Whether you live on the East Coast or the West Coast, up North or down South, there’s no denying how tedious it can be to have to take your car to the wash. Waiting in those long lines, coughing up those extra few bucks so you can get the premium wash and then realizing a few days later that those buffers actually scratched your paint. Fortunately, it’s finally summer, which is the perfect time to skip driving to the wash and clean your car yourself.
Keep in mind that when washing your car at home not just any soap will do. Most car soaps are specifically formulated to be gentler on your car’s paint and offer loads more suds than your standard run-of-the-mill kitchen soaps and detergents. And because they’re specifically designed for cars, they also make it easier to cover larger surfaces with less residue.
Unlike regular soap, which can actually strip your vehicle’s protective outer coat, car soaps are specifically formulated to be used on paint, which makes it even easier (and a little more fun) to mop up all the dirt and grime with ease. While most car wash soaps are, more or less, meant to be used the same way, they come in a variety of different options, including:
- Traditional washes
- Wash and wax hybrids
Where traditional car wash soaps are designed to make your car look clean and pristine, car waxes are meant to cover your ride’s coat, preserving the look and sheen of your paint job for much longer. And then there’s the wash & wax hybrid, which offers both a comprehensive wash and its own protective layer.
Believe it or not, not all soaps were created equal. Some of the best car wash soaps are made with a neutral pH balance to help make your ride shine without harming the coat, while others are designed to add an extra sheen to help reduce streaks or blotches.
We’ve rounded up some of the highest-rated car wash soaps on Amazon. Whether you’re driving a hatchback, an SUV or riding a motorcycle, these soaps are sure to give your ride a professional-grade cleaning for less.
1. Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap
Able to remove dirt, grime and debris with those sweet, soapy suds, this Chemical Guys car wash soap features a gentle (but thorough) pH balance to effectively keep your car looking shiny without affecting the paint. Perfect for regular washes, the Chemical Guys is one of the highest-rated car wash brands in the business, and this Pink Super Suds doesn’t disappoint.
2. Turtle Wax T-472R ICE Car Wash
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better and more comprehensive car wash soap for under $7. Made with powerful advanced scientific polymer engineering, it’s designed to penetrate deep within your car’s coat to help give your ride a more thorough clean. Great for cars and motorcycles, it even comes with Turtle Wax’s Smart Shield Technology to give your car some extra shine.
3. Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax
Sleek and super sudsy, this California Gold car wash soap is one of the best on the market. Made with an extra concentrated neutral pH, it’s designed to help give your car a comprehensive clean without leaving any streaks or unsightly wipes behind. Best of all, it leaves behind an outer protective layer designed to help keep your car cleaner, longer. Oh, and did we mention it’s 100% biodegradable?
4. Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo
Gentle on your car but hard on dirt and grime, Adam’s pH neutral car wash shampoo is designed to be used on any and all vehicle surfaces — that includes those rubber, windows and plastic areas. The soap itself is concentrated to provide more suds (which is always fun), and the slick and smart formula helps reduce the occurrence of any swirls or unwanted streaks. For when you need a soap that really gets in deep for a thorough clean, Adam’s is the way to go.
5. Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit
BEST CAR WASH KIT
This biodegradable and entirely comprehensive kit comes with one car wash liquid soap, a 16 oz spray bottle, four handy microfiber towels and more. Combining all the various cleaners at once helps give your ride a better and more thorough clean that’s designed to last longer. Even better, this brand’s unique wash features an anti-static UV protective coating, which helps prevent dust and grime from building up.
6. Chemical Guys CWS_301 Citrus Wash
BEST NATURAL OPTION
Designed to work as both a car shampoo and conditioner, this Chemical Guys car wash will leave your car looking — and smelling — great. It’s made from 100% pure citrus cleaner, which means you won’t be putting any unnatural ingredients or solvents onto your car. It’s also free of all artificial colors and additives, which both helps reduce the risk of scratching and leaves you with a little more peace of mind.
7. Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax
BEST NO-RINSE OPTION
What does every car wash (aside from this one) on this list have in common? They’re all super sudsy. This Optimum wash and wax includes a smart blend of high lubricating polymers that give you a clear, sleek and shiny finish without you having to worry about washing and rinsing off all those soapy suds. All you need to do is add a little water, wipe, wash and you’re good to go.
8. Meguiar’s G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash
BEST SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER COMBO
Designed to both clean and condition your car in one easy step, Meguiar’s features an advanced cleaning formula that’s able to get down deep to help keep your ride looking great. Plus, the integrated shampoo/conditioner design makes for a much faster and more comprehensive clean. Streaks and spotty sides will be a thing of the past.