soft washing

Soft Washing vs Pressure Washing: What’s the Difference?

By Tyler Kirk | Softwashing

A professional pressure washing can achieve some really dramatic results. Watching that layer of dirt wash away is a pretty satisfying experience. Where regular cleaning and maintenance falls short, only pressure washing can take care of built-up grime.

While researching cleaning companies, you may come across services advertised as power washing, pressure washing, and soft washing. If you don't know the differences between these terms, then don't worry, you're not alone.

The two most common services requested are pressure washing and soft washing, so we'll look at them closer. Let's learn what these services are all about.

Power Washing

Pressure washing and power washing sound like the same thing, but there are a few distinctions. Power washing utilizes the same idea of blasting water at a high pressure, only with hot water. This sets power washing apart because the hot water not only acts to sanitize surfaces, it is also superior at breaking down organic materials.

Power washing machines are usually heavier duty machines, as well. You can't acquire a professional-strength power washer, nor should you. These are extremely dangerous to you and your property without training.

Power washing is mainly for outdoor cleaning of driveways, stone walls, and rough concrete. They are more commonly seen in commercial and industrial settings.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is an extremely effective home solution to cleaning various surfaces of the home. Pressure washers don't heat up water. However, the pressures are still high enough to be dangerous. Amateurs often learn the hard way about the cutting power of a pressure washer.

Water is being pushed out at such a high rate, it can cut through a finger to the bone in a split-second. It can also do stuff like carve a pumpkin or descale a fish.

Special care must also be taken when pressure washing home sidings. You need to be at the correct distance to avoid wearing down vinyl sidings, wood shingles, and so forth.

Pressure washing is meant for walking surfaces, decks, stone pathways, patio furniture, and so forth. Anything that is hard, but has deep grooves that allow dirt to be embedded is a great candidate for pressure washing.

Soft Washing

Now, you may be thinking that soft washing has nothing to do with pressure washing. Ironically, pressure washers are used to soft wash, but they are modified to lower the PSI, or pressure per square inch.

Soft washing is done using less than 500 PSI for rinsing or cleaning application. The tip of the pressure washer is replaced with one that widens the spray, dropping the point of pressure. On top of this, soft washing utilizes special cleaning solutions to break down dirt and organisms living on surfaces.

These cleaning solutions are eco-friendly and will not strip protective coatings on your home's exterior. Soft washing methods are preferred in a variety of situations over pressure washing.

Soft washing is recommended for soft surfaces, such as:

  • Cedar shake siding
  • Wood panel siding
  • Outdoor rooted plants
  • Stucco and coquina
  • Outdoor wood furniture
  • Screens, enclosures, and lanais
  • Vinyl siding

Health Benefits of Professional Washing

Giving your home or business a deep cleaning is important, not just for aesthetics. Your health is impacted by the long-term build-up of dirt, mold, pollen, algae, and decaying matter. All that stuff piles up over time in between cracks, underneath sidings, around stones, and on patio furniture.

All these contaminants embed themselves into your exterior surfaces where the garden hose can't penetrate. Standard cleaning soaps don't do enough, either. The end result is you getting sick more often and not even realizing the source.

This is why investing in a professional cleaner is worth every penny.

When Should You Pressure/Soft Wash?

The type of washing is going to depend on how your home is built, the materials used, and its surroundings. Typically, you'll be getting one or the other done to your home, that is, unless you're getting your entire home done top to bottom. In that case, you're going to want a soft wash for the roof, windows, and sidings.

The job would need to be broken into two phases. The first phase would be pressure washing all the hard surfaces. The second phase of soft washing requires the changing out of cleaning solution and nozzle for the rest of the home.

Can You Rent a Machine to DIY?

The short answer is "yes." The question that should be asked is "should you?" Pressure washers can be rented at home supply stores, but, again, they require care operation. As for soft washing by yourself, you run into similar hazards with no experience.

You'll need to use the right chemicals, equipment, and have the nozzle that allows you to soft wash. These chemicals are very strong, so you have to use the correct dilution to get results without leaving a film or damage to the surface.

We know there are some very adamant DIY'ers out there who live for the challenge and want to save money on home projects. We ask you to reconsider this project and hire a professional. You'll get it done faster, like-new restorations, and you won't risk property damage.

Get it Clean the First Time

Cleaning the outside of a home or business is a big job. You can easily spend a whole week trying to tackle it alone. Throw in some bad weather and the sun's unrelenting rays and you have a recipe for frustration.

It's much harder to focus on what you're doing, especially if it's with something like soft washing or pressure washing. That's when mistakes are made, which can mean bad news for you or your wallet.

Take a break, let the professionals handle all the outside cleaning and detailing. At Labor Panes, we pride ourselves on being perfectionists. We offer a wide range of services, including a comprehensive window cleaning offering.

Just plug in your zip code and get a quote for the quickest service in your area.

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They arrived on time and completed cleaning the gutters in a safe and thorough manner. We have hired for them to wash our driveway and to clean outside windows since. These people are sharp and worthy of your consideration. They are really good.

Vincent D.Mount Pleasant, SC

The guys were efficient, arrived early and were very professional. They cleaned the gutters, blew leaves off the roof, patio and driveway. A great job!!

Judy C.North Charleston, SC

They cleaned my windows inside and out and pressure washed some of our decks. Nate was very professional and responded to my request quickly. His crew did a great job and they were all polite and hard workers.

Allison B.Sullivan's Island, SC

This was an unbelievably good experience with this company. Nate Van Valkenburg and his crew were the ultimate professionals. Came on time. Took off their shoes when they came in the house.Did all the inside of the windows at one time, so I could go run errands. Washed part of garage even though that was not part of the deal. And they cleaned up after they were through. You could not ASK for a better experience, better service and nicer people.

