Can You Use Dish Soap To Wash Your Car?

In some cases, people use dish soap to wash their car and love the cleaning results. It is a common thing that you might find among car owners. Using a dishwasher liquid seems like the best choice as it is cheap, available in every home and provides excellent results. But it is safe? To learn the answer, we talked to professionals and found a few things that you should also know about.

Dish soap is made to clean dishes and kill bacteria. To make such harsh chemical, manufacturers focus on using acidic ingredients so that the nature of dish soap stay acidic for a long time. This acidic nature helps rip of oil stains, kill bacteria and more from the dishes.

Even the best quality and expensive dish soaps also have harsh ingredient for effective cleaning. So, it is impossible to find any dish soap which isn’t acidic at all. On the other side, car cleaning soap or liquids are slightly alkaline. The reason for making alkaline soap is to protect car paint from stripping off.

So, the answer is no. You can’t use dish soap to clean your car because it can strip your car’s paint and it will also remove the protective layer from your car. In the end, you will be struggling with faded paint after few months.

The alternative solution to using dish soap is by mixing it with other ingredients. Let’s follow the easy way to use dish soap on your car –

The first method to Use Dish Soap for Car Cleaning

The first and easy method of using dish soap is by mixing it with other ingredients to create a slightly mild formula.

  • Take two buckets of water and make sure it is at room temperature for this method.
  • Mix one cup of dish soap in one bucket and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Stir properly to create foam and getting rid of the acidic nature of dish soap.
  • Once you have mixed everything, you can pour this formula on the glass surface.
  • You can clean the windshield, windows and other surfaces using this method.

In this process, you are mixing the detergent in a bucket of water to mild out the formula and diluting the acidic nature.

Reason for using baking soda – Baking soda is alkaline and dish soap is acidic. When we are mixing both ingredients in pH neutral water, the acidic nature of the solution will fade.

Second Method To Use Dish Soap For Car Cleaning

The other option that sounds inexpensive and simple is by using mild dish soaps. There are many types of dish soaps available in the market.

  • The first step is to find mild dish soaps that offer 7 to 8 pH level. These kinds of dish. Soaps are safe for hands and provide great usability for day-to-day use.
  • You can use a mild-dish soap by mixing it in a small water bucket. Stir properly to reduce the acidic nature of the solution.
  • You can add any alkaline chemical but make sure its pH level must be near to neutral.
  • After mixing everything, you can pour this solution on the car’s body and you can use a microfiber cloth to apply evenly.

Make sure that you do not rub this solution on car paint otherwise it might damage the protective layer. After applying the solution evenly, it would be a better choice to go for a proper clean using a water hose or a bucket of water.

Reason for Using Mild Dish Soap – Liquid dish soaps are slightly mild than the gel dish soaps. When you mix them in tap water, they become neutral and you can use the solution for an effective clean.

Why Use Car Wash Soap?

Car Washing

Many people use normal household detergent, dish soaps, or other bath gel to clean their car. Using any kind of shampoo or cleaning agent might seem great for cost-effective reasons but it is not safe. So, here are some reasons that can make you understand why to use a car wash soap –

  • To Protect Car Paint’s Protective Layer – The car’s manufacturer put efforts into making the car’s paint unique and shiny. To protect this paint, they use a protective layer which will help in getting rid of UV rays from the sun. Using a homemade car soap can damage the protective layer and strip the paint.
  • Keeps the shine for years – When you are using a dedicated car wash soap, you can protect the car’s paint and its shine. Using regular soap or detergent can reduce the shine of your car’s paint and it might fade the color in a couple of uses.
  • Doesn’t Leave Stains – Using regular soap can clean the car but the result will be terrible. You might have to deal with water and soap stains. Cleaning these stains can take time and extra money. So, using a dedicated car wash soap will give you better results.

These are three reasons that will help you understand why to use a dedicated car wash for your car.


To put in easy words, you can’t use dish soap to clean your car. If you don’t care about your vehicle and its paint then you can go for such inexpensive options but it will make your car’s paint dull.

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