Do I Have to Use Bleach for Pressure Cleaning House?

Do I Have to Use Bleach for Pressure Cleaning House?

Asheville, NC, is a wonderful place to live and own a home. It is an area that hosts all four seasons and technically is surrounded by temperate rainforest. With all of the humidity that a “rainforest” entails, it is important to carefully consider keeping the exterior of your home free of mold and mildew. 

With summer quickly coming to a close, now is a great time to start considering pressure cleaning your home. Summer storms bring great amounts of moisture that allows mold and mildew to grow on your siding. Have kids? Then it's likely there is dirt, chalk, and more all across your deck and paved areas around your house. 

 

Do I Have to Use Bleach for Pressure Cleaning House? 

With all of the detergents and chemicals, how can you know exactly which one works best for your home? Is pressure washing dangerous? Can it cause problems with your home? 

Whether or not you need to use bleach when pressure washing is one of the most pressing queries we get, and we have an answer that could surprise you!

What Is Bleach?

Although it may seem like a silly question, we must first establish a general understanding of bleach to determine whether or not it is necessary for pressure washing. In its most basic forms, the term "bleach" refers to any product that contains sodium hypochlorite and is used to "bleach" out color or stains.

Because it works well to control bacteria, viruses, and algae, bleach is also fantastic for keeping things clean. The majority of bleaches are oxidizing substances that take electrons away from other molecules.

Pressure Washing with Bleach

While it can seem like a good idea to fill your home pressure washer with bleach and get to work, it's not necessarily the best approach to cleaning all surfaces. In addition to killing vegetation and removing color from garments, bleach can eradicate mold and mildew from surfaces. 

Considering pressure washing a metal building? Due to bleach's classification as an oxidant, it can corrode a variety of metals when used. Not EVERY PURPOSE uses bleach.

To avoid harming your power washer or your home, if you want to pressure wash with bleach, be sure to use the right dilution for your equipment.

Pre Application Method

One method for using bleach is to apply a dilution and simply wash it off with water using a pressure washer. It is as simple as:

  • Make a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. 
  • Pour bleach mixture into a garden sprayer container. Make sure to follow instructions on how to add chemical solutions to your sprayer.
  • Soak the area thoroughly with the sprayer using the solution.
  • Once the surface is covered, use a pressure washer to rinse off the solution

Pressure Wash with Bleach Solution

Another easy method is to use a pressure washing solution that includes bleach. To do that, all you need to do is:

  • Make a solution of the pressure washing cleaner, power laundry soap, 1 quart of bleach, and a gallon of water.
  • Stir the solution until everything is well mixed
  • Pour a small amount of solution into the pressure washer.
  • Begin pressure washing outdoor surfaces.

It is imperative to wear safety gear, including goggles, gloves, waterproof boots, and an apron. Because bleach can irritate the skin, follow directions regarding first aid if any bleach solution splashes on the skin.

With all of that said, do not fear using bleach, as it is a highly effective compound when used the way it is intended.

Other Options

Eco-Friendly Options

While bleach is an effective compound for cleaning, you may be concerned about exposing your plants, pets, and kids to harmful cleaners such as bleach. Don't worry: there are other options. Many pressure washing cleaners are biodegradable and safe for your lawn and landscape. 

Many of them are endorsed by the EPA as a “safer choice” that won't harm wildlife. It's reassuring to know that many of these are entirely benign if you have kids or pets.

Vinegar and Water

A mixture of 3 parts white vinegar and seven parts water is an additional choice. This low-risk treatment will help eliminate mold and mildew without endangering plants (just make sure you rinse them afterwards). However, when it comes to dirt and grime, this method is ineffective.

Water

When pressure washing, it is sometimes preferable to play it safe and use only pure water due to worries about chemicals and detergents. Even though it might not be able to completely remove all of the buildup brought on by dirt, grime, mold, and mildew, pressure alone can sufficiently clean your surfaces.

Since there are so many choices to make when pressure washing, sometimes it makes the most sense to hire a professional to take care of everything for you. Mobile Magic can handle all of your pressure washing needs while picking the right application for your home and situation. 

Mobile Magic has been serving western North Carolina since 2001 with safe, eco-friendly detergents to keep your property looking pristine and also protect the environment and your family. We know how important your home is. Contact the team at Mobile Magic today for more information or to schedule your next cleaning!