Best Car Wash Soaps 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Post by 
Tom Schaffer
Last updated on 
October 31, 2020
1. Mr. Pink
  • Perfect wash for weekly maintenance
  • Rinses clean with no residue
  • Remove grime, build up and dirt
2. Honeydew
  • Eliminates dirt, grime, and environmental contaminants
  • Safe on all vehicle surfaces
  • Have a fresh natural smell
3. Maxi-Suds
  • Removes grime and dirt safely
  • Very easy to use in and out of the sun
  • Cleans and shines all automobiles

If there is one thing that many of us are attached to deeply, it’s our cars. A clean and shiny car is every owner’s pride. Even though purchasing a car is a huge investment, maintaining it doesn’t have to be. Car care can be achieved with a little bit of determination and the best car wash soap.

Through this list, you can find the best car wash soap that suits your needs. We have incorporated many options that preserve and protect the paintwork and wax layers of your car but also clean it properly. Some of these options also have added features such as protective wax coatings. Here’s a list of 15 such products:

Top 15 Best Car Wash Soaps 2021

1. Chemical Guys Mr. Pink 

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Best Car Wash Soap

The advanced foaming formula of Mr. Pink is a blend of different smooth polymers and hyper surfactants. This technology will get the grime out but will not scratch the surface. Its pH balance is safe for your car’s wax and sealant coats.

It will also be gentle on other car parts such as paint, clear coat, polished metals, glass, and even vinyl, rubber, and plastic trim pieces. The foam rinses without any residue or stain, even if you wash your car in direct sunlight.

You just need to add 1 ounce of Mr. Pink to 5 gallons of water in your bucket for perfect cleaning. You can even foam gun or high-pressure foam cannon for a touchless car wash. The bubbly formula works superbly not to leave any swirl marks or marrings that appear due to improper washing.

Some of the reviews mentioned that there are spotty residues left after drying. There were instances of water lines left after rinsing. A few users also noted that the product does not work if your vehicle needs a deep cleaning.

However, most of the customers believe that the product delivers on its promises. Cleaning with Mr. Pink leaves the surface of your vehicle clean and shiny. The product forms a thick and a good amount of foam. This loosens the dirt and pollutants on the surface. A bonus feature of this product is that it has a pleasant, bubblegum-like smell. All of these features make it the best car wash product.


2. Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam

Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam

The gentle foam of this product works on all surfaces, including paint, rubber, vinyl, glass, and plastics. The hyper surfactants penetrate through the dirt and pollutants, taking them off the surface. The lubricant in the formula guides them off the surface without leaving scratches and marks.

The pH neutral formula of this product protects the wax and sealant layer of your car. It will not leave a residue after rinsing. You can wash your car even in direct sunlight without worrying about spots and lines. The advanced polymers will protect the surface of your car.

To create the perfect wash foam, add 1 ounce of Honeydew Snow Foam to 5 gallons of water in a bucket. For extra foam and deep cleaning, you can even use a foam gun. You can dilute the formula according to your needs. Honeydew Snow Foam leaves a fresh, natural spell after every wash.

Some users were unhappy with the making of the container. They mentioned that the liquid dissolves the jars and leaks through them. A few users also stated that the product is too expensive. They also indicated that it doesn’t deliver to its expectation regarding quick and easy cleaning.

Nonetheless, most of the reviews revealed that this product has a rich and thick foam. The users also state that you don’t have to scrub after using it. The foam emulsifies the dirt and lets it float on the surface for easy cleaning. The users liked how it not only works well but also smells great.


3. Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II 

Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II 

Like its predecessor, this Chemical Guys soap and shampoo also have advanced foaming technology. The polymers in the foam will lift the grime and slide it off the vehicle’s surface. It is safe and gentle on the paint, wax, and sealant.

You just need 1 ounce for 4-5 gallons of water in a bucket. For a foam gun, you can use 1-3 ounces. The water softeners in the formula prevent streaking and staining. You can wash your car even in sunlight, without worrying about spots.

According to the reviews, there are some instances of spots on the car, even when washed in the shade. There were also white streaks of hard water noticeable at times. In this product also, some users complained of the liquid leaking through the jar.

Some users also stated that the liquid had taken the wax layer off. You might also have to hand wash your car instead of a foam gun for effective results. Nonetheless, the liquid is very frothy. The foam also has good coverage for the quantity used.

