Roof Cleaning Myth: Remove Roof Moss With Laundry Detergent

Can You Really Remove Moss From Your Roof With Household Laundry Detergent?

Many homeowners (and websites) claim that you can easily and safely remove moss from your roof by using simple household cleaning laundry detergents like Tide or Clorox. All you have to do, they say, is sprinkle the detergent on your roof and wait for it to kill the moss. Then wipe it or spray it away. Easy peasy.

Removing moss from your roof with detergent is a common myth, and while many myths are more or less harmless, the Detergent Myth is one that is both dangerous and destructive to your roof. If you are considering using detergent to remove moss from your roof, please read the rest of this article before deciding if that’s the best course of action.

Will Detergent Kill Moss On My Roof?

In a word, yes. Detergent can kill the moss that is currently thriving on your roof. No doubt this is why the Detergent Myth persists. Many homeowners sprinkle laundry detergent on the moss and come back later to find the moss has died. Problem solved, they think. And what a money saver!

If they only knew.

Using detergent to remove moss from your roof may seem like a money saver at first. After all, detergent is cheap. Hiring a moss removal company is definitely more expensive. But in the long run, that detergent is going to cost you a whole lot more than you thought.

How Laundry Detergent Destroys Your Roof

The shingles on your roof are made of a fiberglass mat. On both sides are asphalt, tar, and oil that protect the fiberglass from the outside elements: wind, sun, water, etc. The life of your roof depends upon maintaining that asphalt, tar and oil. These are the very things that moss breaks down and destroys, which is obviously why you want to remove moss in the first place.

What is detergent? It’s a degreaser. Guess what a degreaser does to your shingles? That’s right. It breaks down and strips away the asphalt, tar and oil protecting the fiberglass mat.

Using laundry detergent to kill the moss on your roof only made your problem worse. Instead of eliminating the central problem (the erosion of your shingles), detergent actually causes even greater erosion. Dumping detergent on your roof can effectively shorten the lifespan of your roof by half.

Why Laundry Detergent is Dangerous on Your Roof

Using detergent to remove moss from your roof isn’t just dangerous for your shingles. It can also be dangerous for you. Moss is wet. Detergent may be dry in the box, but once it comes in contact with moss it becomes slick and slippery.

Slick and slippery is not what you want while you’re up on your roof. Homeowners dumping detergent on their roof have lost their balance on that very detergent and ended up in the hospital. Some have even died.

Detergent and the Environment

A final word about using detergent to remove moss from your roof: that detergent has to go somewhere. Websites claiming that you can just sweep it off with a broom forget to mention that now you have detergent seeping into the greenspace and water system around your home. Modern detergents generally lack the phosphorus of decades past, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe for the environment.

Would you drink a cup of water mixed with detergent? Of course not. You know it’s unhealthy and dangerous. So why would you sweep that same detergent onto the ground around your home?

Your best solution for removing moss from your roof is always to hire a professional. At Keeping It Clean, we use only environmentally safe cleaning products and the most advanced equipment in the industry to fully remove moss and algae down to the root without damaging your roof. Give us a call anytime (28-964-7395) or fill out the form below to set up a free appointment.