Understanding the Difference Between Hot Water and Cold Water Power Washing

I’m often asked if there is a difference between hot water and cold water power washing. Most people think it’s all the same.

The truth is that there is a huge difference in hot vs cold water. The difference is in the outcome and the amount of time it takes to clean the surface.

To clean anything, laundry, cars, dishes or house siding you need a combination of four things:

  1. Chemical- the detergent used to remove grease, mold, dirt, etc
  2. Heat- heating the water accelerates the cleaning process
  3. Agitation- scrubbing, pressure, or tumbling
  4. Time- the amount of time required to clean whatever it is you are cleaning.

These four things are referred to a CHAT and in the right amounts cleaning any surface can be done correctly, efficiently and with no damage to the surface.

If you leave one of these things out you have to increase the other three to get the surface clean. So say you don’t have Chemical, you’d need to increase the heat, pressure and time in order to get the surface clean and stand a chance of causing damage to the surface.

If you use cold water and you don’t have Heat you have to increase the chemical, pressure and time to get things cleaned and can kill plants, damage surfaces and use more water due to the increase in the time it will take to clean the surface.

A cold water wash just can’t get the surface as clean as a hot water wash and the disadvantage of using more chemicals and pressure make hot water the clear choice.

Hot water also accelerates the detergent, which allows for less detergent and no need to cover plants or buffer them prior to cleaning. It also helps cut grease and remove some stains that cold water just can’t remove.

Professional hot water power washers have the ability to adjust the pressure and the amount of detergent for added benefit. The ability to adjust the pressure from 3500 psi to 500 psi makes cleaning any surface possible.

Let’s say you wanted to clean a composite deck. Composite decks are made from virgin or recycled plastic and wood shavings so it is soft and marks and scratches easily. Using high pressure and cold water will cut into the surface and leave permanent streaks in it. Hot water and low-pressure Agitation with the right detergent will completely kill and remove any mold or mildew with little effort and conserve water at the same time.

Hot water also makes it easier and less Time consuming to clean the black streaks off of white gutters. The heated water and detergent make the streaks release from the gutter without removing paint. With cold water, you need to use really strong caustic detergent to remove them and there’s a good chance the paint will be removed from the gutter with this method.

Hot water power washing has numerous advantages like less time, less detergent and less pressure over cold water so the clear choice for professionals is to use hot water.

As always we are here to help with your power washing needs. If you have any questions you can reach me at brian@apluspowerwashing.com or 732-775-1242