It also leaves all parts of your car clean and shiny. This product also lasts very long since you only need a tiny quantity for each wash. It also has a pleasant cherry smell. Most of the users deem it as value for money and very easy to use.


4. Liquid X Car Shampoo

Liquid X Car Shampoo

This car wash shampoo is a unique combination of a highly concentrated formula that is pH-neutral for gentleness. The foaming agents lubricate the surface to make sure that the dirt and dust slide right off. This process will make cleaning more efficient without harming the paint.

It is also safe to be used on glass, plastic, polished metal, trim, and clear coats. Your car will remain free of water spots and streaks even if washing in sunlight. It is also biodegradable and will leave a high gloss finish.

The users praised how the product cleans effortlessly. They also liked that they didn’t have to use a lot of the shampoo to create foam. This is why this product is very long-lasting. Further, the soap has a pleasant smell and not an overwhelming fragrance.

The reviews also commended the ability of the soap to cut through the grime. The product gives a clean and smooth finish every time. The best part about this shampoo is that it is wax induced. This will keep your car clean for longer.


5. Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash Soap


This car wash soap can both wash the contaminants off and condition the paint. The soap is gentle on the surface to protect the wax layer. Meguiar’s car wash soap will bring out the car’s color and leave it with a clean shine.

You can wash it with a bucket, a snow cannon, or a foam cannon at a 5:1 mix ratio. Use at this recommended dilution for optimum performance. This, along with the car wash’s pH balanced and non-detergent formula, will protect the polish and promote oxidation.

Like other products, if you do not wipe the car with a drying cloth later, it will leave spots. The seal on the carton containing the liquid can also be defective, as per some reviews. There were a few reviews that complained of leakage from the container.

Some of the reviews also stated that the formula is very diluted. Due to this, it doesn’t form a lot of suds. Despite these shortcomings, a majority of the reviewers like how effective this product is. The scent is also nice and mild.

It has all the qualities of the best car wash products. You will need only a minimal amount of shampoo to clean your car wholly and properly. This makes the soap long-lasting and economical. This makes the product the best soap for car wash.


6. Meguiar’s G17701

Meguiar’s G17701

One of the best car wash and wax, Ultimate Wash and Wax lifts the grime out of the surface gently to enhance its shine. The advanced formula works to reduce the risk of spots, stains, and swirls on the surface.

The formula contains premium carnauba wax and synthetic polymers for scratch-free cleaning. This pH balanced car wash soap is diluted to not only preserve the protective wax layer but also add to it. It also promotes oxidation for effective cleaning.

According to the reviews, the soap does not dry even in direct sunlight. This gives you plenty of time to rinse it off without the risk of spots. The product also leaves no residue on the surface. Your car will be perfectly clean and shiny with minimal effort.

The soap will form a thick and concentrated foam, but will still be gentle on your car. It takes a small amount of product, 4 capfuls in a gallon, to wash all the dirt away. After a wash, it will leave a pleasant, candy-like smell to your vehicle. This is undoubtedly the best car wash soap in the market.


7. Chemical Guys CWS20764

Chemical Guys CWS20764

This glossy car wash soap removes dirt, grease, brake dust, road film, and grime due to everyday use or long travels. Due to the car wax blended into its formula, it will leave a protective layer on the car’s surface after every wash.

This will protect your car from contaminants even after the wash. The protective wax is a combination of natural Carnauba wax and synthetic wax. It will restore the shiny look of your car as if newly waxed.

You just need to add a couple of ounces into your 5-gallon bucket for a sudsy wash. It is safe for use even under direct sunlight. It won’t leave any stains and spots behind. This formula is gentle yet effective on plastic, paint, glass, wheels, and undercarriage parts.

Some of the reviews show that the formula leaves behind a residue even after intense rinsing. The residue can form a film on the surface of the car. The foam also dries very quickly, leaving very little time to clean properly.

Nonetheless, the soap is very foamy and cleans very well. The reviews also praise its ability to wipe out grime like it never existed. As advertised, it brings out the shine of the paint on your car. A bonus advantage is its grape-like smell. With its superior attributes and features, it is the best car washing soap.


8. Adam's Car Shampoo 16oz


This car shampoo works gently to suspend the dirt and harmful minerals. It lubricates the surface to make sure the grime slides right off the car’s surface. This will also protect the car from any damage to the clear coat on the surface.

The advanced blend of cleaners and polymers will remove the toughest grease from all surfaces. This includes paint, vinyl, rubber, glass, and others. Yet, the soap is gentle and does not dry out the trim or plastic components.

