Fact or Fiction: Debunking Common Car Wash Myths

Updated on February 7, 2024
Fact or Fiction: Debunking Common Car Wash Myths

Washing is a normal part of owning and caring for a vehicle. Depending on where you live, you might even visit your local car wash on a regular basis. However, as time goes on and more and more car washes compete for business, auto-owners may become misled regarding what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to a car wash. Below, we debunk some common car wash myths so that you know the difference between fact and fiction.

Myth 1: Dish Soap Is Safe for Your Vehicle

One of the most common myths about car washing is that dish soap is an acceptable alternative for car wash soap. Many people believe that since it effectively removes grease from dishes, it must be suitable for cleaning vehicles as well.

However, this is far from the truth. Dish soap is formulated to cut through grease and grime, which can strip off the protective wax layer on your vehicle’s paint and leave it vulnerable to damage. Stay faithful to vehicle-specific formulas!

Myth 2: Automatic Car Washes Are Better Than Handwashing

This myth has been around for a while. Many people believe that automatic car washes are more thorough and efficient. However, automatic car washes use harsh chemicals and high-pressure water jets that can damage your vehicle’s paint.

Handwashing, on the other hand, is a gentle yet effective cleaning process in which you have control over the pressure and the products used. Still, it’s worth noting that a quick, basic wash at your nearby car wash on occasion is still effective.

Myth 3: Wiping With a Towel Is Enough To Dry the Car

After washing your vehicle, you might be tempted to grab a towel and start wiping off the water droplets. However, this can scratch your vehicle’s surface as dirt particles get trapped between the towel and the paint. The proper way to dry a vehicle is to use a microfiber cloth or chamois that absorbs water while remaining gentle on your vehicle’s surface.

Myth 4: Waxing Is Only for Aesthetic Purposes

Waxing your vehicle not only gives it a glossy finish but also protects the paint from UV rays, dirt, and grime. Wax creates a barrier between the paint and external elements, preventing damage and preserving your vehicle’s color over time. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between polishing and waxing before attempting to do either on your own. If you want an aesthetic fix, choose polish. But if you want a protective barrier, grab the wax!

Debunking the most common car wash myths and understanding fact and fiction is important for both your vehicle and your wallet. Carefully consider your soap selection, be mindful of your drying technique, and choose the correct medium when protecting or preserving your vehicle’s exterior.

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