Is Dish Soap On Car Really Harmful To Car Body?

This is one question that online forums are flooded with. There are a large number of people who use liquid dish soap to wash their cars. But, there are also those who are skeptical of the idea. So, the question always remains if liquid dish soap is actually safe for car wash. Well, it is always easy to say that something is safe or unsafe, but what counts is the rationale behind it. This blog post tells you whether or not dish soap on car is safe, and why.

Is Liquid Dish Soap Safe For Car Wash?

The clear answer is obviously NO!

Yes, we know that many of you use it. We also know that it makes your car look squeaky clean, especially after a dirt-filled road trip. It is also true that it can even clean some tough stuff like bird turd.

But, here is something for you to chew on. Does your car’s wax/polish shine last more than a couple of weeks? If you use dish soap on car, probably not! While you may think that your car service did not give your car a good wax coat, the fault may actually lie elsewhere. It is the dish washing liquid that is damaging the wax layer and making your new car look as dull as a used car.

 dish soap on car
Is dish soap on car safe for your car? (photo source: Getty Images)

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Why Isn’t Dish Soap On Car Safe For Your Car?

Despite the fact that liquid dish soap on car has the ability to take the toughest dirt and stains off your car’s body, it harms the wax coating. In fact, exactly because it such amazing dirt and grease cutting quality, it can cut the wax too.

It is clear that cleaning you car with dish washing soap can actually shorten the life of car wax. Within a few weeks of continued washing, you will notice decrease in shine and well, no water beads any more.

Dish washing detergents are concoctions that can remove grease that food leaves on dishes. They contain cleaning agents that can break down the layer of wax and leave the surface unprotected. With this loss of protection, there is a visible loss in shine. And, it equally true for the tough SUVs as for delicate sedans. With consistent washing, there is a lot you are going to lose.

How To Wash A Car Safely Then?

Car wash with gentle soap
(photo source:
Car wash to maintain your car

The best way to wash a car is with a trusted car wash soap, plain water, and a soft cleaning sponge. You could also apply reliable wax to help your car always look shiny. That is how gentle car wash should be.

An extremely useful way to test the gentleness of soap is to take a drop on your finger and rub it against your thumb. The slipperier it is, the better will it be for the wax. The less slippery ones may contain detergents that help cut dirt, and thus, wax too. So, make sure that you check before you buy one.

Besides Car Soap, What Other Products Can You Use?

  • A brush or additional sponge for tires
  • Buckets – one for water and one for soapy water
  • Washing mitt or sponge which are made from sheepskin or microfiber
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Microfiber drying towel, chamois cloth and/or squeegee
  • Wax, either spray or rub-on (optional)
  • Polish (not obligatory)
Can you use dish soap on cars, dishwashing soap on car? (photo source: Adobe Stock)

To keep your car shining, it’s important that you pay enough attention to dish soap on car and car maintenance. It is easy to do at home. In fact, washing the car the right way can make your car look shiny again.