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What Is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning


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What Is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning

What Is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning?

Many in the UK might ask, “What is Soft Wash roof cleaning?”

AC Lockyer from Oviedo, Florida, USA introduced the concept of Soft Wash back in 1992. He founded a roof cleaning company named Mallard Systems. While most relied on pressure washing, AC discovered it didn’t keep roofs clean for long. Instead of removing, it merely trimmed the mould, mosses, and lichens. As a result, these grew back even stronger, making the roofs dirty again in a short time.

Drawing from his horticulture experience, AC created the Soft Wash Roof Cleaning System using agricultural spraying equipment. He developed a chemical blend initially called “Duck Sauce.” Today, it goes by the name Green Wash and stands as the top choice for professional Soft Wash Roof Cleaning companies globally.

Green Wash is designed to blend with Sodium Hypochlorite. When combined as per the manufacturer’s guidance using a BLEND MODULE from SoftWash Systems, it’s safe and effective. So far, this method has successfully cleaned over 100,000 roofs in seven countries worldwide.

In 2010 AC started a company called SoftWash Systems which supplies equipment, training & chemicals to exterior cleaning companies throughout the world. This company is the leading authority on Soft Washing and roof cleaning. Find out more about the history here

You can watch The Science & Technology of Soft Washing here

Because of the combination of using Green Wash mixed with Sodium Hypochlorite, roofs stay clean for 5 years because all the organic matter has been killed, and it is essential to get a 100% kill ratio to ensure longevity. Sodium Hypochlorite is gently sprayed onto the roof, using very low pressure to ensure no roof tile damage occurs, unlike when using high-powered pressure washers.

Sodium Hypochlorite

Is Sodium Hypochlorite safe for your home? When handled by professionals trained by SoftWash Systems, it is. Technicians know how to mix it using the BLEND MODULE. It’s applied at 4% strength, with 2% Green Wash and 94% water. Sodium Hypochlorite is also called bleach. Domestos under your sink is 5% Sodium Hypochlorite. It’s available in global supermarkets. Bleach consists of salt and water. An electric current changes it to bleach. In 20 days, bleach turns back into salt and water.

Lake Lucero in New Mexico has natural bleach. No chemical is as effective as bleach. Surfaces are left clean and sanitized.

5 Year Warranty

SoftWash Systems also provide the 5 Year Spot Free Warranty backup for Soft Wash roof cleaning here in the UK, if each of the company’s employees has undertaken two levels of Soft Wash training and have passed exams at Certified Level and Authorised Level and have also applied the Soft Wash mix to the roof via a BLEND MODULE to ensure accuracy.

Let’s go back to what is soft wash roof cleaning and how it came about in the United Kingdom.

Darran Smith, owner of one of the country’s best-known cleaning companies, Purple Rhino is always looking to innovate and provide the very best service for all his clients. He always visits cleaning-related trade shows, in the UK and throughout Europe to find the latest equipment, learn about new methods and techniques to use in his business.

Darran was searching for new ways to apply bleach safely to rendered surfaces here in the UK and eventually found AC Lockyer on YouTube in 2011. AC kept making more and more videos over the years and Darran made the phone call that would soon change everything in his business and bring a new word for exterior cleaning here in the United Kingdom, that word was “SoftWashing” now used by many throughout the cleaning industry.

USA Holiday

After making that call, Darran arranged a once-in-a-lifetime holiday for his family to Disney Land Florida, little did his wife Teodora know at the time he would be visiting AC Lockyer and SoftWash Systems HQ too! After the meeting and the holiday, Darran & AC quickly became good friends and the decision was made to set up a company here in the UK called Purple Rhino’s SoftWash Systems Ltd, which would be responsible for importing the specialist SoftWash Systems Equipment, training, and chemicals. The year was 2016 and since then What is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning has been asked many times over.

Road Shows

UK Roadshows, trade shows and Facebook marketing quickly helped bring awareness to new ways of cleaning many types of exterior surfaces. What is Soft Wash Roof cleaning was now being asked by everyone in the cleaning industry here in the UK.

AC Lockyer has visited the UK many times since April 2017 to spread the word about Soft Washing. He is extremely passionate and proud of his methods and ensures very high standards are met and kept to anyone who buys his equipment. On-going training is provided and is a requirement to stay on The Find a SoftWash Professional listing.

Soft Washing is ideal for use on:

  • Roofs
  • Render
  • Cladding
  • Driveways
  • Carparks
  • Patios
  • Cedar Wood Cladding
  • Fences
  • Decking
  • Stone
  • Brick

Soft Washing

Suddenly, “Soft Washing” became a buzzword in the cleaning industry. As this trend grew, many eagerly jumped on board. Yet, the concept was largely misunderstood. Pressure washing and window cleaning companies claimed they offered Soft Wash services for roofs and other surfaces.

Instead of mastering the technique, many simply mixed bleach with surfactants, often at dangerously high concentrations. They then applied these mixtures using pressure washers and window cleaning poles, muddying the true essence of Soft Washing.

Complicating things further, equipment manufacturers, originally specialising in pressure washing and window cleaning, began producing their versions of Soft Wash equipment. Most lacked a genuine understanding of Soft Washing’s intricacies or the specialized training necessary for safe application, especially around homes, children, and pets.

By 2021, the market overflowed with low-quality Soft Wash equipment. Much of it was just repurposed pressure washing or window cleaning gear, misleadingly branded with a “Soft Washing” sticker. This hasty rebranding only deepened the public’s confusion.

Trained Soft Wash Professionals

You can easily find a fully trained Soft Wash professional here they will have genuine Soft Wash Equipment and will have taken Certified Applicator training and passed a 200-question exam at the very least. When choosing a Roof Cleaning contractor for your home, you should really consider where the contractor has received their information from.

What is Soft Wash Roof Cleaning?

  1. A method of applying a carefully blended roof cleaning solution through genuine Soft Wash equipment which lasts for up to 5 years and sometimes longer.
  2. The use of Sodium Hypochlorite & Green Wash to ensure a 100% kill ratio
  3. The use of Final Wash to neutralise the effect of bleach when completed to ensure safety.
  4. Plant protection using Plant Wash to ensure the aerobic bacteria in the roots are fed with nutrients to prevent plant death.
  5. Fully trained and certificated to Certified Applicator level technicians to safely clean the roof.
  6. Only genuine Soft Wash roof cleaning companies can provide you with a fully transferable 5-year spot free warranty certificate provided by AC Lockyer at SoftWash Systems.
  7. Use of fully biodegradable chemicals
  8. A two-man team is required to safely operate the Soft Wash equipment


What Isn’t Soft Wash Roof Cleaning?

  1. Applying strong bleach through a pressure washer
  2. Applying strong bleach through a window cleaning pole
  3. Applying strong bleach through a backpack sprayer
  4. Applying high foaming surfactants which only waste rinse water
  5. Applying BAC 50 or other chemical washes
  6. Companies who offer their own 5 Year Warranty (what would it be worth should they go out of business)

Browsing social media, you’ll discover numerous trade groups related to window cleaning, pressure washing, and more. Shockingly, untrained individuals often ask, “how do I clean this roof?” Along with such questions, they post pictures of unsuspecting homeowners’ roofs. These homeowners remain unaware that a novice, who’s seeking advice from unknown sources, is about to clean their roof.


I look forward to helping you get your building super clean,

Yours sincerely

Darran Smith

Darran Smith, Director, Purple Rhino Building Cleaning

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