Lesson Learned (Free Oxidation Removal Service)

Sup, so I want this to serve more of as a “what a noobie should NOT do” when soft washing a home.

Little background, under 2k square foot home & very badly oxidized. The house gets direct sunlight most of the day on all 4 sides of home, no trees in sight.

Customer wanted the house power washed & windows cleaned.

Cool, I gave them the quote, and showed up to get started.

Being a newbie and learning, I showed up to do the house wash while my helper was cleaning the screens and doing the inside windows (I do primarily window cleaning & power washing is an add on).

As I mentioned the house gets direct sunlight most of the day and on the day of service it was about 80-90 degrees.

WHAT NOT TO DO: What I proceeded to do was downstream SH on all 4 sides of the home FIRST, about 1-2% downstreaming. Like I mentioned it was a very hot day and the solution dried up fairly quickly. Then I did a half *** job rinsing it with my 2.5gpm pressure washer.

Got paid for the job and thought all was good then received a text a few days later that there are streaks all over the house.

Here are the pics of the streaks:



I thought it was oxidation (not even knowing what the word meant) or dirty runoff, which is what I told the customer and that I could fix it.

I come back and try to downstream again and rinse off but it’s not coming off. I told him I would have to be back, that his house is badly oxidized and that I would need a different solution to remove.

Upon further research and speaking with others more knowledgeable than me, I figured that I removed the oxidation in certain areas and not in others which is what caused the blotchy areas.

I would need cleansol bc or a similar chemical to remove, I used a chemical called Cleanse All to remove it.

My process: I prewet the siding, this time I worked in sections. I prewet the siding, used a sprayer with half Cleanse All, half water to apply the solution, and then used a soft brush to brush it across the areas I sprayed, and rinsed it right after afterwards (DO NOT LET IT DRY).

The results after:




Oxidation removed and fresh siding left behind!

All it cost me was about $20-$30 for the chemical and about 3 hours of my Saturday, not an insurance claim of repainting or replacing siding!

Soft washing can be easy money… until it’s not.

Proceed with caution and do your due diligence.

Ever since this job I have been working in sections, not doing the whole house at once. Prewet the plants, apply chem, let it dwell a bit, and rinse off.

ALSO, use low pressure tips and LIGHTLY apply the chem and rinse off!

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I think you would have been ok had it not dried on you. I will burn that name of chemical Cleanse All into my memory tho.

Way too strong a mix, way too little water applying and rinsing. Throw that 2.5 in a lake somewhere.

Seriously though it was my very first machine, I did a deck with it and upgraded to a 4 before I even considered a housewash.

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Way to make it right. :facepunch:

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Thanks for posting that. It takes some stones to let everyone know that you messed up something and struggled. Most people will act like they don’t make mistakes. I come from the school of thought that you learn more from your losses than you do anything else. I’ve learned a lot by struggling through problematic houses. Way to make things right with the customer.

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Kudos to you for owning that and fixing it! The most valuable lessons learned in life cost you in one way or another. Now that that’s out of the way, set the world on fire :grin:

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Good job fixing it, just sounds like you need a little more experience… you’ll be better on your next one

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Everyone makes mistakes…if you do it again, then you have a problem. The trick I find is making sure every one of my crews learns from the mistakes of one another, and don’t have to each make the same mistake to learn it…then it gets really costly.

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PITB to correct the problem. Don’t see any dead plants or brown grass so you were taking care when the problem occurred. Heat evaporation is always a problem when applying almost anything except water. Well even water leaves spots on windows, unless low TDS (deioniozed/RO).

It is a bit concerning that you’re spitballing on percentages. The difference between 1% and 2% is astronomical in terms of vinyl house washing. For instance, I’ve washed houses for years with around a .6 to .7 mix. If you’re even remotely close to 2% you’re only causing unnecessary risk and wasting chemical and money.

Props for owning your mistake and making it right. Unlike some other newbies who have knowingly damaged people’s property and chalked it up to “lighting it up and getting it done”.

That being said, slow your roll. Do some more research. Experiment on YOUR home, never the customer’s. If you don’t have any idea of what percentage you’re applying to a surface I can assure you that you’re not ready to charge people for your services. You sound like you’re eager to learn and have some semblance of morals so that’s a positive but I promise that the jobs you pass up while you learn and, more importantly, understand what you’re doing will pay massive dividends.

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True, I haven’t calculated the exact %.

I downstream so it’s probably closer to 1%.

bucket test…then you’ll know

That would entail taking 10min of their time to gain real knowledge

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I will do the bucket test today!

Glad you posted this man! It’s informative and you took ownership that means a lot in today’s society.