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Exterior Cleaning - What is 'Soft Washing'?

SOFT WASHING simply means exterior cleaning with a mix of specialist product with low pressure water. A safe approach for all areas to clean and sanitise any outside surface (at low pressure of course!). AND we're always careful of your plant-life and gardens. We do full house-exterior wash downs, pathways, driveways, fences and more.

PRESSURE WASHING is purely the means of applying clean water under variable high-pressure (generally a lot higher than that of soft washing). It effectively blasts out any dirt from a surface using fresh tap water only through our machines. This is totally fine on a lot of surfaces.

Softwash and pressure wash
Softwashing and pressure washing differences.


Before & After white wall clean (you wont believe your eyes!)

How is Softwashing different to Pressure Washing?

We take a scientific approach to cleaning through the use of high quality, eco friendly products blended to specific ratios and applied to the surface to get a deep, lasting clean. Fantastic for algae, lichen, moss and dirt build up on pavers, house exterior walls, driveways, retaining walls, paths or any outside surfaces bringing back the natural lustre and brightness that it once was. Many applications and uses. You will NOT believe your eyes! And fresh looking surfaces with lasting, deeper results are just some of the many benefits.

We use the softwash approach for many reasons, but a couple of factors are that it often is a deeper clean, its a gentler approach, and at times it handles organic growth where pressure just cannot remove it (stain -like marks).

We do this with our purpose built, industrial grade machinery - we can lower the pressure right down to the level of a garden hose or less, ensuring no damage to any surface. Softwashing actually demands a low pressure in order to correctly distributre our magic mix to the desired surfaces.

With the correct equipment, full control is maintained at all times resulting in a completely safe and highly effective application and stress-free clean of your surfaces.

All of our products are biodegradable and safe when handled the right way. 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 gently letting the mixture do the leg-work. The mixture is left to dwell and do its magic. Once the algae is dead and the debris has been released from the surface, a low pressure rinse removes all that was left.

Both methods are very effective if they are used on the proper surfaces.

A pressure washer is great on many surfaces, but often it needs the complement of soft wash technology to get the job complete.

Both methods actually work hand-in-hand to make each other more effective.


How we get it done:

Step #1

The first step to the soft wash method is spraying a mixture of power washing solutions on to the surface we're cleaning. We wait to let the solution sneak into all the nooks and crannies so it will break down all the dirt in there too!

Step #2

We let the solution sit on the surface for 15-20 minutes. This is called 'dwell time'. Exactly how long depends how dirty the surface is. If more dirt, algae, or grime needs to be removed, we allow the solution to sit longer or we do a second application. As the solution sits, it breaks down the dirt particles.

Step #3

After we've let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes we use a stream of low-pressure water to rinse away the solution. Not only will the solution wash away, but the dirt will fly off with it too! And all our eco-friendly products break down or dilute into a harmless liquid, no more potent than salt. So your gardens and plants are fine.


Benefits of SOFT WASHING:

The main benefit of the soft wash is how delicate it is. Unlike high pressure washing, you won’t need to worry about chipping paint or shooting surfaces off your roofing shingles because there won’t be enough water pressure to do so.

Avoiding damage to your property is a huge benefit to soft wash, but it’s not the only positive…

Soft wash has scientific benefits that go beyond just the of cleaning your property. When detergents and/or solutions are sprayed onto the surface in step #1 (mentioned above), they break down the mildew and algae. But consider what else is being removed behind the scenes: bacteria! As the grime is removed from your house, so goes with it much of the bacteria. This makes soft washing beneficial beyond just boosting curb appeal. Your house becomes healthier because of it!

You may be wondering, doesn’t using a high-pressure washing method also remove the algae or mildew from a dirty surface? Wouldn’t the bacteria go with it too?

And yes, you’d be correct. Using high-pressure does remove mildew and other grime from the surface, but high pressure often isn’t enough to remove the spores. Softwash will kill and remove spores helping slow the regrowth of anything on the surface.

Are there downsides to soft washing?

I'd be wrong if I didn't mention that the potential of a couple of downsides to soft washing do exist, but fortunately they’re minimal and with correct control and experience, they become nearly non-existent.

Soft wash products can damage plants if not managed.

Soft washing is more complex than using high pressure methods - though it’s not the most complex home improvement project to pull off, soft washing is more complicated than just pointing and spraying a pressure washer at a dirty surface to clean it. Because of this, it’s important to ensure you use a trusted provider for this service. Here at Leighs Exterior Cleaning we can come to take a look and advise you on what we can do for you and what we think is best for your area.


Before & After white wall clean (you wont believe your eyes!)

Ending the soft wash vs. high pressure washing debate:

So, what’s the verdict? Who wins the battle between classic, time-tested high pressure washing methods and the newer, arguably safer and more delicate soft wash? Since both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to effectively cleaning dirt-ridden surfaces, how can we possibly choose a winner!

We believe in a holistic approach to exterior cleaning. Whether we use soft wash or high pressure washing techniques or both on your next exterior cleaning project is definitely something we can help you with so you get the most desirable outcome possible. As I mentioned earlier, both have their advantages and together they complement beautifully to deliver a more effective and cleaner finish to make your area that much more inviting and appealing to live in.

Contact us now to take advantage and make your property look and feel fresh and new again!

Heres to the good life.

Leigh Crouch

Owner & Operator

Leighs Exterior Cleaning Services.

Leigh, the master, Softwash and pressure cleaning Melbourne
Softwashing and Pressure cleaning

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