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Pressure Washing with Bleach: Usages And Precautionary Measures
Pressure Washing with Bleach

Before discussing pressure washing with bleach we should first establish what bleaching means. Bleaching means removing color or whitening making use of a process called oxidation. Oxidizers are very active chemicals that can split organic compounds into their components. Simply, bleach is known as a chemical that removes color.

Technically, what bleach does is simply to split the double bonds of molecules in pigments that create color, making their chromosomes smaller. This resultant chromosome captures light at shorter wavelengths. Consequently the stuff looks whiter. There are certain types of bleaches that change the double bond of molecules into a single bond which also does not absorb light.

The bleach used in everyday household is a diluted mixture of Sodium hypochlorite and water. On the other hand, Pressure washing with bleach makes use of higher industrial grade sodium hypochlorite. There are almost fifty different kinds of products all over the world that are known as bleaching agents.

Oxygen and peroxygen bleaches are very popular these days. They work by releasing oxygen while using hydrogen peroxide as the active substance. These bleaches are less active and their wider use suggests that they are preferred over sodium hypochlorite bleaches.

French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet first discovered bleach in 1787 that is why it’s known as Eau de Javel in France. Javel is the name of the village where it was first manufactured. It was initially used to whiten textiles but by the end of nineteenth century its disenfectant and sanitation usages were also put into use.

Pressure washing with bleach is not a new phenomenon either. Power washers have been using bleach for years for cleaning surfaces that have mold and/or mildew stains. But there are some drawbacks in using bleach alone with water. It can result in spotty results. That is why detergent is added which gives a consistent outcome. Some companies recommend tri-sodium phosphate. These industries say that this is the most effective way of removing black algae or mold that causes discoloration to an asphalt roof. The asphalt shingle is used by algae as a food source. The bleach removes the algae from the surface of the asphalt. It should be noted here taken tri-sodium phosphate is banned in some states.

Bleach is also available in powdered form. Powdered bleach is more durable than the liquid form of bleach. It is mostly used in pools.

While pressure washing with bleach, it must be taken into account that it is very harmful for plants and grass. Bleach must be stored properly and mixed with water only, or a detergent specifically made for using with bleach. If, by mistake, bleach is mixed with ammonia or any compounds that have nitrogen ingredients, it can become an explosive material. If mixed with acids, it will release poisonous chorine gas into the air. Commercial manufacturers of bleach go the extra lengths to keep the chlorine stable. Contact with an acid will nullify this effect and chlorine will become gaseous.

Since liquid bleach is very unstable, it is advisable that pressure washers should not keep bleach in large stocks. Rather, they should buy it every month. If bleach is mixed with unsuited chemicals, it can become very dangerous and can lead to fatality. Extra care must be taken for storing bleach. It must not be kept in a container in which any other chemical has previously been stored. Pressure washing with bleach must be done very carefully. Wokers must use safety goggles and gloves.

Pressure washing with bleach also requires that the equipment used in the process is regularly checked since constant contact with bleach can wear down metal. It is advisable to rinse the whole equipment before and after pressure washing with bleach.


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