Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s shocking how dirty the siding, wood or brick 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 stains can give any home an unkempt, uncared for appearance, even though you invest time and care into it.

Some materials, like dirt or mud, don’t do much harm, but algae and mildew can be destructive to both your health and to your home. These contaminants create allergens that can affect your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow directly underneath vinyl or roofing and enter your home.

As a professional power washing company in Killeen, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once a year. The spring season is the most popular time of the year to do an extreme home exterior cleaning, but you can really do it any time throughout the year as long as the weather allows.


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

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

Pressure washing used to be the only method to properly clean vinyl, brick and painted home surfaces. Now, homeowners in Killeen have a second option for exterior home cleaning: soft washing.

Like the names imply, one method is much gentler than the other one, but there’s a little more to it than that. Let’s go over the features of each to help you decide which one is best for your home.


The soft wash system uses much less power 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 setting, only slightly more powerful than a backyard garden hose.

Soft washing uses a mixture of soap, bleach and water in combination to get rid of organic matter and debris from your home, roof and other surfaces. The cleaning mixture used in a soft washing process can include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help stop further growth of these types of organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not pressure, are responsible for cleaning the exterior surfaces, no powerful water pressure is required. This means that soft washing can be used for more fragile surfaces that could otherwise be damaged by higher pressure washing equipment.

The soft wash solution is sometimes cleaned off, but not every time. This just depends on the type of solution is used, if there’s plant or animal life that might be affected by the runoff, and if the chemicals are strong enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing offers the distinct advantage of reaching down into small cracks and crevices to kill unseen organisms, meaning that its results can last much longer than power washing.


Pressure washing has always been the gold standard for cleaning home exterior surfaces. It is very effective and quick, which is why a lot of home and business owners still prefer it.

This particular cleaning system uses water only, no chemicals, to eliminate stains and mold from home exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a major plus 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 many different materials. Home and business owners choose power washing for cleaning their driveway, patio, decks, sidewalks and outdoor furniture because it is fast, more efficient and affordable.

Pressure washing requires anywhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water sprayed out of a tiny nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic materials are sprayed from your home’s exterior surface, prohibiting their growth and renewing the appearance of your home.

One negative about power washing is that the water can sometimes be 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 stone or brick.


The real question for most homeowners is, “Which one should I choose?”

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

Soft washing is excellent for outdoor play sets, gardening tools, roof shingles, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is less likely to harm plastic and wood. It’s also a safe and smart choice for vinyl siding.

It removes organisms currently present on the exterior surface, and it prevents future growth for much longer than power washing can.

A problem with soft washing is that it can kill plant life underneath the surface that you’re cleaning. Remember to spray them down with water before spraying the soft wash solution on your home or roof, and it probably won’t be a problem.

Pressure washing is the best choice for difficult stains, and hard surfaces like concrete, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the preferred method for commercial properties. A professional pressure washing company in Killeen might use a mix of chemicals and water pressure to get rid of problematic stains, but they need to let you know if they will be using chemicals after your estimate.

It can also be used on siding too (and has been for decades) as long as it is done safely. High water pressure can break off weak or small pieces of vinyl. A service that does power washing often will know how to protect vulnerable pieces, but a first-timer can do a lot of harm.

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

Deciding between pressure washing or soft washing is best left for a pressure washing company. Which method is right for your home? Give Killeen Pressure Washing a call at 254-232-5699 and we will send a trained technician over to take a look!

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