Looking for the best detergent that you can use to wash your car? Picking the wrong detergent to wash your vehicle with can make it even dirtier than it was before. In this detailed guide, we take a closer look at the best car wash detergents by comparing costs, formulas, and more!

Our Top Picks

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  • Luxurious and rich car wash
  • Biodegradable and safe detergents
  • Offers rich suds
  • Create a chemical resistant barrier
  • Won't leave water spots or scratches
  • Will not damage the paint coat
  • The formula washes very well
  • Doesn’t harm the cars rubber, plastic, or other components
  • Most comprehensive kit
  • Multifunctional
  • Premium material
  • 22 pieces car wash cleaning kit


Using the right detergent to wash your car with has many additional benefits beyond appearance, including extending the life of the car itself.

Essentially, using low-quality detergent to wash the car can be detrimental to its paint as well as appearance as not cleaning it at all. It can also accelerate the aging process.

Even a cheap car is an expensive piece of equipment. You should always take good care of the car whenever you get a chance because this will also help save you maintenance costs.

Buying the best car wash detergent you can find is one of the most underrated steps to extending your car’s lifespan as well as improving its operation and appearance. That’s why we have handpicked and listed the best car wash soaps and a detailed buying guide.

Kärcher 5 L Canister Pressure Washer Detergent

A guide to the best car wash detergents. Learn how to choose the right detergent to keep your car looking clean and new. Check Price

Kärcher is the brand you should choose if you want the best-detailing product for your ride. It is one of the most popular car wash detergents available today. This dual-action product promises to clean your car’s exterior as well as restore the lustrous shine. The car wash detergent usually combines protective wax ingredients and car wash soap in one of the most effective solutions. It’s ideal for adding that amazing ‘oomph’ factor to your vehicle in between waxes and the wash greatly boosts the fresh shine. With every car wash, this detergent adds an extra glow to your paint surface.

Furthermore, Kärcher 5 L Canister Pressure Washer Detergent doesn’t just add shine and glow; it also adds a new protection layer to the car’s exterior. The detergent is formulated with high-quality ingredients to ensure pH-neutral protection and deep cleaning that will not strip any wax. The car wash detergent effectively cleans your car without negatively affecting your wax job. After washing and drying the car, the car will glow with a deep shine. Each bottle contains 5L of cleaning detergent. While other washes and wax products don’t deliver suds, this Kärcher 5 L Canister Pressure Washer Detergent delivers a great foaming action that removes all dirt and grime safely.

Pros And Cons


  • Smells very well
  • Generous size (5L) will last for a long time
  • It’s biodegradable and safe
  • Directly dispense from the pressure washer


  • Doesn’t foam up very well

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Suds Car Wash Shampoo

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Suds Car Wash ShampooCheck Price

Chemical Guys Cash Wash Soap is a premium quality detergent that leaves no spots or streaks on your car paint. It uses a highly concentrated mixture of cleaners and mild surfactants with no alkali, acids, or additives that could dull your car’s polish. Every sud penetrates and fully lifts foreign particles including grime and dirt, creating a great cleaning action that’s easy to rinse off. It can be used in foam guns and also professional car washing equipment.

Additionally, Chemical Guys Cash Wash Soap provides a safer pH-balanced formula. The pH-neutral car wash detergent allows this soap to work properly on different kinds of materials without negatively affecting the plastic body components. The application is very easy because the instructions are easy to follow and very straightforward. The one downside is that the concentrate might dry on your skin. Therefore, if you often use it to wash your car, you should consider wearing a pair of gloves to prevent the hands from cracking and overdrying.

Pros And Cons


  • Perfect wash for regular maintenance
  • Excellent for foam gun or bucket wash
  • PH neutral for smooth wash
  • Extra slick for a great washing experience


  • Harsh on skin

Mothers 05664 California Gold Car Wash

Mothers 05664 California Gold Car WashCheck Price

If you’re looking for the best car wash detergent that works effectively, you should check out Mothers 05664 California Gold Car Wash. This car cleaning solution is very effective for any person from beginners to professionals. It does a great job without removing the wax, saving you lots of effort and time during the detailing process. The finish looks like a waxed car with superb protection and shine.

