by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker


This PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING post and video examines the difference between these two cleaning strategies.  This is from my perspective as I got started in the business over 40 years ago.  But it also addresses changes in the industry over the years.  My very first pressure washing job was in 1979 as a junior in high school.


When I began there was no pressure washing vs soft washing debate.  However, we did soft wash, but without using that specific terminology.  Basically, we would apply the mix gently.  In other words, when using gentle pressure we would downstream.  We would use the black, green and yellow tips, applying the stream or mist from a distance back away from the surface.  So to me personally, down streaming is the original soft wash method.  Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing did become more relevant about 10 years later.  A franchise power washing company began using, promoting and marketing soft washing as a service alternative.   ‘


I define soft washing the following way.  Soft washing means applying mix to any surface softly with a dedicated pump.  It also always includes a light rinse.  This approach allows applying a stronger mix than what down streaming can deliver.  In the video, I explain that the original dedicated pump is a pump up sprayer.  Be sure and watch the entire video as I provide an answer to the question many people ask me about this.  That question is “How do I know what my mix ratio is when down streaming or using a downstream injector?”


Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing gains quite a bit of traction once new electric pumps take the place of a pump up sprayer.  12 volt pumps were first, which were wired and hooked into systems and tanks.  In addition to new pump options, tank sizes grew well beyond the pump up sprayer size.  This allows a new approach we call “batch mixing.” This means creating a cleaning solution with bleach, soap, and water.  Then air diaphragm pumps such as the FLOWJET pump came along.  This is what we have on our KINGSLINGER soft wash system.  Booster pumps and gas operated systems also became more and more prevalent over time.  We sell all of these systems and options through the Doug Rucker Store.  The full video is 23:00 so I encourage you to take the time to view the entire video.