Soft Washing

Soft washing is a newer word in the exterior cleaning and pressure washing industry. Many pressure washers are soft washing houses everyday across America. Soft washing is a technique that uses a pressure washer or a dedicated soft wash system to clean. Soft washing is the better way to clean things as it relies on a solution and not pressure. We can look at a normal house wash for the example. 

A normal house wash using pressure includes applying 2000-4000 psi to the surface being cleaned, blasting away the dirt and mold. The problem is this process also blasts paint off the house, and no one needs that. Soft washing doesn’t use pressure like pressure washing does. With soft washing you apply a solution and let the solution neutralize the mold, then the surface is rinsed with clean water.

Soft Washing Process

A typical house wash will start with the exterior cleaning crew arriving at the door. The exterior cleaning crew will meet with the homeowner and review the work. The exterior cleaning crew will then divide the house between the technicians and the work will begin. Water spigots are used to supplement the water on the pressure washing truck. The pressure washing truck holds 525 gallons of water and 200 gallons of soft washing solution. Pressure hoses are then unrolled off the pressure washing truck and the solution is applied at low pressure via the pressure washers. 

The exterior cleaning technicians will usually utilize 150’ – 200’ of pressure washing line. If the structure to be soft washed is further away such as a boat dock then you can add more line. When turned to soap by the pressure washing technicians the soft wash solution is down streamed onto the surface to be cleaned. What down streaming means is that there is a chemical pick up tube in the line called an inductor. The inductor draws the solution out of the soft wash chemical tanks and mixes it with water. 

The strength of the solution to neutralize organic growth must be a certain mixture to clean the house without damaging the plants and shrubs. If the mixture is too strong damage of plants and grass may occur. If it is too weak it will not clean the house properly. It is up to the pressure washing company you select to know the proper dilution ratio of the solution to soft wash the house.

After the solution for soft washing is applied via pressure washer, a dwell time of 10-15 minutes must take place. In this dwell time the mold and mildew is neutralized by the soft washing solution. After the dwell time it is safe to rinse the house with low pressure. The technicians will then turn the system to water only so that no more soft wash solution goes through the pressure washer line. 

After getting all of the soft wash solution out of the pressure washer line by flushing it out for 20-30 seconds, rinsing the house can begin. The technicians will start back where they started applying the solution and rinse the house. When the water hits the surface of the house it dislodges and rinses away the dead algae and mold off the side of the house. Soft washing uses the same amount of pressure to both apply the solution and rinse the solution off the house.

Safely Cleaning Siding

As you can tell from this process soft washing is the preferred method of cleaning most types of homes. Vinyl homes can be soft washed. Wood and Cedar homes can be soft washed. EIFS and Stucco homes can also be soft washed. Mobile homes can be soft washed. 

Soft washing is safe for all surfaces if the surfaces are not organic in nature. Being organic in nature means the house or its attachments are cotton or any other plant or tree that once had living cells. A wooden door is an example and be careful not to damage the door with the soft washing solution. A cotton awning is another good example of what to avoid while soft washing.

Systems For Soft Wash

Some pressure washing businesses that soft wash use dedicated systems to soft wash homes. The system includes a battery, any car battery will work, and a 12 volt pump. The 12 volt pump has an inlet and outlet, the inlet connects to a chemical tank that contains a soft wash solution and the outlet discharges the soft wash solution into a hose. At the end of the hose there is a wand type device.

Some pressure washing companies that soft wash use a normal trigger gun as found in pressure washing. These types of guns are not good for soft washing because they contain metal internal parts. It is best to soft wash a house with a gun that is for soft washing with low pressure only and it contains no metal that will rust with time and use. The 12 volt pump used to soft wash houses can also rust which is why a lot of pressure washing companies that soft wash use their pressure washers with an inductor. 

The inductor lets you soft wash with a regular pressure washing line instead of a special low pressure only line attached to a 12 volt pump. For this reason pressure washing guns usually have stainless stell internal parts so they last longer.

We at Firehouse Pressure Washing hope that you have learned the difference between pressure washing and soft washing. We also trust that you will call us to preform either pressure or soft washing at your home or business. Soft washing is the standard to be used by pressure washers across the US as it is a lot safer for the siding of a house. 

House paint can contain lead and other harmful substances and it is not good to have paint chips all over your property from a pressure washing company not soft washing the home as they should. Soft washing is a technique that all pressure washing companies should use to make sure no damage to any siding occurs.

Soft Washing Fencing

Soft washing can also be used on fences such as vinyl cattle fencing. Usually this type of fence is found in rural areas and can stretch for miles is some cases. Pressure washing every inch of the fence would be a long, strenuous process. It is for this reason soft washing the fence must take place as to not damage the fence. Soft washing can also be used to clean outdoor rugs and furniture. Pressure washing a rug would surely ruin it, but not soft washing. Outdoot furniture such as PVC, wood, vinyl and metal can all be soft washed avoiding damage to these items.

Please feel free to contact Morgan in our office at 770 468-0014, email us at info@firehousepowerwash.com, visit our website at firehousepowerwash.com, or check out our facebook page Firehouse Pressure Washing LLC, and remember: “No one is better with water than a firefighter on their day off”.

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