Although this formulation doesn’t foam up like other available options, it’s very effective in removing all the tough stains and the obstinate dirt and grime. The product’s neutral pH ensures no swirls, watermarks, or streaks are left. Keep in mind that the detergent itself is biodegradable and non-toxic, making it a safer option for households with pets and kids.

It’s one of the most concentrated products featured on this comprehensive list.

Pros And Cons


  • Long-lasting
  • Affordable
  • Great balance of strong cleaning
  • Super-sudsy formula


  • Might leave some streaks if not thoroughly washed

Meguiar’s G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner

Meguiar's G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & ConditionerCheck Price

Meguiar’s is another great brand that’s renowned in the car detailing and care industry and Meguiar’s G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo Conditioner is a good example of why. The neutral pH solutions use eco-friendly detergents combined with unique conditioners for delivering an all-encompassing formula for the best cleaning. It will not dissolve or strip waxes and sealants and is very gentle, but strong enough for use on different types of cars.

This detergent is well infused with a fun and pleasant fruity fragrance and could be easily applied with the foam cannon sprayer, or with the premium soft wash mitt. This high-quality formula offers very rich suds that safely and gently foam away tough contaminants, road grime, and dirt. It’s safe on all types of paints and won’t compromise any wax protection.

Pros And Cons


  • Luxurious and rich car wash
  • Biodegradable and safe detergents
  • Offers rich suds
  • Create a chemical resistant barrier


  • Does not contain wax or a conditioner

Chemical Guys CWS_110 Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash Soap and Cleanser

Chemical Guys CWS_110 Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash Soap and CleanserCheck Price

Safe for usage on all car surfaces, rubber, protecting paint, and even your car’s plastic, this great option from Chemical Guys is atop notch option. This product lives up to its great name, with numerous satisfied users rating it highly.

Chemical Guys wash detergent has every benefit of a high quality and pH neutral formula including the mix of highly advanced cleaners and polymers that make washing both effective and safe.

Just like other high-quality detergents on this list, you’ll find that it can remove grime and dirt. We appreciate the fact that this high-end formula is very gentle and doesn’t dry out the plastic components and is safe enough for use on other materials such as glass, vinyl, and rubber.

It thoroughly cleans, and won’t remove any wax. Dedicated to producing an optimal finish and lasting shine, you should use it regularly to keep your ride glistening.

Pros And Cons


  • Won’t leave water spots or scratches
  • Will not damage the paint coat
  • The formula washes very well
  • Doesn’t harm the cars rubber, plastic, or other components


  • Less lubricity

Adam’s Mega Foam Shampoo Gallon

Adam's Mega Foam Shampoo GallonCheck Price

Adam’s Mega Foam Shampoo Gallon is a cost-effective product that you should check out. Thanks to the pH-neutral formula, it’s pretty safe for use on different car surfaces and ensures great cleaning results. Because of its easy application and high efficiency, you will enjoy using this shampoo for cleaning your car.

The car wash shampoo allows car owners to wash their car in direct sunlight and immediately remove any excessive grime, bugs, road dirt, and more. This formula creates a very slick film, which lubricates the paintwork and works to fully protect the damaged surface. You can use this car wash detergent on plastic, windows, vinyl, and rubber. Technically, you will achieve great results with Adam’s Mega Foam Shampoo Gallon without necessarily spending lots of money.

Nevertheless, remember that you may have to use lots of products to remove heavy dirt and stubborn stains. Applying very little of the liquid will not get any job done. Moreover, some users complain because of the bottle’s design. It has a weak cap that may get loose and start leaking, so ensure you keep it properly.

Pros And Cons


  • Safely removes soot, pollen, and dirt
  • Doesn’t remove sealants or wax
  • Rinses clean with no streaks
  • Creates think suds


  • The cap might leak

Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II Car Wash Soap

Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II Car Wash SoapCheck Price

The CWS_101 Car Wash Soap is another great car wash soap by Chemical Guys. There is no doubt that Chemical Guys is a great brand with regards to car washing. CWS_101 Maxi-Suds Car Wash Soap is like the best car shampoo available today and this product has over the years become increasingly popular among car owners. Moreover, this car cleaning solution gives the clean and soothing feel of any detergent cleaning solution.

