Best Car Wash Soap – Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Ollie Barker

Best car wash soap

Best car wash soap

If you’re a car enthusiast, keeping your vehicle clean and shining is probably one of the most important parts of maintaining it. There’s no shortage of car wash soaps to help you do that! But with all the options available, how do you find the best car wash soap?

In this blog post, I’ll cover everything from what makes a good soap to our top picks of the best car wash soaps on the market. So get ready to get some insider tips for getting your ride as clean and shiny as ever.

Types of Car Wash Soap

Various types of car wash soap are available in the market. Each type is designed to cater to specific cleaning needs and provide different benefits to users.

All-purpose soap

One of the most common types of car wash soap is all-purpose soap, which is perfect for general cleaning purposes. This soap is known to be gentle on car paint and does not damage the wax or coatings applied to your vehicle.

pH-neutral soap

 The pH balance of a car’s surface refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the car’s paint and other external components. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, below seven being acidic, and above seven being alkaline.

 Maintaining the ideal pH balance is crucial for preserving the car’s appearance and shielding the surface from harm from environmental factors like acid rain, bird droppings, and UV rays. Acidic substances can etch into the paint and cause corrosion, while alkaline substances can cause fading and discoloration.

 To maintain the correct pH balance, producers came up with pH-neutral soaps, which are specifically formulated to maintain the pH balance of the car’s surface. These soaps are ideal for those who use their cars frequently and want to maintain the look of their vehicles.

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Heavy-duty car

For those who have to deal with tough stains and dirt, heavy-duty car wash soaps are designed to tackle stubborn grime and stains. These soaps contain strong surfactants and can dissolve dirt and grime without causing any damage to the car’s paint or finish.

Eco-friendly car wash soaps

Eco-friendly car wash soaps have also gained popularity in recent years. These soaps are made from natural and sustainable ingredients and are biodegradable, making them an ideal choice for environmentally conscious car owners.

Top 5 Best Car Soaps Comparison

NameProduct ImageTypeWaxSudsRinseOutstanding FeaturePrice
Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash

Amazon best-selling product B0009IQXFO

LiquidYesHighEasyGently and effectively cleans the vehicle's surface

Check Price on Amazon

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds

Amazon best-selling product B00BJCAPEE

LiquidNoVery highEasyProduce thick and luxurious foam

Check Price on Amazon

Optimum No Rinse Wash

Amazon best-selling product B00D8DR0AO

ConcentrateNoLowNo rinseWaterless wash

Check Price on Amazon

Meguiar's Ultimate Wash & Wax

Amazon best-selling product B07RB2ZYMS

LiquidYesHighEasyLeave a deep shine and glossy finish after washing

Check Price on Amazon

Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash

Amazon best-selling product B00T9LR2E8

LiquidYesLowEasyPrevent water spots from forming, leaving the car with a spot-free, streak-free shine.

Check Price on Amazon

Top 5 Best Car Wash Soaps Review

I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best car wash soaps that will leave your ride looking as good as new.

#1 The Best Car Wash Overall: Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

Key features:

  • Sizes available in 64 and 128 oz
  • pH neutral
  • Biodegradable
  • Scent: Fresh
  • Very foamy
  • Safe on all paints and clear coats
  • Can be used in a foam cannon

This premium car wash gently removes dirt, grime, and contaminants from the surface and leaves behind a high-gloss shine that reveals the true color and clarity of the vehicle’s paint.

This is one of the best car wash soaps reviewed on Amazon. So, here are some of its key benefits that make Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash the favorite soap of many car owners.

One of the key benefits of Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash is its advanced formula, which contains a rich blend of conditioners that help nourish and protect the vehicle’s paint. These conditioners penetrate the paint’s surface, leaving it feeling smooth and silky to the touch while also helping to prevent water spots and other common paint imperfections.

In addition to its conditioning properties, Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash also boasts a unique, advanced formula that is specifically designed to be safe for all clear coats. This means that it can be used on various vehicles, from newer models with the latest precise coat technology to older models with more traditional finishes, without fear of damaging or dulling the paint.

