Top 10 Best Soap for Washing Car in 2018 (Ultimate Review and Buyer’s Guide)

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Best Soap for Washing Car in 2018 (Ultimate Review and Buyer’s Guide)best soap for washing car, best soap for washing a vehicle exterior surface

Cheap shortcuts always lead to expensive consequences and this is the case when it comes to car washing.

It is easy to assume that cleaning a car exterior is just about washing away the dirt, grime, and grease. That’s why we grab the remnants of dishwashing soap and splash on our vehicles.

And from a distance, our automobile seems clean but that’s at best an optical illusion.

The fact is that household dishwashing detergents and third-rate cleansers are ruining your car finish that not only degrades your class but also proves costly to remedy.

Getting the best car wash will wipe out all the elements from your car surface and condition your car wax and paint for a head-turning shine that lasts as long as you own the vehicle.

Read on to discover the best soap for washing car in 2018

Coming after the review is a thorough application and buyer’s guide for the best soap to wash your car.

Best Soap for Washing Car Reviewed

But which are the best three?

Editor's Pick

Here are our top 3 best best rated car wash soaps
ImageNameAmountRecommended Dilution RatioPrice
1. Meguiar's G7164 Gold Class soap for washing car, shampoo and conditioner for car exterior Meguiar's G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner 64 Oz.1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water
2. Chemical Guys CWS_301 Citrus based car wash soap, biodegradable auto cleaner and conditioner Chemical Guys CWS_301 Citrus Car Wash and Gloss 1 gallon (128 Oz.)1 Oz. per 5 gallons of water
Mothers 05664 California Gold best soap for washing carMothers 05664 California Gold Car Wash Soap 64 Oz.1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water
1. Meguiar’s G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner

Meguiar's G7164 Gold Class soap for washing car, shampoo and conditioner for car exterior

Ditch that deteriorative dishwashing soap and get Meguiar’s non-detergent car wash that excellently glides grime and dirt from your car without grinding the car paint.

Features

Amount; 64 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Combines a car soap wash and conditioner
  • Works well in the bucket handwashing method or power washer at low pressure
  • Super high foaming
  • Safe and biodegradable ingredients
Not so Good
  • Suds may be difficult to rinse if not diluted well
2. Chemical Guys CWS_301 Citrus Car Wash and Gloss

If you are looking for the slickest citrus based car wash that outshines all other waxes, then you need to stop at Chemical Guys CWS_301. Let’s look at the features

Features

Amount; 1 gallon (128 Oz.) Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 5 gallons of water

The Good

  • Highest soap concentration
  • 1 cap is enough for 5 gallons of water
  • Natural and biodegradable plant extracts
  • Combines a paint cleanser, shampoo, and gloss enhancer
  • Fast penetrating
Not so Good
  • Fragile container packaging
  • Not so good around wheels
  • Some customers have complained of streaks left behind on windows and glossy plastic if a high concentration is used
To escape the hassle of washing your car seats after every ride, click through to see our review of the best car seat protectors

3. Mothers 05664 California Gold Car Wash Soap

Mothers 05664 California Gold best soap for washing car

Give your car a mother’s care and command attention with the brightest shine on any car color paintwork by using Mothers 05664 California Gold Car Wash Soap

Features

Amount; 64 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • pH neutral for safety with wax and paint
  • Super-sudsy formula prevents water spots
  • Can be used on other carriages such as motorcycles and bikes
Not so Good
  • May leave water spots if there is no immediate drying
  • High price
4. Optimum (NR2010Q) No Rinse Wash & Shine

Optimum (NR2010Q) No Rinse wash and shine for car, no scrub car wash soap

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine is a premium car wash soap and gloss, the number one choice by professional detailers and enthusiasts alike, for the fastest and cleanest results. If you don’t like rising your car after washing and then it takes ages to dry, get Optimum wash soap.

Features

Amount; 32 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 2 gallons of water

The Good

  • Saves time and water
  • Easy to use
  • No rinsing is needed
  • Quick to dry and all weather use
Not so Good
  • Works well for dirt and grime but not muddy bumpers, wheel and panels
  • Relatively pricey
To know how to handle that stubborn tar on your car that won’t come out even after normal washing, click the link to see our other article on the best tar remover for cars.

