Soft wash questions


look at the powerwashstore tube channel. Get ideas and then make yourself


Both downstreaming and direct application (12V) are softwashing. You can downstream with a pressure washer.

If you downstream with a pressure washer, you can put a typical house mix in a 5 gallon bucket, because the pressure washer combines your mix, and the water, as it is being used. If you only have a 3.5 GPM machine, you wont need a buffer tank, as most houses put out that much or more from the spigot.

If you use a 12V, you will need a good sized tank, as what’s in the tank is what goes on the surface… no outside water is being used. If you are using a 12V, you dont need a ‘buffer’ tank, you need a mix tank, and it will need to be pretty big… like a 55 gallon drum.

To downstream 1 house out of a pickup bed, you would need a 5 gallon bucket, 3-5 gallons bleach, one garden hose, one pressure hose, pressure washer.

To 12V 1 house out of a pickup bed, you would need a 12V pump, battery, garden hose for rinsing, chem line for application, 55 gallon drum mix tank, and 3-5 gallons bleach.

Most people consider downstreaming to be the fastest way to wash a house. You only have to drag one hose around the house, soaping and rinsing with it. 12V you have to drag two hoses around house, soaping with one, rinsing with other.


I can’t wait to say this to someone today. I’ll give you credit !!!


Agreed! However those abbreviations mean irritable bowel syndrome… lol


Thank you for going thru all of this for him, I just didn’t have the time nor energy.


If downstreaming is so much faster, why are people selling soft wash setups? Is it because they are slightly cheaper? I am not seeing an obvious benefit other than low noise.


There is no benefit. You have seen the light. Money in vendors pockets


The only thing good I am seeing about these systems is that for around 1600 you can get a 7gpm machine. Lugging around two hoses does not seems faster.

I’d rather save for the 8gpm machine.


No, not really. Electric pumps are rated for open flow. As soon as you add hose, nozzles, and other plumbing, the flow rate drops off. Not uncommon to only push 3-4 gpm from a “7 gpm” fatboy.


So this whole softwash setup industry is a just a scam? Down streaming is the best option?


You gotta decide that for yourself


I guess I can think of it as the mac vs windows debate. Macs can do everything that a windows machine can do, but cost more and looker “cooler”,

Well I dont think softwash machines can do concrete, but who knows.


No, it’s more like minivan vs pickup truck. There are some things that a truck can do that a minivan would do poorly, and vice versa. The scam comes in when the “minivan” manufacturer claims that their minivans are better than pickup trucks… for everything.


I am not seeing how using a softwash setup is any better than using a pressure washer. The only thing that I see being better is the price range per gpm, everything else seems in favor of a pressure washer. Maybe I am missing something.


To clarify my metaphor: the minivans are the softwash systems. Think about how much it would suck to have to use a minivan for everything that a pickup would really do better at.

But minivans are good at moving a lot of people. A low pressure dedicated pump system, whether it be 12v, air diaphragm, or booster pump, are great for delivering high concentrations of solution. They’re indispensable for roof cleaning, and work well for stucco and dryvit, as well as deck stripping and cleaning.

Don’t buy the minivan just because the manufacturer claims it can do everything a pickup can. And also don’t trust the manufacturer when they inflate the towing specs, or use some “alternative” measure of cargo capacity. Get the pickup, and buy the minivan later when the time comes that you need to move a lot of people (strong solution).


Well put Alex


For clarification, I just want to re-iterate that a pressure washer can be considered a softwash setup. So we are really talking about the difference between a pressure washer and a 12V pump.

That being said, due to the propagan… er… ‘marketing tactics’ used by some 12V’ers, the term softwash is heavily associated with only 12V setups.

Lest you think that 12V’s are trash, which they aren’t, here are some pros to using 12V’s:

-No noise… some people laugh at that, but i think it is a valid benefit.
-Cheaper to get started with (but failures are common).
-Can apply much stronger solution than a pressure washer, like Alex mentioned above.
-Can do roofs with them.
-Not much risk of a poorly trained employee damaging property with pressure, as they dont go over 100 PSI generally.
-You can use a proportioning system (mixes bleach and soap on the fly) with them, which you cant do with a pressure washer. Huge time saver for some people.
-Also, if you have no integrity, you can mislead the public into thinking that anyone that uses a pressure washer cant softwash, and will likely tear up their siding… it’s super effective!

There are people that went from downstreaming to 12V’ing, because they preferred using a 12V, for whatever reason. There is no one size fits all method to it… it’s best to experiment for yourself and see what you like.

In my opinion, and ive seen most people say this, you should have as many methods of application in your arsenal that is reasonably possible (commonly: 12V/xjet/downstream)… to allow you to tackle all the different scenarios you will run into, as well as having backups on board.

My suggestion for you: Start downstreaming with your pressure washer, and get a surface cleaner if you dont already have one. When you get a little cash saved up, buy a 12V and start doing roofs. Eventually you can try each method out for houses.

Bottom line: Many guys only use 12V systems to wash houses, and they make great money. If you want to market yourself as the quiet way to clean someones house, with a device that cant exceed 100 PSI, you will possibly create a unique niche that sets you apart from the rest of the exterior cleaners in your area, and might pay off nicely… even if it takes a little longer on the jobsite.

…just dont say that a pressure washer cant softwash.

P.S. - Even though im heavy on the sarcasm towards SWS, i think they are generally a good group of guys. That one issue really gripes me though. They have a well polished organization, with helpful people, and quality products… they dont need to rely on a disingenuous attack against pressure washers to attract people… yet it persists.

edit: tireshark y u write so much, tho?


I have a soft wash system as well as a 4/4000 & surface cleaner. I really like my softwash with proportioner. I can adjust my mix quickly & my pump will push a 2 story gable. I use the 4/4000 for concrete w/ a whisper wash 19".


Any just thought I would chime in.



To me the only practical reason for a 12v is for roof cleaning. Even then I use my power washer…a ball valve with a XJet M5. With the ball valve you can easily get 4-5% SH on the roof