Whether you choose to clean your car at home out of love, habit or the fear that the automatic car wash will toss a piece of bodywork scratching grit across the hood, you’re not alone. But please take note: if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Making sure you have the right tools for the job is important. These range from the right car-cleaning area to the best car wash soap.
Generally, you’ll need a number of items to properly clean your car at home. And while not all of them are required, at a minimum you’re going to need:
- A shady, car-cleaning area
- A water supply (usually a hose)
- A bucket
- Car wash soap
- A sponge
Other handy extras include drying towels and microfiber cloths, glass cleaner and a tire brush.
When it comes to choosing the right car cleaner, the best car wash soaps are specifically designed for the purpose, which means they target the types of dirt you’re most likely to come across on your car exterior, tires, windshield and undercarriage. Bugs stuck to your windshield or mud caked onto your rims are targeted by these made-for-purpose soaps, which also leave your car sparkling clean.
Below, you’ll find a range of car wash soaps to help you get your car like-new clean. Options include highly-concentrated soaps, full car wash kits, soap-wax hybrids, off-road specific soaps and others which can be used in foaming guns.
1. Aero Cosmetics Car Wash Wax Kit
The Aero Cosmetics Car Wash Wax Kit boasts moer than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviews, and it has a ridiculously high 4.8-star rating, and for good reason. This complete kit includes everything you need to get your car, boat, RV and other vehicles sparkling clean. The kit boasts a spray bottle of Wash Wax ALL, an additional gallon bucket, four microfiber aero towels and a comprehensive how-to guide to ensure correct and successful use. The effective formula is water-based and biodegradable, meaning it’s eco-friendly and safe to use on all surfaces.
2. Turtle Wax ICE Car Wash
Inside this Turtle Wax ICE Car Wash, you’ll find just what you need to give your car or motorbike a like-new appearance. Once added to cool water and agitated, this advanced soap delivers unbeatable foaming and cleaning action which gives car exteriors a thick and protective layer and shines up beautifully, too. This soap has also been enriched with Carnauba wax for long-lasting action, while shine enhancers act to remove dirt and deliver a spot-free shine. Furthermore, the included Smart Shield Technology allows you to build up numerous layers for greater shine and protection.
3. Nu Finish Car Wash Soap
Nu Finish Car Wash Soap uses pure orange oil and a formula free from harmful ingredients to deliver a streak and spot-free finish on your car. The effective formula removes tough-to-shift marks, like tar, tree sap, bugs and bird droppings, and won’t strip polish or wax from your car’s body, either. In addition to cars, this well-reviewed soap can be used on motorcycles, boats and even household devices.
4. Croxin Car Wash Concentrated
Croxin Car Wash Concentrated boasts a super concentrated 1:1000 formula. When diluted down, it creates a neutral and foamy formula that is safe for your car paint and hands and has a fresh, apple scent for a pleasant olfactory experience as you clean. The formula dries unscented with a clean, streak-free finish. Furthermore, it’s eco-friendly and biodecompostible and produces no environmental pollution. Inside the pack, you’ll find 10 individual sachets.
5. Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash
BEST ONE-STEP ANSWER
The Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash offers an all-in-one answer to cleaning and conditioning your car. It boasts an advanced formula that won’t strip wax protection and contains a range of ultra-rich conditioners that leave any car’s exterior looking radiant. For cleaning, the tough-acting foam gets rid of stuck-on dirt, road grime and other hard-to-remove contaminants. The wash’s versatility also means it can be used in either a bucket or a foam cannon with ease.
6. Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash
BEST FOR A WEEKLY WASH
With over 80% of Amazon users giving this soap a five-star review, the Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash is another impressively tried and tested car wash soap option. It’s available in a range of sizes, from four to 128 ounces and is ideal for weekly maintenance of your car. The soap can be used in either bucket or foam gun washers and has an extra-slick formula for a scratch-free washing experience. The gentle lather rinses off with ease and leaves any car sparkling clean.
7. Armor All Premier Car Care Kit
BEST FOR PERFECTIONISTS
In the Armor All Premier Car Care Kit, you’ll find everything the average car enthusiast needs to keep their car in tip-top condition. As well as the ultra-shine wash and wax and a wash pad to keep the exterior sparkling clean, this eight-piece kit includes glass cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, extreme wheel & tire cleaner and an on-the-go car air freshener spray. This is a great gift idea for partners and friends who love their cars more than anything else.
8. SHINE ARMOR Car Wash Soap
BEST FOR FOAMING GUNS
The SHINE ARMOR Car Wash Soap ticks all the boxes for a reliable and effective car cleaning. Not only does it have five-star reviews from over 85% of Amazon users, it can be used in both buckets and foaming gun cleaners without difficulty. The advanced formula lathers up to create a foam that removes bugs, tar and other stuck-on marks. The soap is safe for use on existing ceramics and waxes and even includes gloss enhancers to further add to your car’s impressive shine.
9. Slick Products Off-Road Wash
BEST FOR OFF ROADERS
If you often find yourself taking the less-traveled route which is full of wheel-deep mud and miscellaneous dirt, consider using an off-road specialist cleaner like Slick Products Off-Road Wash on your vehicle. It’s made to attack even the stubbornest dirt and mud while being safe for use on paint, plastics and other soft metal surfaces. The formula is pH balanced and non-corrosive, meaning it won’t strip lubrication from pivot points or bearings like some competing options. Additionally, the highly-concentrated formula is versatile and can be used in a foam cannon, in a foam gun or from a bucket.
10. TriNova Foam Car Wash Soap Kit
If you’re fed up by having to clean your car from a bucket and want a less labor-intensive way to get your car sparkling clean, give the TriNova Foam Car Wash Soap Kit a try. This two-piece kit includes car wash soap and a foam cannon. Simply attach the cannon to your air hose quick-connect adapter, fill the tank and enjoy the ease of covering your car in a thick foam that loosens grit, debris, grime and other stubborn marks. A few ounces of this soap is enough for a single clean, meaning a gallon should get you through the season.