Soft wash commercial building that is covered in algae.

The term “soft washing” simply means exterior cleaning with low pressure. It’s a lot like cleaning the interior of your house. A pressure washer is not needed to safely and successfully clean your tub or floors. You first put down detergents and chemicals then scrub or rinse away. Soft washing uses that same method but on a grander scale.

How Soft Washing Works

There are three chemical options with soft washing. The most widely used is sodium hypochlorite. This is the main ingredient in house hold bleach but used at industrial strengths. The second most common is sodium hydroxide. Also known as lye. This chemical is used to make soaps and is also used to clean drain clogs. Last but not least, there’s sodium percarbonate. This is the most eco-friendly out of the three. It is used as an alternative to bleach in laundry detergents such as OxiClean. All of the chemicals are biodegradable and safe if handled properly. They are also found in everyday household cleaning products.

The two methods of pressure washing and soft washing are very different. With soft washing it’s all about the chemicals and detergents. A mixture of the chosen chemical and a high surfactant detergent is applied with a very low pressure diaphragm pump. The mixture is left to dwell and do all of the work. Once the algae is dead and the debris has been released from the surface, a high water volume low pressure rinse removes all that was left. Both methods are very effective if they are used on the proper surfaces. Soft washing is for delicate surfaces such as roofs, vinyl, and painted surfaces. Even hard substrates such as block or brick benefits greatly from soft washing. A pressure washer is great on concrete but would do more damage than a hail storm on a composite (shingle) roof. It can also damage any building surface by striping or blasting away the surface itself. Water can be pushed under vinyl and into window seals causing dangerous mold problems that can’t be seen.

The only exterior cleaning method that kills algae down to the root is soft washing. This is why ProClean washes all houses and roofs with our professional soft wash system. Our experience is a key way in how we excel in the cleaning industry. Our ability to find the right solution for every job ensures that it will be safely and effectively cleaned. No matter if the job calls for soft washing, pressure washing or both, we always come prepared. See the difference with ProClean Power & Soft wash.

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Roof soft washing before and after picture with logo