Are There Alternatives to Bleach for Pressure Washing?

Are There Alternatives to Bleach for Pressure Washing?

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 19:17

Keeping the exterior of your home clean is of the utmost importance for residents of Asheville and western North Carolina. We live in one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The city is surrounded by mile-high mountains on every side, creating stunning views throughout the area. Millions of people visit our area every year to take in those views and enjoy the many unique small businesses, art galleries, and entertainment venues.

Whether it is your home or business, when exterior surfaces become grimy and dirty, they stick out like a sore thumb. At the same time, when it comes to cleaning your home's exterior, you want to make sure you do it in a way that avoids harming the environment.


We want to help you make sure you are using the right solutions when you pressure wash your home. Here is what you need to know about pressure washing cleaning solutions. 


Are There Alternatives to Bleach?

If you are about to put bleach in your pressure washer to clean your home, DON'T DO IT. Bleach is really good for one thing, disinfecting mold and mildew. There are several reasons not to put it in your pressure washing system:

  • While bleach is effective in killing mold and mildew, it really is not the best solution for cleaning. 
  • Bleach can be used to prep for paint, but it will corrode hose nozzles and pump seals. It can essentially destroy your pressure washing system. 
  • Bleach is a harmful chemical and can damage or kill your plants and landscaping. 
  • There is always a high probability when working with bleach that it will damage your clothing. 

In answering the question about alternatives to bleach, we cannot stress enough that there are many products to use besides bleach. You might consider using it to kill mold and mildew; however, it should be administered by hand, not through your pressure washer. 

Can You Use Regular Soap?

Regular soap and dish detergent is absolutely NOT an option for your pressure washing system. If you have ever attempted to put bubble bath in a jacuzzi, you can get an idea of what regular soap might look like from a pressure washer. 

Laundry detergent, dish soap, and other household products will not work properly and drown your property in suds. 

What Kind of Solutions Work for Pressure Washers?

There are cleaning solutions made specifically for pressure washers. There are often regulations regarding what you can and can't use, so make sure you double-check your local ordinances. A few of the solutions and chemicals that work best for pressure washing include:

  • Vinegar: Safe and effective cleaner for a variety of surfaces
  • Citric Acid: Perfect for cleaning grime from concrete and wood
  • Oxalic Acid: Can be used to correct rust 
  • Sodium Hydroxide: Great for breaking down grease, fats, and oils
  • Potassium Hydroxide: Used for mixing soft soaps
  • Ammonia: An effective exterior glass cleaner

Knowing these terms will be important in choosing your pressure washing cleaning solution. While the thought of using these chemicals may be concerning, look for packaging that indicates whether they are biodegradable. 

What Do the Pros Use?

At HydroClean, we think it is vital to make sure everything about our pressure washing services is safe for the environment and safely administered by our team. We utilize biodegradable chemicals that will rinse away the soil. However, these are commercial-grade detergents that must be blended appropriately. After cleaning, you will not notice any plants or grass dying around your home or business if done appropriately. 

Even if you choose the right solution, conventional pressure washers may not be what you need to clean your exterior surfaces. One of the most common mistakes home and commercial property owners make is spending a significant amount of money and time renting or purchasing a pressure washing system, only to find their property never gets as clean as they expect. 

With a typical pressure washing system, the force of the water can get underneath the vinyl, damage siding and chip paint, and cause other problems. It also simply transfers and moves bacteria, algae, mold, and mildew on your home's surface rather than killing it. This is similar to chopping a weed off at the base; it may appear to be gone for the time being, but it has roots and is ripe and ready to regrow.

The same can be said about your home. If you don't completely remove the mold and algae from the surface, it will return considerably faster. We provide low-pressure house cleaning called "soft washing." 

This process is performed using a totally biodegradable solution. It involves spraying your exterior surfaces with a 40-degree wide-angle nozzle and lower pressure per square inch (PSI). The solution effectively kills the mildew, mold, lichen, algae, and bacteria, making your home's surfaces appear bright. 

If it's time to show your home or commercial property's exterior surfaces some love, we are here to help. Contact the team at HydroClean for more information about environmentally safe cleaning solutions for your property.