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You Can Polish Your Car With This Common Hair Product

The Family Handyman logo The Family Handyman 6/10/2019 Elizabeth Manneh
a woman sitting in front of a laptop: hair© Ivanko80/Shutterstock hair

It makes your hair sleek and shiny, but did you know it makes your car gleam too? Yes, ordinary hair conditioner works just as well as car polish on your car. Here's the lowdown on why it works and how to use it. 

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Why use hair conditioner?

Many hair conditioners contain lanolin and silicone to add extra shine to your hair, and these ingredients will make your car shiny and resistant to watermarks as well. Just be sure to choose a conditioner that contains lanolin or silicone (although you might prefer not to use silicone-based products on your hair).

Will hair conditioner damage my car?

While harsh detergents might dull the finish on your car, there's no evidence that using hair conditioner will cause any damage. However, Driverside.com recommends that you test it on an inconspicuous patch first.

Will I save money?

That depends. Cheap hair conditioner will do, so if you're shelling out on high-end branded car products, then using hair conditioner will definitely save a few dollars. For example, some car polish products on Amazon cost around $20, while a bottle of cheap conditioner will only set you back around $4.

How do I use it?

First, make sure you have everything you need before you start by checking out our guide to the best car wash kits. According to Pop Sugar, this is the best way to get a showroom finish on your car: Choose an overcast day or work in the shade. Working in full sun means your car will dry quickly and you'll end up with streaks. Hose or rinse your car down with clean water to loosen any dirt and dust. Add a little car wash soap to a bucket of water, and wash your car with smooth straight strokes. Washing in circles can leave unsightly streaks. A microfiber mitt or cloth works best. (Here are some other ways to use microfiber cloths).

Keep a sharp lookout for any grit or gravel that accumulates in your bucket. This can scratch the paint, so change the water in the bucket the water, if necessary. Washing your grubby wheels separately also helps avoid getting grit and grime on your paint. Wash one side of the car first, then rinse immediately to avoid soapy streaks. Then work in sections, rinsing quickly. Once your car is squeaky clean, put 2 cups of water in a bucket and add about half a cup of hair conditioner.

Smooth it over your car with your trusty microfiber cloth. Then hose your car down or rinse it with clean water and polish with a dry (yes you've guessed it) microfiber cloth.

And, once your car is shiny, why not clean the interior too, or give it a showroom-style makeover to have the best-looking car on the block?

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