Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s shocking just how dirty the exterior of your house can get during a year. Some of the most common stains include mud or dirt, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains can give your house an unkempt, uncared for appearance, regardless of whether you invest time, money and maintenance into it.

Some of these materials, like dirt or mud, are harmless, but algae and mildew can be damaging to both your health and to your house. These contaminants produce allergens and bacteria that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow directly underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter into your house.

As a professional pressure washing company in Frisco , we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once a year. The spring season is typically the most common time of the year to do an extreme home exterior washing, but you can really do it any time throughout the year so long as the weather permits.


All of the following 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 siding, brick and painted surfaces. Now, homeowners in Frisco have a second option for exterior house cleaning: soft washing.

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


The soft wash method uses less pressure than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The highest water pressure in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lighter spray is generated from a nozzle with a wider spray setting, only slightly more powerful than your backyard garden hose.

Soft washing uses a mixture of detergent, bleach and water in some combination to get rid of organic matter from your home, roof and other exterior surfaces. The cleaning mixture used in a soft washing system can also include algaecides and residual inhibitors which will 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 is needed. This means that soft washing can be used for delicate surfaces that might otherwise be harmed by harsher pressure washing equipment.

The soft wash chemicals are sometimes washed off, but not all of the time. This just depends on the type of chemicals are used, if there’s plant or animal life that might be impacted by the runoff, and if the chemicals are powerful enough to damage surfaces over time.

Soft washing provides the distinct advantage of reaching into small cracks to eliminate unseen bacteria, meaning that its impact can last longer than standard pressure washing.


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

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

The pressure washing process can be used on many different materials. Home and business owners prefer pressure washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, walkways and patio furniture because it is fast, efficient and affordable.

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

One negative about pressure washing is that the water can sometimes be too powerful and can harm the surfaces you’re attempting to clean. Pressure washing is powerful enough to cut deep grooves in wood and plastic, and it can push into cracks, breaking off chunks of stone or brick.


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, as well as sidewalks, driveways and more. Both of these cleaning systems can be done by a professional – and honestly, are more effectively done when left to the pros.

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

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

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

Pressure washing is the preferred method for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like asphalt, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the preferred choice for commercial properties. A local pressure washing company in Frisco might use a mix of detergents and water pressure to eliminate problematic stains, but they should tell you if they will be using chemicals after your consultation.

It can be used for siding as well (and has been for several years) so long as it is done carefully. Powerful water pressure can break weak or smaller pieces of the vinyl. A local company that does pressure washing all the time are going to know how to protect vulnerable pieces, but a first-timer could do a lot of damage.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for pressure washing if you have slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The high pressure of the water could ruin these materials and require you to replace your home’s roof far sooner than expected.

Choosing between soft washing or pressure washing is best left for a professional pressure washing company. Which process is right for your house? Give DTC Frisco Pressure Washing a call at 214-544-9437 and we will send a trained technician over to take a look!