Can you wash a car with Dawn?


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No, you should not wash a car with Dawn dish soap. Dawn is designed to cut through grease and is a great choice for cleaning dishes, but it can be too harsh for use on car paint.

Dawn and other dish soaps can strip away the wax on the car’s surface, leaving it vulnerable to damage from UV rays, water, and other environmental factors. In addition, dish soaps can also be too harsh for the rubber and plastic parts of the car, causing them to dry out and crack over time.

Therefore, it’s generally recommended to use a soap that’s specifically designed for washing cars. These products are formulated to be gentle on the car’s paint and other surfaces while still effectively removing dirt and grime. If you don’t have car soap on hand, you can use a gentle shampoo or a dedicated car wash soap instead of dish soap.


  • Use a small amount of Dawn dish soap mixed with water to clean tough spots or stains on your car, such as bird droppings, tree sap, or grease.
  • Rinse your car thoroughly with water before and after using Dawn dish soap to prevent dirt and debris from scratching the paint.
  • Use a soft, non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth to wash your car with Dawn, as rough materials can scratch the paint.
  • Dry your car thoroughly after washing to prevent water spots from forming.


  • Use Dawn dish soap as your primary car wash soap. While it can be effective at removing tough stains, it’s too harsh for regular use on your car’s paint and can strip away wax and other protective coatings.
  • Use undiluted Dawn dish soap on your car, as it can be too concentrated and may damage the paint or other surfaces.
  • Use harsh or abrasive tools, such as brushes or scouring pads, to wash your car with Dawn. These can scratch the paint and cause damage.
  • Let the soap dry on your car’s surface, as it can leave behind a film or residue that’s difficult to remove.


Can I use dish soap to wash my car?

While you can use dish soap to wash your car, it’s generally not recommended for regular car washing.

Is it safe to use dish soap on my car’s paint?

Dish soap can potentially damage your car’s paint due to its strong detergents and chemicals that may be too harsh for automotive paint.

Is there a specific type of dish soap that is safe for car washing?

While some dish soaps may be milder than others, it’s still recommended to use a dedicated car wash soap formulated for automotive use.

What should I do if I’ve been using dish soap on my car and want to protect its finish?

Consider applying a fresh coat of wax or sealant to restore protection and shine to your car’s paint. Also, switch to a dedicated car wash soap for future washes.

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