My budget Softwash build to see if I can make money

12v 5.5 gpm pump( is spending extra on bleach pump worth it?)
1/2 flexzilla hose (250’ Amazon)
I have 55 gallon drums I can get for free to use for batch mixing.
I have a northern tool Softwash gun with tips already.
12v Battery.
Fittings to connect everything.

If I can see that I will get work I will upgrade quickly if needed as I have the funds. But don’t want to spend more till I know I can get work.
If I can see I can get work my most immediate upgrade will be hose reels and then go about maybe getting a two tank system with proportioner.

I know this topic has been beat to death on here but any advice is appreciated.

I already have a small handyman/landscape/pressure washing(driveways mainly) business just looking for extra revenue stream. If it turns into something more that’s would be awesome.

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What are your wanting to use this softwash system for?

Roofs and houses.

Thanks for the clarification.
Lots of folks here - myself included - “soft wash” vinyl, wood, hardy plank sided homes with jrods/DS injectors or xjets on our regular pressure washers. Doing stucco (or something similar) sided homes will often require an xjet or a soft wash build as you described in your original post. Roofs would be this way as well.

As far as additional items to consider:
Use of a 12v soft wash build is typically used to apply a stronger mix than what a typical pressure washer can obtain. This stronger mix can really be damaging to nearby landscapes, painted surfaces, etc.

Consider looking into bagging your gutter downspouts if washing a roof with gutters. Or I’ve heard that gypsum pellets work for neutralizing the bleach as well. If working by yourself perhaps set up a lawn sprinkler to keep the lawn and shrubs watered down in the event of runoff or drift.

Get a good surfactant, but if you’re doing driveways perhaps you already have one.

Tarps/rolls of plastic/tyvek wrap etc is great for covering up items you don’t want your strong mix to hit. My first roof I ever washed had me working from a ladder near the drip line of the roof and when I shot the mix up to the ridge of the roof, some of the cleaner overshot and made its way onto the newly constructed back deck that hadn’t been stained or sealed yet. Three minutes with a tarp would have saved me from having to explain that one to the customer.

I’ve only done a few asphalt shingle roofs myself but these are some of the tips I discovered on this forum or that guys shared with me.


All good advice thanks. Yes I thought about xjets and that still is a option kinda looking for a one size fits all to start though.

Also I just been using gain dish soap as a surfactant. What is the general consensus on here about best surfactants?

Anything but dish soap. Buy a real surfactant. Don’t put degreaser on a house. If you have a pressure washer you already have what you need to soft wash houses. Roofs suck so avoid doing them.


^^Listen to him.


Lots of folks like Elemonator from PressureTek for a housewash mix, and something thicker like ClingOn for steep driveways and roofs. There are a few options out there though that you can experiment with. Heck, even Northern Tool has some, although I’ve never used it personally. And some guys use specific laundry detergent. Just be sure that if you main cleaning agent is bleach that your surfactant can tolerate that.

Any thoughts on getting a 12v bleach pump vs a regular pump?
Is the extra expense worth it?

Why don’t you do some research and figure it out? You’ll learn more if you exert your mind a little.

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Do you plan on pumping bleach…?

I couldn’t tell you realistic life expectancy out of a bleach rated pump vs a non-bleach rated pump. But I started off with the pump just to transfer bleach from one drum into another for batch mixing. I soon expanded its purpose into post treatment of driveways etc.

I went with the 4gpm bleach pump from Northern Tool. I’ve replaced the head unit once after I ruined it trying to use it as a sludge pump. Took about 5 minutes to change out on the tailgate of the truck in the parking lot outside of the store. It was great up until that time I misused it, and it’s been great ever since I fixed it.

Well yes it’s going to be in my batch mix.

Good on you for asking the hard questions… but this industry is more of a high dive than something to be carefully eased into as to decide whether it’s profitable enough or not to justify further investment. Once you’ve got the right insurance (it’s industry specific in this case), a business license, LLC & equipment in place to get started, you better hope it works out because you’re in too deep to turn back. If I were in your shoes, I would spend my wash-rig money on marketing my handyman business. Every handy man / yard guy in my neck of the woods feels it’s necessary to have ‘pressure washing’ added to their list of 15-20 services they offer but when the folks that own the fancy house on the corner want to get it washed, they are going to find a specialist - not a lawn care, landscape, tree trim, junk removal guy with a pressure washer. If you had a $300k sports car, would you hire a handy man to clean it? Or would you look up an auto detailer?

Well I already got most of those in place besides Softwash equipment… so it’s not that big of a jump. I disagree that I need to be be industry specific to make it profitable. If it turns out to be something I can make into a full time thing then I can get all that fancy equipment y’all got pictures of.

You know that asking questions is part of research?

It sounds like you should be the one giving us advice. It’s still a high dive, step on in big daddy! Let us know how it goes.

You know, he’s got a point here @Innocentbystander Maybe he’s right.

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Asking questions is a poor way to learn anything