Editor’s overall rating 4.8/5
1.     Cleaning ability 4.8
2.     Easy to use 4.8
3.     Longevity 4.7
4.     Value for money 4.7

Overall, Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash offers various benefits, making it a top choice for car enthusiasts and professionals. Its easy-to-use formula, clear coat safe properties, and ability to clean, condition, and enhance the paint make it a must-have product for anyone looking to keep their vehicle looking and performing its best.

#2 Best Car Wash Soap for Foam Cannon: Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds

Key features:

  • Sizes available in 16, 64, 128, and 144 oz
  • pH neutral
  • Scent: Candy
  • Sudsy
  • Safe on all paints, clear coats, and all materials (metal, plastic, and glass)
  • Can be used in a foam cannon
  • Suitable for cars, trucks, RVs, and more.
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Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap, which has more than 40,000 ratings on Amazon, is a high-quality car wash soap formulated specifically to provide superior cleaning performance to car owners.

With its advanced formula, super suds, and gentle pH-balanced ingredients, Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap delivers excellent cleaning results while being safe for use on all vehicle surfaces, including paint, vinyl, rubber, and plastics.

One of the primary benefits of using Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap is its exceptional cleaning power. Its super-sudsing formula creates a rich, foamy lather that effectively lifts dirt, grime, and other contaminants from the vehicle’s surface, leaving it clean and shiny. Moreover, its advanced cleaning agents penetrate deep into the pores of the paintwork and remove stubborn stains, tree sap, and bird droppings with ease.

Another advantage of using Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap is that it is gentle on the vehicle’s paint and does not strip away any wax or sealants. In addition, its pH-balanced formula is safe to use on all types of paint, including clear-coat, and protects the vehicle from scratches, swirl marks, and other damage caused by abrasive wash soaps.

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap is also extremely versatile, making it an ideal choice for all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, RVs, motorcycles, and boats.

In addition, its non-toxic and biodegradable formula is environmentally friendly and safe for use on all surfaces, such as glass, chrome, and plastic.

Editor’s overall rating 4.8/5
1.     Cleaning ability 5
2.     Easy to use 4.7
3.     Longevity 4.8
4.     Value for money 4.5

Overall, Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap is an excellent choice for car owners who want a high-quality car wash soap that provides superior cleaning performance without causing any damage to the vehicle’s paint. Its powerful yet gentle formula, versatile application, and eco-friendly qualities make it one of the most preferred car wash soaps by many car owners and detailing professionals.

#3 Best No Rinse: Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine (ONR Car Wash)

Key features:

  • Sizes available in 8, 32, and 128 oz
  • No rinse
  • Eco-friendly (save water)
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe on all paints, clear coats, and all materials (metal, plastic, and glass)
  • For Interior and exterior detailing
  • Suitable for cars, motorcycles, RVs, homes, and more.

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine is a widely used product in the car detailing industry that offers several benefits.

Firstly, it is an extremely versatile product that can be used to wash and shine all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles. This eliminates the need for multiple cleaning solutions, making it cost-effective for car owners.

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine is eco-friendly as it significantly reduces water usage. Unlike traditional car washing techniques that can use up to 100 gallons of water in one wash, this product requires only a few gallons of water. This feature is particularly important during periods of drought or water restrictions.

Another advantage of Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine is its easy use. All that is required is mixing the formula with water as directed and then washing and wiping off the vehicle with a microfiber towel. It is also safe for all paint finishes and can be applied in sunny and shaded areas.

Furthermore, the product is formulated with special polymers that bond to the paint surface, creating a protective coating that repels dirt and grime. This extends the lifespan of the detailing job, saving car owners money and time on future detailing efforts.

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Editor’s overall rating 4.8/5
1.     Cleaning ability 4.9
2.     Easy to use 5
3.     Longevity 4.6
4.     Value for money 4.5

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine offers numerous benefits, including versatility, eco-friendliness, ease of use, safety on all paint finishes, and a protective coating that extends detailing life. This product is a must-have for car owners looking for a cost-effective, environmentally conscious, and efficient way of cleaning their vehicles.

