One of the easiest ways to get your car cleaned is to swing by the car wash. This can mean standing in line for the wash and then having to wait outside, exposed to the elements, while they clean the inside of your car. None of this really sounds like a relaxing day, which is why cleaning your own car is often just easier.

Best Car Wash Soap

If you are going to handle washing the car by yourself, there is one thing that you need above all else – good car wash soap. The best car wash soap can be a little tricky to buy because it needs to tick so many boxes. Not only does it need to clean the exterior of your car well, it needs to do so gently.

Clearly, picking out the first affordable bottle that you come across isn’t the greatest move. To make your car cleaning duties a little bit less tiresome, we have found some of the best car wash soaps available. These are the brands that are sure to make your day.

1. Duragloss 902 Car Wash Concentrate

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Why we like it: The Duragloss 902 cleans the surface of the car gently and helps to maintain the protective layer while also adding shine.

There is nothing worse than washing your car only to find that the soap has chipped away at the protective sheen. This happens with soaps that are too strong or have odd pH values. The Duragloss 902 concentrate, however, doesn’t have any of these problems. This soap produces a lot of suds, which helps to clean the car yet keep all that important protection intact. Since it has a neutral pH, you don’t have to worry about your paint job.

The other great thing about this soap is what happens once it has been washed away. Unlike many other soaps, there is no spotting and streaking so the surface of your car looks beautiful. Also, you don’t have to go through the extra trouble of cleaning the car again. The more that you use this car wash soap, the more that you will notice that your car’s paint looks just a little bit shinier each time. Since there is a gallon of the soap, it will last you quite a while.

2. Dri Wash ‘n Guard

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Why we like it: This Dri Wash ‘n Guard soap is a waterless formula, which makes it easier and quicker to wash your vehicle at home.

One of the downsides of washing your car in your own driveway is the mess. You have to deal with a river of water, suds, and, inevitably, mud. Also, the thought of hauling a bucket or hose to wash your car is enough to make you postpone the cleaning session. With the Dri Wash ‘n Guard, all of these worries are gone. It is a waterless version, which means that you don’t need water to keep your car clean. It is merely a matter of spraying it on and then wiping it off.

This is a great soap for keeping your car clean in between full washes. If you feel like your car’s exterior is looking a little dusty, you can use this soap to help shine things up. Although it is waterless, the soap does an excellent job of getting off the dirt and debris on the car. It is also mild and works to keep the paint shiny and intact. If you are looking for a quick fix to your dirty car problem, this is the soap for you.

3. Zymol Z530 Auto Wash

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Why we like it: The Zymol Z530 is extra strength but consists of natural cleaners and oils, which makes it very safe for the car paint.

If you drive in some rough conditions, the outside of your car is going to get covered in all kinds of dirt and debris. This means that you have to choose an extra-strength cleanser to get the job done. Of course, this means that there is a higher chance of the paint getting chipped. Zymol, however, uses only natural ingredients such as coconut and banana essential oils. These help to lubricate the dirt so it moves off the car better but leaves the paint unharmed.

This auto wash foams really well and actually works quite well with hard water as well. Regardless of where you live, you will not find it difficult to wash your car with this soap. The other benefit of this soap is that it quickly washes off your car. There are no marks, spots, or scuffs left behind. As a result, the surface of the car looks smooth and shiny. All around, the Zymol car soap should be commended for a job well done.

4. Turtle Wax ICE Car Wash

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Why we like it: Not only does the Turtle Wax ICE soap help to clean the car thoroughly, it also helps to prevent future dirt from forming on the surface as well.

Turtle Wax is practically a household name and many people use it to keep their cars looking brand new. Well, this is with good reason because the ICE car wash actually works. The soap produces a very rich foam, which creates a lubricating surface between dirt and the car paint. This is especially important for abrasive dirt such as soil since this can scratch the surface of the car. After this, it is just a matter of hosing the car down and watching as the dirt flows off too.

Turtle Wax does more than just make your paint look clean and shiny, it helps it to continue looking this way. First off, it has got gloss-enhancing agents in its formula. This means that whenever you wash your car, it will look as though it has just been waxed. The soap also works to prevent soil and other abrasive particles from settling on the car again, keeping it looking newer for longer. The Turtle Wax soap really is an all-purpose cleaner.

5. Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

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Why we like it: The Meguiars car wash shampoo and conditioner is quite luxurious, cleaning and conditioning your car’s surface all at once.

