Power Washing Vs. Soft Washing: How to Decide Which Is Right for You

While most people focus on keeping the inside of their homes clean, keeping the exterior clean is equally crucial. Not only does exterior cleaning provide aesthetic value, but it also boosts the durability of materials by eliminating dirt, fungus, mold, grime, and mildew. For most people, whether cleaning their homes’ exteriors by themselves or through professional cleaners, the best options are either power washing or soft washing.


Even though both of these methods are effective, they serve different purposes. Therefore, it helps to know their differences to determine which method is best for addressing your specific needs.

Power Washing
This method works by pushing highly pressurized water through a nozzle to eliminate grime or dirt from any surfaces the water hits. Power washing is highly effective and cleans surfaces quickly, but you should use it selectively.

Due to its forceful approach, power washing could damage your property if not used carefully. Generally, use power washing when cleaning sidewalks, landscaping bricks and driveways, and never use it on your home’s siding.

Soft Washing
Soft washing follows a gentler approach to cleaning, by relinquishing pressurized water in exchange for chemicals. While this method may look somehow similar to power washing because the same type of nozzle is used, the water pressure is low, and cleaning is a result of water and chemical solutions.

The biodegradable chemicals used in soft washing are ideal for removing algae, moss, and dirt. This method will neither damage your home’s exterior nor harm surrounding plants.

When You Should Use Power Washing
As mentioned before, power washing uses pressurized water, usually, 2500 PSI or higher, to clean surfaces. While such pressure can quickly remove stains, there is a likelihood of damaging the soft surfaces of your home’s exterior. For instance, it could destroy your home’s siding, crack windows, damage shingles, or remove paint.

To avoid any damages, reserve power washing for surfaces like:

  • Walkways, concrete sidewalks, and driveways
  • Stone brick or other hard surfaces
  • Paved patios

When You Should Use Soft Washing
The average pressure of water used for soft washing is 1000 PSI or lower, which is safe for the delicate parts of your home’s exterior. Unlike power washing, soft washing cleans surfaces using specific detergents and some patience.

Opt for soft washing when cleaning surfaces like:

  • Lanais, screens and screened enclosures
  • Wood panel sidings
  • Cedar shakes
  • Stucco and coquina