Pressure washers are great at cleaning off dirt, mold, and mildew from a variety of surfaces, from driveways to decks. However, not everyone realizes that you can actually clean with these tools. First, you have to know what type of cleaning method to use. A soft wash is ideal for patios and decks where you don’t want to damage the surface.
There are many aspects of pressure washing that you may not be familiar with, but don’t worry. With the best pressure washers on the market and helpful tips from our experts, we want to help you make the most out of your pressure washer. This will include providing information on how to use soft wash as well as other guides to help you prolong the lifespan of your machine.
Why not just do it? There isn’t a more efficient tool for soft washing than pressure washers — with their adjustable settings and various spray tips and nozzles, pressure washers can be used for any job. And soft washing with a pressure washer can be as easy as turning the right knobs to get the optimal water flow and spraying down your concrete or siding with a gentle stream of water.
A pressure washer is a fantastic thing to have around the home or at the office — it can take care of any mess, clean up any job site, and give you the power to wash more with less time. But along with all the benefits come the downsides — all those chemical cleaners aren’t exactly safe for people or the environment. Luckily you have a pressure washer to soften your cleaning, allowing you to clean more thoroughly than ever before.
Can You Soft Wash With Pressure Washer – How To Do It
You might have a pressure washer already. But, chances are, you don’t have a soft washing pump. And that’s no problem because you probably don’t need one! Here are Reasons Why you don’t need it:
- Adjusting pressure is one of the simplest things you can do with a pressure washer, but it’s important to know how to adjust your pressure for certain situations. For instance: If you’ve set your pressure too high and you’re about to damage the surface of your patio or driveway, consider an immediate adjustment. Check the user manual for instructions on how to modify water pressure.
- The pressure washer has a range of nozzles to choose from, so you can adjust the pressure and use it for different jobs.
Difference Between Soft Washing And Pressure Washing
Your average homeowner is probably already doing soft washing. Think about your last experience with a pressure washer. Chances are, you weren’t using a power nozzle and spraying away any moss, mildew, or mold. It’s likely you were using the end of the hose with the soap and water to get overgrown areas clean. That’s soft washing in action.
Are you wondering if soft washing is different from pressure washing? Manufacturers will try to tell you it is, but the truth is: most home pressure washing tasks require a more gentle approach. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to spend extra money on equipment and soaps for soft washing. If not, then you can just use the ones you have.
The most common instances where a pressure washer is used are for soft washing — washing wood decks, walls and other structures, cleaning vinyl siding on houses, and detailing cars. Other times a pressure washer can be used are for washing off roofing materials and cleaning rusted parts.
High pressure is important for removing dirt and grime — but only on specific surfaces. Softer items are often more susceptible to damage if you use high pressure to clean them. Steer clear of delicate items like silk, satin, chiffon, and other materials with a low thread count. Unless it’s a stone or concrete surface, always use cozy medium pressure when cleaning these items.
NOTE: Make sure to choose the correct cleaning tool for your job. Use low pressure when possible and high pressure when necessary. Always read the manufacturer’s manual to get a better understanding of what your machine can do.
Nozzles For Soft Washing
Pressure washers may not come with a set of nozzles, but you don’t have to worry. A set that includes five Tool Daily Pressure Washer Nozzles will cost about 10 dollars and will include a red, yellow, green, white, and black nozzle.
The color of a pressure washer nozzle can signify a few things.
- Red: 0 Degree – the narrowest angle possible, useful for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots and corners. Use of this tip is optional, but very useful. It gives you a nice, focused stream that cuts through dirt and grime like butter and gets the job done quickly.
- Yellow: 15 degrees – This washer tip creates a stream that has a bit wider spray pattern, making it ideal for cleaning areas with less dirt and debris. You could use this on concrete or stone.
- Green: 25 degrees – The Green Nozzle is the most commonly used nozzle in the real world, and it’s perfect for all kinds of tasks. The wide stream allows you to cover more ground with less work, while the extra power helps break through caked-on grime.
- White: 40 degrees – The White nozzle is great for washing and clearing off light dirt or stains from delicate surfaces, like plastic or fiberglass. It has a cone-shaped stream that’s soft on surfaces and gentle on dirty dishes.
- Black: 65 degrees – This pressure washer nozzle offers a wide, gentle stream that’s suitable for extended washing and rinsing. It’s recommended for cleaning a broad surface with soapy water.
