Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s amazing how dirty the siding, wood or brick of your house can get over a year. Some of the most typical stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These things can give any house an unkempt, uncared for appearance, regardless of whether you invest time and care into it.

Some of these materials, like dirt or mud, don’t do much harm, but algae and mold can be damaging to your health and to your house. These contaminants create allergens and bacteria that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can even grow underneath vinyl or roofing and enter your house.

As a professional pressure washing company in Plano, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. The spring season is the most popular time to do an extreme home exterior cleaning, but you can do it any time so long as the weather allows.


All of the following surfaces need to be pressure washed from time to time:

• Vinyl siding
• Rock and stone
• Brick
• Concrete and asphalt

Power washing used to be the only option to thoroughly clean vinyl, brick and painted surfaces. Now, homeowners in Plano have a second option for exterior house cleaning: soft washing.

As the names imply, one method is much gentler than the other one, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s cover the features of each to help you judge which is best for your house.


The soft wash method uses less pressure than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The highest water pressure in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lower spray is generated from a nozzle with a wider spray setting, only slightly more powerful than a backyard hose.

Soft washing uses a mixture of detergent, bleach and water in combination to remove organic matter and debris from your home, roof and other outdoor surfaces. The solution used in a soft washing process can include algaecides and residual inhibitors which will stop further growth of these organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not water pressure, are responsible for cleaning the exterior surfaces, no powerful water pressure is needed. This means that soft washing should be used for more delicate surfaces that might otherwise be damaged by more powerful pressure washing.

The soft wash solution is sometimes washed off, but not every time. This just depends on the type of solution is used, if there is plant or animal life that can be impacted by the solution runoff, and if the chemicals are powerful enough to damage surfaces over time.

Soft washing offers the distinct advantage of reaching down into cracks to eliminate even unseen organisms, meaning that its effects can last longer than standard pressure washing.


Pressure washing has long been the standard for cleaning exterior surfaces. It is extremely effective and efficient, which is why a lot of home and business owners prefer it over soft washing.

This particular cleaning method uses water only, no chemicals, to remove stains and mold from exterior surfaces. The use of plain water is a significant advantage to home owners who don’t want to use chemicals, either for the sake of the environment or to avoid zoning violations.

The pressure washing process can be used on a lot of different materials. Home and business owners prefer pressure washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, sidewalks and patio furniture because it is quick, more efficient and affordable.

Pressure washing needs anywhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water being sprayed out from a small nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic materials are sprayed from your home’s exterior surface, preventing their growth and restoring the curb appeal of your house.

One drawback to pressure washing is that the water can sometimes be too powerful and lead to damaging the surfaces you’re attempting to clean. Pressure washing is powerful enough to put grooves into wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off chunks of stone or brick.


The ultimate question for most homeowners is, “Is pressure washing or soft washing better?”

Both soft washing and pressure washing methods are good choices for your home’s exterior, as well as sidewalks, driveways and more. Both of these cleaning systems can be performed by a professional company – and honestly, are more correctly done when left to the pros.

Soft washing is perfect for outdoor toys, yard tools, shingle roofs, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is less likely to damage wood and plastic. It’s also a safe choice for vinyl siding.

It kills organisms that are present on the exterior surface, and it prevents future growth for longer than pressure washing can.

A problem with soft washing is that it can kill plants underneath the surface that you’re cleaning. Remember to spray them down with water right before putting the soft wash chemicals on your house or roof, and it shouldn’t be an issue.

Pressure washing is considered the recommended choice for severe stains, and harder surfaces like asphalt, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the recommended choice for commercial surfaces. A professional pressure washing company in Plano might use a mix of detergents and water pressure to remove problematic stains, but they should tell you if they will be spraying chemicals during your estimate.

It can also be used for siding too (and has been for decades) so long as it is done carefully. High water pressure can break weak or small pieces of vinyl. A company that does pressure washing often will know how to protect these pieces, but a DIYer could do a lot of damage.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for pressure washing if you have slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The high pressure of the water might damage these materials and require you to replace your roof a lot faster than expected.

Choosing between soft washing or pressure washing is best left for a pressure washing company. Which process is right for your house? Give Plano Pressure Washing a call at 214-416-9531 and we’ll send a trained technician over to take a look!

Call Now Button