Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It is amazing just 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 things can give any home an unkempt, uncared for look, regardless of if you invest time and maintenance into it.

Some of these materials, like dirt, are harmless, but algae and mildew can be destructive to both your health and to your home. They produce allergens and bacteria that can affect your family, and some, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter into your home.

As a professional pressure washing service in Pompano Beach, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. The spring season is typically the most popular time of the year to do an extreme home cleaning, but you can do it any time as long as the weather permits.


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

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

Power washing used to be the only way to properly clean vinyl, brick and painted home surfaces. Now, homeowners in Pompano Beach have another option for exterior home cleaning: soft washing.

As the names suggest, one method is a lot gentler than the other, but there’s a little more to it than just that. Let’s look at the features of each method to help you determine which one is best for your home.


The soft wash system uses less pressure 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 option, only slightly more powerful than a backyard hose.

Soft washing uses a mixture of detergent, bleach and water in combination to eliminate organic matter from your home, roof and other surfaces. The cleaning solution used in a soft washing system can include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help prevent further growth of these types of organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not pressure, are responsible for cleaning the surfaces, no powerful water is required. This means that soft washing can be used for more delicate surfaces that could otherwise be harmed by harsher 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 in the process, if there’s plant or animal life that can be affected by the runoff, and if the solution itself is strong enough to damage surfaces over time.

Soft washing provides the distinct advantage of reaching down into small cracks to eliminate unseen organisms, meaning that its results can last a lot longer than pressure washing.


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

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

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

Pressure washing uses anywhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water being sprayed out of a tiny nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic stains are sprayed from your home’s surface, prohibiting their growth and restoring the curb appeal of your home.

One negative about pressure washing is that the water is sometimes too powerful and can damage the surfaces of your home you want to clean. Pressure washing is strong enough to put grooves into wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off pieces of brick or stone.


The ultimate question for homeowners is, “Is pressure washing or soft washing better?”

Both soft washing and pressure washing methods are good for your home’s exterior, including sidewalks, driveways and more. Both of these cleaning systems can be performed by a professional – and honestly, are more correctly done when left to the pros.

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

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

A problem with soft washing is that it can kill plants underneath the surface that you’re cleaning. Remember to spray them down with water right before applying the soft wash solution on your home or roof, and it probably shouldn’t be an issue.

Pressure washing is the best method for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like concrete, brick and stone. Pressure washing is the recommended method for commercial properties. A professional pressure washing service in Pompano Beach may use a mixture of chemicals and water pressure to eliminate problematic stains, but they need to let you know if they will be spraying chemicals after your estimate.

It can be used on siding too (and has been for decades) as long as it is done safely. Powerful water pressure can damage fragile or small pieces of vinyl. A service that does pressure washing often are going to know how to protect weak areas, but a first-timer can do a lot of damage.

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

Deciding between pressure washing or soft washing is best left for a professional pressure washing service. Which process is right for your home? Give Pompano Beach Pressure Washing a call at 954-231-0747 and we will send an experienced technician over to take a look!