Washing-up liquid may take the shine off your car's paintwork

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Washing-up liquid may take the shine off your car's paintwork

Did you know that using washing-up liquid to clean your car could damage your paintwork and take the shine off your car.

Washing-up liquid contains ammonia and bleach which, as you can imagine can break down the wax that was applied to the paintwork at the factory to protect it in the first place.

When this protective layer of the vehicle is damaged, the car's paint can become dull and this can eventually lead to cracking in the paintwork.

A UK study suggests that as many as 43pc of car owners still use washing-up liquid to clean their cars.

If we are honest, most of us here in Ireland probably still use washing-up liquid to clean the car and think nothing of it.

The study was carried out by car-cleaning products manufacturer, Simoniz so we have to be somewhat sceptical of the commercial motives behind the study. In saying that we should probably assume that the core facts are correct unless proven otherwise.

Follow these 10 tips to keep your car in showroom condition:

  1. Clean, polish and protect – in that order.
  2. Do not use household products such as washing-up liquid to clean your car.
  3. Work on your car out of direct sunlight so the cleaning products will not dry out.
  4. Avoid washing your car on a gravel drive using a high power hose or pressure washer.
  5. When cleaning wheels, apply the cleaner from the bottom up to avoid run marks.
  6. When cleaning the bodywork rinse thoroughly. Always wash from top to bottom.
  7. Do not apply silicone-based products to your pedals or steering wheel, use warm water.
  8. After you have cleaned your interior, leave doors and windows open to allow fabrics to dry.
  9. After you have finished, take a step back and make sure you haven’t missed any areas.
  10. Avoid parking under trees or bridges to avoid bird droppings on your paintwork.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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