If you want to keep your car in showroom condition, you are going to have to buy a few products to keep it looking its best. And a quality car wash soap should be the first item that you should buy for your vehicle. Doing so will enable you to not only remove the road grime and dust from your car’s exterior but will also help bring out your car’s natural shine.
Unfortunately, finding a decent car wash isn’t always easy. There are dozens of different products by a dozen different manufacturers, so it can be pretty confusing even for hardcore car enthusiasts. You needn’t worry about it, however.
We’ve gone ahead and done the work for you and have found the ten best products currently available. Products that will not only clean your car but will also help you bring it back to showroom condition.
Best Car Wash Soaps – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Rain-X High Foaming Wash & Wax
Designed to not only wash your car but wax it as well, this specialty product combines car wash soap with little beads of carnauba wax. This allows this product to not only dissolve and remove road dirt and grime but leave your vehicle’s paint with a bit of protection.
While this protective coating isn’t rainproof, it does put a layer of protection between dirt and your vehicle’s paint job. This protective layer does make your car extremely shiny and brings it closer to a spotless showroom appearance, but it just isn’t durable enough to replace your car’s current car wax.
- Shines Car Up Nicely
- Provides Vehicle Finish Protection
- Rinses Completely
- Wax Isn’t Waterproof
- Does an Okay Cleaning Job
9No. 7 Car & Truck Concentrated Wash Powder
This extremely versatile cleaning product is not only designed to clean your vehicle’s paint but can be used to clean vinyl tops, chrome, tires, and windows. In fact, this product is so versatile it can even be used inside the house for cleaning tiles, woodwork, floors and even walls.
Although it’s somewhat of a pain having to mix this powder with water before you can clean your car’s exterior, this product does provide one big positive: it’s a great value because you get 4-pounds of concentrated product for one low price. It also does a pretty good job of removing road grime from both cars and trucks.
- Cleans Well
- Is Safe For Paint
- Requires Mixing
- Container is Bulky
8Griot’s Garage Brilliant Finish Wash
While it’s true that this product easily cuts through road grease and also does a great job of removing dirt and grime, it does all of it without negatively affecting the car’s finish. Many soap based formulas are incapable of removing grease without affecting the vehicle’s paint job, but that isn’t the case with this soap.
It’s pH-balanced, so it’s safe for virtually all paint finished and provides streak-free results every single time. This washing product doesn’t just clean your car’s paint, however. It’s also capable of brightening the paint up a bit thanks to special brighteners found in its high-quality formula.
- Cleans Well
- Brightens Paint
- Safe For All Paint Jobs
- Cuts Grease
- May Leave Water Spots
7Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax
This 2-in-1 wash and waxing product does a good job at cutting through dirt and grime and easily rinses away to leave a spot-free finish. It will foam up into a nice sudsy wash that will power through all kinds of road dirt and will help protect your car’s paint job in between regular wax jobs.
This biodegradable formula is pH-balanced, so it will never harm your paint job and will always leave your car with a nice, shiny finish. All of which makes it an interesting product for anyone with a car or truck to consider for their next wash job.
- Foams Nicely
- Wax Finish is Just Okay
6Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds
Chemical Guy’s Mr. Pink Super Suds Shampoo is a product that does do a great job at cutting through dirt and grime, but we’ve found that this product is somewhat of a misnomer. It didn’t provide nearly the amount of suds we expected it to when we used it with a foam gun. However, we do have to say that it does clean well regardless of that fact.
And since it’s pH-balanced and environmentally-friendly, it won’t damage your vehicle’s paint job or harm the environment. It also rinses completely and leaves the vehicle’s paint with an extra slick feel to it.
- Cleans Well
- Rinses Well
- Leaves a Slick Finish
- Doesn’t Produce Enough Foam
5Chemical Guys Extreme Body Wash
This extreme body wash is designed to cut through the grease, grime, and dust that other car wash soaps simply won’t cut through. It’s an advanced foaming formulation that uses special cleaners which are suspended in its suds to attack and destroy even the toughest messes.
