Soft washing?

I guess I dont really understand what or how you softwash. I thought we have pressure washers because of their pressure? Please explain!

I am pretty sure Micah Kommers of “We Wash Windows” put a video or two up explaining the process.

I will see if I can find the video. Try the search box.

High pressure can cause damage to the homeowner’s siding or roof shingles. From what I understand it is just as fast doing the soft washing method because of the strong bleach content. High pressure also causes a crazy amount of zig zags on vinyl siding:( I guess one would have to have the right nozzle tips to do the job properly. There are some videos on Youtube about it also but I forgot who else has experience in this.

just type in “softwashing” in the search box. there is a ton of information on this.

Pressure washing you let the pressure washer do the work. Soft washing you let the chemical do the work. In the attachment im showing you the gun I use to get up too 25’ to wash houses. Just down stream the chemical to where you need it and then raise. Miach does have a great video on this…

DeJay, do you have a spare tip setup? I was washing a house yesterday when mine shot off the gun and into the landscaping. Looked for it for an hour and a half. Dead in the water until the new one arrives…

Are you using a 4gpm pressure washer? If so I have an extra one. The only problem is it might take me untill this weekend to get it to ya. I will be out of town.

Go get threaded brass hose barbs from HD and slap 'em in quick connects.
Straight for shooter, mash it a little for fan.

Call me if you don’t get what I’m saying.

Nice one Thad. That will work too. I have a couple of them I put together and they work just as good if not better.

I don’t know anything about pressure washing but I’m rearching it a bit now and I came across this article, cleared up a lot of things for me.

I did not write this.

Choosing a pressure washer can be confusing because you face a lot of decisions. Don’t be intimidated by all of the terms and specifications, but recognize what facts you need to know to make a good decision. The most important thing to know is that your pressure washer must match the work you intend to do. If you pressure washer is too large or powerful, you have wasted money and you could damage what you are cleaning. If your pressure washer is too small, it will take too long to do the work and you will lose money and time. That is the simple truth.

Let’s start by looking at the different choices you will have to make when buying a pressure washer:

  1. Gasoline vs Electric
  2. Hot Water vs Cold Water
  3. PSI vs GPM vs CU ( Psi vs Gpm = Cleaning Units )
  4. Belt Drive vs Direct vs Gear Driven
  5. Portable vs Stationary
  6. Wobble vs Axial vs Camshaft Pump
  7. Heavyweight vs Lightweight
  8. Home Model vs Contractor Model

Gasoline vs Electric: Most pressure washers are either powered by an electric motor or a gasoline engine. A few are diesel pressureed. Electric pressure washers require little maintenance and are very quiet. They require a source of pressure nearby (because the cord length is limited). They can be used indoors without any problem. You can have electric units with lots of pressure, but most electrics are small units designed for specific jobs, such as mobile detailing or deck cleaning. Gas units, on the other hand, can be extremely portable. They are designed for outdoor use and can be built to deliver tons of cleaning pressure. They can be somewhat loud, but your customers expect to hear some noise while you are working. Gas-pressureed pressure washers are used for cleaning concrete (called “flat work”), deck cleaning, fleet work, kitchen hoods and ducts, or any other pressure washing job that requires portability.

Hot Water vs Cold: Most pressure washers are cold-water portables. Cold water, along with the right cleaners, can do most jobs. Some jobs, like removing heavy grease or stripping off finishes, just go better with a hot water pressure washer. Hot water will enable you to cut about 30% off the time it takes to do ANY job. The pressure washing business is all about time, not spending less on your tools. If you have the right tools, you can compete with other contractors and get done with each job in the shortest amount of time. Many new pressure washing contractors make the mistake of under-buying their tools to save money. Most experienced pressure washing contractors over-buy their tools and make the difference back in no time with the added pressure and features. If all you are going to do is clean and seal wood, just buy a cold water pressure washer. If you are washing anything else, such as houses or hoods or trucks or concrete, consider a hot water pressure washer. If you already own a cold water machine and want to have hot water, you can call us and buy a “hot box” which will heat the water coming out of your cold pressure washer.

