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Can You Wash Car With Dish Soap?


Traveling in a sparkling clean car is undeniably satisfying and comforting, whereas traveling in a grimy one is never appealing to anyone. A dirty car can cause problems with sensitive parts of the vehicle by gradually damaging them with dirt and debris. So, regular car washing is your first line of defense for vehicle maintenance. The first step toward proper car care is selecting a high-quality car wash soap. However, you may not always prefer to use a car wash, or you may be curious to know: can you wash a car with dish soap? No, you may not, and let’s see why:

Nowadays, finding a car cleaning product that works well is not difficult. Commercial cleaning products aren’t always safe for you to use. DIY car wash soap is less expensive, safer, and gives you more control over the additives to meet your specific requirements. Because the typical chemical scent of market available car wash soaps can be hard to bear for you and harm you. A car wash solution that includes a polishing recipe that is simple to follow is exactly what you require.

Even though there are numerous options for car cleaning, car washing is not as difficult as it appears. What you should know is as follows:

Washing Car With Dish Soap – Could it be a Good Move?

What do you think? Can you wash car with dish soap instead of a commercial car wash? Good question, but you may not. It is as simple as that; let’s look into it further to find out why.


How Can Dish Soap Harm Your Car Paint?

Dish soap is used to clean dishes and remove grease; it is not suitable for washing cars; if you use it again, the paint on your car will become dull, and the color will fade. If you use car wash soap, your car’s paint will be preserved, protected, shiny, and clean. Hence, it is not a good option to wash your car with dish soap.

There are many reasons for this, but let us look at a few of the most serious issues affecting the paint.

  • Soap is typically produced by neutralizing a long chain of an organic acid with caustic soda or soda ash. As a result, the soap remains alkaline, which may cause the binders in paints to break down.
  • Additional ingredients in dish soap include scouring agents and small particles that will scratch a surface. It means you’ll be scratching the surface unnecessarily with tiny gritty particles, which will result in paint thickness loss over time.
  • Dishwashing soaps typically contain foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate, harmful to any painted surface. Even though it’s a factory-painted, original car finish paint, the topcoat in the finished paint is partly related to the binders or lacquers. A clear lacquer or silicone coat is usually applied on a new car, which does not provide any key to falling water, acting as a water repellant. If you use foaming agents, you must remove this topcoat or clear water-resistant coat.
  • Using dishwashing soaps in car washing will result in a gloomy finish, discoloration of the surface, and finally, corrosion due to a reduction in paint thickness.

Can you wash car with dish soap as you have enough information? Move ahead to know what the other options are on hand:

Car Soap – How does it Work?

Let’s explore other car washing options, such as readily available car soap and DIY car wash.

Car soap is quite different from dish soap. Car soap contains lubricants that allow dirt to slip off your vehicle and softer detergents that are pH balanced and will not damage your car paint. It’s also very lathery to help catch dirt, so it doesn’t create micro-scratches that turn into swirl marks, giving it a very dull appearance. We would also suggest a better-quality car soap because not all of them are supposed to be equal, and cheap soaps often resemble dish soap.

Baby Shampoo as a Car Wash!

A frequently asked question by car owners is, “Can you wash car with dish soap?” No, you should not do so. Then what else can you use? The answer is “baby shampoo.” Yes, because what’s tender on a baby should be gentle on your valued automobile. Unlike most dishwashing detergents, baby shampoo is an excellent mild car cleanser that will not remove wax, protectant, or polish from your vehicle. Baby shampoo is a good option if you want to maintain your car tidily while also protecting the finish. No doubt, this is a sensible choice if you want to save money on car washes.

Homemade Car Soap – Method and Functioning:

Another good option is to do a DIY car wash. It is made of a mild soap mixture to protect your car’s paint; the household soap to wash cars is extremely simple and free of artificial thickeners or additives. Let’s take a look at how this homemade car wash work.

Clean your car with a solution made of soap and warm water that has been finely dissolved. When foaming car wash is mixed with water, it does an amazing job of lubricating and uplifting dirt, debris, and other particles on your car’s paint. Dirt and grime will be easily removed after being loosened and entrapped, leaving a crystal finish.

Top Tips to Keep Your Car Clean:

We’ve put together a list of car wash pro tips that anyone can use to keep their vehicle looking clean and dazzling.

  • Use car washing sponges sparingly. Sponges only collect dirt and dust, increasing the likelihood that you will scratch your paint while washing. Washing mitts are the only ones you should use. Washing mitts are exclusively made to wash your vehicle gently without damaging the paint.
  • You can use the Two-Bucket Method to wash your car. For this, you need to fill two buckets halfway with water. Now, mix the soap in one bucket and leave the other with only freshwater. Get a sponge and soak it in soapy water and clean your vehicle. Use clean water to rinse. This will aid in separating dirt particles from the soap mixture, reducing scratches from the wash cycle.
  • Choose a spot that is not directly in the sun if you wash your car outdoors. Sun’s rays can speed up evaporation and cause the car wash soap alternative to dry in the middle of your process.
  • It is a big no- to let your car drip dry or air out. Allowing it to dry by dripping or airing will result in unsightly streaks, spots, etc. You’ll have to spend more time dealing with it, necessitating more expensive high-quality cleaners and products.
  • Household cleaners will almost certainly worsen the situation. They carry a variety of chemicals, such as bleach. Bleach can remove the paint, finish, and other protective waxes and sealants from your car. When looking for a car wash soap substitute, it is best to avoid bleach.
  • Using car wax on top of a ceramic coating reduces the hydrophobic properties that ceramic coatings are known to have. Therefore, you are recommended to avoid using a car shampoo that consists of silicone or wax. While many shampoos contain silicone agents and lubricating wax, they can leave a residue on the coating.

Car Washing – Some Words of Wisdom!

Take care of your car’s paint as a high-end cocktail dress. If you know how to take care of it, it will last for many years. You know that painting a car cost approximately $1000 and will keep it looking fine for years, but it can cost much more to be handled carefully and last for years. The cost of using a quality product is far less than repairing the damage caused by using the wrong ones. Your car is your second biggest investment beyond your home and should be treated as such.


End Thoughts

Dish soap is great for eliminating the residue accumulated on your dishes. It’s not as useful for washing your car. If you want to get more out of your vehicle, especially if you use any paint protection product, use a formula designed specifically for that material.

You will only need car soap to achieve the desired results. More lubricant is present in car soap. The slick formula of a car wash is much better for the surface of your vehicle. Professional automotive car care manufacturers create prep soaps for cars free of the salts and abrasives in dish soap detergents. They function as a degreasing agent, breaking down the wax or sealant without scratching and leaving your car shiny clean.

The bottom line is that there are different substitutes for carwash soap; however, most of them are not generally good options due to the risk of scraping your car’s paint. Though some options are better than others, it is up to you to choose the best quality formula for your vehicle without damaging the coat of paint.

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