How effective is soft washing compared to power or pressure washing?

March 31, 2023

How effective is soft washing compared to power or pressure washing?

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

Soft washing 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, poly-tunnels, tennis courts, wood decking, greenhouses, conservatories, and so on.

Soft washing 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.


Once restored, a light annual treatment with Bio Cleanze biocide is usually all that's needed to keep surfaces looking great all year round. You can achieve this by offering your customers a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing soft washing service.

Pressure (aka power, jet) washing is

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

The solution to the problems of pressure washing is, fortunately, simplicity itself. Just apply Bio Cleanze as a post treatment following pressure 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 to achieve 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 crucially 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.

Soft washing has many advantages over power washing

  • Longer lasting results
  • Lower carbon footprint
  • 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 left behind by power washing

Soft washing also has a couple of limitations

  • The results from Bio Cleanze require a few days, weeks or months for nature to remove the remaining growths.

Quick tip: Lightning Cleanze biocide produces results in only a few minutes and is an excellent first treatment to give your 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 of Bio Cleanze continues the cleaning through time and imparts valuable residual protection, which means your customers will enjoy longer-lasting results from your cleaning of their property.


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 

We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

Ben and the Benz Team

Click here to get more practical soft washing how-to tips

How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).

Click here to download our Product Documentation Pack (includes Application & Dilution guides, SDS, PDS, RAMS, PPE & Mask info, COSSH, sample Contract and more)

Order Benz Softwash chemicals & equipment online or by phone:

GB (England, Scotland, Wales)

Phone: 0800 70 74 222 


Ireland and other countries

Phone: 00353 214 622 978


Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm

Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)

PS: Click here to set up your "Clean & Maintain" programme
. After completing an initial soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.

This is clearly a win-win arrangement for you and your customers.


Click here to explore the extensive range of Benz softwash cleaning chemicals & equipment

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

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