Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been handwashing my 4 month old Prius, using a VERY DILUTED Trader Joe's dishwashing liquid. Someone on the site mentioned that he'd heard dishwashing soap was too harsh or strong for use an exterior detergent. Is this true? It's hard to imagine the soap I'm using being too strong, but if it is, I'll certainly stop using it.

Thanks for any knowledgeable input!

marlowe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Why chance it, car wash soap it so cheap anyway use the 'real thing'. I dont know if it still does it when it is 'really diluted' but people use stuff like dawn/dishwashing soap when they want to strip a cars paint of all waxes/protectors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Auto Armor is a great product.


I used to run a detailing shop and I reccommend it to anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
I get the Costco car wash soap. It's like $5 a gallon, so it's much cheaper than dishwashing soap. Works fine too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I'm very mistrustful of professionals who strongly recommend the products they sell, like car washing detergents and cleaners and at the same time disparage other cleaners like gentle dishwashing liquids. After all, we have to be careful washing dishes because if dishwashing detergents were too strong they'd damage our lovely skin. I have a 30 year old Lincoln Town Car that I've been washing with dishwashing detergent for as long as I've owned it and it's finish is just as beautiful today as it was when new. Compared to the hot sun, bird droppings, squashed insects, rains, dust storms, ice and salt, smog, corrosive exhaust fumes from the cars and trucks ahead of us, acid and particulates in the atmosphere and the hidden cleaners in waxes and polishes, I wouldn't worry too much about a sissy dishwashing detergent utilized in a weak solution. In fact, most of the time a car can be cleanly washed with just water, lots of it and a terry cloth then dried with a (not new) chamois or turkish towel. There are many new polishes on the market (without hidden cleaners) intended for the clear coat finishes used on new cars today. Clear coat is intended to make cars look brightly polished without waxes and stuff. Clear coat is excellent and tough. It just can't take being rubbed by somebody elses' fender, that's all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
re: cleaners

I understand your point about mistrusting professionals, etc., but who is guilty of that in this thread?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
There are two things that it seems people might be talking about here.

- Dishwasher detergent. Used in automatic dishwashers. Contains fine particles of grit that will eventually strip the paint from your car.

- Dishwashing liquid. Used by human dishwashers. Contains no grit. Is a surfactant, JUST LIKE CARWASHING DETERGENT. Some brands foam more than others. More foam means you'll probably use more water during rinse. Some brands contain scent and/or lotions. Scents probably don't matter. Lotions may leave streaks. Probably the only place you'll notice them is on the windows. Any surfactant will tend to remove a wax coating from your car. That's why you're supposed to reapply the wax every couple washings. This very property is why it's easier to clean a waxed car. The dirt is stuck to the wax which comes off during cleaning, rather than being stuck directly to the car.

The number one reason to buy a bottle of car washing detergent is so that the human dishwasher in your household doesn't complain because they can't find the bottle of detergent you left outside by your car. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I'm asked who on this thread is a professional. I dunno. To paraphrase president Lincoln; some of us know a little about everything and all of us know everything about some things, but nobody knows everything about everything. :wink: I've been reading the labels on several polishes on the market that claim they are manufactured specifically for clear coat finishes and they assure the buyer they contain no waxes. For example, NU Finish by the manufacturer of NU Vinyl. (Reed-Union Corporation, Chicago, IL). This polish is claimed to be a product of space age polymer research and, oh yes, patent applied for. Hmmm. Now why would anybody trying to sell protection for automobile finishes proclaim their product contains no wax? Oh yes, they also claim their product can withstand 52 automatic car washes, that's one year and only needs only 2 applications 30 days apart, once a year. You'll get protection against road chemicals, tree sap and bird droppings. I apologize for giving specific information about a product, that's not right, but I'm trying to show I'm tuly straight arrow about this. Now as I was saying, I'm very mistrustful of professionals with a product to sell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
car soap

I use my horse shampoo on the prius...Makes her shiny and she never nags...Thinking about using it on my wife.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I'm surprised that using "Dishwashing Soap" as a car wash is even brought up anymore.

