chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing

The benefits of pressure washing are nearly endless, as it is the most reliable way to eradicate tough stains and debris. However, even the best commercial pressure washers need more than just water to do the job.

Finding the best pressure washer soaps and the best surfactants for pressure washing can help you tackle those problematic jobs quickly without damaging the underlying surface. Soaps are often contrasted with bleach or chlorine for pressure washing, whether those chemicals are used in detergent or on their own.

As a certified Hotsy dealer for nearly 50 years, we’ve accumulated a lifetime of knowledge on how to use soap with pressure washers. That’s why we’ve created this guide on chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing, including how they stack up against soap and which chemical is right for you.

So without further ado, let’s begin by establishing why the debate of chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing is so important in the first place.

Why You Need to Harness the Power of Chemicals in Your Commercial Pressure Washing Process

Whether you own a pressure washer business or are buying or renting a machine for your industrial facilities, chemicals play a significant role in helping you get the job done. Chemicals help you achieve a deeper clean without over-indexing your PSI or GPM on a pressure washer.

Either chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing can help you break down dirt and grime that water alone cannot handle. These chemicals can help you save time and increase productivity for your business.

The Need for Sanitation in Pressure Washing

Sanitation is a critical focus for businesses, especially if you are pressure washing commercial buildings. Without proper sanitation, surfaces can act as giant Petri dishes for fungi, mold, and harmful bacteria, posing colossal safety risks to customers and employees. Water alone cannot eliminate many of these pathogens, which is where chemicals come in.

Either bleach or chlorine for pressure washing is designed to sanitize these areas, making them both strong choices.  Of course, sanitation is essential no matter your surface, even if you are power washing parking lots, so reading the ingredient labels of your pressure washer soap will help guide you in the right direction.

Clean Faster & Easier With Lower Pressure by Using the Right Chemicals

Hoping a pressure washer in San Antonio will do the job without soap and chemicals is like trying to recreate the Mona Lisa with crayons; you can try, but it will take a long time and won’t look as good.

With the help of either soap, bleach, or chlorine for pressure washing, you can eliminate debris and stains without going overboard. Figuring out the best pressure washer soap for your job can help you tackle tough stains even with lower GPM or PSI for pressure washer ratings.

In addition to eliminating harmful pathogens, many detergents and chemicals can also prevent the buildup of those bacteria over time. This can reduce the cleaning you need, allowing you to free up space in your business’s busy work task list.

So whether you are washing cars with pressure washers or sanitizing a manufacturing facility, finding the right chemicals for your device is paramount to the success of your business. So, which one of chlorine vs bleach should you choose? We’ll explore everything that should factor into your decision below.

Chlorine vs Bleach for Pressure Washing: Which is Better?

Figuring out what soap to use for pressure washers and which chemical is best is critical to planning your business’s cleaning procedures. While they are just two of many chemicals, chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing is a hotly contested debate that doesn’t have a clear answer – at least at first glance.

Choosing a pressure washer chemical will require you to weigh everything from the specific cleaning needs of your businesses to the details behind your surfaces. Let’s dive into all the pros and cons to help you choose between chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Chlorine for Pressure Washing

Chlorine and water are a common pairing in swimming pools, but this powerful chemical also has a role in pressure washing. Chlorine removes tough stains, dirt, grime, and harmful pathogens, including fungi and bacteria.

Chlorine is relatively inexpensive, thanks partly to its use in other cleaning applications, and is safe enough for use on multiple surfaces.

However, pressure washer safety is critical, and one of chlorine’s significant downsides is the risks it poses to its surroundings. Chlorine can be toxic to human health and the surrounding environment, with harmful fumes that irritate the skin and eyes. You’ll need to wear personal protective equipment when working with chlorine, relegating its use to after-hours.

Chlorine can also damage specific surfaces like wood or discolor various fabrics and stones. Thus, while chlorine is an effective killer of pathogens, it also does too good a job of killing other things, including human lungs and wood surfaces.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Bleach for Pressure Washing

Like chlorine, bleach has a mix of pros and cons that can perplex you when shopping for the right chemicals. Bleach is very effective at removing grime, debris, and stains and also does a great job of killing harmful pathogens. Bleach is even less expensive than chlorine in many cases and is safe enough for use on most surfaces.

Bleach also has its drawbacks, however. Bleach can be dangerous when paired with other chemicals, especially ammonia. This can pose a life-threatening risk to human health when pressure washing.

Bleach can also cause discoloration on some surfaces like fabric, stone, and wood, so it is vital to consider where you use bleach.

So, Which is Better: Bleach or Chlorine for Pressure Washing?

Chlorine and bleach have an eerily similar list of pros and cons, making either option a choice that shouldn’t be made lightly.

Chlorine is more potent at disinfecting surfaces from harmful pathogens and removing tough stains, but it also poses an enormous risk to human health. Bleach is a milder, albeit slightly milder, version of chlorine, with less stain-destroying power but safer use cases.

Ultimately, the choice between bleach or chlorine for pressure washing depends on the specific cleaning needs and the surfaces being cleaned. Be sure to use the most effective chemical for the job while considering environmental and health concerns.

Should You Use Both Chemicals at Once?

It may be tempting to use both simultaneously, especially given their similar use cases. However, this mistake could cost you the lives of your employees and your customers.

