soft washing vs pressure washing
Exterior House Cleaning – Soft Wash vs Pressure Wash

Soft Wash vs Pressure Wash

It is universally understood and accepted that the interior of a house needs to be cleaned. It caters to a more comfortable and healthier living experience. But what about the outside of your house? Many people have never even thought about this nor heard of it. Is that a thing? Yes, it most definitely is.

It is just as important to clean the outside of your house as it is to clean the inside. Exposure to the varying weather conditions result in dirt, the growth of molds, algae and general discoloration of the outside of your house. This prolonged exposure can lead to premature breakdown of the material that is used to build your house, therefore shortening its lifespan.

Washing the outside of your house, at least once per year, removes contaminants and leaves your house with a fresh new look and feel. It is a truly transformative procedure when a house is properly washed.

There are two types of external house washing. They are soft wash and pressure wash.

Soft Wash

Soft wash is so named due to the low pressure of the force of the water used to wash the house. The pressure of the water used to perform soft wash is usually less than 1000 psi. This is more of a rinsing pressure and not able to cut dirt by itself. That is why chemicals are needed in the process of soft washing. Chemicals have to be applied to the area being washed and then left to soak for approximately five minutes. This gives the chemicals enough time to react with the contaminants and lift them from the surface. This is then rinsed off with clean water. Low pressure steam and/or hot water may also be utilized in this procedure if necessary.

Soft Washing Advantages

As long as the correct chemicals are chosen based on the material being washed, and the correct portions are used, soft washing is safe for your surfaces. It is also less time consuming and requires less effort as the chemical reaction does most of the work. Soft washing is ideal for surfaces that may become scarred, stripped or otherwise damaged by high pressure. Surfaces such as wood, asphalt shingles and most painted surfaces are recommended to be soft washed.

Soft Washing Disadvantages

Soft washing does require chemicals. This can be a disadvantage as additional knowledge is needed to choose the right chemicals and to know the proper mixing and application procedures. It also requires additional personal protective equipment to work with chemicals, no matter how safe they are. There is also the additional risk of the chemicals damaging plants that are exposed to them. That is why proper assessment of the job is needed to make the right recommendations.

Pressure Wash

Pressure washing is usually done with water pressure exceeding 2000 psi. This makes use of the force of the water to strip contaminants. Little or no chemicals are needed for this procedure. All that is required is the close proximity of the pressure nozzle to the area being washed and an appropriate angle. High pressure hot water and/or steam may also be utilized in this procedure to increase the cleanability of the area. Pressure washing is normally used on hard surfaces such as concrete walls and brick.

Pressure Washing Advantages

This method uses little to no chemicals. It is therefore safer for plant life that are in close proximity. It also gives a more thorough clean to tougher surfaces that are not at a risk of being damaged by the pressure. This method does not require as much expertise because there is usually no need for chemicals.

pressure washing driveway
Pressure washing is the correct method for driveway cleaning
Typical results from pressure washing pavers

Pressure Washing Disadvantages

Because of the high pressure with which the water contacts the surfaces, pressure washing can cause significant physical damage. Extra caution therefore has to be taken as to which surfaces should be pressure washed. It also requires more physical effort and takes a longer time to complete. This is due to the fact that every area on the surface has to be contacted evenly by the pressure so as to not leave uneven patches of clean areas. Pressure washing is also more energy consuming in regard to the equipment as more energy is required to pressurize the water.

pressure washing wall damage
Pressure washing can damage paint as shown in this photo. Care needs to be taken to use the correct method – soft washing is recommended in this instance
Also as shown in this photo


There are a couple things that have to be taken into consideration when deciding between soft wash and pressure wash for the exterior of your house. There is a time and a place for both methods. Why not leave the headache to the professionals?

At Hervey Bay & Maryborough Cleaning Services, we specialize in both soft washing and pressure washing. Contact us today for a no-obligation quotation of our affordable cleaning services. Our experts will do a professional assessment and make the necessary recommendations for all your cleaning needs. Your satisfaction is our guarantee.

4 thoughts on “Exterior House Cleaning – Soft Wash vs Pressure Wash”

  1. Thank you for reminding me that it is also important to clean the exterior of our house and not just focus on the interior. I’ve asked my husband several times to help me clean our exterior walls including our siding but he’s always busy and I can’t do it by myself. It might be a good idea to hire professionals who offer house power washing services instead.

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