Soft Wash vs. Pressure Wash What's the Difference

Soft Wash vs. Pressure Wash: What’s the Difference?

Soft wash vs. Pressure wash: which one is better? As a homeowner, you may have heard of soft washing and pressure washing; but do you know the difference between them? The two are similar in that they can help keep your home’s exterior looking its best, but each has its own unique advantages. In this blog post, we will investigate the differences between soft wash and pressure wash to help you better understand which cleaning service is right for your property. 

Read on as we break down the features of both soft washing and pressure washing so you can make a more informed decision when it comes to keeping your home clean!

What Is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is an effective and safe alternative to pressure washing. It utilizes a much lower water pressure – 250-300 psi – and relies on specific detergents, algaecides, fungicides, and cleaning agents to loosen dirt and other debris. 

Pressure washing may seem like the faster of the two cleaning methods, but soft washing has proven to effectively remove stubborn stains without causing any damage or erosion of the surface while taking less time than traditional pressure washing. 

Do not be misled by the soft terminology – soft washing is still much more powerful and effective than just a garden hose, but it does provide gentle yet effective results for all types of surfaces.

How Does Soft Washing Work?

Soft washing stands in stark contrast to traditional pressure washing. It relies on low-pressure power washing and specialized cleaning solutions to clean surfaces instead of a concentrated blast of high pressure. These cleaners have an advantage over a simple pressure wash as they interact with dirt and grime at the molecular level, working their way into the different layers of debris and breaking them apart. This allows soft washing to be more thorough than its high-pressure counterpart while still being delicate enough to use on various materials without damage. Its efficacy is so great that soft washing has become a trusted alternative for large businesses that need their exteriors cleaned without risk of harm.


1. Safe for all surfaces – unlike pressure washing which can damage certain surfaces, soft washing is safe for use on any type of surface.

2. Cleans better than pressure washing – because the detergents used in soft washing break down the grunge and dirt, it is able to clean better than pressure washing.

3. Chemical-free – Softwashing does not use any harmful chemicals.

4. Environmentally friendly – the detergents used in soft washing are biodegradable and will not harm the environment.


1. Soft washing requires more time and manual labor than pressure washing, so it can be costlier in the short term.

2. Soft washing is best for certain surfaces, so it may not be suitable for all types of exteriors.

3. The chemicals used in soft washing are safe but still need to be handled with care.

4. Soft washing can leave behind residues or streaks if not done properly, leaving the surface looking worse than before.

5. It’s best to hire a professional to ensure an optimal outcome and avoid potential damages. 

What Is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing is the most effective way to remove caked-on dirt, grime, and other contaminants from a variety of surfaces. It uses special equipment to apply a high-pressure jet of water at certain angles with enough force to break through tough materials such as oil, grease, mud, and more.

While soft washing is an alternative method used mostly for cleaning rooftops, normal pressure washing uses ultra-high pressure levels that are too strong for soft surfaces like roofs. That’s why soft washes are recommended for soft surface cleaning, while pressure washing works better on hard surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and decks.

How Does Pressure Washing Work?

Cleaning surfaces with high-pressure water is what we call Pressure Washing. It works by using a specialized nozzle that increases the intensity of the water as it exits, making it an extremely effective method for cleaning stubborn dirt, debris, and stains on harder surfaces like concrete or brick. Soft washing offers an alternative solution to Pressure Washing – while similar in some aspects – this technique uses detergents instead of just plain old H2O, and its efficacy makes it ideal for softer materials such as wood.


1. Pressure washing keeps your home in good condition and prevents damage caused by dirt, grime, moss, and other debris.

2. It can save you a lot of money in the long run by keeping your home looking new and preventing costly repairs down the line.

3. Pressure washing is quick, easy, and doesn’t require much time or energy on your part.

4. A clean surface is a safe surface – pressure washing removes contaminants that can cause slips and falls.

5. A clean exterior boosts your curb appeal and increases the value of your home. 

6. Pressure washing prepares surfaces for renovation projects – it makes the painting or staining easier and ensures better results. 


1. Pressure washing can damage some surfaces if the wrong pressure is used.

2. Poorly trained operators may cause irreparable damage to your home’s exterior, so make sure you hire an experienced and reputable company.

