressure washing is suitable for cleaning :

  • driveways 
  • walkways 
  • paved patios 
  • wooden or aluminum siding 
  • treated wooden decks 
  • concrete 
  • bricks 
  • asphalt 
  • stone pavement or siding 
  • garage floors

Besides stubborn stains, pressure washing can be also used for removing loose paint or old wood fibers from different surfaces.

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing


Because they can use only hot water, pressure washing machines are considered an eco-friendly cleaning solution for exterior spaces.

Easily Cause Damage

When used with the wrong PSI setting or the wrong nozzle type a pressure washer can create damage to some of  the surfaces you are cleaning. For example wood surfaces can be more easily damaged than concrete, so you need to adjust the PSI  of your pressure washer depending on what type of surface you want to clean. 

What is soft washing?

Soft washing machines clean with PSI  between 150 and 500 and similarly to pressure washing they work with a water temperature of 140°F.

Soft washing machines offer effective low-pressure cleaning of different surfaces in combination with different soap solutions and disinfectants. 

These cleaning solutions work by entering the layers of dirt build-up and clearing them on a deep level. Afterwards the dirt debris is rinsed away from the surface with low-pressure water spray. As a result we have long-lasting cleanliness.

Soft washing – pros and cons

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing


Compared to pressure washing, soft washing utilizes less pressure and it’s more suitable for outdoor surfaces and structures that are prone to damage and need a gentle cleaning approach.

For this reason soft washing is a preferred cleaning method for exterior walls and roofs as pressure washing can create damage on roof surfaces such as roof tiles, shingles and siding. 

When using soft washing there is no risk to remove protective coating of delicate outdoor surfaces. For this reason it is ideal for cleaning different types of stucco, coquina,  wood panel siding, cedar shake siding, vinyl siding, patios, lanais, screens, enclosures and other surfaces that should be cleaned only with soft washing. 

Soft washing can be even used for cleaning garden furniture and large outdoor garden plants.


Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

It combines gentle low-pressure water spray and effective cleaning chemical and biodegradable solutions which lead to excellent results. The most common solutions and chemicals that are used in soft washing are bleach, neutralizers, surfactants, odor removers. 

Bleach for example is one of the most effective disinfectants that exist. 

The role of neutralizers is to form a protective coating on the outdoor surfaces which guards them against future dirt accumulation. Neutralizers also act as protection for different building materials and garden plants against the cleaning agents in the case of overspill.

Thanks to the chemical solutions, soft washers can do a great job in cleaning :

  • roof moss and weeds 
  • mold 
  • mildew 
  • fungus 
  • algae 
  • grease 
  • oils 
  • tree sap 
  • rust 
  • bird droppings and stains from bugs
  • paint stains and even graffiti

Due to the fact that soft washers clean with cleaning solutions and chemicals, they can be effective in preventing growth of mold and algae on roof structures.

Soft Washing Vs. Pressure Washing

Easy and safe to use 

Compared to pressure washers that require certain skills and experience which usually professional cleaners have, soft washing machines are easy to operate and their low-power cleaning method is unlikely to create damage on the surfaces that need cleaning.

Their easy control also guarantees you less risk of injury as well.This means soft washing machines can be easily operated by people who have no previous  experience in working with power washers.

Some of the disadvantages that you may encounter are the following : 

  • as it operates with low pressure water spray, soft washing may not be effective for cleaning some types of stubborn dirt, such as deeply embedded dirt. As a result it may take you longer to clean a stubborn dirt buildup with soft washing.
  • cleaning with a soft washer may not be as fast as cleaning with a pressure washer since the cleaning solutions soft  washing uses need some time to work on  dirt layers.
  • some of the cleaning solutions used with soft washers may leave stains that need further cleaning.
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