How to soft wash shops and other street-facing properties

September 01, 2023

How to soft wash street-facing properties

We were asked how to safely soft wash street-facing properties while protecting the public from harm and conforming to the various regulations.

We thought many soft washing contractors would be interested in our reply and will value this specialised information.

Important factors to consider when soft washing shops, etc

Soft washing shops and other street-facing properties, and public areas in general is a niche in its own right and some companies do well by specialising in it, which is a business plan worth consideration by all soft washing contractors.

Health & Safety: Because of the need for stringent health & safety practices when working in public areas, all work must be completed with the utmost care and attention to details. Also, a thorough knowledge of the applicable regulations is essential to ensure legal compliance. Many customers simply do not realise how many unseen steps have to happen before a soft washing contract for public areas, shops and other street-facing properties can even begin.

For example, completing the Method Statements and Traffic Management Plans required by councils before they will give a contractor approval to go ahead with a soft washing contract can consume considerable time.

And because of the time that dealing with bureaucracy and red tape can take up, it’s important that contractors price the soft washing of shops, other street-facing properties, and public areas in general at a price point that reflects this “behind the scenes” overhead.

The benefits of collaboration: Unless you specialise in soft washing shops, street-facing properties and other public places, you may find it beneficial to pass the lead to a company who regularly does this sort of work; or work with them on the contract. Over the long-term, by building collaborative relationships with other companies you’ll often find they will pass leads on to you. A win-win for everyone.

Best practices for soft washing shops and other street facing properties:

  • Use Benz softwash spray nozzles to minimise spray drift.
  • Place “spotters” on all corners of working area to spot hazards arising in advance, including general public, children and animals attempting to gain access to the working area.
  • Use a water fed brush instead of a spray nozzle if conditions are too windy or there's too great a danger of chemicals migrating outside of the required application area.
  • Use a cherry picker or scissors lift to access elevations that are beyond the reach of water fed pole (WFP) technology.
  • Scaffold higher areas and sheet off.
  • Ensure applicable permits are obtained from the council and other relevant authorities to block pedestrian and vehicle access.
  • Barrier off the working area, and every area where there is any possibility of the public being exposed to chemical spray or run-off.
  • Erect hazard warning signs in all appropriate places.
  • Schedule work for early and/or late in the day, and/or weekends when the numbers of general public will be less and commercial premises will be closed.

Quick tip: Benz Lightning Cleanze can save time and money over sodium hypochlorate (SH) mixes by not having to catch run-off in containers that are then incinerated at considerable cost.

This is possible because according to EU legislation Lightning Cleanze is non-classified and non-corrosive  at the dilution levels we recommend on the product labelling and on the Benz Softwash website

Lightning Cleanze is fully approved by the UK and Irish governments, unlike all other sodium hypochlorite products we know of.

Run-off must be diverted to a foul drain and kept away from surface drains. Permission should be obtained from the relevant water authority to discharge waste chemicals into the drainage system. Remember that regulations can change between water authorities, so it's important to check what is required by the authority responsible for the area you are working in.

Source further information: We offer the above information for general guidance only. Please do your own research into the various factors involved, including regulations imposed by local councils, national governments and other relevant legislative organisations, governing best practice on any given contract concerning soft washing properties in public areas.

Regulations and procedures may differ country to country, city to city, council to council. So a contractor is well advised to contact their local council to get clear on their specific regulations and working guidelines. Also, a friendly and reputable scaffolding company will have come across the issues of working in streets already and will know what regs have to be complied with and how.

Regulations are constantly changing and the information given in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. But please check with the local authorities responsible for enforcing regulations for specific contracts in your geographical area before you soft wash a shop, street facing property, or other public area.

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

Team Benz

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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