PSI vs GPM vs CU: First of all, let’s explain the acronyms. PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch. This is the pressure rating of your pressure washer. GPM stands for Gallons Per Minute, the flow rate of your pressure washer. CU stands for Cleaning Units, which is PSI multiplied by GPM. All of these terms refer to the pressure of your pressure washer.

To clean effectively, a pressure washer must provide ‘agitation’ to scrub off the dirt and ‘flow’ to rinse it away. Think of the pressure (PSI) as the agitation that is applied to the surface that you are cleaning and think of the flow (GPM) as the rinsing force that carries the dirt away.

Homeowner pressure washers tend to run between 1200 and 2700 PSI. Contractor-grade pressure washers tend to run between 3000 and 5000 PSI. More pressure means faster work, but more pressure also means more potential for surface damage. Wood decks, for example, are often cleaned at pressure as low as 300 PSI because 3000 PSI will rip the wood to shreds. Most contractors will settle for 3000 PSI because that amount of pressure is adequate for most jobs. Truth is that most contractors would prefer to have 3500 or even 4000 PSI if they could get it.

GPM is much more important to most contractors than PSI. Since most contractors use cleaning chemicals to do most of their pressure washing work (the fastest method) their job becomes one primarily of rinsing rather than washing. The cleaners do all of the cleaning, and the contractor rinses the dirt away. When you think about that method, you realize that the more flow you have, the faster the job is rinsed. Therefore, most experienced pressure washing contractors recognize that GPM is more important to them than PSI.

PSI (pressure) will help you break the chemical bond between the cleaning surface and the dirt. Once the bond is broken, the extra PSI does nothing to speed up the cleaning time.

The higher the GPM, however, the more surface area a pressure washer can clean. For example, a 2000-PSI model with a 2 GPM flow rate might clean approximately 5-7 square feet per minute. If the same unit had a 3 GPM flow rate, it might clean 8-10 square feet in the same amount of time.

In this business, contractors sell “the finished job”. The contractor who gets that job done in two hours might be making $50 per hour. The guy who gets the same job done in one hour makes $100 per hour. Which one do you want to be?

Dealers of homeowner pressure washers like to refer to CUs when they show you a pressure washer. This number is the result of multiplying the PSI by the GPM. If you have a pressure washer with 3000 PSI and 4 GPM, you have 12000 CUs. For homeowner pressure washers, this is a good comparison of the pressure you are buying. For professionals, CUs have little meaning. GPM is most important, and PSI is less important, and the CU formula makes them both equal. The best solution is to talk to a dealer who really understands what you are trying to pressure wash because he will steer you to the right GPM and PSI for the job.

Belt Drive vs Direct vs Gear Driven: The gasoline engines used for pressure washers all run at around 3450 RPM. In a Direct Drive pressure washer that pump is bolted to the engine shaft, so it spins at the same 3450 RPM. In a belt drive unit, the engine is tied to the pump through pulleys and a belt and the speed of the pump is reduced to either 1700 RPM or 1400 RPM. In a gear-driven machine, the engine delivers pressure to a transmission that in turn spins the pump at a reduced speed (1700 RPM).

Direct drive pressure washers transfer the vibration of the engine directly to the pump as well.

The faster pumps of direct-drive machines are spinning so fast that they cannot draw water from a tank or a lake very well. They tend to work fine when the water is forced into the machine (like when you hook it up to a hose from the house).

The slower moving pumps (belt driven or gear driven) work less and wear less, so they tend to last many years longer. They will also pull water to the machine from a tank, so your pressure washer shouldn’t ever be starved for water (a problem that results in destroying the pump).

Gear driven pumps still transmit the engine vibration to the pump because everything is hard-bolted together. This kind of pressure washer has not become popular since it was introduced because there is obviously one more part to break in the system – the transmission.