This car wash is unique in that it both cleanses and conditions your car, all in one easy step! The advanced formula will clean your car entirely without stripping its wax protection. It will foam away tough dirt, contaminants, and road grime.

The conditioner is ultra-rich and will make your paint look the best it possibly can. Because of its diverse application, it can be used in a bucket or in a foam cannon. It’s essential to note than if you’re using it with a foam cannon, dilute it to a 5 to 1 ratio.

6. Optimum Car Wash

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Why we like it: The Optimum car wash is tough on dirt, mud, and debris, but is gentle on your hands as well as the environment.

More often than not, the soaps that help to clean away all of the dirt and the grime aren’t so great for your hands. If you are tired of your hands being red and raw after washing them then you should give Optimum car wash a try. The main advantage of this soap is that you are able to get a lot of suds from very little soap. This is what lubricates the dirt and the dust, making it easier for you to wash off.

While you are sure to get rid of all of the dirt, you can rest easy knowing that any sealant or wax will not be removed during the cleaning. If you don’t want to have to keep stocking up on car wash soap all the time, then the Optimum car wash can help you out. This formula is highly concentrated, which means that you need to use very little when you are washing your car. The soap lasts a lot longer as a result.

7. Chemical Guys Car Wash Soap and Cleanser

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Why we like it: The Chemical Guys car wash soap creates lots of suds that make it possible to clean the surface of the car more gently.

While you definitely want your car’s exterior to be cleaned, you can’t risk anything scratching or scuffing it in any way. This is where the Chemical Guys cleanser comes in. The trick here is that this soap produces a crazy amount of suds, especially if you use a foam gun or washer. These suds are full of gentle cleaners that get the dirt to loosen its hold on the paint. Then, it can easily be washed away with almost no elbow grease.

This cleanser is great for all types of surfaces on your car. This includes paint, plastic, vinyl, glass, and even rubber. So, you don’t have to be afraid that any part of your car is going to get damaged. It will also leave any wax or sealant that you have applied completely untouched. Since the soap’s pH is neutral, you don’t have to worry about washing your car in direct sunlight. As an added bonus, there is also a wonderful honeydew smell that lingers after the wash.

8. Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash

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Why we like it: With the Mothers California soap, you get your car washed and waxed at the same time. It is also easy to wash off.

If you are strapped for time or really don’t want to go through a step by step process, then the Mothers California Gold is for you. This is because it contains Carnauba wax in it. So, while you are cleaning your car you are also automatically making sure that it is nice and shiny. Despite the wax, this soap is excellent at getting rid of any grit or grime that is on top of your car. Since it is pH balanced, it is also incredibly safe for your paint.

The other great thing about this wash and wax is that it rinses off really well. The formula has been designed to wash off quickly and easily so that you don’t have to waste time scrubbing it off. Also, when the soap washes off, you don’t have to worry about any streaks or scuff marks. The surface will be nice, smooth, and shiny. Not to mention, it will look as though it has just been professionally waxed. You can find all that you need in this one car wash soap.

9. Trinova Car Wash Concentrate

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Why we like it: The Trinova car wash concentrate is ideal for car owners who wash their vehicles quite regularly and want to keep the paint protected.

Do you live somewhere that is quite dusty or does your car often get caught in the rain and mud? If so, you will probably find yourself having to wash your vehicle on a weekly basis. This can be a difficult thing to manage and make sure that you keep the paint from fading or becoming chipped. In this situation, the Trinova car wash comes to the rescue. It is pH balanced and produces lots of suds to help with the lubrication of the dirt.

The Trinova car wash is also a soap that is going to last you quite a while, even if you wash your car quite regularly. Since it is a concentrate, you just have to dilute a small amount in a lot of water. This soap can also be used to clean the entire car in one go. It works well on the tires, the trim, and even the glass. However, you can be reassured that any wax or sealant that you have applied will remain intact.

10. Rain-X High Foaming Car Wash

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Why we like it: With the Rain-X high foaming car wash soap, you can clean and wax the exterior of the car in one fell swoop.

So, it can be bothersome to wash your car, dry it off, and then have to work on waxing it. Also, who has the time? Well, if don’t want to do it step by step, now you don’t have to, thanks to the Rain-X soap. This formula contains a cleanser as well as Carnauba wax beads. Therefore, while you are washing your car, you are also waxing it at the same time. Once you hose it off, you will be able to admire that beautiful gleam.