5. Griot’s Garage 10866 Car Wash (Brilliant Finish)

Griot's Garage 10866 auto wash soap, best products for car detailing

Leave dish wash formulas to cutlery and tableware, as it wreaks awful havoc to your auto finish. Instead, get Griot’s car wash that leaves your car with a brilliant finish, bucket after bucket.

Features

Amount; 64 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Super high concentration thus little amount is needed per use
  • Best spray on car wax-pH balanced thus safe for car wax and sealants
  • US made and high quality
  • Best product for removing bugs from car
  • Best soap for foam cannon
  • Price friendly
Not so Good
  • Some customers have complained that it leaves spots on black cars
  • The plastic cap may at times arrive broken

For the perfect care of your vehicle windshields, you need a non-abrasive and fast acting formula that won’t react with glass micro-structure. Click to see our review of the best window cleaner for cars in 2018.

6. Armor All 25464 Car Wash – 64 fl. oz.

Armor All 25464 best rated car wash soap

Your car’s finish is too delicate and precious to entrust dish wash soaps and just any other detergent. You need a powerful cleaner such as Armor All Car Wash that will wash away the toughest dirt, road grime, and bugs in a jiffy while preserving your car’s finish.

Features

Amount; 64 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Powerful enough for sticky elements such as bugs, tar, and tree sap
  • Concentrated formula
  • Very price friendly
Not so Good
  • A substantial amount of water needed to rinse before and after washing
7. Turtle Wax T-472R ICE Car Wash

Turtle Wax T-472R ICE car wash and cleaner, not the best scratch remover for black cars

Outsmart the elements of Mother Nature with Turtle Wax car wash and wax that features a smart shield technology to maximize your auto care results.

Features

Amount; 48 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Special technology to prevent swirl marks and surface scratches
  • Best car wash soap with wax
  • pH balanced to neutralize environmental pollutants
  • Highly concentrated and long-lasting
Not so Good
  • Not the best wax to use on black cars
8. Rain-X 5077557 Wash and Wax with Carnauba Wax Beads

Rain-X 5077557 best car wash soap with wax

Trusted by drivers for over 40 years, Rain-X is a specialty car cleaner that washes and waxes your car in one swipe.

Features

Amount; 64 Oz. Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • 2-in-1 car wash and wax
  • Deep penetrating foam
  • Biodegradable and best soap for ph balance
Not so Good
  • Not good for use in hot or direct sunlight
  • Some customers say that the beads have sometimes clogged their foam sprayer
9. 3D Pink Car Soap | Car Wash & Cleaner | External Detailing Automotive Shampoo

3D Pink Car Soap - 1 Gallon, Car Wash and Cleaner, best soap for foam cannon, best car wash soap for foam gun

3D pink car wash soap is a best in class vehicle and motorcycle detailing product that is tough on dirt, grime and road film but gentle on your car finish.

Features

Amount; 1 Gallon Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Super-concentrated and thick formula
  • Gentle on hands and car finish
  • Natural organic ingredients
  • Best pressure washer soap for cars. Also works well both with a foam gun or a bucket
Not so Good
  • Price is a bit higher
10. Green Earth Technologies 1206 G-CLEAN Green Car Wash

Green Earth Technologies 1206 G-CLEAN Green Auto Wash, no rinse car wash soap

If you are looking for an auto cleaner that respects the environment and won’t cost your time and water to clean, then the perfect match is G-Clean green car wash.

Features

Amount; 1 Gallon Recommended dilution ratio: 1 Oz. per 1 gallon of water

The Good

  • Natural blend of biodegradable plant oils
  • No rinse car wash
  • Fast drying
Not so Good
  • Higher price

A buyer’s guide for car cleaning soap

If you love your car, you definitely not only want it to end up clean when you wash it, but shiny and radiant as well. If it was just about cleaning, then you could have simply splashed water and let it dry.

With that being the case, you should go for a cleaner that will be tough on dirt but handle your car like a baby. It should also be gentle on you, your pocket and Mother Nature.

So what do you look out for?

1. Ingredients

Some of the most important factors to consider when it comes to car wash ingredients are;

(i) Foaming

The ingredients should erupt into a long-lasting foam once mixed with water to the recommended dilution. This will enable the suds to grab and suspend dirt and grime from the vehicle surface and crevices, without the need of you scrubbing it off. Incessant scrubbing would scratch the paint and glass.

 (ii) pH balance

An acidic car shampoo or soap will gradually corrode the wax, clear coat, rubber seals and all, leaving your car looking old just because you wash it.

