Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing vs. Power Washing

Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing vs. Power Washing

Summer is the perfect time to work on your exterior home projects, like cleaning your siding and restoring your patios. But how do you know what type of washing works best for all of your different exterior surfaces? 

Clean ‘N Seal has your back with this useful guide about soft, pressure, and power washing and how to use them professionally around your home and business. 

Soft Washing

Soft washing, or house washing as it’s sometimes called, is almost the same as pressure washing. It even requires the same professional equipment, but a key difference matters depending on your exterior surface.

All About Pressure

While utilizing modified pressure washing equipment, soft washing uses a lot less pressure than pressure washing. When spraying on cleaning applications and rinsing, soft washing requires no more than 500 PSI (pounds per square inch). 

The lower pressure allows you to spray environmentally friendly cleaning solutions on surfaces that can grow algae, mold, and mildew to effectively remove them while at the same time not damage your more delicate surfaces. 

A Gentler Clean for Exteriors

Soft washing is the best solution for those surfaces that shouldn’t be blasted with hot water or high pressure but still need to clean off dirt, grime, and living organisms. 

Exterior surfaces it works best on include:

  • Vinyl siding

  • Cedar shake siding

  • Wood panel siding

  • Stucco

  • Most roofing materials

  • Wood decks and wood outdoor furniture

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is what most people think of when cleaning exteriors. It is the most effective way to clean most outdoor surfaces, and it is remarkably satisfying to watch!

High-Pressure Clean

Pressure washing cleans using highly compressed water that blasts away grime from surfaces. The pressure setting has a wide range of 1,500 to 4,000 PSI, which can be dangerous if not used by a professional. It can also damage some exterior surfaces if you’re not careful.

When used correctly, pressure washing is great for removing debris, dirt, and grime stuck on harder surfaces. Materials with grooves where dirt can collect are perfect for pressure washing, as are large areas with a lot of square footage, like patios around shopping centers, historic downtown brick walkways, or other commercial areas.

Surfaces to Pressure Wash

The general rule of thumb for pressure washing is to use it on stone, concrete, and other hard surfaces. With the right setting and a professional hand, it can be used on wood surfaces to remove old paint or stain. 

Here are other places where pressure washing works best:

  • Paver walkways and patios

  • Brick sidewalks

  • Stone walkways

  • Concrete driveways

  • Paved pool decks

  • Some patio furniture

Power Washing

Then there is power washing. Most people confuse pressure and power washing because they are so similar; however, there is a crucial distinction between them that might make the difference between cleaning your exteriors and destroying them. 

Hot Water Washing

Like pressure washing, power washing uses high pressure to blast away dirt, grime, and stains from exterior surfaces. But power washing turns up the heat and uses hot water steam pressure to lift and wash away even the toughest stains. 

Power washing equipment is similar to pressure washing except for the additional heating element. And in a professional’s hands, it is one of the most effective ways to clean stubborn eyesores from concrete, like chewing gum, old paint, mold, grease stains, and weeds. 

Heavy-Duty Cleaner

When nothing else is getting the job done, power washing usually does the trick. Use it for the really in-ground stains and sticky residues or large buildups of mold, mildew, algae, or weeds that don’t come off with other forms of cleaning. 

Since power washing is especially powerful and has the potential to harm or even destroy some exterior surfaces (like siding and even some masonry), we don’t recommend homeowners use it themselves. Hire a professional to apply the right amount of heat and pressure to do the job right. 

Power washing is best used in these situations: 

  • Large-scale commercial cleaning projects.

  • Sanitizing industrial sites.

  • Large concrete driveways or patios.

  • Use sparingly for especially hard-to-remove stains and growing things.

Get a Free Estimate on Your Soft, Pressure, or Power Washing Project!

When you’re ready to clean your walkways and house with state-of-the-art equipment, call Clean ‘N Seal for a free estimate! Our complete paver and concrete restoration process brings back the beauty of your exterior surfaces. 

Contact us today at 952.393.9588 or connect with us online.