Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s surprising just how dirty the outside of your home can get throughout a year. Some of the most typical stains include mud or dirt, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains can give your home an unkempt, messy look, even though you invest a lot of time and maintenance into it.

Some materials, like dirt or mud, don’t do much harm, but algae and mildew can be harmful to both your health and your home. These contaminants create allergens and bacteria that can affect your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing and enter your home.

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


All of the following surfaces need to be cleaned from time to time:

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

Pressure washing used to be the only way to thoroughly clean vinyl siding, brick and painted surfaces. Now, homeowners in Garland have a second option for exterior home cleaning: soft washing.

As the names imply, one method is a lot gentler than the other one, but there’s more to it than just that. Let’s cover the features of each to help you decide which one is the right choice for your home.


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

Soft washing uses a mixture of detergent, bleach and water in combination to get rid of organic matter and debris from your home, roof and other surfaces. The mixture used in a soft washing process can also include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help slow further growth of these types of organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not pressure, are responsible for cleaning the exterior surfaces, no powerful water is necessary. This means that soft washing should be used for more delicate surfaces that would otherwise be harmed by higher pressure washing equipment.

The soft wash chemicals are sometimes washed off, but not always. This just depends on what type of chemicals are used in the process, if there is plant or animal life that could be affected by the runoff, and if the chemicals are powerful enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing offers the distinct advantage of reaching into small cracks to eliminate unseen organisms, meaning that its effects can last much longer than power washing.


Pressure washing has long been the gold standard for cleaning exterior surfaces. It is highly effective and quick, which is why most home and business owners still prefer it.

This particular cleaning method uses water only, there are no chemicals, to clean off stains and mold from exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a big plus to home owners who don’t want to use chemicals, whether for the sake of the environment or to avoid zoning violations.

The pressure washing process can be used on many different materials. Home owners frequently choose power washing for cleaning their driveway, patio, decks, walkways and patio furniture because it is quick, more efficient and cost-effective.

Pressure washing requires somewhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water being sprayed out of a tiny nozzle for maximum power. Both organic and inorganic materials are sprayed from your home’s exterior surface, stopping their growth and restoring the appearance of your home.

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


The ultimate question for homeowners is, “Which one should I choose?”

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

Soft washing is excellent for outdoor toys, gardening equipment, roof shingles, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is unlikely to harm wood and plastic. It’s also a safe and smart choice for vinyl siding.

It eliminates organisms currently present on the exterior surface, and it stops future growth for much longer than power washing can.

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

Pressure washing is considered the best choice for severe stains, and hard surfaces like asphalt, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the preferred choice for commercial properties. A local pressure washing company in Garland may use a mixture of detergents and water pressure to remove difficult stains, but they need to tell you if they are going to be using chemicals after your estimate.

It can be used on siding as well (and has been for several years) as long as it is done carefully. Powerful water pressure can damage weak or smaller pieces of the vinyl. A local company that does power washing all the time will know how to protect these areas, but a amateur could do a lot of harm.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for power washing if there are slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The extreme pressure of the water will likely ruin these materials and cause you to replace your roof a lot faster than expected.

Deciding between soft washing or power washing is best left for a professional pressure washing company. Which method is right for your home? Give Garland Pressure Washing a call at 972-284-1597 and we will send a trained technician over to take a look!