On the other hand, a pH neutral cleanser will neutralize the environmental pollutants and won’t eat away your car finish. Besides, it won’t leave your hands dry and scaly.

(iii) Biodegradable ingredients

You borrow the world from your kids and the best interest you can pay is to use compounds that decompose and disintegrate as soon as they hit the ground.

Plant oils such as citrus have proved to be as effective as synthetic polymers and yet they won’t take centuries to disintegrate.

2. Product concentration and cost

The more concentrated the soap formula is, the less you will use per cleaning session and if the price is comparable to other washes, then it is better for your pocket since it will last longer.

3. Waterless vs rinse based car wash

There are car cleaners that are made of rich surfactants and polymers such that you only need to wipe your car with a wet cloth and they’ll grab the dirt and grime. This conserves water and you don’t have to end up with a swampy driveway. However, they are most effective for light touch-ups and they are not good at washing off mud, heavy grime and grease. For the heavy dirt, you may need to pressure wash and then rinse.

4. Customer reviews

A marketer cannot speak ill of his product and therefore it is important to go through the end user reviews on Amazon and learn about their experience. It is also important to check the statistics- total number of reviews and the average score. A high number of positive reviews are definitely an indicator that you are missing out.

car wash soap customer reviews on amazon

How to use a car wash soap

One of the ironies of our modern times is that ignorant cleaning of your car may actually damage the car material and finish. If you use the wrong cleanser or the wrong method, then you may end up with a jalopy of a car with ugly swirl marks, spots, eroded wax, and sealants.

But once you are armed with the right information, you can wash your car with the confidence that what you are doing will keep it radiant for the long haul.

Necessary items for washing your car 

You might be wondering what can i wash my car with? Just like any other cleaning process, there are some items that you can’t do without when you want to clean your car exterior.

Let’s see the items;

Paint and wheel soaps

The best soap to wash your car paint should be gentle both in pH and beading of ingredients in order not to grind the wax and paint. However, you will need a tougher wash that will clear grease, tar and road grime from the wheel and tires.

Pressure washer or foam gun

If you prefer a faster wash and rinse method, or the car is extremely muddy, then you need to get a pressure washer or a foam gun.

A foam gun is fitted with foam cannon and works with your typical garden hose as long as they can fit.

A pressure washer can pump a thicker spray that will stay on your car for longer compared to the thin foam gun spray.

A car pressure     washer

A foam gun with foam cannon

Wheel brush

The wheels bear the highest dirt, grease and mud and there is no need of hurting your hand struggling to clean all that from the spokes with a sponge or towel. What you need is a car wheel brush to scrub the spokes, inside the fender and the tire treads.

A car wheel and tire brush

Hosepipe

If you are not using a waterless car wash soap, then you will need water from a garden hose for rinsing. The hose should have a spray nozzle to adjust the pressure and also conserve water.

Best way to wash a car without scratching

Step 1; Make sure that your car is cool and in a shade if it’s sunny. If you were driving, let the car to cool down since the hot surface will evaporate the soap faster than you wipe it, leaving swirls and spots.

Step 2; Gently rinse the car from the garden hose to remove loose dirt and mud. It also soaks the tough dirt and grime so that it is easily lifted by the cleaner without scratching the paint.

Step 3; Pour the wash concentrate into one bucket or foam cannon, and dilute with water to the recommended ratio. Fill the second bucket with clean water.

Step 4; Wet the sponge, terry cloth or mitt in the soapy solution and start by cleaning the car from top to bottom. The lower parts are always dirtier and it’s, therefore, better to let the dirt run downwards. As you clean, use straight hand strokes and not circular motions. Circular patterns can create unwelcome water swirls. If using a pressure washer, adjust it to low pressure since a strong jet can rip the paint.

Step 5; After you have a washed a section with the soapy water, rinse the mitt or towel in the clean water and wipe that section before the soap dries off. Letting any section to dry before rinsing will make it difficult to wipe and result in ugly spots.

Step 6; Once you have cleaned all sections, rinse the car with the spray hose or power washer, again from top to bottom and ensure all soap has been removed.

Step 7; Dry the vehicle using a scratch-free microfiber towel or chamois. The best way to dry car after washing is to start with the windows since the dry towel fibers won’t scratch it.

Here is a short video from Mothers California car polish 

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