Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It is shocking how dirty the outside of your home can get during the course of a year. Some of the most typical stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These stains will give your home an unkempt, messy look, even though you invest time and care into it.

Some materials, like dirt, are harmless, but algae and mold can be harmful to both your health and your home. These contaminants create allergens that can impact your family, and some, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter your home.

As a professional power washing service in Lewisville, we recommend you have your home’s exterior cleaned once a year. Spring is typically the most common time of the year to do an extreme home cleaning, but you can do it any time throughout the year so 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

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

As the names imply, one method is much gentler than the other, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s go over the features of each to help you judge which is the right choice for your home.


The soft wash process uses less power than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The highest water pressure used in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lighter spray is created from a nozzle with a wider spray option, only a little more powerful than your typical backyard hose.

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

Because chemicals, not water pressure, are responsible for cleaning the surfaces, no powerful water pressure is required. This means that soft washing can be used for fragile surfaces that might otherwise be damaged by higher pressure washing equipment.

The soft wash solution is sometimes cleaned off, but not every time. This just depends on what type of solution is used, if there is plant or animal life that might be impacted by the solution runoff, and if the solution itself is strong enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing offers the distinct advantage of reaching into cracks and crevices to eliminate unseen bacteria, meaning that its results can last 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 many home and business owners still prefer it over soft washing.

This cleaning process uses water only, no chemicals, to clean off stains and mold from home exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a significant plus to home and business owners that 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 several different materials. Home owners often prefer power washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, walkways and patio furniture because it is fast, efficient and cost-effective.

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

One negative about 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 cut deep grooves into wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off pieces of brick or stone.


The obvious 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 cleaning systems can be performed by a professional – and truthfully, are more effectively done when left to the pros.

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

It removes organisms currently present on the surface, and it stops future growth for longer than power 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 solution on your home or roof, and it shouldn’t be an issue.

Pressure washing is considered the best method for severe stains, and hard surfaces like asphalt, brick and stone. Pressure washing is the preferred method for commercial properties. A local pressure washing service in Lewisville might use a mix of chemicals and water pressure to clean offf tough stains, but they should let you know if they will be using chemicals during your estimate.

It can be used for siding as well (and has been for several years) so long as it is done safely. High water pressure can break off weak or smaller pieces of the vinyl. A local company that does power washing often will know how to protect these areas, but a amateur could do a lot of harm.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for power washing if there are slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The high pressure of the water might damage these materials and require you to replace your roof much faster than expected.

Deciding between soft washing or power washing is best left for a professional pressure washing service. Which method is right for your home? Give XTeam Lewisville Pressure Washing a call at 972-433-9886 and we’ll send a trained technician over to take a look!

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