While automatic car washes seem like a convenient and innocuous option, they’re likely to cost you in the long run.
But what kind of damage can be inflicted by the automatic car washes?
Well, for starters, the brushes or pressure washers in the garage aren’t properly maintained, so they’re more likely to abrade your car’s paintwork.
More importantly, however, these machines essentially work by slapping your car with mops, causing deep micro scratches called swirls.
While the swirls might not be visible by then, but with time, the damage build up, eventually dulling the paint, and the scratches getting more visible.
The best way to wash your car is to clean it by yourself.
Now, assuming you've decided to wash your car from home, the first step is to find a reliable car-specific soap.
The last thing you want to do is cleaning your car using generic soaps or even laundry detergents.
See, car soaps are designed to be less aggressive than products meant for cleaning an oily pan or a dirty shirt.
The best car soaps have incredible lubricity, form foam easily, and are effective are lifting and suspending contaminants embedded on the surface of your paint.
That said, with plenty of options in the market, narrowing to a specific choice is challenging.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a review guide, outlining the best car soaps in the market.
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
Other Great Recommendations
Top 7 Car Soaps in The Market for The Money
Griot's Garage Car Wash - Best for Vinyl Car
If you’re in pursuit of perfection in terms of car care, Griot’s Car Wash is the way to go.
An ideal option for users with fiery car vinyl or the bold colored car, Griot’s Car Wash features special brighteners that intensify the colors, leaving your car looking freshly painted.
Due to the incredible concentration of Griot’s formula, you'll only need to add an ounce of the soap to a gallon of water to achieve a thick lather. It also means the product is long-lasting and will serve you all year long.
Performance for the Griot’s soap is impressive; the formula is designed with high viscosity, sufficient to dig deep into your car's finish, and easily remove the stubborn grit, grime, and contaminants.
The touch-activated foam works by creating a thick coating of suds that prevent the formation of swirl marks, while at the same time lubricating your car's finish for a more comfortable wash.
The neutral pH foam also ensures that you don’t have to worry about removing the delicate waxes and sealants on your car. The soap delivers a streak-free result every time you wash your car.
- Streak-free shine
- Enhances shine
- Safe for use on all surfaces
- Doesn't work well for the soiled cars
Chemical Guys Wash Soap - Best for Glossy Finish
If you need a car soap that will get your car shine brightly, you can never go wrong with the Chemical Guys Wash Soap.
The Chemical Guys Wash features color brightening technology, capable of helping your car retain its bright colors.
But color brightening isn’t the only benefit to this car soap; the Chemical Guy formula is also powerful enough to get rid of the grime, dirt, dust, and even grease on your car.
Regardless of the road you ride or dirt your car has accumulated, Chemical Guys assure of turning things around for good. The unique combination of the wash soap and the synthetic blended formula ensures your car is fully protected.
And while doing the cleaning, the formula doesn’t strip the wax or the delicate paint job on your car.
More importantly, however, the Chemical Guys Soap doesn't leave stains, swirls, or soaps on your car after a thorough clean.
- Nice soda scent
- Doesn’t strip wax
- High lubricity
- Leaves some residue
Maxi Suds II Shampoo - Best Value
The Maxi Suds is yet another incredible car soap from Chemical Guys.
The secret to the Maxi Suds lies on the bubbly formula.
However, the effervescent on the Maxi Suds doesn’t stop producing new ones. This way, it’s easy for the formula to clean up the debris, dirt, and filth that you might have picked up in your adventure.
And as its name suggest, you don't have to worry about the lack of suds in your foam cannon.
The Maxi Suds was specifically designed to offer a reliable solution with just a single ounce of soap in a volume of 4-5 gallons of water.
The cleaning performance for this soap is further complemented by a cherry scent that goes well with your freshly cleaned and glittering car.
- Leaves a smooth and nice surface
- Remove pollutants
- Leaves a nice smell
- Suds may not last for long
Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine - Best for New Cars
Optimum No Rinse, also known as ONR, is a true no-rinse wash car care, allowing you to clean your car with the least amount of effort.
Uniquely, it works differently from other soaps on our list by breaking the dirt from your car's top layer and letting you remove the residues with a rag.
However, this might be a huge concern as you need to have several fresh rags with you. Again, though the rags pick dirt pretty much quickly and while wiping the surface, it possible to cause scratches to your vehicle.
And this is the reason we think this soap is suited for brand new cars. It might be a little too much for the daily driver, but if you're an enthusiast trying your absolute best to ensure your car remains in the new condition, it’s hard to beat the ONR.
One more thing; always apply wax after using the ONR. Otherwise, it will attract dust in the same way the rugs scoop it.
- Streak-free finish
- No need for rinsing
- Requires rags
Mothers California Gold Wash & Wax - Best for Filling Scratches
With such a luxurious name, you can be sure this power washer is capable of leaving your car looking spic and span.