It is also safe for use on waxes, sealants, or ceramic coatings. You can even use it under direct sunlight. The product creates a thick and rich foam in your wash bucket, foam gun, or foam cannon. It has a nice, fragrant wild berry smell.

According to the reviews, the soap is a little expensive as compared to others on the market. After washing, some people observed that the surface of the car was a little gritty. The reviews also mentioned that the foam is not dense but watery. Therefore, it will not stick to your car.

Despite these shortcomings, most of the reviews still praise the quality of this shampoo. It doesn’t leave any spots after rinsing. The product also delivers as it describes preserving the protective layer on the surface of your car. This is why it is the best car shampoo.


9. Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash

Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash

The innovative formula of this car wash soap is sudsy and concentrated on cutting through the dirt. Its unique mix of polymers causes the water to sheet off. There is no need for towel-drying. It will not leave spots by simply letting the car dry naturally.

This safe soap is pH balanced and biodegradable. It will not harm the exterior of your car. Some of the users had complained about the residue left on cleaning. They also shared that there were water streaks left even after rinsing.

But the other reviews stated that like most other soaps, it takes a few tries to get the spots out. The users liked how effortless it was to clean with this car wash soap. They didn’t even have to scrub to get the dirt and grime off.

The product is also quite inexpensive. Most of the users had no problems regarding its spot-free quality as well. They mentioned that even if your car is black, you needn’t worry about the water streaks. Due to these superior qualities, this product is the best car wash soap.


10. Nu Finish Car Wash Soap

Nu Finish Car Wash Soap

This unique car wash soap is made of pure orange oil. It contains no harmful ingredients and will be gentle on the paint and wax on your car. Due to this, it will also not leave any spotting or streaking.

Further, the natural ingredients and effective cleaning keep your vehicle scratch-free. It works perfectly on cars, motorcycles, boats, and more. You can use a capful in your bucket. This is even safe for use in a pressure washer.

Some of the reviews mentioned that there was a film left after washing. But most other users were happy with the product. The formula is foamy, but it will not form a thick foam. Still, it is able to clean well, even tree sap, tar, and other contaminants.

The best part of the product is that it is eco-friendly. It will not harm your skin during your weekly car wash. It is also very easy to apply and rinse. It is less costly when compared to others in the market, but it does its job as advertised.


11. Turtle Wax Carnauba Wash & Wax

Turtle Wax Carnauba Wash & Wax

The innovative formula of this car wash and wax has ingredients that decrease friction with contaminants on it. This will give your car a scratch-free shining surface. The product contains high-end carnauba wax for deep cleaning and glossy appearance.

This car wash works to clean and add a layer of wax to the surface. It will not remove the existing wax layer on your car. The pH-balance of the liquid will maximize its cleaning quality. This makes the Turtle Wax the best wash and wax soap.

Some of the product users mentioned that the formula is a little diluted, and further, the surface feels a little gritty after a wash. But the majority of the reviews showed that the soap works really well.

The users also praised the soap’s ability to work well on especially the paint of the vehicle. Even after years of use, it will not reveal the tiniest sign of damage. It has a pleasant smell and washes grime off pretty quickly. This is why this is the best car wash soap.


12. Karcher Car Wash & Wax Soap

Karcher Car Wash & Wax Soap

This versatile product works on motorcycles, cars, trucks, RVs, and UTVs. Its highly concentrated formula preserves the shine of all your vehicles. You only need to use one quart for five gallons, and the soap will foam perfectly.

The detergent used in this product is safe for all the surfaces of your car. It rinses the surface without leaving any residue. The liquid is also biodegradable. It is also multi-purpose so that it will clean even your patio and patio furniture.

Some of the users had concerns regarding the less foaming of the liquid. They also stated that the product sometimes leaves a residue or water streaks. But a majority of the reviews praised its effectiveness, especially with a pressure washer.

The product is also affordable. The concentrated formula gets the toughest grime out of the surface and leaves a clean shine. It can last for a really long time as you only require a little for cleaning. These good features make it the best household soap to wash car.


13. Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax

Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax

This wash and wax are ultra sudsy and pH balanced for deep cleaning. It will remove the most stubborn road grime and dirt. It makes your car look as if it has just been waxed. This product is easy to use and rinse off. It is a great value for money wash and wax.