#4 Best 2-in-1: Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax

Key features:

  • Sizes available in 48 and 128 oz
  • Boost wax protection with the blend of carnauba wax
  • pH neutral
  • Foamy
  • Safe on all paints and clear coats

Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax is a premium car care product that offers numerous benefits for car owners.

Firstly, it guarantees a deep and thorough cleaning, removing all dirt and grime from the vehicle’s surface without causing any damage or scratching. The product is formulated with advanced cleaning agents that penetrate the dirt and lift it off the paintwork, leaving it looking clean and shiny.

Secondly, Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax is a two-in-one product that cleans and protects the vehicle’s finish. It contains specialized ingredients, premium carnauba wax, and synthetic polymer technology that creates a protective barrier over the paintwork, shielding it from harmful elements such as UV rays, acid rain, and road grime. This results in a longer-lasting shine and better overall protection for the car.

Another advantage of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax is its ease of use. The product is designed to be used on wet and dry surfaces, making it convenient to apply in any situation.

Plus, it is fast-drying and doesn’t leave residue or streaks behind, ensuring a clean and clear finish every time.

Regarding cost-effectiveness, Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax is a great investment for car owners. As a two-in-one product, it eliminates the need for separate products for cleaning and waxing, saving time and money.

Lastly, Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax has received high customer praise, with many reporting their satisfaction with the product. It has even been recommended by leading car manufacturers, such as Toyota and Honda, as a trusted car care solution.

Editor’s overall rating 4.8/5
1.     Cleaning ability 4.8
2.     Easy to use 4.8
3.     Longevity 4.5
4.     Value for money 4.9

In summary, Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax offers car owners a number of benefits, including deep cleaning, protection, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. In addition, its advanced formulation and easy application make it an excellent choice for ensuring any vehicle’s long-lasting beauty and health.

#5 Best Car Wash Soap for Beginners: Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash

Rain-X 620073 - Car Wash Deep...
  • Convenience From Start to Finish - Deep Cleaning...
  • Environmentally Conscious - The Formula is Safe...
  • Concentrated Formula - This Concentrated Spot-Free...

Key features:

  • Sizes available in 48 oz
  • Spot free
  • No need for hand drying
  • pH neutral
  • Unscented
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe on all paints and clear coats

Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash is an exceptional formula designed to give your vehicle a sparkling clean finish.

This innovative product is formulated with advanced water-repelling technology that helps to eliminate any impurities without leaving any spots or streaks. This advanced formula has been designed to save you time while ensuring your car controls water and dirt better.

The benefits of using this car wash formula are numerous. The formula is engineered with a unique blend of cleaning agents that effectively penetrate dirt and grime, removing them from surfaces efficiently. Also, this car wash is ideal for those who live in areas with hard water, as it helps to combat mineral deposits that can leave unsightly spots on your vehicle.

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Another great benefit of this product is that it protects the paint on your vehicle. The water-repelling technology ensures that water beads up and runs off your car, protecting the finish and preventing water from getting trapped in areas that could accelerate rust or corrosion.

This car soap is also environmentally friendly, made with biodegradable cleaning agents that do not harm the environment. So when you use this product, you can rest assured that you are keeping the environment clean and healthy.

Editor’s overall rating 4.8/5
1.     Cleaning ability 4.8
2.     Easy to use 5
3.     Longevity 4.5
4.     Value for money 4.8

Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash provides exceptional benefits to car owners. It saves time, effectively removes dirt and grime, protects your car’s paint, and is environmentally friendly. So say goodbye to water spots and streaky finishes, and try it out today.

Key Features of a Good Car Wash Soap

If you’re not an expert in this field, you’ll be overwhelmed by many car wash soap choices. Let me show you what makes a great car wash soap so that you have some essential criteria when choosing the right product for your vehicle.

