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 unprotected.
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!