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Pressure Washing vs. Soft Washing: What’s Best for Your Exterior?


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Pressure washing and soft washing are both popular methods used to clean various exterior surfaces of a property. Despite their shared aim to clean and enhance the appearance of your property, the two methods employ significantly different approaches. This blog post will delve into both techniques, comparing their effectiveness, suitability, and safety, and how to choose between the two based on your unique needs.

Understanding Pressure Washing

Pressure washing, as the name suggests, employs a high-pressure water jet to remove dirt, grime, mould, and other undesirable elements from various surfaces. The strength of the water stream can be adjusted depending on the surface being cleaned. This technique is most suited for harder, more robust surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and patios, where stubborn dirt and grime are often found. Pressure washing can effectively remove even the toughest stains, leaving your surfaces looking clean and renewed.

Understanding Soft Washing

On the other hand, soft washing utilises a lower pressure along with a combination of water and special cleaning solutions. This approach is gentler, making it ideal for surfaces that may be damaged by high pressure, such as wood panel siding, painted surfaces, and roofs. The cleaning solution used in soft washing can effectively kill algae, mildew, and mould, not only cleaning the surface but also helping prevent regrowth.

Comparing Pressure Washing and Soft Washing

When comparing pressure washing and soft washing, several factors come into play. Pressure washing, due to its high power, is more effective at removing deep-seated dirt and grime. However, it can also potentially cause damage to softer or more fragile surfaces.

On the other hand, soft washing, while not as instantly powerful, can deliver lasting results, especially when dealing with organic growth such as mould or algae, due to the use of cleaning agents. Its gentler approach makes it more suitable for delicate surfaces.

Let’s consider a case example: pressure washing would be an ideal choice for a concrete driveway stained with oil and tyre marks, while soft washing would be more suited to a wooden deck affected by mildew and algae growth.

How to Choose Between Pressure Washing and Soft Washing

Deciding between pressure washing and soft washing largely depends on two factors: the type of surface you need to clean and the nature of the dirt or stain. Understanding the materials and their reaction to high or low pressure can help inform your decision. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the best method.

For instance, some surfaces may first appear to be robust enough for pressure washing but can be damaged due to age or wear. Therefore, consulting with a professional cleaning service, who can accurately assess your property and recommend the appropriate treatment, is highly advisable.

The Role of Professional Cleaning Services

At Mike Harris Exterior Cleaning Services, we offer both pressure washing and soft washing services, depending on the unique needs of your property. Our trained professionals are able to inspect your property and determine which method will deliver the best results, ensuring the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your exterior surfaces.

Professional services also ensure the safe and efficient use of these cleaning methods. Improper handling of a pressure washer, for instance, can not only damage your property but also pose safety risks. Our team is well-versed in the correct and safe usage of these techniques, delivering impeccable results without risk.


In conclusion, both pressure washing and soft washing have their merits and are best suited to different situations. Understanding the unique needs of your property and the specific advantages of each method is crucial in making an informed decision. However, to ensure the best possible result and the longevity of your property’s exterior, it is highly recommended to consult with professional cleaning services like Mike Harris Exterior Cleaning Services.

Don’t leave your property’s exterior to chance. Get in touch with us today and let our team of professionals deliver the best cleaning solution for your property.

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