It is easy to get the cleanser to foam and create a lubricating and protective layer on the car. You can even manage to create lots of suds just using a hose and a bucket. Because of this, even the heaviest and toughest of dirt and debris will not stand a chance. This is an incredibly safe formula. Not only is it pH balanced to avoid destroying the paint on your car, it is also biodegradable and harmless to the environment.

11. Griot’s Garage Brilliant Finish Car Wash

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Why we like it: The Griot’s Garage car wash soap produces lots of soap, washes off well, and makes the car’s exterior look really shiny.

If you want your car’s paint job to look its best, then Griot’s Garage’s car wash soap is something you will like a lot. Even just with a capful of the soap, you will be able to extract so many suds. This is what allows this formula to be so gentle with your car’s surface. It removes all of the dirt but will preserve any wax or sealant that you have used on your car. So, even if you use this soap quite frequently, you don’t have to worry about needing to wax it often.

You will have no problem washing off this soap as the lubricants allow it to slip right off the paint, along with any dirt. This is true regardless of your vehicle’s finish. More than that, though, there are no unsightly marks or streaks left behind. In fact, there are brighteners in this car wash to help the paint job look even brighter than it did before. Each time that you use it, it will be as though you are unearthing a new car.

12. Wet or Waterless Car Wash

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Why we like it: The Wet or Waterless Car Wash is said to be the best waterless car wash soap on the market and is in the top rated car wash soaps. This is a great mess-free option that does not spud up for those who want to clean their cars quickly and easily and without any hassle.

If you are short on time or want to wash your car anywhere you find yourself, this UV ray protection washer is great to just spray on. The 3D Auto detailing soap is a waterless formula which means it can clean your car – no water, buckets, or hoses necessary! The soap has been designed to be sprayed and then wiped so that it can loosen dirt, dust, and debris, to give it an optimal cleaning job. After you wash wipe it with that dry towel, your car will simply sparkle. It has been used on vehicles of all kinds for 32 years.

The best part about this eco friendly car soap is that it is absolutely safe and is, in fact, biodegradable! Due to this, you can use it all over your car without being afraid that it is going to damage various components or you in the process. This soap is gentle on metal, plastic, paint, and glass and is truly incredible and such good quality. Once you are done, every single inch of your car is going to look incredibly, shiny, and like you have actually used water. It will be tough to find a waterless soap that does a better job than this one, especially because it is Amazon’s choice, meaning many people have tried and they agree that this is the best of it’s kind.

Car Wash Soaps Buyer’s Guide

New to the process of buying car wash soaps? Consider this simple things before making your purchase:

Liquid-to-Water Ratio
This is important solely for the purpose of saving you money. Most good quality car wash soaps come in concentrations that provide for a 1 ounce to 1 gallon of water ratio. This means that generally, however many ounces the bottle contains is about how many gallons you should be able to produce from it. The higher the concentration, the more you can get from your bottle. Car wash bottles generally range in ounces that are divisible by 16 (16, 32, 48 or above), with those in the lower ounces typically boasting higher concentrations to account for the lack of liquid material.

Formula pH Level
The pH level of your car wash soap formula is a factor of the formula’s acidity or alkalinity. Most soaps have some level of alkalinity to them that aid in the breaking up of dirt and other solid materials that may have an acidic nature to them (such as bird droppings). However, a pH level that is too high reflects a formula that is too alkaline, while a pH level that is too low reflects one that is too acidic and could damage your car’s wax, coat and paint. However, a formula that is completely neutral (water, for example, is completely neutral) may do very little in the way of actually cleaning your car. When buying a product, it’s best to find one that has some pH level above neutral, but not so high or low that you’ll do damage to your car’s exterior with long term use.

While this is a minor part of your car wash soap purchase, it does matter. Scented car wash soaps can be a big turn-off to some buyers. A car wash scent that has an overly pungent smell may linger on your car and be a problem for those with certain allergies. Most car wash soaps do come with some scent, usually mimicking some form of fruit (cherry, lemon).

Water Spot and Streak Resistance
Most car wash soaps boast that they can protect against water spots and streaks. Water spots can be potentially damaging to your car’s paint if left unattended to, and streaks leave the car looking dirty even after cleaning. Look for a car wash soap that at least attempts to make the claim of helping you avoid both. Typically, a car wash soap that advertises a quick-drying solution is one that will help you avoid both of these.

If your car is looking a little lack-luster, make sure to purchase the right car wash soap. Finding the right balance for what you need will ensure that you car maintains that same, fresh-off-the-lot look you fell in love with the day you bought it!