Softwashing - what is the low down on risk to my health?

I understand every job has risks but I’d like to hear from people who have considered the risk to long term health.

What products do you use to safeguard your health?

What risks do you avoid?

What do you know about long term use of bleach and other softwashing chemicals?


Prolonged exposure to bleach is really bad for the lungs. There are no nerve endings inside your lungs, so you will not feel the damage until it is too late and you have lost significant lung capacity.

For housewashing, I use 3m n95 masks. If I did roof cleaning, I would invest in a full respirator due to the stronger mix needed.


Thanks for the straight talk.

Do you have any information on Algoclear? I was looking at the product today - it’s popular with UK softwashers.

I found the spec sheet - it is dialkyldimethyl ammonium chloride.

Never heard of it, but I don’t think I’d go near that stuff. A lot of the alternatives to bleach have much more dire environmental impacts.

The great thing about bleach is how quickly it degrades, especially in sunlight. Its byproducts are salt and water. So as long as you are careful about protecting the surrounding vegetation before, during, and directly after application, you can rest easy that you’re not causing longterm environmental damage.

There are a few great forums specific to roof cleaning and power washing. I’m on PWR all the time; there’s less emphasis on roof washing there, but it does still get discussed, and there are a lot of great older threads on the topic.

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