If you prefer not to go to the car wash and prefer to do it yourself, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. I know what you’re thinking, and you might be thinking: can I use dish soap to clean your car it’s cheap, time-saving, and readily available, right next to your kitchen sink. but
is dish soap safe for washing cars?
Can You Use Dish Soap to Wash Your Car?
Frequently Asked Questions: Can you wash your car with soap? No, you shouldn’t. According to Consumer Reports, dish soap is not formulated for use in car paint. Even a cleaner like Dawn is an abrasive cleaner that removes a vehicle’s protective finish. When you use abrasive soap on things like car paint, it speeds up the oxidation process and makes the car look dull. Detergent also breaks down the car’s wax coating, which is also tough on rubber.
What Soaps Should Be Used for Washing Cars?
The best car wash soaps are specially formulated for this. They’re milder than soap or laundry detergent—plus, they’re designed for car looks. For best results, it is recommended to dilute with the recommended amount of water according to the product directions.
Car Cleaning Products You Need Besides Soap
- Sponge or Washing mitts made of sheepskin or microfiber
- A brush or additional sponge for tires
- Multiple buckets – one for soapy water and one for plain water
- Wheel cleaner
- Microfiber drying towel, chamois cloth, and/or squeegee
- Bug and tar remover
- Wax, either spray or rub-on (optional)
- Polish (optional)
What’s the Best Way to Wash a Car?
Using the right automatic soap for the right vehicle will increase the effectiveness of these steps:
- Wash the wheels first. Car soap can clean the rubber without corroding the wheels, which are very dirty and require the most scrubbing. When done, refill your bucket with fresh soap and water.
- Rinse the entire car with the hose, making sure to remove any debris from under the wiper blades. Car soaps are cleaner than other harsher soaps.
- Pre-treat any stains (bed bugs, bird droppings) by applying bug and tar soap directly to the stain.
- Start soaping the side of the car. Make sure to rinse the gloves in the bucket regularly to avoid dirt buildup.
- Avoid scrubbing hard and wash in straight lines. A circular motion creates swirl marks.
- Rinse the side being treated before soaping the next side. Again, a suitable soap will help.
- Once you wash the four sides of your car, you still need to make sure you dry your car properly.
Car Washing Tips
While washing your car sounds simple, getting it right is important. Here are some professional car wash tips to remember:
- Always rinse your car carefully with clean water before using car soap. This will wash away any dirt or grime particles that might otherwise scratch the paint. Start at the top and let the water flow through the entire vehicle.
- Use separate sponges for the wheels, tires, and the rest of the body. You’ll find more dirt on the tires and wheels, and you don’t want to get dirt on the body.
- Do not wrap the sponge in circles. It can cause eddy marks, which are actually minor scratches on the surface. The proper way to wash your car is to run the sponge along the length of the body panels and hood.
- Lather up the car soap so that the soapy water provides sufficient lubrication on the vehicle surface. Rinse the sponge with another bucket of water.
- Use a soft terry cloth or microfiber towel to polish your car – no diapers, T-shirts, kitchen towels or paper towels.
Dish soap may be great for scrubbing burnt cookie pans, but it’s not a simple household car wash. If you’re on a budget, consider a basic car wash, such as Turtle Wax Zip Car Wash. When you do, swap that old rag for a simple microfiber cloth! Your car will thank you for using the right products to keep it looking shiny.