Soft Washing vs Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s surprising just how dirty the exterior of your house can get during a year. Some of the most typical stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains can give any house an unkempt, uncared for look, regardless of if you invest a lot of time, money and maintenance into it.

Some materials, like dirt or mud, are harmless, but algae and mildew can be harmful to your health and your house. They produce allergens that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow directly underneath vinyl or roofing and enter into your house.

As a professional power washing company in Savannah, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once a year. The spring season is the most popular time of the year to do an intense home cleaning, but you can do it any time throughout the year as long as the weather allows.


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

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

Power washing used to be the only option to properly clean vinyl siding, brick and painted home surfaces. Now in 2021, homeowners have a second option for exterior house cleaning: soft washing.

As the names suggest, one method is much gentler than the other one, but there’s a little more to it than just that. Let’s review the features of each method to help you decide which is best for your house.


The soft wash method uses much less power than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The maximum water pressure 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 a standard backyard garden hose.

Soft washing uses a mixture of detergent, 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 types of organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not water pressure, are key to cleaning the surfaces, no powerful water pressure is needed. This means that soft washing can be used for more delicate surfaces that could 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 in the process, if there is plant or animal life that could be impacted by the solution runoff, and if the chemicals are strong enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing provides the advantage of getting into small cracks to eliminate unseen bacteria, meaning that its results can last a lot longer than standard power washing.


Pressure washing has always been the standard for cleaning home exterior surfaces. It is extremely effective and fast, which is why most home and business owners still prefer it over soft washing.

This cleaning method uses water only, there are no chemicals, to get rid of stains and organisms from home exterior surfaces. The use of plain water is a major advantage to property owners who don’t want to use chemicals, whether for the sake of the environment or to avoid zoning violations.

It can be used on a lot of different materials. Home and business owners frequently choose power washing for cleaning their driveway, patio, decks, sidewalks and patio furniture because it is quick, more efficient and affordable.

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

One drawback to power washing is that the water is sometimes too powerful and lead to damaging the surfaces you want to clean. Pressure washing is strong enough to put grooves in 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 are good choices for your home’s exterior, as well as sidewalks, driveways and more. Both cleaning systems can be performed by a professional – and honestly, are more correctly done when left to the pros.

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

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

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

Pressure washing is considered the best choice for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like concrete, brick and stone. Pressure washing is the recommended choice for commercial surfaces. A professional pressure washing company in Savannah may use a combination of detergents and water pressure to get rid of tough stains, but they should let you know if they will be using chemicals after your estimate.

It can also be used for siding as well (and has been for several years) as long as it is done safely. High water pressure can break fragile or smaller pieces of vinyl. A company that does power washing often are going to know how to protect weak pieces, but a first-timer could do a lot of harm.

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

Deciding between soft washing or power washing is best left for a professional pressure washing company. Which process is right for your house? Give Savannah Pressure WashTech a call at 912-207-9251 and we’ll send an experienced technician over to take a look!

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