NOTE: The white nozzle on your pressure washer is perfect for soft washing, it’s gentle yet effective. When cleaning with a pressure washer, you should use the adjustable spray tips to clean different areas of your home. When doing so, make sure to use the white nozzle first. This will allow you to gently wipe away dirt and grime from your windows, siding, and patio furniture.
Correct PSI for Soft Washing
When it comes to the PSI level of your pressure washer for soft washing, there are two schools of thought: some say you should use a pressure washer with less than 100 PSI, while others say that anything above 1,000 PSI is enough to remove dirt and grime.
Professional pressure washers produce thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI), which is why they’re so effective at cleaning. 1,000 PSI may not seem like much by comparison, but it’s more than enough to remove all the dirt and grime on your home or business property.
We like to strike the perfect balance. A pressure washer with a PSI of 500 or less is considered soft washing, but this definition can change depending on the manufacturer and usage. Remember, the interpretation is flexible based on your needs.
Though pressure washers are among the most effective tools for cleaning cars, decks, or even whole houses, direct contact with the jet of water can be dangerous. The pressurized stream can slip over the hand and cause serious injury to fingers and even the wrist. Injuries not only hurt now, but they can also result in permanent damage — or worse.
Useful Tips for Soft Washing Using Pressure Washer
When using your pressure washer for soft washing, make sure you follow these tips and tricks.
1. Use Correct Detergent
Soft washing is the process of using a pressure washer to clean dirt and debris off of surfaces without relying so heavily on pressurized water. When you’re soft washing, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a good detergent that specifically works for this type of cleaning — using any kind of detergent will leave behind residue and stickiness, which can then attract dirt and grime in the future.
Be sure to only use the correct detergent and follow the directions on the bottle. By following this advice, you will be certain to get soft and shiny results
Let the soap do the work. With the high pressure of your water, you can usually get the soap off with just a quick scrub. If your detergent directs you to wait for a set amount of time, follow it as you would any other recipe.
2. Avoid Adjusting The Unloader
The pressure of a pressure washer is what keeps the soap and water flowing through the machine. There should be an adjustment for that, right? Wrong — unless your pressure washer’s manual recommends it or unless someone is giving you this advice as a response to your fix-it question.
Unloaders are important safety equipment; you don’t want to mess around with them and damage your pressure washer, or worse, hurt yourself and others.
It’s unfortunate when pressure washers lose power during operation. When this happens, the flow of water back to the pump is redirected so that it doesn’t build up. This safety device is called the unloader, and you should not alter or damage it in any way.
3. Don’t Use Soft Wash Detergent
Detergents meant to be run through a soft wash pump are not necessarily a good match for your pressure washer. If you have a high-pressure washer, you probably don’t want to use the soft wash detergent. They often contain harsh chemicals like bleach that can do damage to your washer
When you have a downstream injector, it is less likely to cause damage. However, it can still happen.
You can use a pressure washer sprayer or a long-handled scrub brush to apply soft wash detergents. You may also use liquid pressure washer detergent.
You can go with a standard pressure washer detergent, or you can also use a biodegradable detergent.
4. You May Need to Use A Ladder
Many homeowners pressure wash their homes each year, neglecting to take the proper precautions when they do. Even those who use a soft washer may be safely washing their home from a downward or straight-on angle, but many times they aren’t, and it can lead to water seeping into walls and damaging the home.
Pressure washing or soft washing, you should never spray from a downward angle. Doing so can lead to water getting behind your siding and causing damage to your home.
This sounds a bit whacky, but it is the truth: siding is meant to keep your house dry when it rains or snows. Doing the opposite can harm your home—water shoots up at it from underneath. Even if it doesn’t ruin your house, it’s not a good practice.
Is Soft Wash Pump Necessary?
For professionals, soft washing holds the key to greater equipment efficiency and a higher-quality wash overall. Soft washing has a unique combination of ingredients that can remove dirt and stains like a hard wash detergent would, but not damage soft surfaces such as rubber moldings or plastic bumpers. Using it’s gentle, low pressure application is also more efficient than power washing; you don’t have to worry about damaging your car while cleaning it.
Cleaning your home is a snap with a pressure washer. You’ll be able to remove even the most stubborn stains from your driveway, steps, and patio. When you’re finished playing in the mud, you won’t need to worry about washing off your equipment. With a pressure washer, you can easily and safely clean dirt off of your tools and vehicles.