Problem soft washing chalky surfaces

I am having a problem soft washing chalky surfaces. Last week it was a block building that was fairly chalky and today it was a 1980s trailer that was very chalky.

We downstreamed SH 12.5% and put a shot or two of Dawn dish soap in with the SH. We rinsed the trailer first, applied the cleaner in a liberal manner, let dwell for at least 5-8 minutes and then attempted to soft wash. I noticed it really didn’t eliminate the chalk in either job. Long story short, I ended up blasting away with my white tip in an attempt to rid the surface of the chalkiness.

For the record, I need a better solution. I’d like to soft wash these problem jobs instead of just blasting them old school style with the white tip?? Thoughts??

If it’s “chalky” that means the paint is oxidized. Blasting it away with pressure is the wrong way to be doing it. You’re not going to get rid of it by soft washing. If you want it gone you’re going to have to hand scrub it using chems. You’re better off walking away. There’s easier money to be made.

Another thing to add is removing oxidation can sometimes cause more harm than good. If the paint is oxidized all the way to the metal you’ll likely just strip all the paint off. Most stay away from any type of oxidation removal.

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Pains me to say this, having used Dawn for window cleaning the past two decades…ditch it and use Elemonator or Snotmenade.

Chalky is oxidation. The other guys can comment on that end. I have a SW job Friday, her old vinyl is totally coated with dirt, and right away I pointed out the oxidation when I rubbed my fingers on it. She said “do what you can”.


I’m a painter, I constantly run into these situations. I have a TON of pressure washing experience, probably more than most of you. Been doing this since the late 90s, but only recently have I entered this “soft wash” world. We typically did it old school, meaning straight up power with the white and green tips full bore.

I like the soft wash system though, it preserves the wood and other surfaces much better. Just looking for a soft wash system for chalky surfaces.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been pressure washing. There’s a right way and wrong way. What you call full bore old school style is the incorrect way to wash most most surfaces. Most buildings you want to use low pressure unless it’s brick. Glad to see you decided to start soft washing. It’ll definitely make things easier for you.

As mentioned you’re not going to just rinse away the chalky oxidized paint with soft washing. It’s going to take some chems and brushing.


But you don’t know what oxidation is?


That’s the thing though, 20 years ago that was the correct way. We don’t do it any more but methods change. I certainly remember helping my ‘boss’ pressure wash decks back in the early 2000’s and he mainly used a green or yellow tip to good effect. It’s just what was done.

Heck, my very first PW job last September was using a green tip to restore a customer’s absurdly nasty, leaf stained deck and she was ecstatic with the results. I just made darn sure not to fur the wood.

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Of course I know what oxidation is, I just wanted a soft wash system that would eliminate it and nobody has offered up any solutions!!!

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They have offered help and given you solutions, you’re choosing not to listen.


Lol you have been given the answer. You also shouldn’t expect the answers to all your questions when you’ve been around for such a short amount of time. There is no spray on rinse off solution for oxidation removal. Except for this one guy who claimed he had the solution but refused to share it…:joy:


Many apologies sir, may I serve you a coffee while you wait?


Here’s your answer.


Has anyone tried this for oxidation? It makes a claim to remove it.

I agree 100%. Everyone comes on here blasting someone if they’re not soft washing. Soft washing a fairly new concept and has really taken hold last 15 years. But guess what grasshoppers. Plenty of people were cleaning plenty of stuff before soft washing. In many places in the world soft washing is a pretty novel way of cleaning and probably 90% of the world still uses pressure to clean. Part of the reason it’s so popular here is all the crap building products we use. I’ve been a fair number of places and here is about the only place you see vinyl siding. So don’t be so closed minded. There are lots of ways to clean a lot of different stuff.


Yep, @3000,3500 Psi… All day every day. Soft washing has no business even showing up at the truck washing round table. Might as well just stick around and not get in the way and learn something. :rofl:
Humor. Lol


I’d love to watch a truck washing video, sounds interesting. Guy across the street was asking if I wanted to do some fleet work, alas no hot water. No time either.


Do a forum search on oxidation. You’ll learn a ton. When you’re done with that do a search on fallout. The information here in the archives is a freaking good mine for a business person! :exploding_head:

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Oh snap, I meant to shoot you a video of me softwashing 24 trucks this early am. My soft wash gun is running a 15040 nozzle. I’ve told you before we do things a lil different around here lol

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I’ll send you one but I’ll have to see how to make it self destruct in 15 minutes


Send me 1also, please.