Mixing the car wash soap in water makes enough foam for holding the grip on the car’s surface. This detergent is pH balanced and safe and won’t damage or harm your skin.

Pros And Cons


  • Use of polymers
  • No soap or water residues
  • Creates enough suds
  • A decent and smooth car cleaning shampoo


  • Expensive

Rain-X 5072084 Foaming Car Wash

Rain-X 5072084 Foaming Car WashCheck Price

Most car owners may be familiar with the Rain-X Company; this company has served the car care industry for more than 4 decades. This renowned brand is well known for manufacturer car care items for rain protection. Today, they have also introduced this great car wash product. The fact that this product also includes Carnauba wax allows car owners to wax their cars to give a perfect shiny look. You should consider this great product as one of the best car wash detergents.

Rain-X is a reputed company that’s respected by people across the globe, offering high-quality biodegradable products to avoid harm, particularly to the human skin. Moreover, a balanced pH amount that’s used on this product follows all safety standards. This car-detailing product is without a doubt one of the best carwash you can find.

Pros And Cons


  • Safe to use
  • Reasonable price
  • Includes carnauba wax
  • High-quality additives
  • Balanced pH amounts


  • No enough sudsy
  • Wax spots residue

Armor All Car Wash Formula

Armor All Car Wash FormulaCheck Price

As the name suggests, this great product is like armor that protects your car from any type of dust or dirt. This is a high-quality liquid car detailing formula that removes sticky dust from your car without causing any scratches. Some people might also use the dish soaps on the cars to wash out dirt without knowing that such detergents are made for removing oily spots and grease.

The Armor All Car Wash Formula is a cost-effective car washing detergent that cleans everything off the car’s surface.

Pros And Cons


  • Neutral pH
  • No spots residue
  • High lathering
  • Car friendly
  • Somehow foamy and sudsy
  • A decent and smart car detergent
  • Superb car protection


  • Not thickly


Car Wash Detergents Buying Guide

Here are some of the important factors you should consider before buying a car detergent or soap of any brand.

Foaming Ability

Technically speaking, this is the first thing you should consider when looking for the best car washing detergent. This is because forming modes more lather and more suds. Lather and suds reduce the chances of any spot or scratch.

Solution Concentration

Every car wash detergent should have extra consecration because more concentration means it will last longer.

PH level

This is an important thing to check out because less pH means less acidity. Chemicals with added acidity may damage the car’s wax and paint resulting in damages to the car’s surface. Therefore, before you buy the car wash soap, ensure its pH is balanced.

Spot And Streak Resistant

Most of the car’s shampoos usually leave swirls, spots, and streaks on the car’s exterior surfaces. Therefore, we highly recommend that you choose streak-free car wash detergent for a smooth car cleaning experience.


Buy any car-cleaning product, which brings a pleasant and refreshing smell to your ride. The smell of your car usually matters because no one likes a car that smells bad.


Every car wash detergent solution you find out there should be biodegradable since if you purchase a care cleaning solution that isn’t biodegradable could damage your skin.

If you’re not sure about the best car cleaning detergent to buy, then don’t worry because we’ve got the best car exterior accessories for you.

Equipment’s You Need To Wash A Car

You need the right car washing tools and supplies to ensure you clean your car properly. Following are some of the must-having car cleaning equipment’s.

  • Foam gun or pressure washer – You can use a foam gun or pressure washer to spread the thick soap layer on the vehicle without putting lots of effort.
  • Microfiber towel – Drying the car before the soap dries is important so you need to have some microfiber towels to completely dry the car surface. Keep in mind that using a rough microfiber towel could leave some swirls or scratches on the surface of your car.
  • Water hose – You’ll need the best water hose to wash off the soap from the surface of your car.
  • Wash Mitt – There may be nothing better than the best car wash mitt for applying soap on the surface of your car. The wash mitt looks like a glove that’s easier to wear and also very safe to use.

Final Thoughts

After taking a closer look at the best car wash detergents, we can confidently say that you can use any of these products to take good care of your car. Using these car-cleaning detergents is very important because it prolongs the life of your car paint. We’ve listed both expensive and cheaper cash wash soaps to make it easier for you to choose one that fits your budget and requirements.