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Duckman
Jul 19th, 2004, 12:37 PM
People on other forums recommend using Dawn Detergent Dish Washing Soap to wash my car? (http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1895)

Hi all. I was wondering... everyone suggests the use of Dawn dish soap for removing wax etc... why Dawn specifically? why not Sunlight or Palmolive etc? any reason?

Thanks,
Nick

travisdecpn
Jul 19th, 2004, 12:53 PM
To be honest, i wouldn't use dawn or any other dish soap to remove wax, you would be better to use clay and cause less damage to your surface. Dish detergents tend to dry out the paint.

the newbie
Jul 19th, 2004, 12:57 PM
NEVER USE DISH SOAP FOR WASHING YOUR CAR!!!!!

you don't use gear oil to wash your hair with??

the degreasing elements in dish soap will harm your paint finish on the long run!

ciao

Rick

Andy M.
Jul 19th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Just don't do it!!!!!:iagree:

Duckman
Jul 19th, 2004, 01:31 PM
I totally agree, I would never do it, and have never done so. But I'm reading around here and autopia and keep seeing people talking about using Dawn dish soap to clean off wax from pads etc...

travisdecpn
Jul 19th, 2004, 01:36 PM
I've also heard of people washing their pads with dawn, i think that is why many of them are seeing the adhesive dissolve and their pads separating prematurely. I wash my pads in hot water and car wash soap. I think dawn should stay in the kitchen.

Mike Phillips
Jul 19th, 2004, 02:32 PM
Hi Duckman,

Dawn is somewhat famous for it's strong detergent cleaning action enabling it to remove grease from dishes and pans. The idea being if it will remove grease, food and things like cooking oils from your dishes, it will be strong enough to do a stellar job of cleaning your paint before you begin a detailing session.

There is also a certain camp of people that recommend with a zeal, the use of Dawn to wash your car before the application of some paint protectants to insure some company's polymers will be able to bond to the finish.

The problem with using strong detergents to wash your car is that not only do high alkaline, strong detergent soaps like Dawn dull your car's paint and strip off wax/polymer protectants, it also dries out all of the non-paint components such as vinyl, rubber and plastic.

Meguiar's car washes clean effectively, and more importantly, safely, so you don't have to resort to antiquated and harsh methods of cleaning your car, truck or s.u.v.

The finish on this neglected Mercedes-Benz could have been harmed even more than it already was had a strong detergent wash been used on it in it's starting or Before condition.

Before
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450MLBefore4.jpg


As you can see, the paint already looks much better after merely washing it with a Meguiar's car wash.


After washing with Gold Class Car Wash Soap
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450MLBefore6.jpg


Richness, color and clarity have been increased just by using a high quality car wash soap.My own personal experience tell me washing paint as neglected as the paint on this car with a detergent like Dawn Dish Washing Soap would have made it look worse, not better.

See the rest of this extreme makeover here,

Blast from the Past! - The dead brought back to life! (http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19372)


After

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450SLfinished2.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450SLfinished4.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450SLfinished5.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450SLfinished3.jpg

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2450SLfinished1.jpg


Hope this helps...

Mike

xjdmb16a2six
Jul 20th, 2004, 10:25 PM
off topic: so you dont have to use dawn before clay baring your car?

Rick
Jul 20th, 2004, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by xjdmb16a2six
off topic: so you dont have to use dawn before clay baring your car?

No never use dawn or any dish detergent for that matter. Use a high quality automotive car wash and then clay bar. This will remove anything thats on the surface as it is anyways.

onnfire
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:59 PM
Any Soap you use in the kitchen should not touch your car. I know its an old thread, but it bears repeating. Not everyone understands this, as car washes for fundraises always seem to use dawn or some other soap.

Bullitt4814
Mar 19th, 2010, 07:38 AM
So what is the most effective way to strip wax from your vehicle? Will a clay bar remove the wax itself or does it glide over the wax and remove contaminants on top of the wax? Its been a couple of months since my car's last waxing and I want to start from the bare clear coat and do the 5-step system.

Michael Stoops
Mar 19th, 2010, 08:43 AM
If your car hasn't been waxed in several months then odds are there isn't much wax left on the surface to begin with. Wash with a quality car wash soap and then clay it. The claying will remove the bulk of what's left, if not all of it, and any paint cleaner will speed the balance with no effort at all.

