Soft washing is a sub-type of pressure washing that utilizes much lower pressure in conjunction with various chemical solutions to better clean organic contaminants off of surfaces. It can be performed by professional surface cleaning teams or by an amateur. Here are five tips for using a soft wash system.
Know Which Surfaces To Soft Wash
Soft wash systems are gentler than pressure or power washing systems, so they can be safely used on more delicate or fragile surfaces. However, this type of washing won’t be effective on all types of surfaces. Rougher surfaces such as concrete pavement have crevices that need the higher power of pressure washing to clean, for example. On the other hand, soft washing is more effective on painted surfaces like cars, trucks and painted siding. It’s also safer to use for aluminum siding, roof shingles and vinyl shutters.
Know How Often To Soft Wash
Soft washing needs to be done far less often than pressure washing because the chemicals it utilizes are able to kill the microorganisms that cause much of the growth of mold, mildew and other contaminants. By contrast, pressure washing only removes the visible grime and growth associated with these things. Killing the cause means the surface will stay cleaner and freer of contaminants for a longer period of time than pressure washing. The recommended length of time between washings depends on the surface being cleaned. For example, a vehicle may need to be washed more often than a roof, which may only need to be washed every two to three years.
Use in Conjunction with Pressure Washing
Because soft washing uses low pressure, it is technically a type of pressure washing. However, its primary focus is the chemical spray it utilizes. Soft washing can also be used in conjunction with pressure washing, if the material is able to withstand pressure washing. For example, if you have a concrete sidewalk covered with algea or lichens, you can first apply pressure washing to remove the visible grime. Then, you can apply a soft wash spray to kill any remaining invisible or microscopic contaminants to ensure the organic matter won’t grow back.
Check for Eco-Friendly Options
Overall, soft washing is better for the environment than traditional pressure washing because it uses far less water. You still need to be careful when you use soft washing systems, though. Some of the chemicals employed, such as bleach, can be quite caustic if you use too much. Others, such as detergents, are typically quite safe no matter the concentration. If your cleaning needs require small amounts of chemical solution, then you and the plants and animals surrounding your home should be safe, but if you need large amounts of the solution, check for eco-friendly alternatives.
If you choose to hire a professional, you should check price points for your soft washing needs and consider the professional’s credentials. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you understand the procedure for your needs and its safety requirements. Consider the price for purchasing or renting equipment and what surfaces can be soft washed.