Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s shocking how dirty the siding, wood or brick of your house can get during the course of a year. Some of the most common stains include mud or dirt, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains will give your house an unkempt, messy appearance, even though you invest a lot of time, money and care into it.

Some materials, like dirt, don’t do much harm, but algae and mildew can be damaging to your health and your house. They create allergens and bacteria that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter your house.

As a professional power washing service in Fort Worth, we recommend you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. Spring is typically the most common time to do an extreme home exterior washing, but you can do it any time throughout the year as long as the weather permits.


All of the following surfaces need to be cleaned from time to time:

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

Power washing used to be the only way to thoroughly clean vinyl, brick and painted surfaces. Now, homeowners in Fort Worth have another 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 that. Let’s cover the features of each to help you determine which is best for your house.


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

Soft washing uses a mixture of soap, bleach and water in some combination to remove organic matter from your home, roof and other outdoor surfaces. The solution used in a soft washing system can include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help deter further growth of these organisms in the future.

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

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 runoff, and if the solution itself is powerful enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing offers the advantage of reaching down into small cracks to eliminate unseen organisms, meaning that its effects can last longer than traditional power washing.


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

This particular cleaning process uses water only, no chemicals, to eliminate stains and mildew from exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a big advantage to home owners who don’t want to use chemicals, whether 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 choose power washing for cleaning their driveway, patio, 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 being sprayed out of a tiny nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic materials are blasted from your home’s exterior surface, prohibiting their growth and restoring the appearance of your house.

One negative about power washing is that the water is sometimes too powerful and lead to damaging the surfaces you’re attempting to clean. Pressure washing is powerful enough to put grooves into wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off chunks of stone or brick.


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 company – and truthfully, are more effectively done when left to the experts.

Soft washing is great for outdoor toys, gardening equipment, 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 eliminates organisms currently present on the exterior surface, and it stops future growth for longer than power washing can.

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

Pressure washing is the recommended choice for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like concrete, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the recommended process for commercial surfaces. A local pressure washing service in Fort Worth may use a combination of detergents and water pressure to get rid of difficult stains, but they need to let you know if they are going to be spraying chemicals after your estimate.

It can also be used for siding too (and has been for several years) as long as it is done carefully. High water pressure can break off fragile or smaller pieces of the vinyl. A local company that does power washing all the time will know how to protect fragile areas, but a DIYer 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 extreme pressure of the water could ruin these materials and cause you to replace your roof a lot faster than expected.

Deciding between soft washing or power washing is best left for a pressure washing service. Which process is right for your house? Give PRO Fort Worth Pressure Washing a call at 817-242-9014 and we will send an experienced technician over to take a look!