This special formulation is pH-balanced with special lubricants that remove the dirt but don’t damage the vehicle’s paint job or sealant. When this product is used, the vehicle is not only cleaner but is also shinier and is covered in a special gloss that helps protect it until its next wax job. All of which allows your car to stay cleaner over the next couple of weeks.
- Cleans Well
- Leaves Paint Glossy
- Suds Well
- Smells Nice
- Occasionally Leaves Water Spots
4Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo
This environmentally-friendly vehicle shampoo has a number of benefits which make it a good product to use for washing your car, although it is a little bit overpriced. This product produces luxurious suds which go right to work cutting through dust, grime and grease and does a great job at cleaning just about any vehicle.
It’s extremely versatile and can be used not only on your car’s paint job but can also be used on windshields, tires, rubber vinyl, and even plastics. It can be used every single week to not only clean but also to leave your car’s finish with a nice slick surface.
- Suds Well
- Leaves a Slick Surface
- Cleans Well
- Is a Bit Expensive
3Turtle Wax Ice Car Wash
Formulated with special ingredients which not only help this product do a great job at cleaning any car’s exterior but also helps it protect your car from the elements. As it’s used, its rich foams isolate and loosen even stuck-on dirt and do so with a pH-balanced formula that protects the car’s paint in the process.
It also uses special polymers which interlock with each other and build up over time to provide your vehicle with some of the best weatherproof protection available. And these polymers not just protect the vehicle but help to give it a glossy appearance, too.
- Cleans Well
- Protects Against Weather
- Leaves a Glossy Finish
- May Leave a Filmy Residue
2OPT Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine
Although this product’s initial price may seem expensive for only a 32-ounce bottle, in reality, it’s a bargain because this product mixes with water at a ratio of 256-parts water to 1-part soap. And this product can be used without ever needing to rinse it with fresh water. This product is safe for all vehicle surfaces and can easily be used on not only cars and trucks, but also on motorcycles, RVs and even off-road vehicles.
This product is easy-to-use and quickly removes dirt from your vehicle’s surface. After the product has cleaned your vehicle, it leaves a brilliant finish that other products have trouble replicating.
- Cleans Well
- Doesn’t Need to be Rinsed
- Leaves a Nice Finish
- Has Trouble With Stuck-On Messes
1Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash
Designed with an advanced formula that not only cleans but also conditions in just one easy step, this car wash soap is capable of handling even the toughest of messes. It can be used to either hand wash your vehicle or can be loaded into a foam cannon for even better car washing results.
While it’s foam isn’t as luxurious as I would’ve liked, it did power through most dirt, dust, and grime messes. It was even capable of cutting through oil and greasy messes. And it performs all of these cleaning jobs without stripping away a vehicle’s current wax protection or harming the vehicle’s paint job. All of which makes this product one of the best car wash products currently available.
- Cleans Well
- Doesn’t Harm Paint
- Smells Nice
- Doesn’t Foam Well
More products also worth checking out:
How to Properly Wash Your Car
Although finding the best car wash soap available is a great initial step to take towards cleaning your car, unfortunately, it’s only the first step towards showroom quality results. To really maximize your efforts and produce a clean that will really blow your friends away, you’re going to have to put in a just little bit of extra work. And we’re going to show you how to do it with just a few easy steps.
Below are some tips and tricks we’ve come up with to help you get the most out of your car wash products. The following steps will save you a bunch of cash on detailing costs and will allow you to work towards the results you desire. So if you’re ready to learn something new, then buckle up because this one is going to be a wild ride.
Step One: Gather Your Materials
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to gather everything you need. Below are some of these items you are going to want to have available.
