Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash Featured Image

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash

If you’re considering professional exterior cleaning, you’ve likely seen plenty of ads for services like power washing, pressure washing, or soft washing while researching companies.

But if you don’t know the difference between each method, it can be harder to make an informed decision.

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash Vs. Power Wash

Soft washing, pressure washing, and power washing are all effective exterior cleaning methods. However, they aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions.

For example, power washers are better-suited for concrete and other hard surfaces, while soft washing is best for siding and shingles.

Keep reading to learn which technique is best for your needs.

Soft Washing

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash On Wood Deck

Soft washing utilizes a modified pressure washer to clean most materials safely. When using a pressure washer, professionals typically reduce the pressure per square inch.

Furthermore, all of this can be completed in a single day and will last considerably longer, with no damage to your home’s exteriors.

Low Temperatures

When it comes to soft wash vs. pressure wash, both methods use the same water temperature. This lowers the risk of harm to yourself or others.

Despite the low temperatures, soft washing still offers long-lasting results due to a combination of high-quality soaps, bleach, and water. This mixture destroys algae and bacteria growth at the source instead of temporarily clearing it.

Up To 500 PSI

Soft washing uses less than 500 PSI for rinsing and cleaning purposes. The pressure washer’s tip is replaced with one that widens the spray and lowers the pressure point.

Professional soft wash services use specialized cleaners to break down grime and organisms that live on surfaces to ensure maximum effectiveness. These solutions are non-toxic and do not strip the outside of your house of protective coatings.

Best For Multi-surface Cleaning

Since soft washing uses a lower PSI, it is much safer than pressure or power washing. This versatility makes soft washing ideal for homeowners. Soft washers are great for cleaning a variety of surfaces, such as:

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

Power Washing

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash Differences On Stone Pathway

Although pressure washing and power washing have similar features, a few differences set them apart.

High Temperatures

Unlike pressure washers, power washers blast filth and grime with high-temperature water. Hot water sanitizes surfaces and breaks down organic buildup very effectively.

High PSI

Power washers are typically large and powerful machines found in industrial or commercial settings.

You can’t purchase a professional-grade power washer at the store — nor should you. Without training, power washers can be exceedingly dangerous to you and your property.

Best For Hard Surfaces

Power washing is ideal for cleaning outdoors, driveways, stone walls, and rough concrete. However, the hot water and high PSI may damage less durable materials.

Pressure Washing

Like power washing, pressure washing is highly effective for cleaning specific surfaces.

Additionally, one of the perks of pressure washing is the ease of renting or purchasing the machine, making it more convenient to clean your driveway or siding.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using a pressure washer on your outdoor surfaces. First, the high PSI can be intimidating for the unprepared. Without training, you may injure yourself or someone else.

Second, if you try DIY pressure washing on your siding, you could accidentally blow water underneath the overhangs and into your soffit. This risks damaging your attic wet and soaking your insulation system.

Low Temperatures

Unlike power washers, pressure washers do not heat the water. However, with PSIs up to 60,000, the pressure is still high enough to clear most stains and caked-on buildup.

Up to 4000 PSI

Inexperienced DIYers sometimes learn the hard way about a pressure washer’s cutting power. These machines pump water at such rapid speed that they can sever a finger to the bone in a fraction of a second.

Best For Hard Surfaces And Furniture

Because of the high water pressure levels, you should exercise extra caution while pressure washing your home’s siding. In addition, pressure washing is not suitable for vinyl siding, wood shingles, and other delicate siding materials.

Like power washing, pressure washers are an excellent choice for cleaning hard surfaces with deep grooves that collect dirt and grime, including:

  • Walkways
  • Stone paths
  • Patio furniture

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash

Are Professional Services Worth It?

Deep cleaning your home or business is crucial for a variety of reasons, not just aesthetics.

Dirt, algae, mould, pollen, and decaying debris can have an effect on your health over time.

This debris accumulates over time in cracks, beneath sidings, around stones, and on patio furniture.

Depending on where you live and how your landscape looks, mould and mildew can collect on surfaces like your roof and trigger allergies and asthma.

These contaminants attach themselves to your outside surfaces, where neither the garden hose nor regular cleaning soaps can reach.

In the end, you end up getting sick more often without knowing the root of your sickness. That is why you should understand the difference between soft wash vs. pressure wash and invest in a professional cleaning service. 

Man Cleaning Garden Bed Wall With Pressure Washer

Can You Soft Wash Yourself?

Yes, you can do it yourself. But, the right question to ask is, “should you?”

Although you can rent pressure washers from your local home supply store, you shouldn’t operate one without adequate care, skill, and experience. Attempting to soft wash by yourself can also put you at risk of similar hazards.

However, if you insist on doing it yourself, you’ll need the appropriate chemical solutions, equipment, and a nozzle that allows you to wash your property carefully.

Since these chemicals are potent, you need to dilute them correctly to achieve the best results without leaving a film or causing harm to the surface.

We know that DIYers thrive on a challenge and want to save money on home improvements. However, we recommend that you reconsider your position and hire an expert. You’ll finish it faster, restore surfaces to a “like-new” state, and avoid causing damage to your property.

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash: Bottom Line

Cleaning the exterior of a house or business is a significant task that could easily take a week to complete by yourself.

When you add in some lousy weather and the sun’s relentless rays, you’ve got yourself the perfect formula for frustration.

It’s considerably more challenging to concentrate on what you’re doing, especially when you’re soft or pressure washing. That’s when mistakes occur, which can spell disaster for you and your wallet.

So, take a break and leave the outdoor cleaning and detailing to the professionals. Contact us to get your free estimate.


  • First American Roofing. “Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash: Which Methods Right For You.” First American Roofing, 30 June 2020,
  • Kirk, Tyler. “NEXT Soft Washing Soft Wash vs Pressure Wash: What’s the Difference?” Labor Panes Commercial and Residential Window Cleaning,