Can You Wash Your Car with Dish Soap?

Dish Soap for Car WashOne of the questions customer ask a lot is whether it’s okay to wash a car with dish soap. Using dish soap does appear logical; it is, after all, typically cheaper than car soap. Here’s what our auto body repair crew has to say about using dish liquid for cleaning an automobile.

Dish Soap for Car Washing

Sure, it may be economical, but dish soap should NOT be used for washing your car. Here’s the simple reason: dish soap is abrasive. It’s designed for removing heavy grease and bits of lasagna melted onto a pan. When applied on a car surface, the abrasive soap accelerates the oxidation process, giving the paint a dull and faded look. If the car has been recently waxed, the soap will also break down the coating.

One more thing: in case you’re also wondering about laundry detergent or regular bath soap, you can forget about those, too. These soaps do not contain the right pH balance and can also cause premature damage to the auto paint.

If you want to clean your car while preserving the paint, then stick with soap that’s actually designed for automobiles. Car soap contains more lubricant, and the overall formula is better for the vehicle’s surface.

You can perform a quick test to see for yourself why only car soap should be used. Apply a bit of car soap on your finger tips and rub your fingers together. Repeat this using dish or regular bar soap. You should notice that the car soap is far more slippery. This is due to the higher concentration of lubricant.

We’ll Redo Your Car’s Paint Work

Even if you only use car soap, the paint will still ultimately fade because nothing retains its original quality forever. Contact Northwest Auto Rebuild and check out our shop tour to see how we can give your car exterior a refreshing touchup. When it comes to washing a car with dish soap, we know it’s tempting, but just don’t do it.
Edited by Justin Vorhees

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