Portable vs Stationary: Stationary pressure washers are used in car washes, factories, etc. They are installed in place and never move. Portable pressure washers are used by contractors who travel to the customer to do the work. There is a crossover model called a skid unit - a stationary pressure washer designed to be installed on a trailer so that it can be taken to the customer’s site for the work. The most common pressure washers for contractors to use are cold water portable pressure washers (for small residential work) and hot water skid units (for large commercial work or high-volume residential work).

Wobble vs Axial vs Camshaft Pump: Since your pump is the heart of your system, it is critical to understand what you are buying. Every pump manufacturer makes several grades of pumps – Good, Better, and Best.

The Wobble design requires a piston to push against the pressure in the pump and the pressure of a spring. This is an inexpensive design to build, but it is relatively inefficient, too. This is the design found on most homeowner pressure washers. It is designed to work for limited hours at a time and very limited hours per year, which is OK for a homeowner but doubtful for a contractor who wants to pressure wash every day. Wobble pumps tend to last for around 300 hours before needing extensive service or replacement.

The Axial design is similar to the wobble design with a couple of important differences. Most axial pumps have larger oil reservoirs and bearings, which allow them to be used for longer periods of time and more hours per year. They still are inefficient (like the wobble) but several lower-priced contractor-grade machines work fine with the axial design. Axial pumps tend to last for about 600 hours before needing service.

The Camshaft design delivers the most pressure and durability of all these designs. It uses connecting rods on a cam with large bearings like a car engine, so it runs cooler and lasts longer. It is able to hold up to continuous use for hours and hours as long as it is kept cool. Cam pumps tend to run for 1000 hours before needing service, and tend to last 2000 hours before needing extensive service or replacement.

Heavyweight vs Lightweight: If you are buying a portable pressure washer, it makes sense to pay attention to the weight of the unit. After all, you are the one who is going to lug it all around and move it into and out of your truck. Aluminum frames can be fragile, and steel frames can be heavy, so talk to your dealer about how you are going to transport the pressure washer. He may be able to steer you to a good solution for your needs.

Home Model vs Contractor Model: The final choice for you to think about is durability. We have already discussed the difference in pumps, even from the same pump manufacturer. The cheapest pressure washers usually have the cheapest pump, which won’t hold up well for most contractors. There are other considerations that you need to think about, too.

The finish of the machine can be very important. Powder coating holds up better and lasts longer than painted frames. Steel frames rust. Aluminum or stainless doesn’t. Aluminum can be bent, steel is very rigid. This particular choice will vary depending on the pressure washers preference.

For pressure washers that will be used at least 20 hours per week and sometimes up to 8 hours in a day, the lower priced machines just won’t last very long. They come with inadequate parts throughout, such as the unloaders, pumps, and even the engines. Just because it says “Honda”, for example, doesn’t mean that all Hondas are the same. This is where Grandpa’s “you get what you pay for” saying really is true.

If you buy a $900 pressure washer and you get six months use out of it, that purchase cost you $150 per month. If you bought a name brand commercial-grade machine of the same specifications for $1600 and you got 5 years of use from it, that purchase cost you $27 per month. Which one is less expensive?

Let me relate some of my own experiences. As a pressure washer dealer, I see homeowners dragging in dead machines that are only a few months old every week. These machines cost more to fix than to replace, so my ‘boneyard’ is full of discarded homeowner units.

I recently sold two old pressure washers that I used when I was a contractor and didn’t want any more. They were each 12 years old and each ran like a top. One had needed only routine maintenance over it’s life. The other had to have the pump completely rebuilt about three years ago. They were both belt-driven units with AR pumps and Honda engines. I paid about $1500 for each and sold them for about $300 each. When I added up all of the maintenance costs and the purchase price and then subtracted what I got for them when I sold them, those pressure washers costs me about $16 per month to own. Is there a better deal than that anywhere?

