Taking your car through a carwash saves you a lot of time and effort. But, it isn’t as effective as doing it yourself. The beauty of a DIY car wash is that every single spot gets checked. At the same time, you also get to use superior cleaning products that will extend the life of your car’s paint job.
Now that we are talking about cleaning products for your car, a common mistake car owners make when washing their vehicles is using household cleaning agents.
Most of these products may get the job done but can ruin your paint job. It is better that you use washes and shampoos specifically designed for cars.
To help you pick the right cleaning agent, below is a review of the 5 best car wash soaps that we’ve come across. We have also added a buying guide so that you can make an informed purchase.
What to Look for in a Car Wash Soap before Buying?
When shopping for a car wash soap, you will realize that there are hundreds of brands out there. However, before you just pick any product that you come across, you should know the top features to look out for. Below are the top factors to consider when looking for a car wash soap.
1. Foaming Properties
The amount of lather that can be produced by soap determines how easy it will be for you to clean your car. As you choose a car wash soap, ensure that it can develop a thick and rich lather that will remove dirt and grime from your car’s exterior. Also, the thicker the lather, the less you will have to scrub your car hence preventing surface damage.
2. pH Level
Although a car wash soap with high alkaline levels can effectively clean dirt of acidic nature, you should opt for a formula with a more neutral pH level. A high or low pH level can corrode your car wax, paint, and coat. The pH level is usually written at the back of the bottle or in the ingredients section.
A more concentrated car wash soap will last longer. Preferably, it should have a soap to water ration of 1 ounce to 1 gallon respectively.
4. Spot and Streak Resistance
If you have tried a couple of car wash soaps, then you may have realized some leave behind spots or a streak. These tend to not only look bad but can ruin paint.
A good car wash soap should leave behind a pleasant scent.
Choosing an eco-friendly soap helps protect the environment because in most cases it ends up in your gutter.
7. Value for Your Money
The money you pay for a car wash soap should be worth the value you get from it. A 64-0unce soap should serve you for at least a year.
The Different Types of Car Wash Soap
There are three main types of car wash soap which include;
- Concentrated – It is the most popular type of car wash soap. It can be diluted with water and guarantees a clean sparkling finish.
- Wash and Wax – Just from this name, this type of soap washes and waxes your car. After drying up, it leaves behind a waxy residue that protects your paint. The results can last a couple of weeks. This type is ideal for those living in hot climates and whose cars spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Waterless – This type is ideal for those looking to conserve water or live under water restrictions. Contrary to what you may think, waterless soaps are equally effective at removing grime and dirt.
The Top 5 Car Wash Soap
If you are keen about taking care of your car, then Meguiar’s should be a familiar name to you. This company has been there since 1901 and their G7164 Gold Class Car Wash is amongst the best soaps you can find on the market. It is gentle on your paint but very effective at removing dirt and grime on your car’s exterior. It also protects your wax from fading while refreshing your paint job after every wash.
- Acts both as a shampoo and conditioner
- The soap’s advanced formula is strong enough to break dirt and grime
- An eco-friendly soap that contains biodegradable ingredients
- It contains 128 fluid ounces and will serve you for long
This citrus-based soap is very eco-friendly and comes in a gallon bottle. If you use it well, it can serve you for a year. A cup full of this citrus wash mixed with five gallons of water can form enough lather to clean your car without having to scrub it. After drying up, it leaves a wash gloss that enhances the glow of your car.
- The citrus-based solvent forms thick lather effective enough to cut through grime and dirt
- Acts as a conditioner and shampoo
- The conditioner is superior to most waxes
- It is free of additives and artificial colors
- Comes in a 5L bottle
Turtle Wax is also another reputable product. It is both a car wash soap and a wax. It boasts of a neutral pH level that is gentle on your paint job. The solution also contains glossing agents that will give your car a special shine. This wash is also designed to protect the exterior of a car from harsh weather elements.
- Contains special glossing agents for an enhanced shine
- Rich lather that guarantees proper cleaning
- A neutral pH level that won’t damage your paint job
- Contains 48 ounces of product
With 64 ounces of concentration, this formula will ensure your car is clean all year round. Being one of the easiest to use car wash soaps, it is ideal for beginner and professional car washes. Other than that, with this car wash soap, you don’t need to buy car wax. However, one of the drawbacks of the Mothers 05674 California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax is that it’s not too sudsy. But still does an excellent job.
- Has a neutral pH level, therefore no streaks will be left behind
- Carnauba is one of the main ingredients that guarantee a glossy showroom finish
- Leaves behind a protective layer
- Contains biodegradable ingredients
For owners with cars that have a fiery vinyl or bold colors, this is the go-to car wash soap. It contains special ingredients that intensify the color of your car. It also lathers easily. An ounce of the Griot’s Garage 10866 Car Wash can form thick lather in 5 gallons of water. It provides streak-free results and leaves your car sparkling clean.
- Contains special color brighteners
- A neutral pH level
- Contains 64 ounces of product
- Guarantees a streak-free shine
- Safe for use on vinyl
Tips for Washing Your Car
- Use the Right Equipment. Buying the right car wash soap isn’t enough. You will also have to use the right equipment which should include a hose, washing mitt, foam gun, and a microfiber dry cloth.
- Invest in a wash mitt that will help in applying the soap solution to your car’s exterior.
- Always start with washing the wheels to prevent dirt from splashing to other body parts later on.
- Don’t forget to rinse your car thoroughly with a hose.
- Finally, dry the car with a microfiber cloth.
Accumulation of dirt and grime can make your car’s paint job look dull and lifeless. But, with the right car wash soap, you will be able to preserve its original paint job.
If you are having a tough time deciding on which is the best option, feel free to consider any of the above top 5 best car wash soap.