skip to main content
Will Pressure Washing My Home’s Exterior Kill My Plants?

Using a pressure washing service in Asheville, NC is an excellent way to remove dirt and grime from your home and restore it to its original splendor. Pressure washing removes caked-on dirt, mildew algae from the elements outside. 

While the typical chemicals used in pressure washing are safe for your home, the plants around it can be exposed to chemicals, causing major problems.


There are numerous pressure washing companies in Asheville, NC; however, Mobile Magic is the best pressure washing company for protecting your plants during the pressure washing process.

Bleach Solution

Removing microorganisms such as mold, mildew, and algae requires a bleach solution. When pressure washing, a 3:1 water-to-bleach ratio is commonly used to dilute the solution. 

However, the bleach solution will runoff into your garden and will eventually turn into salts. The high salinity in the garden will impact how much plants can absorb water and could potentially kill your plants. Measures must be taken to rinse and/or shield the plants.


When pressure washing, detergents are biodegradable chemicals that are diluted to a 10:1 water-to-detergent ratio. Even if it's watered down, detergents can cause brown spotting on certain plants if left on the foliage. 

Your plants can stay healthy if you use the bleach solution watering technique, but you must be thorough with your rinsing.


After pressure washing and restaining a surface or deck, it’s customary to apply a sealant. To protect your plants, it’s necessary to cover them and grass when working with sealant. While the sealant "seals" your deck, it also "seals" your plants. If sealant gets on plants, they will die because they won't be able to get the water and nutrients they require.

To prevent sealant from damaging your plants and grass, only cover the foliage in the area being cleaned. Covering them all at once can be harmful to plants as well. Because whoever is doing the power washing won't be able to reach certain areas for a while, it's best to let the plants that aren't in the area being cleaned breathe. 

How to Prep Your Plants 

1. Water Your Plants

Water your plants and grass before pressure washing to dilute the bleach or detergent runoff. Diluting the bleach will keep the runoff from converting to salt and interfering with your plants' ability to absorb water. 

It is also critical to rinse your plants after the pressure washing process to remove any excess chemicals.

2. Cover Your Plants

The simplest way to protect your plants is to simply cover them with a plastic sheet. Although, covering plants for extended periods of time can cut off their air supply and, in the end, kill them.

Only cover plants in the areas that are being pressure washed to avoid this. When you're finished, remove your covering and move it to the next set of plants. This method prevents the plants from being covered for too long. 

3. Use Detergent Instead of Bleach

Since detergent is diluted to a 10:1 water-to-detergent ratio, a detergent-based pressure washing job is more environmentally friendly than bleach, and gentler on plants. However, detergents should be used with caution, because they can create brown spots on plants. 

This can be mitigated by watering plants prior to pressure washing and rinsing them afterward.

4. Watch Out for Sealant

If your home has natural wood siding, you can use a sealant post pressure washing to preserve the natural grain and makeup of the wood. If you must use it, exercise extreme caution because sealants are far more damaging to your grass or plants than detergents or bleach.

So, before you use sealants, make sure you cover all nearby plants or grass and secure them. Most of the time, you won’t be able to wash off the foliage, and your grass and plants will die as a result. 

Eco-Friendly Pressure Washing at Mobile Magic

If you're ready to pressure wash your Asheville home, hiring the right industry experts, such as Mobile Magic, is the best way to protect your plants from potential damage. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that we will take all necessary precautions to care for your plants. 

If you’re searching for a pressure washing company in Asheville, look no further than Mobile Magic. To get started contact us today or visit our website for more information. 

Want to learn more about pressure washing? Read our blog, “Winter Pressure Washing Needs in Western North Carolina.”