Andrew C.
Mar 19th, 2010, 10:16 AM
As Mike Stoops said, claying should remove the wax but if for some reason you really really have the need to use a wax stripper as your wash soap, do not use dawn, but there are a few soaps out there that claim to remove wax and are car wash soaps. One I believe is Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear. I'm not too sure how harsh it is, but its probably better than Dawn. I've used it a few times before and I couldn't tell if it stripped wax but it definitely took off the dressings on my plastics which led me to believe it did the same for the wax.

But in reality, clay barring is really all you need to remove the wax and if you are doing correction steps, there is not way that you will have any wax left by the time you are ready to do your LSP.

Garage Troll
Mar 19th, 2010, 12:18 PM
I can honestly say that my Dad taught me this at a very young age so I have never let dish soap touch my cars.

Thanks Dad!:xyxthumbs

J. A. Michaels
Mar 19th, 2010, 12:45 PM
Yeah, it just never made sense to me. Thern after I joined the forum. I found out why. So I never use dawn on my vehicles, never.

eyezack87
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:45 PM
As Mike Stoops said, claying should remove the wax but if for some reason you really really have the need to use a wax stripper as your wash soap, do not use dawn, but there are a few soaps out there that claim to remove wax and are car wash soaps. One I believe is Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear. I'm not too sure how harsh it is, but its probably better than Dawn. I've used it a few times before and I couldn't tell if it stripped wax but it definitely took off the dressings on my plastics which led me to believe it did the same for the wax.

But in reality, clay barring is really all you need to remove the wax and if you are doing correction steps, there is not way that you will have any wax left by the time you are ready to do your LSP.
It works pretty well. I bought a gallon just to strip off old wax since I strip/rewax every month. Its a great all in one washer since it produces some sick foam in my foam cannon :woot2

Garage Troll
Mar 19th, 2010, 06:02 PM
The only thing about the citrus wash that doesn't make sense is that yes it will strip the wax off but you would still be wise to clay bar the vehicle to remove any unseen contaminants. So all in all, it seems like extra money spent on a product that really isn't necessary.

Murr1525
Mar 19th, 2010, 06:07 PM
If my wax is good enough to survive washing, claying, and paint cleaning, it can stay there.... :dunno

eyezack87
Mar 19th, 2010, 06:34 PM
The only thing about the citrus wash that doesn't make sense is that yes it will strip the wax off but you would still be wise to clay bar the vehicle to remove any unseen contaminants. So all in all, it seems like extra money spent on a product that really isn't necessary.
Depends on the user I guess. I don't bother claying every single month so it could be geared towards people like me. Also, it works great as a polishing oils remover after you polish :xyxthumbs

TOGWT
Mar 20th, 2010, 03:59 AM
Washing-up Liquids (Detergent)

Dawn® and similar type washing liquids chemistry relies primarily on detergent and surfactant technology. This type of chemistry has advanced to the point that it can be engineered to specific soils (i.e. organic grease) Detergent and soap chemistry and product formulation is a lot more complicated than this, suffice it to say; modern car wash formulations are automotive soil specific.

I would not recommend using a harsh dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® on a regular basis, as they contain a degreaser, although most of them are approx pH 8.0 the other ingredients will tend to oxidise the paint system and emulsify, breakdown and leach out oils found in rubber moulding, trim and the paint system, which causes the plasticizers to dry out and oxidize, causing them to lose their flexibility.

The MSDS indicates that this product contains sodium hydroxide, which is highly alkaline the same ingredient used in engine degreasers to chemically ‘burn’ hydrocarbon oils and grease from engine surfaces (sodium hydroxide) it will severely stain aluminium, magnesium, etc. It will emulsify, breakdown and leach out oils naturally found in your paint, and also any oils you have applied in the way of a polish or glaze.

Generally you should avoid the use of household cleaning products for automotive detailing as they are formulated for an entirely different type of cleaning. [Your car surface and the dirt that gets on it are a lot different from the food soils and dishes that dishwashing liquids clean effectively. We don't recommend them for cleaning your car] [Proctor and Gamble]


An extract from one of a series of unbiased Detailing Technical Papers, a library of educational materials that has become the #1 reference for car care on the Internet

Chances are you'll learn something about detailing if you read any of these; although these articles will not improve your detailing skills, lead to a successful business or change your life. Applying what you learn from it, however, will. That's where your commitment comes in - you need to make a commitment to yourself right now that you will take action on what you learn.

