There are a lot of companies today selling a “new” service called “Soft Washing”. They all pitch the same thing: “safer than pressure cleaning”, “get clean with no pressure”, “the safest most effective way to clean your home”. Is Soft Washing actually a better, safer way to clean your home?
First, we must understand how both systems work to completely answer the question at hand. Both methods are very simple and basically the same thing. They both run water through a pump and a hose and the water is then sprayed onto the house to remove dirt, mold, etc. Cleaning solutions are able to be siphoned through the hoses and applied to the house or surface being cleaned easily with these systems.
Here are the key differences between these systems. With pressure cleaning, the water is being pressurize so it does spray harder to remove dirt, mold etc. The benefits of this is that you are able to use less chemicals when cleaning and you get a better deeper clean on certain surfaces (ie a concrete driveway). Is pressure cleaning safe? Yes. As with anything, if you do not use the equipment properly you can cause damage. But if you properly use a pressure cleaning system, you will have absolutely no damage to any surface and you will be able to get surfaces clean with little, sometimes no chemicals.
“Soft” washing runs water through a pump with no pressurization. This system normally consists of a higher volume of water being sprayed from the hose rather then pressurized water. Soft washing also uses a higher concentration of chemicals or cleaning solutions when cleaning a home. Where a pressure cleaner may be able to remove some dirts with no chemicals because of the pressure, soft washing systems need the chemical to loosen the dirt before the water is sprayed to remove it. The benefit of soft washing is that there is less pressure being applied to a home but that comes at the expense of more water and more chemicals having to be used. Is soft washing safe? Yes. Just like pressure cleaning, though, if you do not use the system properly you may cause damage. High chemical concentrates can kill plant life and damage certain surfaces. Properly used, it is a safe way to clean.
So which system is better? Well, from a selling aspect, Soft Washing wins. People hear soft opposed to pressure and automatically feel like it is a safer method of cleaning. From a cleaning aspect, I believe that pressure cleaning is a better method. You need less chemicals which is better for the environment and plant life that surrounds a home. Pressure cleaning is also necessary for cleaning driveways, sidewalks and other tough surfaces that soft washing just can not clean properly.
Either way, you are going to get a good, safe clean if the systems are properly used.