My first job is complete.... what a mess

Hey guys… finished my first job…

It was an absolute nightmare! First of all my solution of 3 gallons of 12.5 with 5 ounces of arm and hammer with oxiclean was downstreamed on to the vinyl and it just did not come off… this is the second house in a row (I did a family members for free for practice) where the solution did not eat away at the dirt and mildew and I was forced to take an extension pole with a light brush and brush the entire fridge house after my solution was on… SO FRUSTATING!!

Then midway threw the house wash that took me forever to do…the owner comes out and tells me that the water/solution is dripping down from a window on the second floor. I go to inspect…assuming that maybe I wasn’t supposed to be spraying in to the fascia/soffit area and sure enough the water is coming in threw the seal at the top of the window and the owner is quick to say that it is not my fault, has anyone had this issue? Do you have waivers that cover your ass from this kind of crap!! Anyways the solution wiped the paint right off of his desk sitting beneath that window. He was super cool about it , I checked the rest of the house and sure enough there was no more.

Frustrated to the point of man tears I retreated to my truck wanting to just pack up and leave. I had spent four hours before the house wash cleaning the tracks out of the windows, which I grossly under quoted. I dont think I will be cleaning tracks anymore for anything less then 25 dollars a track. Anyways I was able to calm down, still dont know why my solution is not fighting dirt. I always read on here about how the solution does the work… here I am scrubbing my ass off to get the vinyl clean. After a serious fiver I fought back and said screw this I can do this and jumped out of the truck. I went from nervous and feeling like a failure to pissed off and ready to prove that I could do this.

I had told the customer that I would get the gutters as well as the fascia and soffits really clean, they were black. I was able to get the black off the gutter but the fascia and soffit was a different story… I later found out threw research that it was “tiger stripping”… and explained to the home owner I would try my best. I scrubbed for 7 hours… this job took me three days for the following services

interior exterior window cleaning with track cleaning and screens (all windows were storm windows)

house wash

deck pressure wash

driveway clean

This job never ended…his driveway was full of sawdust and grime. To the point that it took me an our to spray it to the road… then I had to scoop muddy shitty dirt in to a costco leaf bag cause I couldn’t just leave it on the street. Not to mention the dirt from the driveway would hit the house and it made me have to basically rewash…

I thought I did an OKAY job, Customer came out and said Trev you haven’t taken a break in three days, we love the entire job, they paid me 200 dollars more (it was 575 originally canadian) and told me to go across the street to talk to a neighbour. Neighbour was in charge of some neighbour group and asked if I could be the one to clean all there windows and siding! That I come highly recommended… such a weird turn of events.

I need some help with my mix guys… this stuff isnt working… its just not coming off, do I have to scrub every house? I see videos and everyone just sprays there solution waits and then washes and it looks fantastic. It hasn’t happened to me yet!!

All and all I am going to grind this out, people sometimes hire me cause they like me and see me working hard but three days for the above mentioned services is embarrassing but hey its my first job…I didn’t damage any property, get hurt AND the customer was happy and I got a huge referral.

questions for you guys (sorry for the long post)

  • better solution mix? I know I need a better solvent
  • best brush for siding/gutters where to buy?
  • And lastly… your favourite scotch… cause I could use a drink

X Jet !!! If your not confident in your mix ratios X Jet makes it simple. Spend the $150 and it will make its money back in one hour. I love the Xjet for the simple reason that I can control my mix ratio on the spot which comes in handy when you have some bad gutters or really dirty siding.


Are you doing 3gal of 12.5 to 2gal of H2O? What’s your injector & what is your gpm of your machine?

I’ve been doing a 50/50 mix with 12.5% for housewashes & have a 4gpm machine with a 10:1 injector with good results

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You should rarely have to use a brush. I’ve yet to use a brush in three years


literally putting 3 gallons of 12.5 and 5 ounces of surfactant in a bucket and down streaming it. My chem injector I dont know, I called the guy who installed it and he doesn’t know either which is frustrating. I have a 5.5 gpm machine.

