Our previous car care article talked about using a cross-hatch pattern when waxing vs. a circular motion. Now, let’s talk about dish soap as car wash. Hearing about this rarely gives us any joy, so we hope after this article there will be a new dawn of car wash understanding.
We 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 are gone. In most cases, the shortened wax life was a direct result of their soap choice. While the detergents in dish soap do a great job of cleaning the car (and the leftover casserole 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 won’t contain any detergents and will be rich in lubricants (which safely lubricate the dirt, allowing it to glide from the vehicle’s 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!