Do you need softwashing or pressure washing? A quick guide for the public

Softwashing Vs Pressure Washing

There are many ways that a professional, experienced pressure washing crew can clean and renew your property. They can peel layers of dirt, mildew and discolouration from your walls and roof, can make your driveway look as good as it did when it was new, and hundreds of other things. They can even bring new life to outdoor furniture you thought were beyond salvaging. But there are some tasks which are much more suited to processes like softwashing vs pressure washing – and vice versa.

This is a guide to the benefits of each type of cleaning, and which surfaces really need one or the other. So! Let’s learn what pressure washing and softwashing are all about!

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a very powerful and flexible surface cleaning technique. Unlike ‘power washing’, pressure washers do not heat up the water, they simply pump it at high pressure through a nozzle, allowing it to strip away dirt and contaminants without using chemicals. The water is delivered to the surface at anywhere from 1500 to 4000 PSI (Pounds of pressure per Square Inch).

Note that even cold water at these pressures and focused into a tight stream can be dangerous, though. Even the underpowered pressure washing equipment available to amateur home users can cause injury or damage if you aren’t careful. That’s why you should only use the most experienced and well-trained pressure washing services, like All Trade Pressure Washing. All of our team have had the latest safety training, to protect themselves as well as your home.

Some surfaces are ideal for pressure washing. These include walks and driveways of all kinds, stones and most patio furniture. Basically anything that is both tough and features deep grooves or texture (which tends to hold in the grit and mould) will probably look amazing after a pressure wash.

Some surfaces – such as vinyl or wood shingle home sidings – can be safely cleaned with a pressure washer, but only if proper precautions are taken.

Why you need professional power washing

Of course, power washing revivifies the outward appearance of your home or business. Everyone likes living or working in a place that looks clean and tidy, and you should never underestimate curb appeal for putting customers in a good mood. But there is more to it than that.

That ‘dirt’ on your surfaces isn’t just soil. Much of it is mould, algae, pollen and decaying plant matter.

These substances can make people sick, can cause allergic reactions, and can generally lower the quality of life for the people who live and work inside. Standard cleaning can’t get rid of all of them, and when they’ve built up for a few months (or years) they can cause real problems. In addition the build up of algae and moss can cause some surfaces to become slippery leading to serious injury.

Regular power washing can remove virtually all of these harmful materials, and make your premises a healthier and happier place to be.

This is why investing in a professional cleaner is worth every penny. If you would like to know more about how All Trade Pressure Washing can help with a one-off pressure washing or a regular cleaning service, call us at 01935 473488 today!


By contrast, soft washing uses modified washing equipment which runs high volumes at a much lower pressure. Ultimately, they do the same thing – delivering a targeted jet of water to clean a surface – but they do so at a much lower PSI.

The ‘modification’ is typically very small. Many soft washers are simply pressure washers with a wider nozzle. This allows the same volume of water to spray against the surface, but with dramatically less force. A soft washer typically delivers around 500 PSI at most. This is still ‘a lot’ by most people’s standards, but not enough to damage many more delicate surfaces like roof shingles.

However, don’t think that soft washing is less effective! Soft washing equipment typically does not use pure water, as pressure washers do. Soft washers usually use specialised solutions or other cleaning solutions to break down dirt, mildew and other debris or contaminants chemically at the same time the gentler pressure washes them away.

All of the cleaning solutions All Trade Pressure Washing uses are easy on the environment. We have a range of different solutions to use on different surfaces, to ensure that we don’t end up removing any protective coatings or barriers on your surfaces as well.

The soft washing option is advised for more delicate or softer surfaces. These include:

  • Cedar shake or shingle siding
  • Vinyl home siding
  • Wood panel home siding
  • Trees and rooted plants
  • Wooden deck and outdoor furniture
  • All kinds of screens and enclosures
  • Soft wall surfaces, such as Render and Pebble Dash.

When do you need a softwash call-out??

The simplest answer is ‘whenever you feel your roof, windows and/or sidings look a little dingy’. Soft washing can dramatically improve the appearance and actual contaminant load of all of these surfaces and more. Many of our clients have a soft wash done regularly, both for aesthetic and heath reasons.

If you would like to know more about how All Trade Pressure Washing can help with a one-off soft washing or a regular cleaning service, call us at 01935 473488 today!

Can’t I just rent or buy a pressure or softwasher?

Yes, you can. But you really shouldn’t. For the same reason that you shouldn’t lay your own carpet or install your own electrical wiring – a professional will be able to do the job better, more safely and in less time than you could yourself. Take a look at our Facebook or Instagram account for work we have carried out.

Because they might clean dozens of homes and businesses each week, they can efficiently buy the best equipment, and keep it in tip-top shape. If you were to rent or buy a pressure washer, it would likely be a low power unit, it might not be maintained properly, and you’d be more likely to injure yourself or damage your property with it.

The short answer is “yes.” The question that should be asked is “should you?” Pressure washers can be rented at home supply stores, but, again, they require care operation. As for soft washing by yourself, you run into similar hazards with no experience.

The difference between professional and amateur work is even more stark when it comes to softwashing. We use the best, most effective and most environmentally responsible cleaning chemicals, again because we have the economy of scale on our sides. All of our crew have gone through training to fully understand softwash systems. Even if you applied commercial grade cleaning chemicals, you could mix them improperly, and do a great deal of damage to your property.

Once again, we implore you to call the professionals, to ensure a job done right the first time. We’re waiting for your call at 01935 473488. Alternatevilty email [email protected] to find out more.