The short answer is YES, using dishwashing soap is likely okay to use to wash your car. You’re going to get different answers depending on who you ask. Much of the information around this subject is due to the marketing indoctrination saying that you must use a dedicated car wash soap. Reasons given for doing so include: using a non-car soap will damage the car’s paint, a pH-neutral soap MUST be used otherwise it will also strip existing protectants, and dish soap will strip the car of its existing wax/sealant/coating. I don’t believe these claims to be true and I set out to test if a dishwashing soap is ok or not to use wash your car.
Here is a list of car wash soaps that are ranked by the most recommended by auto detailers and detailing enthusiasts in various car detailing forums. It is impossible to know what is “the best” car wash soap out there as it really depends. However in my opinion, I would trust the recommendations of the folks who use many of these products on an everyday basis and therefore can make working comparisons across the field. Without further ado, here is the list of the best car wash soaps based upon recommendations that come up time-and-time again.