Difference Between Pressure Washing, Soft Washing, and Power Washing

September 21, 2023

You might think that washing the exterior of your home is as simple as grabbing a power washer and spraying away, but did you know that there is a difference between power washing, pressure washing and soft washing? It’s important to learn about each type and when is the most appropriate time to use it or what is the most appropriate surface to use it on in order to eliminate the risk of any damage or complications.

The Difference Between Pressure Washing, Soft Washing, and Power Washing

Both pressure washing and power washing work using high pressurized water to remove dirt, debris, algae, and any other material that might be coating hard surfaces. Where they differ is power washing uses heat, whereas pressure washing does not. Although both techniques are great, the addition of heat can help to remove tough stains more easily from hard surfaces and is better equipped at removing stuck materials; however, the addition of heat can also more easily cause damage to the surface you’re cleaning, so greater caution should take place when power washing.


Soft washing is different from pressure washing and power washing in a few ways. First of all, and most obviously given the name, soft washing uses a softer, lower PSI nozzle to reduce pressure or force. This way, more delicate surfaces aren’t at as high of a risk for damage. Secondly, what makes soft washing different from the other two is the use of a chemical cleaning agent in the water to help the job.

How Do I Know Which Technique Is Best for My Home?

Power washing

With the combination of high temperature and pressure, power washing can remove mold, salt and mildew and can even remove sticky things like chewing gum on sidewalks or grease stains on driveways. It’s good for those stubborn stains and areas and can be used effectively on the durable material of your home’s exterior.


Pressure Washing

Pressure washing, on the other hand, is typically used to clean away mud, dust, algae, and other types of substances on surfaces. Unfortunately, because of the lack of hot water, a pressure washer is only good for surface grime. They do, however, typically come with different nozzle heads for different jobs. Although the pressure washer doesn’t include heat, it is still the highest intensity technique and is great for solid surfaces like fences, stone, tile, and concrete. Even your roof could be pressure washed with the right settings. Just avoid pressure washing painted materials, softer wood like wicker or bamboo, and anything porous, fragile or flexible.


Soft Washing

This is a great choice for many surfaces, especially those that don’t fare well against high pressure and require something gentler to prevent damage. In addition, the added cleaning agent tackles difficult materials, making the job easier. This technique is ideal for delicate surfaces like painted singing, brick, masonry, vinyl, aluminum, stone, stucco and fiber board. You can even clean windows through soft washing since it’s safe for seals and glass. The only downside to soft washing is the process of cleaning may be slower and you may not be able to remove certain stains and grime. Some solutions that can be used to help clean the surfaces include bleach, surfactants, neutralizers and odor removers.


If you think your home is in need of one of these services, give us a call and we can help you save time, money, energy and hassle to make sure your home is properly maintained and free of harmful substances. As
professionals, we can properly assess all parts of your home to ensure no damage is done during the cleaning process and to ensure complete removal of dirt, debris and other substances.


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