Differences in PSI Washing Techniques: Soft Washing, Pressure Washing, and Power Washing

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Three standard methods for cleaning exterior surface areas are soft, pressure, and power washing. Each technique has many advantages and disadvantages that can facilitate a decision for your project.

Soft washing is a gentler form of cleaning that uses low-pressure water combined with special detergents and cleaning solutions. The method is ideal for delicate surfaces like wood siding, stucco, and vinyl since it does not cause any damage or wear down surfaces.

In contrast, pressure washing uses high-pressure water through nozzle jets to remove dirt from surfaces quickly and efficiently. It is best to use on hard surfaces such as concrete driveways or patios where there is a need for deep cleaning.

Finally, power washing combines pressure washing with hot water to remove stubborn dirt, lichen, and algae build-up from surfaces like asphalt, shingles, or metal roofs.

In addition to the many benefits each method offers, you'll also find the pros and cons of each technique in today's blog. However, the most significant differences between these three methods are water temperature and pressure per square inch (PSI).

Benefits of Soft Washing

Soft washing is a relatively new cleaning technique that continues to gain popularity among homeowners and businesses. Soft wash cleaning services use a combination of low-pressure, water, and biodegradable detergents to clean outdoor surface areas such as:

  • Cedar shake siding
  • Coquina siding
  • Outdoor patio furniture
  • Window screens
  • Enclosed lanai

The pros and cons can also help you decide if soft washing is a suitable choice for your project. The method eliminates the need for high-pressure washing methods, which can damage some surfaces. For best results, professionals use water temperatures no higher than 140° Fahrenheit (F) and no higher than 500 PSI.


The low pressure of a soft wash makes it an eco-friendly choice that is less likely to damage or strip away protective coatings.


A downside to the soft wash is the need to clean a surface repeatedly, and some cleaning solutions can lead to staining.

Benefits of Pressure Washing

An excellent way to clean an outdoor area of unsightly dirt and grime from hard-to-reach places is pressure washing. It's also an effective method for removing stubborn stains that can get sunbaked on a surface.

The benefits of pressure washing include faster cleaning, improved safety, and cost savings. It's safe for use on various surfaces but at the recommended distance and angles suggested by the nozzle manufacturer. Some of the most common outdoor hardscapes that get pressure washed are:

  • Concrete surfaces
  • Stone pavers
  • Roof shingles
  • Veranda furnishings
  • Pool walkways

However, pressure washing can damage property if misused or if the wrong type of cleaner gets applied. Furthermore, it requires special equipment and safety precautions to avoid bodily injury.

For outcomes to be successful, it's essential to know that water temperatures should not exceed 140°F and generally get performed between 1,500 and 4,400 PSI.

Before deciding on one method over another, here are the pros and cons associated with pressure washing.


The pressure wash method is most effective at cleaning surface walkways, but an added pro is the exceptional cleaning power to remove dirt and grime from tight spaces or fine cracks.


Common cons with the pressure wash method is inexperience and misuse, which can lead to injury or damaged property.

Benefits of the Power Wash Method

The power wash method requires the use of a heavy-duty machine used for cleaning surfaces with hot water up to 311°F under high pressure between 1,500 and 4,400 PSI. Furthermore, it's a great way to remove dirt, mold, stains, and sunbaked material from hard-to-reach places.

These services are often used in commercial businesses and industrial settings to clean and sanitize outdoor surfaces, including:

  • Driveways and parking lots
  • Concrete culverts
  • Office buildings

The most significant washing power includes saving time and energy while reducing the use of chemicals needed for cleaning. Like with pressure wash and soft wash, there are pros and cons of power wash services.


Thankfully the high temperature of the water, accompanied by the high PSI, makes the power wash method the choice for cleaning and restoring surface to a like-new state. In addition, the power wash method is superior to the other two cleaning methods and hard-to-reach spaces.


Conversely, the cons of power washing are property damage from inexperienced users and inadvertently injuring one's self from the hot water.

Hire an Experienced Power Washing Professional

Rather than risk damaging your home, office building, or yourself, there are pressure wash services are available for hire near you. So you can quickly and affordably outsource your projects to the experienced professionals at NE Seamless.

If you're a homeowner or a business looking to have an outdoor surface pressure washed or power washed, contact the professionals at NE Seamless by calling (620) 404-2262 today! They will quickly restore the exterior of your home, office building, or parking lot by cleaning it with their industrial pressure washing equipment.