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What in the world is softwashing?

The reinvention of the wheel…


Have you heard, “We’re the only ones who clean this way”?

This quick article is for you…


Which term do you put to mind easier?

  1. low-pressure washing
  2. softwashing

One you can relate to. The other, takes some explaining.?Well… they are the same thing.

Over the past few years, “softwashing companies” pop-up as quickly as they disappear. We’re not sure if this is because so much of their time is spent re-educating customers on what softwashing is. But, we do know where it comes from and what it is.

So, what is softwashing?

Soft washing is terminology developed to describe a process of using low pressure pumps/sprayers to apply a cleaning solution. Simple, right? Notice how we used “low-pressure” to describe what softwashing is?

More popularly used in the humid southeast, the term is making its way across the country. But, why?

We believe the term originated as a sales strategy to sell expensive equipment to new business owners rather than an effective communication tool between a service provider and a potential customer.

Do you agree with it?

In some scenarios, yes. Using low pressure is recommended for cleaning a number of surfaces including siding and many roof materials. We just choose to say we apply a solution with low pressure to not make a simple question a lengthy explanation.

On the other end. No. It’s alarming. The softwashing movement has led many inexperienced contractors to believe spraying aggressive chemicals on surfaces is standard practice. Rather than standards that have been around for years that are recognized by regulators.

The cons

“You can softwash everything!” Says equipment manufacturers.

And, often the only training new businesses get. They end up “softwashing” driveways by spraying concentrated bleach and rinsing it off a few minutes later. Is that a problem? YES

Where does water drain off your driveway? Street sewers.. that lead to rivers, lakes and oceans. Now, gallons of bleach will make it to waterways without proper filtration to protect our environment. The EPA is known to issue steep fines for knowingly polluting waterways.

From an engineering standpoint, bleach is made with sodium. Sodium salts are too large to reach down into the pores of the driveway! You’re really only treating the surface from organic substances. That’s the whole point of pressure washers right? To have the pressure necessary to clean into the pores of the material.

Does Lead Dog softwash?

By definition, Yes. Lead Dog uses compressed air and centrifugal pumps to push large amounts of fluids at low pressures.

In Closing

Power and pressure washing have been around for decades. The easiest and most comforting way to illustrate our services to a new customer is to use easy terminology. When things are the same… why complicate them? Although soft washing seems simple to understand, its nothing new or revolutionary and is a sign of the service providers experience level.