Washing your car in Alaska may seem simple. If you go the traditional car wash route, you choose a wash, drive your car into the tunnel, and wait for the grime to wash away. If you choose to wash your car at home, you pick up a bottle of soap, a bucket, and grab the nearest garden hose and scrub the vehicle by hand. However, there are several car wash myths floating around that need some clearing up!

Myth: Dish soap is OK for car washing
If you’ve needed a car wash quickly, you may have been tempted to grab your household dish soap to do the job. But don’t be tricked into thinking just any soap is approved for cars. Dish soap is actually formulated to strip away grease, grime, and every surface coating— meaning the polymers in your car’s paint job too! Washing your car with dishwashing soap can even speed up the oxidation process on the paint.

Myth: If the car looks clean, you can skip the wash
Even if your car looks clean upon initial inspection, the only real way to tell is to run your hand over the surface of the vehicle. If the car is truly clean, the surface will feel smooth. If it’s in need of a wash, the surface will feel rough and gritty. Why? Surface contaminants can build up over time on your car’s paint job and while you may not be able to see them right away, a quick touch will reveal they are there!

Myth: You can clean your car with a T-shirt
Think twice before you pick up an old T-shirt to clean the inside or outside of your Alaskan vehicle. The fabric may feel soft, but it’s actually scratching your car’s surface by pushing contaminants into the paint finish. Instead, pick up a microfiber towel to help you wipe away dirt.

Myth: Polishing and waxing are the same
These two have separate jobs when it comes to protecting your car. Polishing is meant to create a glossy finish, while waxing is meant to protect the finish by applying waxes, resins, and polymers. Getting a good grasp on these terms will help you understand how to better take care of your vehicle.

Myth: A touchless car wash is always best
No matter how long you’ve owned a car in Alaska, you’ve likely heard the theory that touchless car washes are better for your car as they avoid scratching or “swirling” the paint. But that is just not the case! Even Mercedes states right in their car care manual to “never clean your vehicle in a touchless automatic car wash as these use special cleaning agents. These cleaning agents can damage the paintwork or plastic parts.” Here at Sudzy Salmon—a hybrid tunnel car wash—we use less harmful Turtle Wax products, do a better job of cleaning your car without the worry of damaging your paint job over time, and are more environmentally-friendly than touchless washes as we use a water reclaim and conservation system.

Which car wash myth surprised you most? We’d love to hear from you in a comment below and of course, we hope to see you at the wash!

Sudzy Salmon Car Wash
13120 Old Glenn Highway
Eagle River, Alaska
Ph: 907-622-SUDZ (7839)
[email protected]

First Class Experience with an Alaskan Touch