Here are some key features of a quality car wash soap:

pH balanced

A car wash soap should be pH balanced and not too alkaline or acidic. This ensures that it doesn’t harm the wax or paint of your car.

High lubricity

A soap with high lubricity helps prevent scratches and swirl marks on your car’s surface. In addition, it allows dirt and grime to slide off easily without damaging the finish.


A car wash soap should be environmentally friendly and biodegradable. This means it doesn’t harm the environment when entering the waterways.

Easily rinsed

Rinsing a car

A car wash soap should also be easily rinsed so that it doesn’t leave behind any residue or streaks.

Contains wax

Some car wash soaps include a wax formula that can help protect and shine your car’s finish. The wax feature is a bonus when looking for the best car wash soap.

Of course, there are more features, like the scent or foam. They’re all up to personal preferences. However, the five features mentioned above are the key to a great car wash.

Ingredients to Avoid in Car Wash Soap

When you shop around for a car wash, remember to read the labels before making the final decision. Here are some ingredients that shouldn’t be present in your car soap. Some contain ingredients that can harm our vehicles, the environment, and health.

Harsh chemical

One of the most harmful ingredients to avoid in car wash soap is phosphates. Phosphates in soap are known to be highly effective in breaking down dirt and grime, but they can also be incredibly harmful to aquatic life.

When these ingredients enter waterways through runoff, they can cause excessive algae growth, which depletes oxygen levels and can lead to the death of aquatic animals.

 Another ingredient to avoid in car wash soap is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Although SLS is commonly found in many types of soap, it can be harsh on our skin and eyes. In addition, it can strip the protective wax layer that we apply to our cars, which makes them more vulnerable to damage.


Silicones are another ingredient to avoid in car wash soap. They may provide a temporary shine to the vehicle’s surface, but over time, they can cause damage to the paint, leaving behind a hazy or streaky appearance.

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Petroleum distillates

Petroleum distillates and formaldehyde are also ingredients that should be avoided in car wash soap. Petroleum distillates can harm the environment and cause respiratory problems for those who inhale them. In addition, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can cause harm to both humans and the environment.

How to Choose the Best Car Wash Soap

If you’re looking for the best car wash soap for your vehicle, you should consider several factors before making your choice. The right car wash soap can help maintain the longevity of your car’s paint job while protecting against dirt, grime, and the elements.

Make sure it’s CAR wash soap

It’s important to choose a car wash soap specifically designed for car use. Also, avoid using household detergents or other cleaning products containing harsh chemicals that can damage your car’s paint.

Look for a car wash soap that is pH-balanced and free of acids and alkalines, as these can cause damage to your paint over time.

Luxury car vs used car wash soap

Another important factor to consider when choosing a car wash soap is your vehicle type. If you have a high-end or luxury car, invest in a premium car wash soap that is designed to provide extra protection and shine.

Conversely, a more basic car wash soap may be sufficient if you have an older or more heavily used vehicle.

Other factors

Other factors to consider when choosing a car wash soap include the type of wash you want to achieve (e.g., a basic wash vs. a detailing wash), the climate you live in (e.g., a soap that can handle heavy rain and snow vs. one that can handle frequent exposure to the sun), and how often you plan to wash your car (e.g., a soap that is gentle enough for regular use vs. one that is designed for occasional use only).

Ultimately, your vehicle’s best car wash soap will depend on your specific needs and preferences. So be sure to research, read product reviews, and ask for recommendations from professionals and other car enthusiasts to ensure you find the perfect soap for your car.

Tips for Using Car Wash Soap

When washing your car, using the right soap is essential for achieving optimal results and protecting the coatings. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your car wash soap:

car wash soap

Choose the Right Soap

Not all soaps are created equal. Choose a high-quality car wash soap that is specifically formulated for automotive surfaces. Also, look for a pH-balanced soap free of harsh chemicals, as these can damage your vehicle’s paint.

Follow the Instructions

Read the label on the car wash soap and follow the instructions carefully. Some soaps require diluting them with water, while others can be used at full strength.