Roger C.Charleston, SC

We could not be more thrilled with how beautiful our house now looks, and with how professional the team was.

Suzy F.Clemmons, NC

Fence had mold and mildew growth and my siding needed pressure washing including my screen patio area. Pete and the crew arrived on time and they did a superior job on my windows as well.

Amos P.Winston-Salem, NC

Great experience. I will use them again and have already recommended them to family who also used them for window cleaning and were thrilled. Great value and care of my belongings while servicing my home.

Jerry B.Kernersville, NC

Cleaned windows inside and out and pressure washed. Great work. Will call next year.

Maria M.Advance, NC

The quality was excellent. The owner and his team were very polite, professional and did an excellent job.

Alison D.Winston-Salem, NC

Wow - three young pros, who know what they are doing, work efficiently, make sure nothing else is touched and do a wonderful job in no time. They were punctual, willing to change the dates when it seemed like it was going to rain.

Bob B.Winnabow, NC

Great job! I'd use them again in a heartbeat!

Jessica B.Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Great. They showed up on time in both the fall and spring. There was no mess. I thought the gutter mess would be on my yard or deck, but that was not the case. Everything was very clean.

Marie J.Bolivia, NC

Went excellent. Power washed the house and drive. Extremely professional, excellent job.

Garret P.Leland, NC

The gentleman than owns the business is very responsive and professional. The workers showed up on time. They were easy to work with. Cleaned our windows and gutters. They were very agreeable and worked quickly and did an excellent job.

Greg H.Wilmington, NC

Excellent service. Personable workers. Prompt communication. Cleaned windows and washed our siding. Came out great. Would use again.

Lynette C.Southport, NC

Great, they arrived on time and were very courteous. They did the work quickly and effectively. The house looks great and there was no mess left behind. Great Experience!

Chris T.Raleigh, NC

The crew was right on time. Called ahead to advise us of their arrival time. Went right to work. Used ladders to clean windows which we liked. They did a very good job and we shall have them come back in the future.

Mary J.Raleigh, NC

Excellent Service. Everyone that I had contact with was courteous and professional. Highly recommend them.

Mary D.Raleigh, NC

Loved them. Prompt, good communication and professional. Asked them to replace some bulbs in my motion sensors. Cleaned all my gutters and I have a pretty big home. didn't try and charge me extra. Yes, I'd definitely recommend them.

Jane L.Raleigh, NC

It is a large house with a large number of windows. They were aces! I've never seen anything like them. The team was made up of 4 or 5 guys. They worked well together. It was excellent work! They were super professional. I will be using them again. It took them a day and a half to do the work.

Derek B.Cornelius, NC

Very pleased with the results. Even though they were running behind slightly, i received a call to let me know that morning. I had a rust stain they were able to remove which was a huge relief as it looked really bad. My gutters are very high and they I were able to reach them. I will plan on using them for other projects.

John P.Cornelius, NC

Cleaning window inside and outside and power washing window sills and gutter cleaning. They were nice and respectful of my plants. I will definitely have them back next year.

Patricia F.Mooresville, NC

Cleaned all gutters. Did a good job.

James L.Concord, NC

They were super-professional and did a great job, including pointing out a repair we need in one gutter. They also did our windows and will definitely use them again in the future as I was very impressed by their work.

Staci R.Denver, NC

Very professional. Provided written quote, showed up on time, he and his crew did the work the following day. No issues.

Vicky T.Summerfield, NC

My husband and I cannot say enough nice things about their diligent work ethic. The results of their labor have made us both very happy and we told everyone we know about him and his company. The crews commitment to our satisfaction made a great impression on us.

Heather K.Greensboro, NC

Very well. Used them previously for pressure washing the entire house, including deck areas. Very professional and hard working. Highly recommend Pete and his crew.

Jerry B.Oak Ridge, NC

Excellent. Took his time to ensure that the job was done right!

Chuck Y.Greensboro, NC

Very well, workers were polite and respectful. Did a great job.

Sean M.Durham, NC

Team did great. punctual answered email immediately. I bought a coupon deal and then added in additional windows. I have high peaks on my house and the team did a great job of getting all windows spotless!

Angela K.Hillsborough, NC

Had our house, deck and driveway powerwashed and our windows cleaned. Everything was great.

Tim B.Apex, NC

Windows inside and out and gutters...excellent job.

Ellen J.Chapel Hill, NC

I have used this company for several years to clean my gutters and do some power washing. They always do a good job and clean up after themselves.

Lynn K.Waxhaw, NC

Came promptly during scheduled appointment and cleaned gutters and replace security light bulbs. Very efficient. Recommend.

Ed C.Matthews, NC

They showed up on time and cleaned the windows as requested. They were very polite and nice young men.

Cathy S.Fort Mill, SC

Great service, very responsive. Washed off the mildew from our siding. Will use next year.

Patricia B.Belmont, NC

Labor Panes have cleaned our gutters and windows for years now. Their people are always courteous and professional. They arrived on time, cleaned the gutters removing all of the debris, and did their work quickly.

Tom C.Charlotte, NC

I highly recommend Tyler and his company Labor Panes (Now, The Go To Crew). He called and came out to give me an estimate the following day. Tyler and his workmen are extremely professional and pleasant to be around. Everything glistens! My chandeliers have never looked so good! I will definitely use them again....

Susan P.Charlotte, NC

They are the most professional window cleaners I’ve ever used. Everything was put back the same way it was before they started the job. Each crew that has been to my home takes so much pride in their work and they do such a great job. They are respectful, professional and overall just awesome....

Dana C.Charlotte, NC

Labor Panes cleaned our gutters. They did good work and were thorough. Very friendly and they communicated exactly what they would be doing. When there was a delay to the originally scheduled service, they were quick and fair with rescheduling.

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