Why Dish Soap Like Fairy Is a Bad Idea For Car Wash

Why Dish Soap Like Fairy Is a Bad Idea For Car Wash - AutoGlanz AG Car Care

Joe Pritchard |

We get it.

You have Fairy at home - why not use it to wash your car? - I mean - it does get the plates clean!


Washing your car with Fairy Liquid may seem like a convenient option, but it can actually cause harm to your car's paintwork. 

In this article, we will explore the reasons why using dish soap for car washing is a bad idea, and provide insights into the consequences of using Fairy Liquid for car cleaning - and why car shampoo is a better option!

Key Takeaways:

  • Washing your car with Fairy Liquid can cause damage to the paintwork.
  • Car shampoo is a better choice for effective and safe car washing.
  • Wax provides a protective layer for your car's paintwork.
  • Avoid using dish soap for car cleaning to maintain the longevity and appearance of your vehicle.

The Surprising Popularity of Fairy Liquid for Washing Cars

Despite the potential risks, many car owners in the UK still choose to wash their cars with Fairy Liquid.

When Convenience Trumps Proper Car Care

One of the key factors contributing to the popularity of Fairy Liquid for car washing is convenience.

With many households already having Fairy Liquid for dishwashing purposes, it becomes an easily accessible option for cleaning cars without the need for purchasing additional products. The familiarity and convenience of using a product that is already present in the household can be tempting, despite the potential risks involved.

However, it's important to recognize that convenience should not overshadow proper car care.

While using dish soap may save time and effort in the short term, it can have detrimental effects on the car's paintwork in the long run.

Sometimes when washing up liquid is used, there is also a tendency to use cheap and sturdy brushes on the paint instead of a soft wash mitt.

Understanding the Protective Layer: Wax and Its Importance

Wax or other car sealants plays a crucial role in protecting your car's paintwork from various external elements.

When it comes to maintaining the shine and longevity of your car's paint, waxing or other protection is key. 

Car wax acts as a protective barrier, shielding your car's paint from harmful UV rays, dirt, and other contaminants.

With the consistent use of wax, you can prevent these external elements from causing damage and maintain the pristine appearance of your car. Even a simple spray on wax creates a smooth and glossy finish that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle but also protects it from the daily wear and tear.

Regular waxing also makes it easier to clean your car, as the smooth waxed surface repels dirt and water. Additionally, waxing can help minimize rust formation, as the wax acts as a barrier against moisture that can lead to corrosion.

Benefits of Waxing Your Car
Protects paint from UV rays
Repels dirt and water
Enhances shine and appearance
Makes cleaning easier

Misconceptions About Fairy Liquid's Versatility

Many people have misconceptions about the versatility of Fairy Liquid and believe that it can be used for various cleaning purposes, including washing cars. However, it's important to debunk these myths and understand why Fairy Liquid succeeds in the kitchen but fails on the driveway.

Why Fairy Liquid Succeeds in the Kitchen but Fails on the Driveway

Fairy Liquid is a popular choice for washing dishes in the kitchen due to its grease-cutting abilities. It effectively removes stubborn food residues and leaves dishes sparkling clean. However, this success in the kitchen doesn't translate well to the driveway when it comes to cleaning cars.

When used on cars, Fairy Liquid's formula can degrade or strip away the protective layer of wax that preserves the paintwork.

Furthermore dish wash soap like Fairy is not developed with the thought of dissolving automotive dirt and with the thought of having plenty of lubrication, in order to avoid scratching. 

Professional Recommendations: Why Car Shampoo Trumps Fairy Liquid

The AA's Stance on Proper Car Washing Techniques

When it comes to washing your car, the AA, the UK's largest motoring association, recommends using car shampoo over Fairy Liquid. Using a specialized car cleaning product designed for automotive paintwork helps maintain the integrity of your car's finish, protecting it from potential damage caused by dish soap.

Our opinion

We understand the convenience about using washing up liquid.


If you do care about your car, use a proper car shampoo. 

Our car shampoo - Pure - Developed at our factory in the UK, can be be diluted at ratios of up to 2000:1.

Meaning that:

A proper car shampoo, that protects your wax/sealant and has proper lubrication - minimizing the risk of scratches - costs under £0.50 per wash!


Don't let price be the issue!

Pure Car Shampoo

The Science Behind Car Shampoos

Car shampoos are specially formulated to provide an effective and safe cleaning of your car's paintwork. 

Differentiating Between Household Soap and Car Shampoo

When it comes to washing your car, using household soap, such as dish soap, may seem like a convenient option. However, there are significant differences between household soap and car shampoo that make the latter a more suitable choice for your car's maintenance.

Car shampoos have unique formulations that are specifically designed to dissolve dirt, grime, and road contaminants effectively. They contain surfactants that reduce the surface tension of water, allowing it to spread evenly across your car's paintwork. This helps to loosen and lift dirt particles, making them easier to rinse away without causing damage.

In contrast, household soaps are not formulated to clean automotive surfaces. They may contain harsh detergents and chemicals that can strip away protective layers like wax or sealants. Additionally, using household soap may leave behind residues that can dull the shine of your car's paintwork.

Lubricants' Role in Protecting Vehicle Paintwork

One of the significant benefits of car shampoos is their lubricating properties. These shampoos not only clean the surface of your car but also provide a lubricating layer that helps prevent scratching or marring the paintwork during the washing process.

The lubricants in car shampoos create a smooth barrier between wash mitt and your car's paintwork. This reduces friction and minimizes the risk of abrasions that can occur when dirt particles become trapped between the mitt and the surface. The lubricating effect helps to glide the sponge or mitt effortlessly, protecting your car's paintwork from unnecessary scratches or swirl marks.

Additionally, car shampoos with added wax,  can provide a layer of protection to your vehicle's paintwork. As they are rinsed off after washing, these lubricants leave behind a thin film on the surface, helping to maintain the shine and integrity of your paintwork.

Furthermore, the lubricating properties of car shampoos with wax can aid in water repellency, reducing the chances of water spots or mineral deposits forming on your car's surface.

Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Your Car With Fairy / Dish Soap

Is washing my car with Fairy Liquid a bad idea?

Yes, using Fairy Liquid to wash your car can cause harm to your car's paintwork and should be avoided.

Why is Fairy Liquid not suitable for washing cars?

Fairy Liquid is designed for dishwashing and may strip away protective wax from your car's paintwork, leaving it dull and unprotected.

What can happen if I continue to use Fairy Liquid for car cleaning?

Using Fairy Liquid on your car's exterior can lead to damage such as swirl marks, and make your car's clear coat more susceptible to harmful elements.

Can using Fairy Liquid cause streaks on my car's windows and bodywork?

Yes, using Fairy Liquid may lead to streaks and can potentially cause damage to your car's paintwork.

What is the best alternative to Fairy Liquid for washing cars?

It is recommended to use specialized car shampoo, which is formulated to clean your car effectively without damaging the paintwork or stripping away protective wax. 

Can I use a regular sponge or cloth to wash my car with car shampoo?

It is best to use a microfiber mitt and use our safe wash guide, as it is gentle on your car's paintwork and won't cause scratches or swirl marks.

What should I do if I have used Fairy Liquid on my car?

Don't worry. But next wash use a proper car shampoo and if your paint is faded you may need to polish and wax your car to restore its shine and protection.

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