For most of us, washing the car is a chore that ranks right up there with getting the oil changed. It usually entails taking it somewhere, paying anywhere from $9 to $15 or more and letting giant fabric tendrils pound your car into submission. Then, you roll out of there and within five minutes, your car is covered in water spots. But hey, at least it’s clean and maybe the corrosive elements are removed, right?
For those out there who are more detail-oriented or those who make car ownership a hobby, it’s almost always preferable to wash your car yourself. You can take time, focus on the corners and crevices and definitely carefully wipe it down to avoid water spots. This is true if your car is your everyday commuter or a vintage showpiece. It puts the care in car care.
For a little backgrounder on what to look for in car wash soap, check out this piece on Jay Leno’s Garage — a product we’ve included on the list below. If you’re new to the whole washing your own car game, check out this post on Red Bull which goes into a lot of detail. Some of it might be overkill, but it doesn’t hurt to get a perspective.
Here we’re focusing on the car wash soap or shampoo in particular, with preference given to one gallon size bottles when possible. On a past list — best car cleaning kits — we went for full kits that often included multiple specialized cleaners and usually at least a towel, if not a full suite of tools. All we’re concerned with here is the soap itself.
This list is in order by price so you can quickly decide how much you’re looking to spend and jump right down to that part of the list using the quick links below. Keep in mind that the package sizes differ and that some are concentrated, so check out the price per ounce that we’ve listed for each to help you decide what’s the best value for your needs.
While you’re shopping, you might consider picking up a foam gun. While most won’t have access to a pressure washer at home, a foam gun a like this option from Adam’s can do a pretty good job and only requires your garden hose. At the very least, you’ll need a minimum of two buckets and a sponge or a wash mitt.
Save yourself some money by considering our best car wash soap options to keep your ride looking great.
What are the best car wash soaps?
Rain-X Wash and Wax with Carnauba Wax Beads | Check it out on Amazon – $9.74
Jay Leno’s Garage Premium Car Shampoo Vehicle Wash | Check it out on Amazon – $14.99
Dr. Beasley’s Premium Body Wash | Check it out on Amazon – $21.72
Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash | Check it out on Amazon …read more