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Male hand washing a wheel.

Natural Car Wash Soap vs. Conventional Soaps: What’s the Difference?

Keeping your ride clean and protected is important, but washing your car is not like washing your dishes. You can’t just grab any old cleaning product and expect to get the job done right. Even worse, choosing the wrong soap to wash your vehicle could harm the vehicle.

Don’t be fooled into thinking car care soaps are all the same. For instance, if you see a biodegradable car wash, don’t assume it’s just marketing. There is a good chance this environmentally friendly car wash is precisely that. So then the next question is, will it actually get my ride clean?

The truth is that a natural car wash soap can be better for your vehicle and the environment. It all comes down to understanding the difference between these soaps and conventional soaps.

Beware of Harsh Chemicals

Certain household soaps might contain harsh chemicals, which can damage your vehicle. This is especially true for common dish soaps. As you have certainly noticed, dish soap helps break food and grease up nicely. As its own cleaning product, it is highly effective.

But you don’t want chemicals this strong being used all over your truck finish. Specifically, these conventional soaps can break down the wax. And whether you coated your own ride or had it done professionally, you don’t want to strip it. Wax not only looks nice, but it protects your vehicle from the everyday elements.

So how do you know if a chemical is harsh? Harsh chemicals could be extremely acidic (low pH) or extremely alkaline (high pH). Therefore, it is about finding the right balance. Soap sheets, for example, have a neutral pH level, which makes them a safe alternative for any vehicle.

When using a two-step washing system, the second step has a higher pH level. But this is not a damaging level. It also is designed to work in unison with step one, which has a low level of pH. The low and high levels work to balance each other out, which is good for you as well as the environment.

Too much alkaline or acid in your runoff can be harmful to pipes, grass, or wherever your runoff is going. But if the ingredients aren’t harsh and the pH is balanced, the runoff will not be harmful. And this is an important reason to use a natural car wash soap.

Alternatives to Car Wash Soap?

It’s no secret that it’s a DIY age, and many people look for hacks they could cobble together themselves. While we recommend using an official natural car wash, there are beneficial elements out there. For example, the use of citrus is common when it comes to pre-washing.

Citrus has an acidic level that helps breaks down scum and grease without being too aggressive. And since citrus is a natural component, you can use it guilt-free. However, while citrus breaks down elements, it will not clean your car or truck like a car wash. It is also used in many products already, so perhaps just keep your eyes peeled.

Another common question we get is, will baking soda damage car paint? While baking soda is pretty gentle, it can still be damaging. It comes down to technique and what materials you are using. But overall, we don’t recommend rubbing baking soda onto car paint.

Man washing his car in the driveway by hand.

Environmentally Friendly Car Wash

In this day and age, you can use a gentle yet effective product. Natural car wash soaps are not going to be harsh on your paint, which is a bonus. Additionally, some are more specific to types of vehicle exteriors.

Chrome, for instance, is an example of a material that drivers often worry more about. Well, worry not. There are plenty of environmentally friendly car wash soaps that are designed for use on chrome.

Additionally, biodegradable car wash soaps can runoff anywhere without causing problems. Don’t worry about poisoning your yard or contaminating your drains and piping. Use a soap that can spill and splash and not be destructive, to you or your ride.

Take a look at our selection of natural car wash soaps and find a match for your ride. We are also happy to discuss the details of any product. The goal is to keep your ride clean and your conscious guilt-free without breaking the bank. And we can help with all of that.

Shop our truck and wash soaps here.

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