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Blog > Post Time- 07:43 AM Post By - admin

Is Dish Soap Safe for Washing Vehicles?

Is dish soap safe for washing your vehicles? This is a question we get often. The simple answer is “no,” but let’s take a deeper look at why exactly we suggest against using dish soap as a vehicle soap. Weekly car washes can make your vehicle look better and maybe even last longer. We want to help our customers properly maintain their vehicles. Not using the proper vehicle soap can do more harm than good. So why?

Dishwashing detergents such as Dawn are made for removing grease and “caked-on” foods. While they does a good job of this, they are not pH-balanced and with little use can strip the wax you painstakingly applied last weekend.

What makes a good vehicle soap?

Products such as laundry soap, hand soap, and other household cleaners should also be deemed off limits when it comes to cleaning the exterior of your vehicle, especially if they contain any abrasives. For best results, stick to car soap when cleaning the vehicles exterior, because the vehicle soap contains more lubricant or a slick formula.

Other vehicle cleaning products you may need

  • Sponge or microfiber wash mitt
  • Wheel Cleaner
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Multiple buckets – soapy water and plain water buckets.

Tips for Washing your Vehicle

  • Avoid water spots by keeping your vehicle wet at all times.
  • Wash your car in the shade to avoid premature drying.
  • Keep all windows and doors shut during the cleaning process.
  • When washing a particularly dirty vehicle, be sure to “pre-wet” any caked-on dirt or mud so that you are not scrubbing the dirt against the paint finish with your sponge or wash mitt. This can leave superficial scratches or swirl marks that may need to be removed by a professional detailer.

While washing your car may be easy and self-explanatory, the products and process that you apply to your vehicles paint can be difficult to understand. People have come to us after years of washing their vehicle with the wrong products which have caused damage to the paint of the vehicle, which could have been avoided by using proper soaps, materials, and techniques.

About Spirit West Rapid Refinish

Spirit West Rapid Refinish, established in 2011, was formed to focus on providing quality service for customers who are paying out of pocket for automobile repairs and streamline the workflow volume. We take great pride with teamwork and our commitment to making sure our team receives training on the latest innovative state-of-the-art equipment and collision repair techniques. We are proud to say our team is family and we treat our customers like family too. Whether you are in need of minor collision repair services, bumper repair or vehicle paint, give us a call today to see how we can restore your vehicle to its original factory finish.




Spirit West Motor Carriage, founded in 1977, is a full-service auto body repair shop serving the St. Louis and surrounding Metro area. For nearly four decades, our family-owned business and our experienced staff have been providing quality auto collision repair, mechanical, paintless dent repair (PDR), complete paint refinishing, and wheel and framing alignment services.