If the bottom line for you is how much cash you have to fork over right now, consider an alternative. A reputable dealer in Maryland can get you into a quality pressure washer on a lease or finance contract. In the long run, you are better off with the better pressure washer. You will spend less of your cash today, and less over the life of the pressure washer even with the interest added on.

Thanks guys, my new ones should be here tomorrow, but that is a great idea Thad.

Here is my nozzle holder. We very rarely use the 2 high pressure nozzels. We just shut the soap valve at the trailer.

Check out Sunbrite Supply on the internet. Talk to Pete or Tracy. These dudes are very knowledgeable. I just got started in pressure cleaning. And they helped me out tremendously, with knowledge from the right pressure cleaner to the correct ratio on chemicals and everything in between. Their prices are great as well.

The concept of soft washing is that you use chemical to do the cleaning. I am using an M5 X Jet with a closed pail system. It has an adjustable nozzle. It’s great because you can apply chemical up to about 40’ or so without intense pressure. And it’s safer because you can do everything from the ground (because for me, using a ladder is cumbersome, dangerous and time consuming). After letting the chem sit for about 10 min or so then rinse off. Easy. This can be done using downstreaming as well.

You might want to do some research on using an X Jet or downstreaming. Or just ask Pete or Tracy. There are debates. I don’t have a preference. Because I haven’t gotten around to downstreaming yet. I’m sure there are pros and cons like everything else in life. But either way it’s great and makes pressure cleaning enjoyable and profitable.

The X-jet or M-jet are useful tools but they are NOT low pressure or softwash.

I soft wash. I use this…
Pressure Washer Downstream Chemical Injectors -

This article also talks about the tips you’ll need…

And the ability to soft wash does not come from using a high concentrate of “bleach”.
I use a five gallon bucket that is filled with 4 gallons of store bought bleach. I then add a surfactant…Dawn. About a cup worth. I then drop my injector hose in. It will pull and mix the bleach with water at 10:1 ratio. The key is to let it sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes. If the sun is present, you need to keep it wet with more chemical. I then change the tip and start rinsing. Pretty simple. I have a 4gpm unit and I can usually do a nasty house, gutters, and decks in less than 2 hours alone.

What about wood decks ??? in any condition, painted, treated wood with a water proof already applied. I have a job, small ranch house, white vinyl siding, the front has a wood deck that was done in the spring, will the bleach spot it etc. My guess is too wet everything good and treat the wood as flowers and do lots of rinsing. Hate too screw up the deck by softwashing the house. Any help please.

Don’t use bleach.
Use this…
The original F-18 Max works well to remove oil based sealers with the least amount furring and darkening of wood. Also works great on concrete! Buy 1 extra box and save $10.00 Buy 2 and save $20.00 - CHEMICALS HOUSE WASH / GUTTER / WOOD CARE / MULTI-
Then this…
The original F-18 Max works well to remove oil based sealers with the least amount furring and darkening of wood. Also works great on concrete! Buy 1 extra box and save $10.00 Buy 2 and save $20.00 - CHEMICALS HOUSE WASH / GUTTER / WOOD CARE / MULTI-

You can call Bob at Pressure Tek too. He knows a lot about wood and chemicals.

Wooooah, hold up.

DWS, what are you intentions for the deck?

Do you want to just clean the house and do very little to the deck, clean the deck, or STRIP the deck?

If you want to STRIP the deck, then use the F-18.

If you do NOT want to strip the deck, do NOT use F-18.

If you’re just cleaning the house, and want to prevent your house wash mix from bleaching out spots, do this. Just wet the entire deck down, then coat the entire deck with your house wash mix. Keep it wet and just rinse it off with garden hose type pressure. You won’t have any spotting unless you’re using way to strong of a house wash mix.

Yes you can use bleach on a deck as a cleaner. I would buy 12.5% or at least 10% and do it right…

I use mine with an adjustable nozzle. This gives the ability to apply chemical and rinse without high pressure. I would think as long as you’re not right on the siding it’s OK. I’ve been having great results with it.

Did you change you name from Clear View window Cleaning to what it is now?