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My car is pretty much filthy; one of my friends has nicknamed it "The Crap Car". I want to take it to the do-it-yourself-car-wash place here, but I'm concerned about exactly what chemicals are in car soap. Do many of the car soaps contain animal derived chemicals? I'm guessing I should avoid car waxes, but any chance of them having no animal products?

Will I need to buy a special type of soap and wash the car in my driveway? Even though it's horrible for the enviroment, I'm concerned more about what products I'm supporting with my money.
 

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You can wash your car with a bucket of warm water and whatever kind of dish soap you use. I'm assuming from your question you would buy biodegradable, earth-friendly soaps, so I don't know what the problem would be. I wouldn't use whatever soap they use in those car washes because they usually suck and leave your car all spotty!

I've always used dishsoap and warm water. Just dry it right after rinsing and it will be good as new.
 

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I don't mind using the sucky car soaps if they are vegan because my car is just that dirty. If car soap isn't vegan, then I can use some biodegradable dish soap. I'm still interested in the car soap.
 

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I think you're going to have trouble finding an answer. I would not think that most soaps would contain animal products. They're full of chemicals, though. Chemicals finding their way into groundwater or being dumped into streams can't be healthy for animals in the longrun (humans included). I would imagine you'd have to ask the particular car wash for an ingredients list on the wash they use. Or just wash it yourself! I don't care how dirty it is, with a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease you can get it clean.
 

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Read through this post on TreeHugger.com about No-Wet Waterless Car Wash as well as the comments section as there are some good ideas and mention of other products. I have used Dri Wash in the past, and since I only wash once a year (or more) I'm not worried about the chemicals as much as with the soaps people buy at the car parts stores (and then wash every single weekend!) These cleaners won't be animal derived; I don't think any that are made for washing cars are anyway. It's pretty much going to be petro-chemical derived for the most part unless some of those mentioned in the comments at TreeHugger are truly plant-based only.

I think that the best comment was from the one that suggested going out in the rain with a big sponge and cleaning the dirt off that way
 

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I've been looking into this matter as well.

If you do wash your car at home park it on your lawn if you have one. Washing in the drive way picks up all the crap on the ground and washes it into the runoff and from there to the waterways. Washing on the lawn also keeps the soaps out of the ground water and waters your lawn.
 

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The issue I have with washing my car is that all the soap will go into the street drain which goes directly into the lake. I'm not sure what to do. Perhaps I can use as little soap with no phosphates and biodegradable. You have to be careful what kind of soap to use on a car though. Some will leave a film or be harsh on the finish.

Regardless, I always try to use a high power spray of plain water first to remove any dirt or **** that may scratch the finish when I scrub.
 

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I used to work in a paint store so I learned a bit about chemicals and all that. Basically companies keep trying to make products "better". In paint that means better coverage, better flow, less splatter etc. In soaps they want to make the best soap for a particular jog. I've heard that dish soap is bad for cars but I can't remember exactly why. Not sure if it's incompatible with car finishes or what. I imagine that any soap will work but it may not be the best soap for the job at hand.

I really don't like all the chemicals that are everywhere! They are supposed to make life better but I think they just end up poisoning our environment. Some chemicals are ok but I think the onus should be on the manufacturers to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the chemicals are safe.

DDT was thought to be safe when it first came out and now it is still being found in arctic animals.

Some are lobbying to have DDT used in poor countries for mosquito control but I believe that if the desire where there that an environmentally safe, vegan method could be found. But the environment and animals are not high on the list of concerns for these companies.

Money, money, money.
 

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This may be a really dumb question... but is soap really needed to wash a car? What does it do, that water alone can't? I've never tried it, but I've noticed that my car always looks great after driving around in the rain awhile. And that's just water.
 

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My car is pretty much filthy; one of my friends has nicknamed it "The Crap Car". I want to take it to the do-it-yourself-car-wash place here, but I'm concerned about exactly what chemicals are in car soap. Do many of the car soaps contain animal derived chemicals? I'm guessing I should avoid car waxes, but any chance of them having no animal products?

Will I need to buy a special type of soap and wash the car in my driveway? Even though it's horrible for the enviroment, I'm concerned more about what products I'm supporting with my money.
I wouldn’t use dish soap like some ppl suggested. That can be extremely harsh on car paint. I use Biokleen car wash soap. Entire company is vegan and cruelty free. I think they are non-toxic, too, if I remember correctly. Try Amazon for easy purchasing. :)
 
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