First, the soap is designed to dissolve in water and displace the stubborn grime and dirt.
The soap also suds pretty easily, while at the same time offering ample lubrication for effective washing.
The best feature of the soap is the carnauba wax, an ingredient that makes the soap suitable for filling in the scratches. While the soap is by no means a replacement of the fillers, it’s a great way to fill in the slight scratches and marks on your car.
The pH neutral formula of this soap is also an added benefit as it offers a protection free washing against painting. When in use, it doesn’t affect the paint, and it comes out with the awesome shininess of your car.
The soap is not only powerful but also nature-friendly, thanks to its biodegradable status.
- Added Carnauba wax for scratch filling
- Environmentally friendly
- Powerful at removing dirt
- May leave a film if you don’t rinse thoroughly
Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo - Best pH Neutral Soap
If you've an ultra-sensitive skin and are in search of gentle and non-toxic soap, the Adam's might be an intriguing option.
The neutral-based pH formula on Adam's makes this power wash an incredible option for use on any surfaces. The universality of the formula means you can apply the soap on any part of your car.
The gentle nature of the soap also means Adam’s is suitable for all people, and won’t harm pets around your household.
Performance is equally impressive; I love how sudsy it is and how it creates thick lathers for cleaning without compromising on the integrity of the existing waxes or body paint.
After use, rinsing the soap is a cinch, but more importantly, the soap leaves slick lubrication protecting your paintwork and making your car surface gleam.
The formula also lathers pretty easily, and you simply need just a small amount of gel to get going.
- Neutral Balanced formula
- Can be used on all type of surfaces
- Pleasantly scented
- You need to apply a considerable amount
TriNova Car Wash Concentrate - Best Concentrated Formula
TriNova Gold Standard Cleaner is powerful enough to clean even the most resistant dirt and grime from your car.
A concentrated formula, this car wash affords you many washes with the least amount of soap, and it’ll keep your vehicle shining bright.
The TriNova purchase is accompanied with a mitt for eliminating the scratches as you wash.
The biggest benefit of this soap is it's possible to wash your car in comfort, knowing that it won't damage any part of your vehicle's bodywork. The ultra-slippery suds remove the grime without creating scratches.
The soap is even ideal for use on vehicles with wax or sealant coatings.
Versatility on this soap is further manifested by the fact that it can also be used for foam gun or double bucket.
Like Adams' Shampoo, the soap is Ph-balance, so it’s ideal for routine cleaning.
- Balance pH
- Can be used on any surface
- Not scented
Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash - Best Concentrated Soap
Meguiar's G7101FFP is among the most powerful and concentrated soaps we’ve on the list.
Though Meguiar's G7101FFP appears quite expensive, it's a concentrate of pretty strong proportions; to use the soap, you simply need to add a cupful of soap to a gallon of water, and you're good to go.
The soap is also quite sudsy, which makes it an absolute joy to use. When in use, it efficiently slices through dirt, grime, and grime with the least effort to deliver a streak-free finish.
Unfortunately, due to its thick consistency, it doesn’t deliver regular agitation of water and mixture, so it’s not the best option for power washing.
Nonetheless, it's suitable for bucket washing, and the good news is it doesn't strip off the wax on your car, which is a bonus, especially if you live in a region where things tend to get rusty regularly.
However, as we mentioned above, the soap is quite thick, so it requires a lot of mixing, which some find to be quite inconvenient.
The Meguiar's G7101FFP is not also suited for handling dust, meaning you’ve to put extra work to get the dust coating off the car.
That said, it excels in clearing the dirt, mud, grime, and the dirty accumulations.
- Suds easily
- Thick consistency
- Doesn’t strip your car’s paintwork
- Not efficient at removing dust
Turtle Wax - Best for Fast Cleaning
The Turtle Wax is an innovative car cleaner kit that lets you wash all kinds of dirt and grime from your car without scratching or harming the body of the car. This leaves your car looking sparkling clean.
The kit also includes a Wax and Dry Spray that delivers an extra shine on your car in no time. The wax has an easy-to-use trigger that lets you apply the wax efficiently before your car dries.
Away from the cleaning and wax shin technology, the cleaner delivers a streak-free formula, and this allows your car to stay protected from scratches for a considerable amount of time after the waxing session.
Another handy accessory on this kit is the microfiber towel that aids in drying as well as clearing the tiny wax streaks.
The biggest drawback to this car soap is the rather pungent smell of the spray.
But away from the smell, the Turtle Wax is a great car care product.
- Value-added accessories
- Fast cleaning
- Steak-free clan
- Pungent smell
Simple Green 13005CT - Best Biodegradable
The Simple Green is a readily biodegradable car care product that makes it safe for use. It has no toxic elements, so it also won’t harm your pets or kids.
