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Is Dishwashing Detergent Safe for Car Finishes?

  • Is Dishwashing Detergent Safe for Car Finishes
    April 29, 2013

    Sure, we have all been guilty of neglecting our cars every now and then. We might have forgotten to pencil in an appointment with our favorite detailer in town. We might have missed engaging some DIY cleaning for a couple of weeks already, or perhaps we were simply too lazy to clean out the trash in the trunk, dashboard, and door wells. We haven’t shaken out the mats and carpets in ages, and those are now dusty, dirty, and moldy.

    But the gravest sin you can commit against your car is using the wrong type of cleaning products.

    Instead of picking out soft, non-abrasive microfiber wash mittens for scrubbing your car finish, or opting for a chamois cloth for buffing and polishing your headlights, you might have gotten a stiff brush instead. Or, instead of getting effective yet eco-friendly chemical cleansers, you chose to go with a liquid dishwasher detergent for getting rid of the dirt on your car.

    You might not realize that incorrect decisions like these will eventually mar the beauty of your car in the long run. The effects of a stiff brush or a harsh chemical cleanser may not be readily apparent, but frequent use will definitely leave its mark on the car finish.

    Selecting quality cleansers for your car

    Your car is made up of tough materials that are meant to withstand everyday wear and tear as well as general neglect. Car finishes are especially sturdy, and rightly so. They have to weather the elements and stay strong enough to survive minor bumps, scrapes, and gouges. Just a small amount of the right car shampoo will eliminate caked-on dirt, mud, dust, and scrum and restore your car’s bright appearance in no time at all.

    But using liquid dishwashing detergent to clean your car regularly is never a good idea,

    because it will strip away the wax, polish, and protectants that you have applied the last time your car was detailed properly. Some of us have chosen to stick with liquid detergent for a variety of reasons: we can’t be bothered to run to the auto supply shop to buy car soap, we need to skimp on the car care expenses, we want to try out a new cleaning product. And yet,

    only car soap can provide quality cleaning results without harming the finish of your car or encouraging the accumulation of swirl marks and streaks.

    Liquid detergent contains ingredients that might leave behind unsightly marks when your car finally dries, requiring you to wipe down the car again before applying paint sealant.

    Car soap is also especially formulated to get rid of all the surface dirt from your car finish with minimal effort. Any brand should do, for as long as it fits your budget and your needs. Liquid dish washing detergent will take time to act on the crud that’s sticking onto your car because it is not meant to work on such tough dirt. So, the next time you’re tempted to replace your car soap with liquid detergent, better think of the long-term effects of switching. Better yet, try car steam cleaning to keep both your car finish and the environment safe 😉

    Call 877-317-9737 to schedule your appointment!

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