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May 13, 2024

Motorists Risk Paintwork Damage By Using Harmful Household Products On Their Cars

Motorists could be unknowingly causing damage to their cars, costing a lot to rectify, by using highly unsuitable household and personal cleaning products to remove everyday dirt and grime.

A new survey in the United Kingdom commissioned by Autoglym, found consumers are resorting to a variety of unconventional products, including scouring pads, scrubbing brushes, unwanted clothing, dishwashing liquid, caffeine shampoo, laundry detergent, and even floor cleaner to wash and clean their car.

The most widely used household cleaning product being applied to cars is dishwashing liquid. When asked: ‘Which of the following cleaning products have you ever used to clean a car’s paintwork?’ 48 percent of survey respondents admit to using dishwashing liquid; a proportion that increases to 56 percent among those aged 55 to 64. Designed for removing stubborn grease and burnt-on food, dishwashing liquid strips away any protective layers on a car’s bodywork, leaving it vulnerable to air- and water-borne contaminants and UV damage.

Additionally, a notable minority have employed ‘scrubbing brushes’ (12 percent) and ‘scouring pads’ (6 percent) that can scratch paintwork. 19 percent say they have used ‘an item of clothing’, 7 percent have turned to ‘laundry detergent’, and 5 percent have used ‘shower gel’.

Repairing the damage caused by some of these unconventional cleaning methods can be costly, with a typical family-car respray averaging around P 30,000. Even seemingly innocuous items like dishcloths, used by 34 percent of respondents, can leave behind minor scratches and swirls due to their tough fibers.

Laura Fippen, Head of Technical Services at Autoglym, comments: “None of these household products have been developed with car cleaning in mind, and some of the scouring pads and brushes could even be causing lasting damage. The good news is that consumers can quickly rebuild essential layers of protection by using products specially formulated to be used on cars.”

In the same survey, 29 percent of respondents expressed their dislike for removing stubborn deposits like bugs and tar during the car wash process. Fippen says using simple preventive measures can ease the burden in future. “Using a specialist car shampoo and adding protection – such as a wax or a ceramic treatment – means removing stubborn dirt at the next wash becomes much easier.”

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