- Car Wash Mitts or Sponges
- Car Wash Soap
- Wheel Brush
- Access to a Faucet
- Bug & Tar Remover (Optional)
Step Two: Move Your Vehicle
Once you’ve gathered together your supplies, it’s time to move your vehicle to an appropriate place. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is by trying to wash their car while it’s in direct sunlight.
If your vehicle is in direct sunlight, then most likely it’s hot and washing your car while it’s hot can have a number of drawbacks. A hot car will cause the water to evaporate quickly and will increase the temperature of the soap, both of which will result in water spots forming before you can finish it.
Step Three: Prepare Your Vehicle
The next thing you’ll want to do is make sure your vehicle is ready to be washed. This means making sure that all of the windows are up, that the antenna is retracted (if applicable) and the windshield wipers are pulled back from the windshield.
Step Four: Wear Appropriate Clothing
Be sure that you wear clothing that is appropriate for washing your car. This means wearing clothing that you don’t mind getting wet and soapy.
Yes, we understand that some people don’t worry about what they’re wearing when they’re washing the car because they make sure they don’t get wet or soapy.
Our experience on the matter, however, is a little bit different. We feel like if you don’t get your clothes wet and soapy, then you aren’t cleaning your car well enough.
Step Five: Begin With the Hose
The first thing you’ll want to do is to put your car wash soap into your bucket and fill the bucket up with water according to your product’s instructions. Once you’ve finished doing that, you’ll then want to make sure that you hose down your vehicle to remove any loose dirt from it.
Try not to spray the vehicle straight-on, but make sure that you use a downward angle while you’re spraying it. This will ensure the best results and will make sure that you don’t inadvertently get water into the vehicle.
Step 6: Start With the Wheels
More often than not, your vehicle’s wheels are going to be the dirtiest part of your car, so you are going to want to clean those first. Using your wheel brush, make sure that you clean your vehicle’s tires thoroughly before moving on to the other parts of your car. Be sure to set your wheel brush aside because you will not be using it on the rest of your vehicle.
Step 7: Use Your Sponge or Wash Mitts
Make sure that you soak your sponge or hand mitt thoroughly in your soapy water before you begin using it. Leaving it in your bucket for 5 to 10-minutes should be sufficient. Once that’s been done, you can then use it to begin applying wash soap to your vehicle.
Make sure that you do only small sections of your car at a time and don’t try to cover the entire vehicle with soap. If you do, then some of the soap may begin to dry before you can get to it, so be sure to do small manageable portions of your car at one time.
If your car is particularly dirty, then you may have to make several passes to get it clean. You don’t want to scrub it because if there’s dirt or grit on the surface of the car, then it can potentially scratch the paint. Just gently rub the sponge or wash mitt gently over the surface of the car to give your detergent time to do its job.
Step 8: Use a Bug & Tar Remover, If Needed
It’s not always possible to get your vehicle clean with just a car wash soap alone and sometimes you will need to bring in additional help. In these instances, you may want to use a bug & tar remover product to remove any splattered insects or tar spots from your vehicle. Just be sure to follow your product’s instructions and take your time for best results.
Step 9: Rinse & Dry the Vehicle
Make sure that you thoroughly rinse your vehicle when have completely finished washing it. Once it’s thoroughly rinsed, use your dry towels to make sure the car is dry from bumper to bumper. Do not let your car dry naturally, as this can lead to water spots and can cause corrosion to form on the vehicle.
Step 10: Wax Your Vehicle
If you haven’t used a car washing product that already contains wax in it, then at this stage you can feel free to go ahead and wax your vehicle. Just be sure that your vehicle is completely dry before you start and that you follow all directions on the label.
Additional Car Washing Tips
Below are a few extra tips for keeping your vehicle in tip-top condition. Enjoy!
- Avoid Using Automatic Car Washes
- Use Microfiber Towels For Drying Your Car
- Never Use A Gas Station Squeegee to Remove Stains From Your Car’s Paint
- Never Use Dish Soap on Your Vehicle
- Wash Your Vehicle on a Regular Basis