Yeah I think I am gunna do this, I think my solution isnt strong enough and I also dont think my surfactant is good enough, its like its not sticking and fighting the dirt and mildew. I am so frustrated with it!!

Elemonator works good for me

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Try ds straight sh. That’s what I do and it works great for everything except stucco and dry city. I do add some surfactant. Ive been using agent green lately but their all pretty much the same. Surfactant and sh will clean just about everything but rust/ efflorescence. When I give out quotes over the phone I always ask what we’re cleaning. If they say just mildew and dirt/ grime (which is 90% of the time) then I give them the price. That way if there’s rust or any other difficult stains when I get there I can tell them that it wasn’t included in the original price and if they want it removed it will be extra.


Thats the thing… I am down streaming straight SH 12.5 and a little bit of a surfactant…and still nothing…

I have a five gallon bucket… i put three gallons of SH and five ounces of the surfactant and down streamed it and nothing came off, some did but I needed to scrub the siding…

I just reeled up hoses after 12 hours cleaning parking spaces for stripers. So I’m having a hard time unpacking this since I’m so beat, but I will say… for the millionth time… never underestimate a soft brush and strong mix.

A soft Unger brush and a 30’ Unger extension pole is a necessary and functional part of our tool kit.

However, so should NEVER have to brush an entire house.

Keep reading here. Up your mix. It will get better if you keep trying things that make you a little bit uncomfortable. I.e. downstreaming straight SH on the worst side and not rinsing too soon. Time it. You’ll learn what works.


Do you have pictures? Sometimes there are embedded stains that wont come out. But even still i downstream straight 10-12.5% with my 5.5gpm machine.

ALWAYS COVER YOUR A$$ with a waiver/contract. In my customer agreement (contract), it states all surfaces are assumed sealed. All outlets are up to regulation and current codes, ect. I think every house i do water leaks a little to the other side of the window.

Gutter whitening is a service i no longer offer because like you i would spend hours scrubbing, they always came out great but it kills your profitability. I just let them know that the tiger stripes will not come off with a normal house wash. If they still want it done its 2-3 dollars a foot, which is probably more then what it cost to just repaint or replace them. I dont care, they are a paint to clean.

You will get better and more efficient with time.
My first house wash was on a million dollar home i was not prepared for and took 12 hours on the house alone. The driveway and pool deck i did the day before and took about 5 hours. It was a big house, but i have now done bigger in less time because of practice.

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Arm and hammer doesn’t needed to be in your mix. Probably breaking down the bleach


Couldn’t agree more. Abandon all hope of this ever being profitable right after you abandon the service.

The arm and hammer was recommend by RACER… he is the man around here so I dont think he would recommend something that would do that. But maybe a different surfactant? I am tempted to buy a XJET to literally get an insane mix on peoples houses, cause this so far has been nothing short of brutal with the siding and nothing close to what I thought it would be after watching videos and reading up on here. Everything seems to be apply, wait, rinse, go to the bank… no one mentioned scrubbing the entire house! lol!

I love your waiver ideas… I am putting that in NOW, I was terrified when he came out and said there is a leak in the house…like holy my first job really…

The thing is I didnt know that it was a service in its own. I thought that making the gutters and fascia and stuff white was the house wash. So you guys just wash the siding and quickly go over the gutters and dont clean them? leave them black?

The oxiclean is reacting with the SH and basically creating oxygen gas and salt water. You are washing the house with salt water, not bleach. Get a bleach stable surfactant like elemonator or agent green etc.


I hope your mindset changes after a good nights sleep.


Okay here is the only positive. After being insanely frustrated at a family members house ( the one I practiced on ) with the dirt not coming off. I took a fertilizer sprayer and put straight bleach on a couple of vinyl boards… it came out mint and instantly started getting the dirt without scrubbing so maybe there is some hope here

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Maybe you need to check your injector ratio…


Step Uno.

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