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Can I use washing up liquid to clean my car? » Car Care Advice » Archive

Can I use washing up liquid to clean my car?


Car Valeting, Detailing and Car Care Advice       April 17th, 2006     by Danny the web stig

Simple answer - No!
Washing-up liquid is a powerful cleaner and degreaser, but the problem with it is that it contains Sodium Chloride (salt) which is used to add to the viscosity. It may also contain amonia.

Salt makes water a better conductor of electricity and because the process of oxidization is an electrical process, the addition of salt to your car’s bodywork speeds up this process. Oxidization is bad for both your paintwork and metalwork.

Washing-up liquid may also contain other chemicals such as solvents, surfactants, colourings and preservatives which may be fine for your dishes and hands, but may not be so good for your car.



Some things just belong in the Kitchen
Washing-up liquid is especially formulated for washing grease and food from crockery, so when washing your car it is best to use a soap especially formulated to remove salts, tar, pollutants and traffic film without causing damage.

Because washing up liquid is such a powerful de greaser, it will strip all the wax from your car, it may also make your paintwork dry and brittle and prone to chipping and even cracking.

You should use a purpose made car shampoo or ‘wash & wax’ that contain no sodium. These can be purchases quite cheaply from motor accessory shops, either in sachets or by the litre.

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