We’ve all been to a car wash and seen a jet power wash thoroughly cleaning the vehicles in queue. The same equipment is used to clean heavy machinery, large windows of skyscrapers and even pavements and driveways, so it’s easy to reach the conclusion that if you want a deep cleaning done of your home or a professional driveway cleaning, then you should get yourself a power washer and blow everything away.
However, power washing isn’t suitable for every type of material, and it’s very important to use the right cleaning technique based on the durability and fragility of the material you are trying to clean if you do not want to damage it. This is where soft washing comes in, a similar technique, however with a lot less pressure.
At Brisbane Powerwash, we use a combination of both techniques to deliver the best results for our Brisbane clients whether it’s for best roof cleaning outcomes or a sparkling-looking deck.
What difference is there between power and soft washing?
Though both techniques use very similar equipment, there is one fundamental difference between the two washing techniques, and that is the pressure involved. As suggested by the name, power washing uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt, grime etc. where as soft washing uses low-pressure to clean the surfaces which cannot withstand high pressure.
What is Power Washing?
Power washing uses high pressurised water to clean surfaces with a force ranging between 1300 and 2800 pound per square inch (PSI). As it is so powerful you should be careful when using this equipment and it should be used for only a handful of materials and items which include; stone, granite, concrete, steel, iron, brick, asphalt, cars, driveways, pavements and walls.
What is Soft Washing?
Soft washing only uses 150 – 300 PSI and combines that with a number of cleaning chemicals to effectively clean dirty and grime off of less durable materials. Some of the detergents which can be used include bleach, sodium hydroxide, and algaecides. Soft washing is most effective to remove the following type of buildup; mold, mildew, fungus, moss, bacteria, oil, grease, tree sap, rust, graffiti, paint spills, algae, animal droppings etc.
Pro’s of pressure washing
- Is very effective and does a thorough job of cleaning
- Can easily get rid of stains, grime, dirt and fungal growths
- Relatively easy to use
- Saves you money on hiring a professional cleaner
Con’s of pressure washing
- Can be too powerful and ruin surfaces
- Can prove to be dangerous and injure people and pets
Pro’s of soft washing
- Works well on delicate surfaces without ruining them
- Effectively gets rid of bacteria, grime, dirt etc due to the chemicals involved
- Has long lasting effects and prevents mould and mildew from reappearing
- Is a low risk solution
- Lower water usage
Con’s of soft washing
- Is not always as effective as necessary due to the low pressure, therefore not providing the results you would want
- Use of certain chemicals can be hazardous if coming in contact with skin
- Cleaning chemicals can possibly damage surfaces such as paint
- Takes longer to clean when compared with power washing due to the lowered pressure
Can I use both power washing and soft washing to clean?
Absolutely, this is a very good technique to ensure everything you want cleaned is done to a standard you are happy with.
The two options ensure that by using power washing you can get rid of deeply embedded stains and dirty and thoroughly clean hard surfaces whilst by using soft washing you can clean delicate surfaces just as well without ruining or damaging the surface, paint, aesthetic etc.
When using the two in tandem, provided you use the right technique for the right area/surface, you can ensure an excellent cleaning job is carried out without any damage.
What are the telltale signs you need to power/softwash your home?
How your home looks on the outside is just as important as how it looks on the inside. Cleaning the inside of your home happens more often. You vacuum, mop, dust and tidy up on an almost daily basis to make sure what you’re living amongst is clean and hygienic.
The only times you see the outside of your home is when you are pulling up to the driveway and that only lasts a few seconds at a time, so it is easy to overlook the overall aesthetic of the exterior. However, there are a few telltale signs which, if they begin to appear means you need to get the jet wash out and give it a good thorough clean.
These signs include;
- Stained walls and driveway
- Discolouration of driveway and exterior
- Paint peeling off
- Accumulation of dirt and grime
It’s better not to wait too long when you start to see these things occur, prevention is better than solution.
When is the best time to power/softwash my home?
The best time to wash your home or driveway is during the summer, or on a dry, sunny day. This allows you to clean with good visibility and then the surfaces get a chance to dry off. You should avoid trying to power/soft wash your home when it rains you may find the end result being not as clean as you were hoping.