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Even though most "experts" say that you should not use dish detergent to wash a car, I've been using Ivory liquid for many years. I swear it gives the car a nice shine. The experts say it's too harsh. Does anyone know what that means? I've tried the "recommeneded" car wash liquids, but the suds disappear very quickly. I've washed my 3 week old black RAV4 twice now with the Ivory liquid and it looks great.
 

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I'm not sure but I would assume it has to do with the alkalinity of soap. Soap is by definition alkaline and I think extended exposure to higher alkaline (and same holds true to acidic) is not good for the the clear coat or the paint.

On an interesting note, I recall reading that Woolite is very alkaline and can ruin wool sweaters. I think Dawn is a lower alkaline soap but it varies from the type of Dawn. I think the original blue with original scent is the lowest.

I think car washing liquids tend to be on the neutral pH since that's probably the best pH for the car's paint. And a neutral pH is one of the reasons why the suds don't last as long. I recall an experiement in high school chemistry where the most sudsy shampoos were slightly higher in pH. Something about more surface area, something and something. Can't recall that far back in time.

Any chemists on the boards?
 
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