Car Care / Tech

Car Care Myth: Dish Soap Makes a Great Car Wash!


Our previous Car Care Myth article cleared up the misconceptions about waterless car washes. Now, while we are on the subject of car washing, let’s talk about dish soap as car wash. Let me begin by saying, hearing about this rarely gives me any joy, so I hope after this article there will be a new dawn of car wash understanding.

I generally learn about someone using dish soap as car wash shortly after a fielding a complaint about their last wax application only lasting a couple weeks before the shine and water beads were gone. Their soap selection was the cause of the shortened wax life. While the detergents in dish soap do a great job cleaning the car (and the leftover casserole left in your baking dish), they also remove much more than just the dirt from the surface. The detergents break down the wax, stripping it away and leaving your paint dull and

Good car wash soap will not contain any detergents and will be rich in lubricants (which safely lubricate the dirt, allowing it to glide from the vehicles paint). A “feel test” you can use to test your car wash is to put a small amount of it between your finger and thumb and rub it back and forth. You will notice that better car washes will be much more slippery. Lesser ones may contain detergents to “help” clean the car (since the lubricants aren’t there), so make sure you check that before buying.

Griot’s Garage Car Wash is detergent free and very rich in lubricants!


  1. I just applied One Step Sealant to my car this week and would hate to see all that work go down the drain (with the dirt and road film) next time I wash the car. I love Griot’s Car Wash!

  2. If you choose to use a household product to wash your car with, hair shampoo works o.k. It is to bad the wife used up all of the good car wash to give Fido a bath

  3. You spent the weekend before waxing and detailing your car.. Hard work right? No one ever told you dish soap was for dishes right? Glad to see someone telling it like it is !!! Use car wash !!! keep the dish soap for the dishes.

  4. The one exception of course is when you are trying to strip the wax before using a clay bar. In that case dish detergent works perfectly.

  5. Rekkha babu says:

    I am a caring person, for the past 10 years, I wash my car with hair shampoo, be gentle with your car. I care my car like my wife. Both shampoo weekend.

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