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Pressure Washing and Exterior Plants

Pressure Washing is not only good for stripping paint off of surfaces. This type of cleaning can also wash dirt, grime, and other contaminants off of the siding or brick of your home. Because you can power wash so many different things around the exterior of your home such as the roof, siding, brick, driveways, decks, and patios, your plants are definitely a consideration. Although power wash chemicals claim to be environmentally friendly and safe for plants and vegetation, it’s important to protect them anyway.The more pure water and soil that gets to them the healthier your plants will be. 

Using Bleach

Sometimes power washing uses a bleach solution to get rid of any contaminants on the surface that’s being cleaned. Usually the bleach solution is mixed in a 3:1 ratio with water, which makes it safer but as bleach dries it breaks down into salts. High salinity contributes to plant death since absorbing water becomes increasingly difficult. 

A good way to protect plants is to water your garden both before and after pressure washing. This allows for maximum dilution of the bleach solution and a decrease in salt concentration in your garden over time which allows your plants to absorb the water they need to survive and thrive. 

Cleaning Detergents

Detergents are usually mixed in a 10:1 water to solution ratio. Even though they’re watered down, they do contribute to brown spots on certain plants if allowed to sit for a long period of time. If you use the same watering technique that is mentioned with using bleach as a cleaning solution, this should lessen or eliminate the browning and keep your plants healthy. The more water that is added to the plants, the more diluted these cleaning agents become and the more they’re washed away. 

Prevent The Chemicals From Getting To Plants

Removing plants from the immediate area is the best way to keep them as healthy as possible. Some plants are not potted and aren’t easily removed so the next best thing is to cover them while you’re working on the particular area that they’re in. Don’t cover all of them all day, though, as too much heat can stress them out and damage them. When you’re working on the north side of the house, cover them and then uncover them when you move to the south side of the house. Covering plants reduces chemical runoff that can damage them. 


When you power wash natural wood siding you usually have to use a sealant to protect the wood. Sealants are more dangerous to plants around the perimeter of the house. It’s important to cover these plants and prevent them from coming into any contact with sealant. Spraying them will not help and eventually they will die.

If you decide that power washing is something you want to benefit from in your house, feel free to contact us and we’ll schedule a time to talk with you!

Next article: How Do Pressure Washers Work

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