Other properties making this care product a better alternative to the caustic solvents and cleaners include non-corrosiveness and inflammability.
The formula is also quite versatile, and its applicability stretches from regular cleaning to degreasing of all the washable areas and surfaces.
The Simple Green Cleaner is also easy to use, and you simply need to mix it with water to form the right solution for cleaning your car.
While agree it’s not the most affordable formula, it offers value for your money.
Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash Soap - Best Foaming Soap
Honeydew is specifically created for faster foaming.
The ultra-foaming of this power wash allows for faster elimination of dirt, dust, and contaminants.
Yet, it's gentle of your hands, and car body works so that you can apply it on any section of your carry without worry.
The neutral pH on this formula lets you safely rinse away off the dirt and grime without affecting the paint. More importantly, however, this model is safe for use on all vehicle surfaces.
The performance of the formula is improved by the thickness, slickness, as opposed to the hyper surfactants.
Generally, when it use, it delivers a spot-free shine and is safe to use in direct sunlight.
- Lather easily
- Does affects your car's bodywork
- Tad expensive
Car Soaps Buying Guide
With so many car soap options in the market, it can be challenging to pick the right soap for your car.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help with the selection process.
But first, let’s look at the common types of car soaps.
Types of Car Soaps
Concentrated car soaps are the most popular power washers in the market and need a bit of dilution with water for the best performance.
Wash and Wax
Some car washes have wax as a crucial component, and they're quite handy in shielding your paint from damage.
Soaps containing wax are, in particular, a handy option if you live in the hotter climates where there's a lot of sunshine.
While they pale in comparison to the full-fledged car wax applications, they’re better than leaving your car with no shield.
If water is scarce in your locality, the waterless soap might offer a reprieve.
These soaps don’t require water, and they provide a performance similar to that of the traditional soaps.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Car Soap
Now that you've an idea of some of the car soaps in the market let's look at the critical factors to consider when selecting a soap car soap option.
Foaming and Lubricity
Ask any professional detailer, and they'll tell you washing a car properly is all about suspending the contaminants.
Foaming bubbles offer lubricity, letting you achieve an easier and less abrasive wash, therefore minimizing damage to your car’s paint job.
By creating thick foam with lots of suds and lubricity, it’s easier for the bubble of the soap to trap and get rid of dirt particles.
For the really dirty vehicles, you need to choose a powerful and effective formula.
Also, if you live in a bug-prone area, you might first consider using a bug wash as a pre-treatment for the highly acidic bug remains.
pH Level refers to the level of acidity or alkalinity of car soap.
Generally, alkaline soap is preferred over the acidic soaps as they're effective at breaking dirt, all while at the same time being gentle on your skin.
However, high levels of either alkalinity or acidity may easily corrode your car’s bodywork.
Ideally, the best solution is a neutral formula with a hint of alkalinity.
Water Spot and Streak Resistance
The best car sop shouldn’t leave any streaks, swirls, and water spots after a wash.
They should have quick-drying properties, while at the same time preventing the formation of water spots and streaks for a glossy look.
Some car soaps have pungent and repelling scents and might turn a simple task of washing your car into a hassle.
This is particularly true if you’ve allergies and suffer from breathing problems.
You can either choose a scentless or lightly scented soap. Both cherry and lemon are usually pleasant for most customers.
If you’re conscious about the environment, then you’ll be glad to know there’re plenty of bio-degradable and eco-friendly car soaps to choose from.
Car wash should make the car cleaning process simple and straightforward.
Car washing shouldn’t be a chore anymore.
With the best car soaps, it’s now easier to clean your car, while at the same time without having you worry about the structural integrity of your car paint job.
The ideal car soap should have sufficient foaming, should have enough cleaning power, and should have the right pH.
Fortunately, we’ve provided you with a list of the best car soaps, and all you’ve to do is simply pick an option on our list that you feel will address your cleaning needs.
Current Best Selling Car Wash Soaps!
Is it advisable to use my household cleaning detergents to wash my car?
Some detergents might work but, the risk is too high especially when washing cars with smooth paint. Some house detergents have chemicals that are made specifically for the house and when used on your car, the car paint easily rips and will need repainting.
Why do I need to check the pH level of the car soap before buying it?
The acidity of the alkalinity of the soap will greatly affect your car paint. When using soap with more alkalinity of the base, you risk corroding your car paint and will need repainting. Check the pH level before you make the purchase and match the level with your car recommended levels.
How does the foaming ability of the soap affect my car washing routine and maintenance?
The ease of washing your car depends on the amount of foam from your car soap. A soap that releases thick foam is better for eliminating dirt particles from your car easily and it also prevents chances of scratching the car when cleaning. The soap with little foam will increase the amount of time you take cleaning your car.