The customers like its longevity and the thickness and sheerness of the soap. Some of the users, however, did complain that it doesn’t work well in getting the dirt off the wheels. Further, it doesn’t lather too much. They had to add more of the product to achieve better results.

But a majority of the reviews show that users are happy with the product. They like the gloss and color vibrancy it brings out. It also preserves the wax and sealant on the car. In fact, as it has a wax base, it enhances the appearance of your car.

The reviews also reveal that the suds from the soap last longer. This provides adequate lubrication to get contaminants out. This saves a lot of time and effort during your weekly cleaning ritual. Further, a little bit of this product goes a long way. That’s why this is the best car wash soap.


14. Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit

Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit

This water-based liquid soap is free of alcohol and ammonia. This makes it eco-friendly and biodegradable. It will also not irritate your eyes or skin in case of direct contact. Thus, it is safe for use on all surfaces of the vehicle, inner and outer.

The best part about this car wash is that it leaves a non-stick UV protective coating on all the surfaces of your vehicle. It also doesn’t remove any waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings already present in your car.

It ranks number one in waterless car washing treatments and is the best car wash liquid. On an analysis of the reviews, the users were pleased with the shiny appearance it gives to the car—the new wax layer bonds with other existing layers for extra protection and glow.

It is also really easy to use. Just spray a little on your car and wipe it off with a microfiber towel and another dry towel. The wax layer established by this product lasts for a long time. Water will just slide off the surface after using this.

Another advantage revealed by the users is that a small quantity of the liquid does the job perfectly. It also smells very nice and saves a lot of water. It also leaves no stains and spots. With all of these great traits, this is the best car wash soap.


15. Chemical Guys Citrus Wash

Chemical Guys Citrus Wash

This natural citrus cleanser removes the most resilient contaminants on your car to enhance its shine. The citrus extract blends with superior car wash formula to penetrate into the finest crevices to remove dirt.

The product can be used in a bucket, a foam gun, or a foam cannon. Its thick suds prevent the forming of swirls and streaks of water and scratches while washing. This best car wash shampoo will bring out the natural shine of your car.

The product is also safe on your paintwork and protects the wax and sealants on the surface. It also works perfectly on glass, metal, wheels, and other surfaces. The product is rated highly for its scent, versatility, thick suds, and other features.

Some of the users mentioned that the product leaves water streaks. They also felt that the product was expensive. This Chemical Guys product also has the same issue as its other products regarding the bottle. The users stated that the contents leaked as they dissolved the bottle.

But the majority of users believe that this is the best car soap they have used. They say that the gloss enhancers do work as advertised. The product makes the color of your vehicle truly pop out. Water also glides right off the surface, showing the added smoothness.


What To Look For When Buying Best Car Wash Soap

There are a few factors that you need to consider so that you can buy the best car wash soap. Some of these are:

1. Lathering Quality

The first and foremost requirement of a good car wash soap is that it foams well. This means that the product is super sudsy. It also needs to form a thick layer of foam so that it doesn’t dry quickly. Soaps that dry quickly can cause spots and stains.

Further, it needs to have these qualities while being gentle for your car’s surface. The foam is supposed to lubricate the surface properly so that the paintwork doesn’t get scratched. This will also save your effort and time; scrubbing dirt like a good foam will suspend dirt particles by itself.

2. PH Balance

This is another necessity to preserve the paintwork on your car. Since the dirt and grime usually on your car are acidic in nature, an alkaline cleanser would be an ideal option. However, if a car wash is too alkaline, it can, in turn, eat away your paint, wax, and sealants.

A good car wash soap will be pH neutral with a little bit of alkalinity to achieve the maximum result without damaging the surface. Having a pH balance is also better for the environment or your skin and eyes in case of accidental contact.

3. Stain Resistance

Some car wash soap can leave tough water stains and streaks on your car. This can cause it to look unwashed even after all that hard work. Black paint especially has the notorious tendency to get stained easily and quite apparently.

4. Eco Friendly And Biodegradable

Any chemical-based product can have a huge environmental impact, car wash soaps are no different. Even though this quality has nothing to do with its effectiveness while cleaning, it is very important, more so in the current scenario.

These car wash soaps can go to the oceans and other water bodies through the drains and harm aquatic life too. Closer to home, it can have a negative effect on your own shrubs and plants if they come in contact with these products. Therefore, it is better to go for an environment-friendly option.

5. Affordability

Some expensive car wash soaps are neither value for money nor effective. This can be a bad investment. Buying a gallon bottle at a time can be a saving option. But check if the amount you’re paying for this quantity is actually reasonable.

