Home Car Wash: Will Dish Soap Do the Job?

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11 Apr Home Car Wash: Will Dish Soap Do the Job?

Most everyone has scrubbed their vehicle with a sponge dipped in a soapy-bucket and then used the garden hose to rinse away the soap. It’s simple and economical. But did you know that dish soap, which is oftentimes also used as a go-to household cleaner, is unsafe to use on your vehicle. Here’s why…

Most quality dish soaps are hard on a vehicle’s exterior. It’s because dish soaps are built to scrub dried, stuck-on food grime from dish ware. That means a dish soap is usually abrasive in composition, and because it’s abrasive, it will effectively remove the dirt and grime from the car’s paint job, but it might also remove the car’s wax coat and it accelerates the vehicle’s oxidation process, which in the short term causes the finish to appear dull and in the long term breaks down the exterior prematurely.

We’ve ruled out dish soap, but you should also rule out other household cleaners such as laundry soap and hand soap. These cleaners are built for specific purposes and will all likely damage the exterior of your vehicle. That means you should go out and purchase a soap intended for washing vehicles. And most vehicle soaps have a specialized lubricant included which benefits and even offers some light-duty protection for your vehicle’s paint job.

You should also consider using a quality sponge to scrub the vehicle’s surface. Yes, you can probably get away with using a few old kitchen rags, assuming the rags are clean. But it’s much safer to use a sponge because the sponge won’t scratch the paint and requires little effort to scrub, which means that you’re less likely to run a wedding ring or watch face over the exterior while you scrub.

Hopefully the cleaning tips will keep your vehicle shined up and looking its best this spring and summer. And for everything else, remember your professional mechanics at Willard’s Garage.

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