Chlorine and bleach can react, producing dangerous fumes and amplifying the surface-corroding effect found in each chemical. If you do need to use both substances for a given stain, it is vital that you use them at separate times and always use proper PPE to protect yourself and your workers.

Either bleach or chlorine are a fair choice for pressure washing, but they could be better. So what is the best detergent for pressure washing? We’ll cover that next.

What if We Told You That Neither Chlorine Nor Bleach Was the Ideal Pressure Washing Chemical?

While chlorine and bleach can be effective pressure washing chemicals, there may be better choices for some cleaning jobs. Many specialized pressure washing detergents are designed to be more effective and efficient than chlorine or bleach.

Specialized pressure washing detergents are blended to target specific types of dirt and grime common to various surfaces, giving them a laser-like focus that bleach and chlorine lack. Paired with a high-quality soap nozzle for pressure washers, these soaps are effective, reliable, and safe for human use.

Why a More Specialized Pressure Washing Detergent is Your Best Bet

Concentrated pressure washing detergents are the best way to achieve a thorough clean that is safe for human use and the surrounding environment. These detergents are formulated specifically to target stains common to a given surface.

For example, while you can use a general soap when cleaning vehicles, a blend specifically made for cars or trucks will help you achieve a speedy deep clean without damaging the vehicle.

Unlike the deadly mix of bleach and chlorine or ammonia, specialized pressure washing detergents are made to be safe for human health and the environment. These blends allow you to focus on achieving a deep clean without worrying about safety risks.

Additionally, unlike bleach and chlorine, which may be dangerous for some surfaces, the specialized nature of these soaps ensures the structures you are cleaning remain intact. These soaps even help avoid discoloration or corrosion common to chlorine and bleach, striking the perfect balance of a deep clean and safety for your surfaces.

So, where can you find the best commercial pressure washing detergents? Right here at Hotsy, of course!

Introducing Hotsy’s Lineup of Commercial Pressure Washing Soaps

Hotsy is the worldwide leader in pressure washers, but we didn’t stop there. Our line of pressure washing soaps has been perfected over half a century of testing and experimentation, with millions of satisfied businesses using our detergents over the years.

From general use cases to specific surfaces, there’s at least one type of Hotsy detergent for any business. Our detergents are the masterwork of lab testing and formulations, delivering an ultra-concentrated cleaning agent that eradicates stains without collateral damage.

Instead of mindlessly using bleach and chlorine and damaging the environment, all our Hotsy soaps are built with biodegradable chemicals that never harm the environment. The safety of our soaps ensures you can perform cleaning tasks even with a facility full of workers in many cases.

Which Hotsy Soaps are Right for You?

Hotsy soaps are also custom-made for given surfaces, ensuring the integrity of your facilities or machinery is never damaged by our products. With soaps for several use cases, here’s a look at some of our most popular offerings:

  • Breakthrough: As the name suggests, our Breakthrough soap is an excellent weapon in your arsenal in the fight against oil stains and caked-on grease. It’s safe for use on vinyl walls, driveways, and flooring. Breakthrough’s unique blend of concrete pressure washing chemicals is safe for use on walls, driveways, and flooring.
  • Ripper I: Ripper cuts through grease like a surgeon’s knife. This soap is custom-built to eliminate oil without eroding the underlying surface of your property or equipment. It is versatile enough to work on heavy equipment, machinery, and vehicles, as the perfect pairing for low PSI and high PSI pressure washers.
  • Power-Shine and Transport: Power-Shine and Transport are excellent choices for cleaning vehicles. Power-Shine can breathe new life into oxidized paint, while Transport is your knight in shining armor for restoring aluminum, glass, and steel surfaces.
  • Carbon-Ate: The toughest cleaning jobs require the strongest of detergents, and Carbon-Ate is up to the task. From food and grease debris to road film and industrial stains, this soap pairs fantastically with the toughest hot-pressure washers to leave no stain behind.

Bringing Our Conversation on Chlorine vs Bleach for Pressure Washing to a Close

Ultimately, the choice between chlorine vs bleach for pressure washing is a red herring. While both are tough enough to tackle most stains, they have significant drawbacks, including major risks to human health and the surrounding environment. 

You’ll need to weigh the needs of your business to ensure cleaning tasks are performed during off-hours and ensure operators are using proper PPE for safety purposes when working with these chemicals.

Pressure washing detergents are a much better choice since they are tailor-made for specific stains and safe for human use. So, where can you find the best pressure washer accessories, soaps, or machines?

Our South Texas pressure washing store has been a certified Hotsy dealer for over 40 years. We sell and rent hot water pressure washers and pressure washing trailers from San Antonio to McAllen, all backed by the best name in pressure washing: Hotsy.

Our dedicated team has over a century of combined experience helping business owners find the perfect pressure washers, accessories, and soaps for their needs. We can provide personalized guidance whether you visit our in-person stores in Laredo or San Antonio or call us at (210) 851-9652.

Our inventory of hot water pressure washers for sale includes a diverse selection that can tackle any job your business needs. We’ll also help you figure out the best Hotsy detergent for your needs, whether it is Power-Shine for your fleet of vehicles or Carbon-Ate for those tough stains.

So if you are in Texas and looking for a place to buy detergent or rent pressure washers near you, our Hotsy stores are located everywhere from Brownsville to San Antonio, so stop in today!