© TOGWT ™ Ltd Copyright 2002-2010, all rights reserved

Mary S
Mar 20th, 2010, 06:21 AM
TOGWT, I love the informative articles you post. May I ask how one would gain access to the Detailing Technical Papers library? I had no success trying to search the internet to find it.

Lookinin
Apr 3rd, 2010, 12:15 PM
Excellent, detailed response, TOGWT. I've learned something new today. I always knew NOT to use dish soap on auto paints, but that explains it very clearly. Thanks.

11sallygt
Nov 2nd, 2010, 06:32 AM
I haven't seen anyone mention 90% IPA (1:1 dilution with distilled water) or Mineral Spirits. I've read numerous posts that both are excellent for removing wax. They are also good during paint correction for removing cleaning compounds and removed paint before moving on to the next area to be corrected, so you are not fooled by residue that can fill up scratches and make it look corrected.

Just a pont about the before and after pictures with the wash. The two pictures have very different photographic exposures. The first is overexposed resulting in a more washed out, lighter red. The second has a more accurate exposure resulting in a richer/darker color to the paint. To realy tell the effect of the wash, the exposures need to be fairly close. That can easily be done by putting a standard reference card into each picture at the same spot, such as an 18% grey card. If the exposures are the same, the cards will look the same.

TOGWT
Nov 2nd, 2010, 07:00 AM
TOGWT, I love the informative articles you post. May I ask how one would gain access to the Detailing Technical Papers library? I had no success trying to search the internet to find it.

“The i articles “Art &Science of Detailing” is college level PhD(tailing) material that is easily understood and very informative, The information in these articles is factual rather than subjective. It is not intended to be a source of opinion but rather tried and proven techniques, methodologies and facts about detailing and the chemicals and products used. For details see - http://togwt1980.blogspot.com the series of technical papers will soon be available on iPad and the Amazon's Digital Text Platform Kindle 3.

David Fermani
Nov 2nd, 2010, 08:26 AM
Washing-up Liquids (Detergent)

I would not recommend using a harsh dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® on a regular basis, as they contain a degreaser, although most of them are approx pH 8.0 the other ingredients will tend to oxidise the paint system and emulsify, breakdown and leach out oils found in rubber moulding, trim and the paint system, which causes the plasticizers to dry out and oxidize, causing them to lose their flexibility.

The MSDS indicates that this product contains sodium hydroxide, which is highly alkaline the same ingredient used in engine degreasers to chemically ‘burn’ hydrocarbon oils and grease from engine surfaces (sodium hydroxide) it will severely stain aluminium, magnesium, etc. It will emulsify, breakdown and leach out oils naturally found in your paint, and also any oils you have applied in the way of a polish or glaze.



The information in these articles is factual rather than subjective. It is not intended to be a source of opinion but rather tried and proven techniques, methodologies and facts about detailing and the chemicals and products used.

You claim that these articles are based on proof and not your opinion? Unless you are able to produce data or actual proof backing this assumption up, I say you're only giving your opinion. I've actually consulted with 2 Detail industry recognized chemical engineers and they both state that Dawn will not harm paint, trim, chrome and/or the plasticizers that may be in these items. I personally have been exclusively using/testing Dawn weekly on my personal vehicle for 1 year w/o any adverse effects so far. My car is in S. Florida, parked outside 24hrs/day and runs atleast 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. I believe someone on another forum compared the PH level of Dawn to other car wash soaps and found that they are comparable. What is your evidence/data supporting your statement?

TOGWT
Nov 2nd, 2010, 11:10 AM
I'm suprised that a 'detail chemist' would claim that sodium hydroxide will not harm paint trim etc. The mfg also states that it should not be used for cleaning auto paint.

If your happy using a washing up liquid for your personal vehicle that's your choice, I always advise against using household cleaning products for car care as they are formulated for very different surfaces.

David Fermani
Nov 2nd, 2010, 12:48 PM
I'm suprised that a 'detail chemist' would claim that sodium hydroxide will not harm paint trim etc. The mfg also states that it should not be used for cleaning auto paint.

If your happy using a washing up liquid for your personal vehicle that's your choice, I always advise against using household cleaning products for car care as they are formulated for very different surfaces.



