I'm showing my ignorance here but if I use a dishwashing detergent like "Joy" or "Dawn" does that strip my three hour wax job? Are there any differences between these soaps? And does anybody have a recomendation for a mild but effective carwash soap?
dawn does FOR CERTAIN (it's what i used before applying FF). i don't know about joy or palmolive, etc., but i do know the surfectants and detergents used in these soaps are designed to cut through food and grease, so it stands to reason that they're pretty harsh. i would guess they have very high levels of sodium (or ammonium) lauryl/laureth sulfate, and that's harsh. SLS/ALS is an industrial cleanser.
for regular washing (not stripping), find a gentle brand and stick with it. i know FF makes one, and there are many others at local stores.
Dawn, or any other dish soap, should ONLY be used ONE TIME, when you begin to use the new polish to strip off old wax deposits. You really should never use this soap on a car finish because of it's high acidity, but one time won't hurt. I use Z7 (Zaino) and it's the best. Smells GRRREAT too. If you run short of the good stuff, Meguiar's soap is not too bad. IMO, the rest is crap. Good Luck!