Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It is surprising just how dirty the siding, wood or brick of your house can get throughout the course of a year. Some of the most common stains include mud or dirt, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains can give any house an unkempt, messy look, regardless of whether you invest time, money and care into it.

Some of these materials, like dirt or mud, are harmless, but algae and mildew can be destructive to your health and your house. They create allergens and bacteria that can affect your family, and some, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing and enter into your house.

As a professional pressure washing company in Denton, we recommend you have your home’s exterior cleaned once a year. Spring is the most common time to do an extreme home exterior cleaning, but you can really do it any time throughout the year so long as the weather allows.


All of the following home 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, brick and painted home surfaces. Now, homeowners 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 just that. Let’s go over the features of each to help you judge which one is the right choice for your house.


The soft wash process uses much less pressure than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The maximum water pressure used in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lighter spray is produced from a nozzle with a wider spray setting, only slightly more powerful than your standard backyard garden hose.

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

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

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

Soft washing provides the advantage of reaching into cracks and crevices to kill unseen organisms, meaning that its effects can last a lot longer than traditional pressure washing.


Pressure washing has long been the standard for cleaning home exterior surfaces. It is extremely effective and fast, which is why many home and business owners prefer it.

This cleaning process uses water only, no chemicals, to eliminate stains and organisms from home exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a significant plus 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 owners frequently choose pressure washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, walkways and patio furniture because it is quick, more efficient and cost-effective.

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

One negative about pressure washing is that the water can sometimes be too powerful and can damage the surfaces you want to clean. Pressure washing is strong enough to cut grooves into wood and plastic, and it can push into cracks, breaking off chunks of stone or brick.


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

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

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

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

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

Pressure washing is the best method for difficult stains, and hard surfaces like concrete, brick and stone. Pressure washing is the recommended process for commercial surfaces. A local pressure washing company in Denton might use a mixture of chemicals and water pressure to clean offf problematic stains, but they should tell you if they are going to be using chemicals during your estimate.

It can also be used on siding too (and has been for several years) so long as it is done correctly. High water pressure can break off weak or small pieces of the vinyl. A local company that does pressure washing all the time will know how to protect these pieces, but a amateur might 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 pressure of the water can damage these materials and require you to replace your home’s roof much earlier than expected.

Deciding between pressure washing or soft washing is best left for a pressure washing company. Which method is right for your house? Give Denton Pressure Washing a call at 940-204-5211 and we will send a trained technician over to take a look!