Can You Clean Your Car with Washing Up Liquid? Here’s What You Need to Know

Washing up liquid is a common household item that can be found in most kitchens. It is used to clean dishes, cutlery, and cooking utensils, and is known for its ability to remove grease and grime, even from that lasagne-crusted dish that has been “chilling out” on the kitchen worktop for a week.

However, some people have wondered whether washing up liquid can also be used to clean their cars. After all, if washing up liquid is so effective at removing grease and grime, surely it can be used for cleaning your car as well.

Using washing up liquid to clean a car is a topic that has been debated among car enthusiasts for years. Some people believe that it is a cheap and effective way to clean a car, while others argue that it can damage the paintwork and cause other problems. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using washing up liquid to clean a car, and provide some tips on how to do it safely and effectively.

Can You Clean Your Car with Washing Up Liquid?

Many people wonder if they can use washing up liquid to clean their car. While it may seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution, it is not recommended by most car experts.

Washing up liquid is designed to remove grease and grime from dishes, and it can be harsh on the paint and finish of your car. It can strip away the protective wax layer, leaving your car vulnerable to scratches and damage. In addition, it can dry out rubber and plastic parts, causing them to crack and deteriorate over time.

Furthermore, washing up liquid is not formulated to deal with the dirt and grime that accumulates on a car’s exterior. It may leave behind streaks and marks that are difficult to remove, and it may not be effective at removing stubborn stains or contaminants.

If you want to clean your car effectively and safely, it is recommended that you use a car-specific cleaning product. These products are designed to be gentle on your car’s paint and finish while effectively removing dirt and grime. They are also formulated to protect your car’s exterior and leave it looking shiny and new.

In conclusion, while washing up liquid may seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution for cleaning your car, it is not recommended by most car experts. Using a car-specific cleaning product will ensure that your car is cleaned effectively and safely, without causing damage or leaving behind streaks and marks.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Washing Up Liquid on Your Car

Using washing up liquid to clean your car may seem like a quick and easy solution, but it can actually do more harm than good. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid using washing up liquid on your car:

  • It can strip away the wax: Washing up liquid is designed to cut through grease and grime, which means it can also strip away any protective wax or sealant on your car’s paintwork. This can leave your car vulnerable to scratches, swirls, and other types of damage.
  • It can be too harsh: Washing up liquid is often more concentrated than car shampoo, which means it can be too harsh for your car’s delicate paintwork. This can lead to fading, discolouration, and other types of damage over time.
  • It can leave streaks and spots: Washing up liquid is not formulated for use on cars, which means it can leave streaks and spots on your car’s paintwork. This can be unsightly and difficult to remove, especially if you don’t catch it early.

Overall, it’s best to stick to a dedicated car shampoo when cleaning your car. These products are formulated specifically for use on cars and will help to protect your car’s paintwork while also getting it clean. If you’re not sure which product to use, ask a professional for advice or read reviews online to find a product that’s right for you.

What to Use Instead of Washing Up Liquid

When it comes to cleaning a car, using washing up liquid might seem like a quick and easy solution. However, it’s important to note that washing up liquid is not designed for use on cars and can actually do more harm than good. The harsh chemicals in washing up liquid can strip away the protective wax and damage the paintwork of the car.

So, what should you use instead of washing up liquid? Here are a few alternatives:

  • Car Shampoo: This is specifically designed for use on cars and will not harm the paintwork or wax. It is also formulated to break down dirt and grime without leaving any residue. We really rate Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax, and Mother’s California Gold Wash & Wax as two quality-yet-affordable car cleaning products that do a fantastic job at helping you 
  • Waterless Wash and Wax: This is a great option for those who don’t have access to a hose or water supply. It is a spray-on solution that can be wiped off with a microfiber cloth, leaving a protective wax layer behind.
  • Detailing Spray: This is a quick and easy way to clean and shine your car between washes. It can be used on the exterior and interior of the car and is great for removing fingerprints and smudges.
  • Microfiber Cloths: These are a must-have for any car cleaning kit. They are gentle on the paintwork and won’t scratch the surface. They can be used for everything from wiping down the dashboard to drying the car after a wash. Whatever you do, ensure you do not use a dish sponge or anything of that nature to clean your car as it could cause horrific damage to the paintwork!

In conclusion, while washing up liquid might seem like a convenient option for cleaning your car, it’s important to use products that are specifically designed for use on cars. Using the right products will not only keep your car looking its best but will also help to protect the paintwork and prolong the life of your vehicle.

Tips for Cleaning Your Car Properly

Cleaning your car regularly is important to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. However, using the wrong cleaning products can do more harm than good. Here are some tips to help you clean your car properly:

  • Use a dedicated car wash soap: Avoid using washing up liquid or dish soap as they can strip off the protective wax layer and damage the paint. Instead, use a dedicated car wash soap that is pH-neutral and gentle on the paint.
  • Use two buckets: Fill one bucket with soapy water and the other with clean water. Dip the sponge or mitt in the soapy water and clean a section of the car, then rinse it off in the clean water before dipping it back in the soapy water. This will prevent dirt and debris from scratching the paint.
  • Start from the top: Begin cleaning the roof and windows first, then move on to the hood, trunk, and sides. This will prevent dirty water from dripping onto clean areas.
  • Use microfiber towels: Avoid using old rags or towels as they can scratch the paint. Also do not use dish cloths, sponges or anything else from your kitchen. Instead, use microfiber towels that are soft and gentle on the surface.
  • Dry the car properly: After washing the car, use a chamois or microfiber towel to dry it off. This will prevent water spots and streaks from forming.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your car is cleaned properly without causing any damage to the paint or surface.

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  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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