With so many detergents and soaps, choosing the kind of soap to use in a pressure washer can be challenging mainly because there is no perfect one that fits all your cleaning needs.
For example, if you are washing your truck you will want a detergent/soap that best suits your cleaning needs, what about house siding? Cleaning your desk? Or the algae building in your property’s wood fence?
Each of the tasks mentioned above requires a different detergent or soap.
Then the question of detergent or soap arises? Does it matter? Will soap work better than detergent in my pressure washer?
What of the pressure washers’ with downstream injectors versus upstream injectors? Will this in any way influence which detergent or soap to buy?
Is this stressing you up? Don’t worry! We have answered this and more below. Read on to know exactly the type of detergent or soap to use in a pressure washer for every task you want to handle.
Difference Between Detergents And Soaps
When you start looking around for the best soap to use in your pressure washer, one of the first things you will find are products labeled as detergents and others soaps.
You need to know that labeling is not just about marketing.
Detergents comprise synthetic chemicals for certain uses like help dissolving grease or killing mold.
Synthetic chemicals that makeup detergents are usually very harsh as compared to other ingredients that are used in soaps.
Soaps are detergents which contain ingredients
Soaps are detergents that comprise natural ingredients such as fats and oils. The substances are blended with the alkaline solution using a hot or cold process.
With a cold process, an alkaline solution is cooled down before blending it with fats and oils.
The ingredients are typically mixed slightly above the room temperatures until it thickens. On the other hand, with the hot solution, the oils and the alkaline solution are combined and heated.
Soaps contain natural ingredients, which make them biodegradable. You get to easily clean the runoff into a gutter. You might also have to protect plants from the soap because most of its ingredients can kill vegetables, plants, and grass.
When To Use Detergent Or Soap When Pressure Washing
Biodegradable and eco-friendly products are quite popular and since the soap contains natural ingredients, it can be easily cleaned down the storm drains.
Nevertheless, if you are using soap with water that has not been treated such as rainwater, there is calcium carbon solid that forms on the surface.
If you pressure wash using a detergent that will not be an issue, furthermore, the detergents are known to be more active on surfaces such as wood and concrete.
It is for this reason that most people have mixed both the synthetic detergent and natural soap to create a more effective cleaning agent.
Is Pressure Washing With Detergents And Soaps Harmful To Gardens Or Pets?
Most people prefer to avoid using detergent soaps which can ultimately damage the environment or that can potentially harm gardens and pets.
Most of the pressure washer detergents bought at the store are pet, human and environmentally friendly and you can check the label to see whether it is biodegradable.
Nevertheless, some professionals use chemicals that are not as safe and can inform you about the risks ahead.
Use Soapy Solutions To Pressure Wash Surfaces
Think of a time that you have baked something which sticks to the sides of your bowl like cheese when preparing lasagna.
If you just try to clean it with cold water, the experience would be very exhausting and disappointing because you will not get the desired results.
However, if you add warm water and soap in the process, you will find that the process gets very easy. Therefore, to get the best results from your pressure washer it is better to use high pressure, soap and detergent water. This makes it very easy for you to clean the surfaces very quickly.
Can Dish Soap Be Used In A Pressure Washer?
There are several times when we have been asked whether dish soap is safe for use in pressure washers.
Technically, the dish soap has a soapy and liquid form, therefore, naturally, you might think it is just okay to use the dish soap in your pressure washer, but this is not the best idea considering that even experts are always against it.
With the high pressure, there is a high chance that the dish soap might have a backsplash and somehow get into your eyes or the eyes of your cat or dog and cause harm.
Furthermore, dish soap will not provide the same results as a concentrated detergent soap could.
Hard Water and Soap Can Create An Unwanted Buildup
The only challenge with soap is that it cannot be used with hard water.
This is because hard water contains magnesium and calcium (particles react with soap to create scum). The resultant scum clings to the surface, making it very hard to clean.
With the chemical detergent, water will not be an issue.
Hard water does not have a similar reaction to chemicals found in detergents. Nevertheless, detergents also have their challenges.
Detergents must not run off into the sewer system or ground. Unlike the soap, detergents contain chemicals that take longer to breakdown.
This shows that soaps are only meant to deal with grime and dirt while detergents are meant to disinfect and sanitize. Nevertheless, detergents are usually made for certain cleaning jobs like removing oil or grease.
How To Choose The Right Soap For Your Pressure Washer?
Some of the things you should consider when choosing a cleaner for your pressure washer include:
- The setting
- Surface type
- Delivery system
- Detergent or soap
Hopefully, the information provided in this post regarding the kind of soap to buy for your pressure washer will help you complete the task ahead.