Use the Two-Bucket Method

Using a two-bucket method is highly recommended. First, fill one bucket with soapy water and another with clean water. Next, dip your wash mitt into the soapy water, wash a panel of your car, rinse the mitt in the clean water, and repeat the process.

Start from the Top

Start washing your car from the top and work your way down. This will prevent dirt and debris from being dragged down onto clean surfaces.

Don’t Let the Soap Dry

Keep the car wet while washing, and avoid letting the soap dry on the surface. This can leave streaks and make it more difficult to rinse off.

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Rinse Thoroughly

After you have washed your vehicle, rinse it thoroughly with water to remove any remaining soap. Use a hose or pressure washer if possible, and rinse the wheels and undercarriage.

Dry Properly

After rinsing, dry your vehicle using a microfiber towel or a chamois. This will prevent water spots and streaks from forming on the surface.

Apply Wax or Sealant

Finally, apply a wax or sealant after washing to protect your car’s paint and give it a showroom shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 What is the difference between traditional and waterless car wash soap?

Traditional car wash soap is designed to use with water and agitation; it lifts dirt away from the surface and suspends it until it can be rinsed off. Waterless car wash soap instead uses lubricants that help lift dirt and grime away, allowing you to wipe them off without water or scrubbing.

#2 Can I use dish soap to wash my car?

No, dish soap is too harsh for car paint and can strip away protective wax and sealants. Additionally, dish soap contains extra ingredients that are not designed to use on vehicles, which can leave a filmy residue. Therefore, it’s best to stick with car-specific soaps when washing your vehicle.

#3 How often should I wash my car?

Ideally, you should aim to clean your vehicle every two weeks or so. This will help to remove dirt and build-up that can cause damage over time. In addition, during the winter season, it’s important to frequently check for road salt and other corrosive materials which may have adhered to your car’s exterior during your travels.

#4 Is it safe to use foam cannon soap on a new car?

Generally speaking, yes, foam cannon soaps are safe for use on new cars. However, you should always check the specific soap’s instructions to ensure that it is safe for your particular vehicle and paint job.

#5 Can car wash soap damage my vehicle’s paint?

Incorrect use of car wash soaps can damage your vehicle’s paint. For example, if the soap is too strong, it can strip away wax and other protective coatings, leaving your vehicle’s paint vulnerable. Therefore, selecting a car wash soap specifically formulated for your vehicle and following the recommended dilution ratio when mixing the soap with water is important. That’s why it’s best to opt for pH-neutral, wax-based soaps whenever possible.

#6 How much car wash soap should I use?

The amount of car wash soap you use depends on the instructions on the product label and the ratio recommended by the manufacturer. Generally speaking, you should mix one ounce of car wash soap with five gallons of water to create a cleaning solution. You can adjust this ratio depending on your vehicle’s specific needs as needed. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully.

#7 Can I use car wash soap to clean my wheels?

Yes, you can use car wash soap to clean your wheels. Selecting a car wash soap specifically formulated for wheels and tires is important, as these types of soaps contain special ingredients to help loosen brake dust and other materials.

#8 How do I avoid leaving water spots on my car?

To avoid leaving water spots on your car, you should follow these tips and tricks:

  • Dry the car with a clean microfiber cloth after washing it
  • Use filtered water instead of tap water 
  • Try to wash and dry your car in the shade to minimize the amount of evaporation that takes place

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Wrap Up

A suitable car wash soap can make all the difference in keeping your vehicle looking its best. Look for products that are designed specifically to gently and effectively clean vehicles of all types, as well as protect your car’s paint job. When making a purchase, pay attention to the product’s ingredients and features while avoiding soaps with sulfate-based substances.

After carefully researching and evaluating different products, you should know better what car wash soap may be best for your vehicle.

The top five choices discussed above provide quality cleaning with added protection, too, so it’s time to scrub!

Further Reading:

How to Wash a Car by Hand

Tips for Saving Water While Washing Your Car