Softwashing vs Pressure Washing: What You Need to Know [infographic]

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At Piedmont Home Services, we provide both soft washing and pressure washing services for our customers to help them keep their exterior home and commercial surfaces clean. Below, we’ll review the basics of softwashing vs. pressure washing to help our customers better understand these unique services.

Softwashing vs Pressure Washing: What You Need to Know

Pressure Washing

  • How it works: The water is run from the source through a hose and into a pump system, which gives it most of its power. From the pump, it runs through a high-pressure hose and into a nozzle or spray wand, which can usually be adjusted to a pounds per square inch (PSI) range of between a few hundred to several thousand PSI. Using a trigger system, the water is released through the nozzle and directed toward the surface being cleaned.
  • Cleaning the surface: The technician will use the spray wand to direct a powerful stream of water at the surface. The spray dislodges dirt and other grime, leaving behind a clean surface. The water may be enhanced with detergents for added cleaning power. A final rinse at a lower pressure is usually the last step.
  • What it’s best for: Pressure washing is best used on durable surfaces like concrete or some types of stone and brick. It is particularly effective at removing stains like oil and grease, which makes it great for areas like garages, driveways, and dumpster pads.  Our trained technicians will evaluate your concrete or stone surfaces to ensure that they are in good enough condition to withstand the force of the water.
  • Where not to use it: Pressure washing is not suitable for delicate surfaces like roofing or most types of siding.


  • How it works: Softwashing gets its cleaning power from specialized, water-based, biodegradable cleaning detergent that will break down any contaminants like algae, mold, bacteria, and more. These cleaners often contain biocides that specifically target organic contaminants and sanitize the surface they are growing on, which helps produce longer-lasting results than traditional pressure washing alone would.
  • Cleaning the surface: The technician first applies a layer of cleaning solution to the surface, using a spray wand similar to pressure washing but at an extremely low PSI. They then wait for the cleaners to take effect. The time needed for the cleaners to work effectively will vary depending on the type of surface and severity of the grime. Once the cleaning agents have had enough time to lift away contaminants, the technician rinses everything away with a low-pressure stream of water.
  • What it’s best for: Because it is so gentle, softwashing is safe for virtually any exterior surface. It is extremely effective against organic contaminants, making it ideal for siding, roofing, decks, porches, and fencing.

If you have any questions or concerns about softwashing vs. pressure washing, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. Reach out today to learn more or inquire about getting an estimate for services.