Plus, the concentration of the liquid also links to its value for money. The higher the concentration the less liquid you will have to use for a wash. This means that the soap will not run out for a long time, saving your expenses to buy a new one.

6. Kind Of Smell

This may seem like an unimportant consideration but it is actually a determining factor. Some people might be too affected by the odor of a particular car wash soap. Plus, a strong-smelling car wash soap degrades your experience.

It is better to go for odorless options if you are worried about the pungent smells or don’t like the flower-like or fruit-like smells. However, some people find the citrus or berry fragrances quite therapeutic while cleaning, so they can choose accordingly.

7. Manufacturer Or Brand

Some mass-produced products can be affordable, however, they may not do their job well. It is better to go for a reputed brand based on its reputation. Even a few reputed and renowned brands can also sell products that might not be very effective. You can check out the reviews of the product to get a general idea of what is what.

Types Of Car Wash Soaps

There can be several types of car wash soaps in the market. These have to be very carefully picked according to specific needs. Following are the broad categories under which these fall into:

1. General Use Soaps And Shampoos

These are the most common ones in the market. It is for the weekly or monthly usual car washes. It also doesn’t remove the wax or sealant layers of your car’s surface. Another pointer of recognizing them is that these require a couple of ounces per bucket to work.

They are also known as concentrated soaps. Examples from our list are Chemical Guys’ Mr. Pink and Meguiar’s Gold Class Shampoo.

2. Wax And Wash Soaps

These are great 2-in-1 options. They do the job of cleaning the car and add a wax layer to it. And the best part is, they do so without stripping the layer of wax and sealants already present on the layer.

It is a convenient option for those who need a long-lasting clean surface without having to replace the wax layer completely. Examples of this category from this list are the Liquid X Car Wash Soap and the Turtle Wax Carnauba Wax and Wash.

3. Wax And Sealant Removing Shampoos

These shampoos are often strong in concentration and remove the wax layer on the surface completely. These also work to remove scratches and other marks on the car by acting as a polish.

It is very important to use a specially designed shampoo for this purpose. If you wish to go for this option, choose the ones which are effective without harming the paintwork.

4. Waterless Shampoos

These can be a boon in areas with water restrictions or depleted water reserves. These are also great time and effort saving options. You just need a few towels to do the work. They are specifically formulated to work with limited resources.

As they save water, they are a sustainable option as well. An example of this kind of shampoo is the Aero Cosmetics Waterless Wash Kit.

5. Iron Removing Soaps

Some of these soaps are used to remove brake dust and ferrous materials on the wheels. They work as a spray one. Since they have to remove alkaline materials, their pH is low, that is, they are acidic. Therefore, they are not for general use, since they could damage the paintwork. They are specifically sold to dealers.

6. Ceramic Coating Infused Car Shampoos

Most of these shampoos contain a silicone-based substance which is inorganic in nature. They protect your car as a non-stick and durable coating. They are also in the form of sprays that react to oxygen in the air and your car’s dry surface. Some of them work by reaction with water.

There are many options available online, so don’t let it confuse you. Stick to one product first and try to analyze if it works well on your car in the manner instructed. You can match the products’ qualities with some of these factors and see if they suit your needs.

We have listed the features and the working of this product through the reviews for this purpose. This list of 15 products satisfies most of the considerations. We hope that this list will help you to pick the best car wash soap for your car.

FAQs on Car Wash Soaps

1. Are Automatic Car Washes Bad For Your Car?

Yes. Even though automatic car washes are convenient, they can affect the paintwork on your car in the longer run. The brushes in these car washes are not properly maintained and thus can be brittle on the car’s surface. It is better and cheaper to wash your car manually.

2. Does Rrain Wash Away Car Wax?

A newly coated surface will not be affected if it rains a little the next day. But prolonged and heavy rain can damage your wax coating and shorten its lifespan.

3. Should I Wax My Car Every Time I Wash It?

Waxing your car twice a year, at least, is very important for its maintenance. Whether you get your car washed professionally or by yourself, apply good quality car wax (in liquid form or paste form) twice a year to protect your car’s shiny exterior.

4. How Long Does Car Wash Wax Last?

The longevity of your car wash wax depends on a lot of factors. These include environmental factors, quality of the wax used, quality and condition of your paintwork, etc. Ideally, car wax lasts about four to six weeks.

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