Having painted cars and motorcycles in the past, there are oils in both the paint and the wax. So much so that they are now covered by laws (California has them) to limit the VOC content of the paint or require stringent controls to use them. Using a detergent cleaner such as dishwashing soap that is "designed to remove vegetable fats (as in Carnauba wax) and oils" is detrimental to the clear coat - more so to the underlying paint if the clear coat is removed.

Some newer auto paints use a clear coat that acts as a catalyzer to harden the underlying paint which would never set up otherwise (multi-staged paints). These ever-wet "oily" poly-paints flow out better and produce less orange-peel effects and use the clear coat as the protective shell. Using a detergent soap that is designed to remove oil (i.e. dishwashing soap) will dull paint quickly if the thin clear coat layer is damaged.

I've asked a lot of people who have metallic paint finishes, which seem to have a consequently higher problematic finish due to lack of a clear coat (maybe thinner coat due to metallic particles), what soap they use on their car and I get back "Whatever is under the kitchen sink." Guess what it is? It's not a non-detergent car wash formula like McGuire's Soft-Gel or Zymol (why would those be under the kitchen sink?). I prefer the use of "car wash formula" over "car wash detergent" which implies the dishwashing oil-stripping variety of cleaner.

Glazing and waxing restores oils to the paint to keep it in pristine shape. Unless you absolutely love to wax your car after a "dishwashing sponge bath" go ahead and keep using it. I'd almost bet that if you were to write to Proctor and Gamble on using either Cascade or their Ivory soap on your car's finish they would strongly advise you against it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
G. McCurdy said:
I'd almost bet that if you were to write to Proctor and Gamble on using either Cascade or their Ivory soap on your car's finish they would strongly advise you against it.

...and then go dunk 40 monkeys in a vat of Cascade to see if it makes their chin burn.

...and then spray Ivory soap in the eyes of 100 rabbits to see if any might drip on their feet.



Sorry.. P&G... sore subject. :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
888 Posts
Dawn is the best greasecutter I can think of. I have used it in the past to remove oil from my painted garage floor. I use it fairly well concentrated too. I'm not sure if I had access to car wash soap that I woudl use Dawn or other dishwashing soap, however it is plausible that dishwahsing soap would be effective and not damaging to a car's surface, so long as there was not an abrasive in it.

On the other hand, I have always used car wash because it isn't all that expensive, and it has always done the job. Getting it at Costco is the best bet, in terms of price.

I also have a Mr. Clean Autodry. I use it in conjunction with my bucket of hot car wash mixed water. The biggest benefit of the Autodry is that if you use the filtered rinse water you get a lot less spotting. My climate is very dry and low humidity in the summer. Washing the car well means that water evaporates off from it very fast. Not enough time to actually wipe it down properly. This helps a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
The amount of misinformation and just plain bad advice in this thread should demonstrate that this forum is the last place you want to ask for advice on maintaining your car's appearance. Anyone who doesn't know what the terms "PC 7424" or "Lake Country" refer to isn't someone who's going to give you good advice.

My SWAG is that 99% of car owners have no clue how to maintain their car's appearance, based on how many sh*tty looking cars I see every day. Those are the people who are giving advice in this thread. If you want good advice, from people who know what a well-detailed car looks like, go to http://www.detailcity.com, http://www.autopia.org, or http://www.roadfly.org.

As a few others have pointed out, some dishwashing liquids, like Dawn, will strip car wax. That's why Sal Zaino recommends using Dawn to strip all old wax and sealant off your car before applying Zaino. I don't believe there is any other harm in using dishwashing liquid soap to wash your car, but the fact that it strips wax means it has very limited use in car wash applications. Personally, I use Meguiar's Gold Class car wash shampoo, because it's a decent, inexpensive product that's widely available. There is no comparison between the lubricity of dishwashing soap and that of a car wash like Meguiar's Gold Class - you can tell by just running your fingers lightly over the paint after wetting it with wash solution. The one wetted with car wash soap will be far more slippery. That by itself tells me which one I'd rather use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
jeromep said:
Dawn is the best greasecutter I can think of. I have used it in the past to remove oil from my painted garage floor.
Dawn has a long history of being used to successfully degrease birds affected by oil spills. It's even been used to clean spilled animal fat off of highways (kinda gross).

http://www.homemadesimple.com/saveaduck/learn.shtml
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top