With all due respect Jon, how can you claim your material as unbiased, factual, subjective and proven when it is no more than your untested opinion. Again, what source can you credit(with doumention) that substaniates your view? Just because the manufacture would never promote or endorse their product to be used in a an automotive application means zero. Case in point Woolite which is also a household cleaner and you have regularly recommended its use. For example:

http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/interior-detailing/2475-leather-help.htm#post40753

http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/interior-detailing/2595-hair-removal.htm#post42600

http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/interior-detailing/3178-interior-cleaners.htm#post54107

http://www.detailingbliss.com/forum/detailing-school/7849-interior-detailing.htm#post115852

3Fitty
Nov 2nd, 2010, 02:40 PM
For the record and consistent with the David is saying is that I believe Woolite specifically says that their product shouldn't be used on automotive leather, but many use it without problem.

Having said that, I'm not a chemist, nor have a spoken to one about the subject. I know the MOL position is that Dawn is for dishes, not for cars. I have washed both of my cars (once) with Dawn and I had NO adverse effects, although I don't think there is a lot of value in my one time anecdotal evidence.

jfelbab
Nov 2nd, 2010, 03:40 PM
Interesting thread from the past that may shed some light on this thread as well. I thought something looked familiar.

http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5187

Seems like déj* vu.

David Fermani
Nov 2nd, 2010, 04:10 PM
For the record and consistent with the David is saying is that I believe Woolite specifically says that their product shouldn't be used on automotive leather, but many use it without problem.


As a matter of fact, I've read people stating that Lexus & Cadillac owner's manuals recommend using a 5% wool safe detergent solution (a.k.a. Woolite) for general interior cleaning(which I don't personally practice). That's a whole nother topic all together.

Nice link jfelbab - Definately not the 1st time (or last) TOGWT has been called to clean up his regurgitation. Again, I'm sure without it coming to fruition again in this instance.

scanlessfool
Nov 8th, 2010, 11:33 AM
If your car hasn't been waxed in several months then odds are there isn't much wax left on the surface to begin with. Wash with a quality car wash soap and then clay it. The claying will remove the bulk of what's left, if not all of it, and any paint cleaner will speed the balance with no effort at all.

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Black1
Nov 8th, 2010, 11:53 AM
I'm with David on this subject.... You will find that many pro detailers use Dawn to prep/wash the vehicle before correction. That is, if they don't use a fancy citrus product like Chemical Bros.

The amount of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH, better known as Lye) in Dawn is very small... which makes it almost negligible when mixed with 2-4 gallons of water.

Murr1525
Nov 8th, 2010, 01:20 PM
The car wont explode if you use Dawn... But you dont have to do it in most cases either.

Black1
Nov 8th, 2010, 01:42 PM
The car wont explode if you use Dawn... But you dont have to do it in most cases either.

True... I certainly would not use it every day, or in every detailing case (ie- if MY shop has done the car before and we know what was used to wax/seal it, we wouldn't need to wash with Dawn).

And if the car is just coming in for a hand-wash, we use Gold Class Wash. :) And I meant to say Chemical GUYS, not Chemical Brothers in my last post.... although they both rock. lol ;)

Michael Stoops
Nov 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM
I personally have been exclusively using/testing Dawn weekly on my personal vehicle for 1 year w/o any adverse effects so far. My car is in S. Florida, parked outside 24hrs/day and runs atleast 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. I believe someone on another forum compared the PH level of Dawn to other car wash soaps and found that they are comparable. What is your evidence/data supporting your statement?
Just out of curiosity, David, are you doing nothing more than washing with Dawn and then rinsing and drying? That is, you aren't putting any sort of dressing on the vinyl/rubber/plastic, no wax on the paint, etc? That would be an interesting test as so many non enthusiasts are prone to that level of care for their vehicles, and we believe that is where the use of a dish detergent starts to cause problems after prolonged use.

It is interesting that Dawn has the following on their own FAQ page:


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. Bold is theirs, by the way, not mine.

One would think Dawn would happily market their product for car washing if they believed it to be 100% safe. And it may be that in many cases it can be, but not often enough for them to stand behind such a claim. On a personal note, I find it interesting that they recommend specifically against using it for window cleaning.

In any event, while Meguiar's doesn't believe there's a real need to use a dish soap to wash your vehicle, we are firm believers in using "best practices" for all aspects of car care.

Oh, and one last thing.... I checked the Woolite website and found no reference to use, yay or nay, on automotive leather.

Dusted1972
Mar 26th, 2011, 08:01 PM
I would usually only use Dawn (a very small amount) if the vehicle is going to be rewaxed anyway,or if its a vehicle being prepared for paint.Just make sure you rinse it off really really good or else it tends to leave spots and streaks .