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Dish-washing Soap-Good or Bad

Discussion in 'Viper Detailing Tips & Tricks' started by Tito Tw, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Tito Tw

    Tito Tw Enthusiast

    Feb 3, 2009
    I like to take this opportunity and share some information regarding the usage of Dish-washing Soap- the usage of Dish washing soap within the detail industry seems to be accepted/endorsed and promote by many people including top notch professional detailers, at the same time for some reason it appears that is a dead debate and no end on site to it;:D

    First; lets analyze why is this product used by so many people within the automobile detailing industry, the “Main” objective to used dish detergent is to remove any old waxes or sealants" prior to a new application of waxes/sealants.

    With that we must learn that there’s a difference between Wax and Polish

    Wax: A true wax contains carnauba, bees wax, or paraffin wax. The term wax is used two ways. You can use the word "wax" as a process upon where you apply a protective coating to a surface which could be a polymer or use a product with a wax in it.

    Polish: A true polish contains an abrasive that will remove scratches or oxidized paint. It also will bring a dull finish to a shine. More aggressive polishes can remove orange peel, deep scratches, and also oxidized paint.

    Back to the Dish washing Soap procedure - as mentioned before it is “Intended” to remove all of the above mentioned earlier in aims to prepare the surface.

    From our research we have found other easy ways to obtain such results (but there’s other alternative as well not to mention car care products made especially for this task)
    1- Via oxidation block or Via Clay bar
    2- Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol) a 50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol.

    Those are just two examples, we can mention that dish washing detergents are designed to strip grease and grime. In the automobile world it seems that the brand “Dawn” is the one particular brand that everyone referees too, maybe that particular brand of dish washing soap is stronger or is just the branding, I suspect the second one.

    With that we will concentrate on that brand.

    To make it fair, why don’t we ask the product manufacture?

    I'm not into the dish washing soap business:rolaugh: so it only makes sense to ask them. I did some research and my findings were;

    This is posted on Dawn's site in their customer support section


    Can I wash my car with dish washing detergent?


    your car surface and the dirt that gets on it are a lot different from the food soils and dishes that dish washing liquids clean effectively. We don't recommend them for cleaning your car.

    "Can I use Dawn to clean things other than dishes?

    Dawn is so effective in cutting grease on dishes that over the years, consumers have used Dawn on other greasy messes around their homes, from cleaning kitchen messes like grease build up on the stove range hood to oily spots in the garage. Dawn is not recommended for window cleaning, car washing, body wash or washing hair.

    This is coming from the product manufacture not from me, just in case here is the source directly from them.

    Question and Tips

    So the main question reminds, WHY go against the product manufacture recommendations?

    Anyone care to comment :)

    I hope some of you will find this information useful.
  2. Mopar Boy

    Mopar Boy Enthusiast

    Nov 2, 2007
    Ontario and Ohio
    Nice detailed post dude!:2tu:

    Have always cringed evertime I see someone washing with dish soap.

  3. Sittingbull101

    Sittingbull101 Enthusiast

    Feb 7, 2009
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I use Woolite for my red Viper. Brings out a nice shine.
  4. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

    Jul 18, 2007
    Explaining Viper things to you
    I sandblast my car. At least that's what it sound like at times.
  5. ViperTony

    ViperTony Enthusiast

    Apr 3, 2006
    I cover my Viper with thin ham slices and let the racoons scrape off any wax/dirt build-up with their claws while they eat the meat. Consequently, I've found that racoon poop works much like a Claybar.
  6. Sellshomesdrivesviper

    Sellshomesdrivesviper Enthusiast

    Apr 2, 2005
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    I can't even get my wife to wash the dishes, there is no way in hell she's detailing my car.
  7. eucharistos

    eucharistos Enthusiast

    Feb 15, 2008

    VT, if racoons eat thin ham slices, do they (the racoons) still taste like chicken? :dunno:

    thanks for a good laugh :2tu:
  8. agentf1

    agentf1 Enthusiast

    Dec 27, 2001
    Phila Suburbs
    Dawn is fine to use once or twice to remove wax or oil like Zaino used to recommend but I would NOT recommend you use it any more than that. I would much rather see you use a wax and grease remover like prep-sol or isopryl alchohol to remove the wax before applying your sealant. Zaino even went as far as creating an All In One cleaner polish (Z-AIO) that takes the place of using a dish soap.

    In summary, once or twice is not going to hurt your car but it is a very acidic wash and it is not recommended to be used all the time as it will eventually damage things like your weather stripping.

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