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Can You Wash a Car With Laundry Detergent?


Washing your automobile regularly is one of the most acceptable methods to keep it looking brand new and glossy. And as a car owner, you may have been tempted to wash your automobile with laundry detergent and then wondered, ‘Can you wash a car with laundry detergent?’

No, washing a car with laundry detergent or even dish soap is not a good idea. Most of these laundry detergents may contain degreasers and other powerful chemicals that might eventually spoil the protective top layer of your car.

However, you can wash your car’s interior with a laundry detergent because it is safe for carpets.

Can You Wash a Car with Dish Soap?

Dish soap manufacturers made dish soap for washing dishes and not cars, so do not use a soap that is not for car washing on your vehicle, according to consumer reports. Also, some of these soaps could be very harsh on the car.

Can You Wash a Car With Laundry Detergent?

No, laundry detergents are for laundry ‌and not for car washing. Using a laundry detergent may remove the protective wax of your car. You can wash your car carpet with it, but not the exterior of your car.


Use a car wash shampoo that protects your car from paint and wax from harmful atmospheric agents.

What is the Best Detergent for Washing a Car?

There are many soaps out there for washing, but the best soap you can use to wash your car is the soap that is specifically made for car washing.

Car washing soaps are not harmful to your car exteriors because they are mild, unlike dish soap and laundry detergent. Read the instructions on the soap before using it. Some may require you to dilute them in water before us.

What Kind of Car Washing Products Should You Use?

1. Use a different sponge for wheels and tires

Using the same sponge for wheels and tires may lead to scratches on the wheel because there may be specks of dust, sands and dirt on the sponge that may runoff on the wheel and leave visible signs on the reels. Again, using a wheel cleaner or just water and mild soap may work here.

Furthermore, ensure the cleaner is compatible with the wheel. To be safe, read labels to ensure that it is safe for this purpose.

2. No use of any household cleaning agent

Do not use any type of household cleaning agent when washing your car. These cleaning agents include laundry detergent, glass cleaner, dish soap and hand soap. Instead, use only soap that is solely made for washing the car.

3. Use only products made for car wash

There are many cars products that will‌ not be harmful to your car’s paint, so look out for them. Also, ensure that the sponge you use on the car paint is soft and not harsh on the colour.

Other Car Washing Tips You Should Know

1. Use an only clean towel

When cleaning your car, use only a soft clean cloth or towel. If possible, ensure you don’t use the same towel or cloth for another purpose so that it doesn’t accumulate dirt or dust that may leave scratches on your car.`

2. For the car solution, work it into a lather

Working the car soap into a lather gives the sud enough lubrication on the car’s paint. Let the bucket you used to wash off dirt from the sponge differ from the bucket that contains the car wash solution. 

3. Rinse the car with water before washing

It is advisable to rinse off the dirt from the car with water thoroughly before you wash the car.

This is because if there are tiny objects, dirt, and sands on the car, it washes them off so that they don’t scratch the car as you wash.

Always start washing from the top of the car then, down to the bottom.

4. Use a different sponge

Use a different sponge for the body of the car, the wheels, and tires to minimize dirt, and scratches.

5. Avoid washing a car when the body is hot

Washing a car just immediately after driving or parking directly under sunlight for a long time may not produce the best result, as the water and soap used for washing will dry off quickly. This makes washing uneasy for you and leaves stains on the car.

6. Do not air-dry your car

After washing your car, do not air-dry it. Instead, use a towel to clean off water from the car because air-drying may leave watermarks on the car.

Top 10 Cleaning Materials for your Car Washing

Car washing could be smooth for you if only you know the right items t use for this process. So, in this section, we will discuss the top 10 cleaning items you need to wash your car.


Car wash soap for washing the car

choose a product that is close to pH neutral.

2. Buckets – you may need a minimum of two buckets for washing and rinsing

3. Polish and wax – your car will keep its shiny look if you apply polish and wax products to your car when necessary

4. Tire shine – it protects your tire and keeps it looking new

5. Wheel cleaner – use wheel cleaner to remove tough stains on the wheels of your car

6. Sponge – buy a minimum of two sponges. Use one for the top and body of the car while the other for the bottom of the car.

7. Wheel brush – use ‌a wheel brush to clean the wheels after applying the cleaner

8. Vacuum cleaner – the use of a vacuum cleaner makes it easy for you to clean the car

9. Microfiber cloths – use this cloth to dry off water from the car after washing and rinsing

10. Glass cleaner – you use this glass cleaner for the window to keep it glossy and clear


Finally, say no to the use of laundry detergent or any other household cleaning agent as an alternative for car wash products because they may corrode the paint of your car.

We understand that some of these household cleaning agents maybe be mild and safe, but it is better you avoid them entirely since they are not for car washing.

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