Drivers warned not to use cheap products to wash cars - or risk £5,000 paint repairs

The study found that 48 percent of drivers cleaned their car with washing-up liquid (stock image)
The study found that 48 percent of drivers cleaned their car with washing-up liquid (stock image) -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Motoring experts have warned drivers to take care when washing their cars, explaining how nearly half of the UK's drivers could be inadvertently causing expensive damage through the chemicals they use.

A survey found that 48% of British motorists are using washing up liquid to clean their cars - but this could lead to serious paintwork and body issues.

Expert Darren Miller advised: "Using washing-up liquid to clean cars is a common mistake that can lead to significant damage to the vehicle's paintwork. While effective for removing grease and food stains, the washing-up liquid contains salt, which can corrode the paint and leave the car vulnerable to environmental contaminants and UV damage."

The salt can also lead to rust when it comes into contact with exposed metal - like scratches or scuffs. Drivers who use the household item to scrub their car can also remove any paint sealant or wax with it, exposing paintwork to UV rays.

The Express reports that as a result, a number of washes can lead to a car losing its shine, and fading over time. This can cause thousands of pounds to repair if a motorist wants to restore their vehicle to its former glory - with Darren adding: "Repainting a car due to damage caused by washing-up liquid can be expensive, with potential costs reaching up to £5,000 for a family car.

"To avoid this, car owners should invest in dedicated car care products designed to protect the paint and preserve the vehicle's value. Using the right products not only protects against damage but also helps maintain the car's appearance, ensuring it looks its best for years."

Automotive shampoo should be used to clean a car, with bottles setting motorists back as little as £2.50. also advised using two buckets when cleaning - one containing clear water and the other filled with a mix of water and car shampoo.

This method can help prevent soap from drying, causing streaks and even scratches.