How effective is softwashing compared to power or pressure washing?

May 28, 2015

Benz Softwash for softwashing chemicals

We are frequently asked to explain the difference between softwashing and pressure, or power, or jet washing. So in this post we explain the basics to help clarify the situation.

Softwashing is the process of removing unwanted biological growths, and the unsightly staining they produce, from external hard surfaces such as walls, roofs, paths and drives, car parks, gravestones, polytunnels, tennis courts, wood decking, greenhouses, conservatories, and so on.

Softwashing is …

  • Excellent for cleaning modern exterior wall renders, natural and man-made slate roofs, clay tiled roofs, as well as concrete and brick patios, paths and drives.  It gives fast, predictable results without damaging the surface.  And those results can last for years.
  • A cost-effective way to clean and restore brick drives and concrete paths to their former glory.  Once restored, a light annual treatment with Bio Cleanze keeps  surfaces looking great all year round.

Power, or pressure, washing is …

  • A great way to get immediate results that look good – but unfortunately only for a short time as surfaces rapidly re-colonise, and often causes some damage to the surface being cleaned.

The solution to the problems of power washing is, fortunately, simplicity itself. Just apply Bio Cleanze as a post treatment following power washing, which will kill the remaining spores, ensuring much longer lasting results.

And the really great news is that Bio Cleanze imparts a degree of residual protection against re-colonisation to all porous surfaces. This is something that is completely impossible through power washing alone, or by using bleach as a cleaning agent.

The harm that power washing can do to delicate materials – sandstone for example – needs to be considered (even concrete can be damaged by using too high a pressure). This is especially important for listed buildings.

So if you use a power washer it’s wise to use the lowest effective pressure – even on apparently tough surfaces like concrete and tarmac – and then post-treat with Bio Cleanze.

Softwashing has many advantages over power washing:

  • Longer lasting results
  • Uses less water
  • More cost-effective
  • Is safe for all known building materials
  • Ph neutral
  • Does not damage the surface being cleaned
  • Does not exaggerate the degrading of the surface due to weathering
  • Kills the spores that are always left behind by power washing

Softwashing also has a couple of limitations:

  • The results from Bio Cleanze are not instant, requiring a few days, weeks or months for nature to remove the remaining growths.
  • Very heavy grime on concrete may mean that Bio Cleanze will not penetrate fully at first. Repeated applications, using Lightning Cleanze or a gentle power wash, before application, will resolve this problem.

Btw: Lightning Cleanze produces results in only a few minutes and is an excellent first treatment to give customers the fast results they want and expect. Lightning Cleanze can often be used instead of pressure washing to remove the worst of the surface infestation.

Following up with a treatment with Bio Cleanze continues the cleaning through time and imparts the valuable residual protection that means customers will enjoy the results of cleaning for longer.


For long-term maintenance – ensuring surfaces look great all year round – a regular treatment with Bio Cleanze is by far the best and most cost-effective option


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We hope this information was helpful.


Ben, Leo
 & Fiona


Click Here to explore the full range of Benz popular softwash cleaning products

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

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