3. The chemicals used in the process may be harmful to plants, animals, and people, so make sure the company you hire takes proper safety precautions.

4. Pressure washing can be expensive depending on the size of your home and the area to be cleaned.

5. If done incorrectly, pressure washing could cause water damage that could lead to more costly repairs down the line.

Differences Between Soft Washing and Pressure Washing

1. Efficiency in Cleaning

Cleaning efficiency is one of the greatest advantages of soft washing over pressure washing. Soft water is typically easier to clean with than hard water, allowing for a much faster job. There’s no need to use extra pressure, like what you would need with a high-pressure washer for your home exterior. This saves time and money and also prevents any damage from being done to the surface from too much force. Power washing may be better for some areas, but soft washing is definitely more efficient when it comes to cleaning surfaces quickly and safely.

2. Potential Surface Damage

Using the wrong technique to clean your home’s exterior surfaces can be detrimental. If a homeowner decides to power wash their home, the pressure of the washer can cause serious damage. The intense force of water that comes out not only strips away dirt and other debris but can potentially weaken and degrade siding/roofing material or even create holes in the surface. Therefore soft washing is a safer alternative as it doesn’t produce such powerful streams of water; soft washing cleans without harming your surfaces from too much pressure. Understanding the difference between soft washing versus pressure washing is important when maintaining the quality of your home’s exterior surfaces.

3. Moss and Algae Removal

Algae and moss accumulation can be unsightly and difficult surfaces to clean. There are two main methods of cleaning them from your home’s exterior―pressure washing or soft washing. As compared to pressure washing, soft washing uses reduced water pressure, which is more effective in removing stubborn moss and algae without causing any damage to the surface. Moreover, soft-washed surfaces last longer because it doesn’t just force dirt off but also kill the microorganisms like algae and bacteria that contribute to soil accumulation. So if you’ve been troubled by moss and algae buildup on your home’s outer walls, soft washing is a great choice!

4. Cost and Time Efficiency

Soft washing offers many advantages over pressure washing when it comes to saving money and time. Using soft washing means you don’t need to buy expensive equipment, and it’s also much kinder on surfaces. Soft washing solutions can be readily purchased from home improvement stores, making them incredibly cost-effective in the long run. Additionally, soft wash cleaning often takes less time than pressure wash cleaning, which makes soft washing even more efficient. If you’re looking for ways to save time and money while still getting excellent results when cleaning surfaces, soft washing is definitely worth looking into.

5. More Pressure and Excessive Water Usage

Pressure washing is a high-pressure process that typically uses more water than soft washing, making it an expensive choice in terms of utilities. It also takes longer to complete than soft washing, so you can expect the cost of labor to be higher as well. Furthermore, there is always the risk of damaging your home’s exterior with power washing due to the high pressure used for cleaning. This could result in costly repairs if the job goes wrong. Therefore, if you need home cleaning services but want to avoid incurring extra costs, soft washing is likely your best bet.

Soft Wash Vs. Pressure Wash: Which One to Choose?

Both pressure washing and soft washing are effective ways to keep your home looking its best, but there are some key differences between the two that make one a better fit depending on what you need. Pressure washing is best suited for more durable materials like stone or concrete, while soft washing can be used on softer surfaces like wood. Additionally, pressure washing is more expensive and carries a greater risk of causing damage to your home, whereas soft washing is more affordable and less likely to cause harm. Ultimately, the choice between pressure washing and soft washing comes down to cost and risk versus reward. If you take the time to consider both options carefully and research your needs before hiring a professional cleaner, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know a little bit more about the two main types of exterior house washing—pressure washing and soft washing—as well as their key differences, you can move forward with choosing the best option for your needs. Just remember that no matter which method you choose, the most important thing is to make sure you hire a professional who is experienced and certified in either pressure washing or soft washing. This will ensure the job is done right and help save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.  

If you need help finding a qualified cleaning professional near you, we at CS Pressure Cleaning would be happy to point you in the right direction. We specialize in both pressure washing and soft washing services, so no matter what your specific needs are, we can help. Give us a call today, and let us take care of all your exterior cleaning needs quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Good luck!