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What is the difference between Soft Washing and Pressure Washing?

Cleaning your home’s exterior is a simple and budget-friendly way to boost its curb appeal and keep it looking clean and fresh all year long. Not only does it improve your property’s appearance, but it also cuts down on hazards posed by mold, fungus, and mildew. Whether you’re planning to have your home professionally cleaned or do it yourself, you’ll need to decide between pressure washing and soft washing.

Most exterior cleaning companies offer both pressure washing and soft washing services. The cleaning experts can help you determine which option is best for your home, but as the property owner, it’s good to go into the conversation with a solid understanding of both options. Ultimately, the decision to use pressure washing or soft washing depends on which area of the property you plan to wash.

What is Pressure Washing?
A pressure washer is a specialized tool that shoots out a jet of highly pressurized water to clean surfaces. Water emerges from the washer’s hand wand at a pressure of up to 2,500 PSI (pounds per square inch). This makes pressure washing an excellent way to strip away built-up grime, dirt, and mildew that would otherwise be tough to remove with a regular hose.

Pressure washing concrete

Pressure washing is an extremely effective cleaning technique, but the powerful strength of the water can easily damage certain surfaces. It’s not unheard of for a pressure washer to strip away paint, damage shingles, dent siding, and destroy screens. That’s why pressure washing is only recommended for specific surfaces that are durable enough to withstand the highly pressurized water.

Use pressure washing for surfaces like:

  1. Concrete driveways and sidewalks
  2. Brick paver patios
  3. Brick or stone siding

What is Soft Washing?
Soft washing is another popular cleaning method used on exterior surfaces. Instead of relying on highly pressurized water to get the job done, soft washing uses chemicals. Although the specific type of detergent formula varies between brands, they’re generally not considered hazardous to your property or the environment. The chemicals are sprayed out of the hand wand at a pressure of less than 1,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), which makes soft washing much safer for more delicate surfaces.

soft washing wood exterior
Soft washing should be used on surfaces like:

  1. Wood siding
  2. Window screens
  3. Screened-in porches
  4. Cedar shake siding or roofing

As you can see, both pressure washing and soft washing are excellent options for cleaning the exterior of your home. You should base your decision on planning ahead and choosing the right option for the surface you want to clean. If in doubt, your best bet is to consult with a pressure washing company in your area.