gloss on car - cheapest and guarenteed maintenance

the car dealer said that the best cheapest secret he has for car wash and for paint gloss is to use dish detergent with the sparkle sticker...

just brush this solution (little detergent with water) with a car brush and rinse off should better or as good as wax and even detailing wont be needed.

how accurate would his statement be? can you answer from experience and also the science of it.
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anotherjallenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In my opinion, will this get the car clean?  Yes.  Better than a quality wax?  No.  A wax when it is done properly leaves a thing, pretty much invisible layer on top of the clear coat on the car.  This is what gives it the 'shine' but also increases the amount of time between detailing because it repels dirt and moisture to a degree.  The dishsoap, while kind of uses the same basic principle for the 'sparkle' will not substitute.

I have washed my car with a wide variety of cleaning products, including some cheap dish soap, it will do in a pinch, but nothing is as good as a quality wash and wax.
bayoubeastConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree, I've used dish detergent before and it doesn't keep my car clean for very long.  It works for cleaning the car, but you should also use car wax to keep it clean longer, the detergent alone won't last very long.
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi 25112

The advertising phrases used for hand and machine dishwashing detergent that use the word "sparkle" are simply referring to the fact that a new plate is nice and shiny, and once you wash all the dried meat pie and mashed potatoes off the plate it sparkles again.  It also refers to the fact that the detergents do not contain abrasives that can gradually scratch the surface of crockery and lead to a slightly matt finish.

What it does not refer to is actually adding a sparkle to dishes, so to assume that it might make your car shinier is false hope.

If the very top layer of your car's paint is going matt and has lost its sheen, then usually the correct choice of polishing compount for your car's paint type (base colour or metallic) will buff off that oxididised top layer and you can then polish it back up with a good quality wax polish.  By "polishing compount" I'm referring to the product known as "T-Cut" or other brands, where you rub it on, leave it to dry to a haze, then buff it off with a clean cloth.
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Michael-BestConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"how accurate would his statement be? can you answer from experience and also the science of it."

Yes, washing a car with any any cheap detergent will make it clean and glossy for the short term.

Using waxes and polishes that contain fine rubbing compound will "buff or cut" the paints surface to give an extra shine.

But the paint will eventually wear thin and fade...that is why all modern car paint has a clear lacquer coat over the top of the color paint.
This too has a limited thickness that rubbing compounds will "buff or cut" through.

Choose a wax that has no rubbing compound that will protect your paints surface from natural conditions such as UV sunlight, rain, and airborne dust.
( you need a product that cleans without wear and coats the surface with a protective layer )

"can you answer from experience and also the science of it."
Yes, I have spray painted many cars thus I have first hand experience on the subject.
deightonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
They tell you not to use such detergents, for a while many car paints have been water based paint, and chemicals in the detergents can supposedly fade the paint.  I've heard of car sellers putting washing up liquid on cars to make them look good quickly, doesn't mean it is a good idea though.

Depends if you believe car detergent and motor manufacturer spiel.
Michael-BestConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Why periodic waxing is recommended for maximum protection.
Always use a non-abrasive formula labeled safe for clear coats
Read more on:

Car wax gives the car a natural and shiny gloss, it also helps protect the paint from fading
More on this subject:
Michael-BestConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Chemical experts state that dishwashing detergents are a bad choice for today’s clear coat finished cars.
The comments to this fact have been plagiarized on many sites.
This may or may not be the original source comment.
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:

The only benefits you would get by using Ajax Anti-bacterial orange-scented dish washing detergent is that for about 30 minutes you will have a car that smells nice on the outside and is germ free enough to eat your sandwiches directly off the roof, hood, or trunk.  The first seagull that craps on the car will cover it in germs again and the crap will eat into the paint because there is no hardened wax coating to resist this to some degree.

If you look at a well waxed car that has been in the rain you will see that the water has beaded into droplets and runs off easily.  The whole idea of wax is that it sheds the water and road traffic grime more readily than unwaxed bodywork paint, and that you can spray off mud and dirt much easier without having to do a deep sponge wash with detergent as often.

Waxing on and waxing off is also great exercise if you are learning Karate and discipline and, when done regularly along with painting of fences and scrubbing of wooden decking,  trains you to tackle any person attacking you ;-)
MereteConnect With a Mentor Commented:
oh my gosh BillDL
 we use the same Ajaz Anti-bacterial orange and apple scented spray!!!
But there's more!!
I use it with a one shot  spray and it kills flies.
Flies drop dead on the spot and cleans up in one swipe ehehe
this spray as no end of good uses.
 orange and apple scented spray
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Is it any good for cleaning dead kangaroos and wallabies off your bumper though? :-)

Problem with sprays that contain alcohol and other solvents is that they strip off wax.
nickg5Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I use Dawn to wash my car but the paint job is not good and the car is a junker. So, damage to the paint won't matter.
It does help me when it comes to cleaning the wheels.

I'll share an experience when it comes to solutions that contain alcohol. And others have mentioned to you about alcohol content.
I sent my car through a car wash, then the attendent wiped the windows dry and cleaned with some solution. Then inside they sprayed the plastic speedometer cover (glass though it is not glass) with their window cleaner. It caused microscopic damage to the glass (plastic) and ruined it as the plastic became cloudy. Thet sent me a check for $23.00 and I went to a dealer to get a new instrument plastic cover and installed it myself.

If you have a new late model car, I'd avoid dish detergents.
Who is Dawn?  Could you maybe send her around to my place to wash my car? ;-)
nickg5Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Dawn dish detergent.

And the typo error above is that the instrument glass was plastic. The Better Business Bureau got them to pay for the damage to my car.
Their using cleaner designed for glass, to clean plastic, AFTER I told them do not clean the instrument cover.
25112Author Commented:
you saved trouble from me .. thanks
Thank you 25112
thank you....nickg5
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