Yet ANOTHER car waxing question

I know there have been many posts on this subject ( I’ve read them over) but…
YEARS ago (over 23) I decided to wax my little '84 Dodge Omni that my dad bought me for a song (I used Zip wax by turtle was or something like that) and I’ll SWEAR that after that, the paint on the roof started peeling away over time…which made me furious and wonder if I’d done something wrong.
Fast forward to the present, and my 21 year old Integra. It has not been “waxed” in years, mostly because I’m lazy and because in SoCal at present, we’re in a water crisis and I try not to even wash her that much. But if I do break down and wash her and then maybe wax her, I fear that with the old/fading paint, perhaps the same fate as the Omni will happen. What do you think?

Did the 84 Omni spend a lot of time in the sun? Paint and clear coats have improved a lot since then. Waxing it couldn’t have hurt it. It probably wasn’t waxed enough.

In '84 manufacturers were still struggling to successfully apply the newly mandated "low VOC (volatile organic counpounds) aquius based paints. Lots of peeling paint got left on the roads. I would not consider anything that happened in the '80s to be a predicter of today.

The oxidized surface of the “old fading paint” will probably come off on the rags, but you’ll be better off to wax it than to let it deteriorate. But if you don;t then continue to occasionally wax it you’ll do no good at all.

Can’t help with the “lazy”. Sorry.

Yep, that’s a ‘bad paint’ problem, not a ‘bad wax’ problem.

Thanks. I just thought since it seemed to happen only after I had waxed it, that perhaps I used something that destroyed the clear coat…I think that’s what someone told me at the time. As for the laziness. I really do like washing my car in the driveway, but we are frowned upon when we do that nowadays (maybe even fined?) and I feel I get it much cleaner by hand than some drive thru car wash. Maybe I’ll take my chances this weekend…

I used zip wax a lot and it was great. You were aa victim of the 80’s paint issues.

A car wash may not do as good a job as hand washing (though that depends on effort), but if you follow up the machine wash with hand waxing using a cleaner wax, you will take off any remaining contaminants left by the machine, plus get a great finish.

Did you use dish soap on the 84 Omni ? Many people don’t know that dishwashing soap is too harsh. FYI, my last car was an 85 Omni, (15 yrs ago.) My paint never peeled but lived in Minnesota and didn’t get too much sun.

I may have used diluted dish soap from time to time, but then again, we’re talkin’ Dodge Omni and my dad had only paid $400 for it! Nothing against the Omni, as she was a good car and I cried the day I left her behind and drove away in the Integra!
I’ve used Zip Wax car wash for a long time now, whenever I wash my car, that is.

Washing a vehicle with a dishwashing liquid is not a good idea. These contain ingredients that remove animal oils/fats. And if it’s that harsh, imagine what it does to the finish and paint.


Well, I don’t use dishsoap anymore and have not in a LONG while. By the way, I have a bottle of Tech Shield Clearcoat that I bought ages ago…Says Aerospace Urethane formula. Anyone know about this stuff? I’ve obviously used it a long time ago, but wonder if it’s okay to use now, or should I just get some good old Turtle wax instead? My car’s finish is just dull in places.

Oddly, I can’t find out anything about that brand on a google search, except that it might be used by commercial car washes. In general, cars these days have a very thin layer of colored paint covered by a thicker layer of “clearcoat” finish, which is often urethane or polyurethane, but can also use other chemistry. What you have is probably a protective finish, though probably not “wax”, designed to be applied over a car’s clearcoat finish without scratching or dulling it.

However, on a 21 year old car, this is likely not going to help dull areas. Your dull areas are likely oxidized, and you will probably need to use a more aggressive product to remove oxidation and embedded contaminants. I would suggest something labeled a “cleaner wax.” If you want to get adventurous, I have seen people here recommend a “clay bar” product. This is an actual piece of clay, that you rub over the car’s finish with the assistance of a cleaning product, which removes oxidation and contaminants. You then follow up with a wax or protective sealer. Just buy one that says it is safe for clearcoats and follow the directions.

If a cleaner wax or clay bar does not bring the dull areas back, you would need to go even more aggressive to something like a polishing compound. This actually takes the finish off, so it needs to be used very carefully so that you only remove a thin layer of the dulled or scratched clearcoat, leaving enough of the clearcoat left that you can shine it up. Polishing compound should be used extremely carefully and you may want to leave that to a professional detail shop, if you are unhappy with the results of a cleaner wax.

Dish soap is too harsh for washing cars?? Nonsense! Just another silly myth. Car paints and clearcoats are quite impervious to liquid dish soap.

I’m not wishing to set off another foolish debate. If you disagree, just ignore my post and move on. I just want to reassure other car owners who use dish soap successfully that they can continue the practice without worry. Just don’t use Brillo.

Dish soap is too harsh for washing cars?? Nonsense! Just another silly myth. Car paints and clearcoats are quite impervious to liquid dish soap.

Sorry…but you’re WRONG…Dish Soap does a very nice job of help to strip the wax off a car.

You’re right, Mike, it does strip wax, but I doubt it harms the clear coat.

Probably won’t harm the clear coat at all…But without wax…the sun can do a good job on it for you.

Maybe I’ll give the clay bar a try this weekend, if I get the car washed. My car is white, so it’s just slightly dull in spots on the hood and roof, but not fading, as white can’t really “fade” imo.

I found this article amusing!


Make sure your paint is in good condition to begin with. (no flaking or peeling paint or clear coat) Also don’t wax in the sun. Find a nice shady spot and let the surface cool before applying the wax.

I’ve used plain Ivory Liquid for many years without a hint of a problem, and it does an excellent job. In response to previous discussion on this issue, I even ran a test to see if Ivory Liquid will wash off NuFinish. It won’t. It doesn’t touch it.

I’ll add the caveat that I’m referring to plain Ivory Liquid. I have not and will not use any liquid with citrus additives (including lemon). I’ve used a citrus-based cleaner on car paint to prep it for attaching a body adornment (spoiler) and that does remove wax. The cleaner was labeled as being for the purpose of cleaning and removing wax from an area on a car’s paint in prepping it.

I can only speak for the plain Ivory Liquid, but it works great and does not remove wax.