10 Best Car Wash Soaps and Shampoos in 2021

Jerry Wilson
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When was the last time you gave your car a thorough cleaning?

In some ways, washing your car sounds easier than washing your bicycle, at least that’s the common misconception. Washing your bike by hand at home is an easy and more eco-friendly way of keeping your bike clean. Washing your car is much more laborious than simply washing your bicycle, mainly because the average detailer doesn’t have the correct tools!

However, not to worry. There are many easy to use tools and the best car wash soap around to do the job for you quickly and affordably.

We’ve got you covered! Here are the best car wash soaps and shampoos in 2021.

NameCategoryProduct
Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car WashBest OverallMeguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash
Chemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and ShampooBudget PickChemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo
Adam’s Car Wash ShampooUpgrade PickAdam’s Car Wash Shampoo

1. Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash

Our rating: 10 / 10

Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash

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Pros:

  • Gentle on all surfaces
  • Lifts and removes stains
  • Creates a rich gloss
  • Ideal for both winter and summer use

Cons:

  • Some residue is left behind
  • Doesn't remove thick dirt and mud

When it comes to car wash products, a lot of people don't pay enough attention to their use. Using the wrong materials or incorrect amount of soaps and shampoos can damage a car's finish as well as the driver's car. Using the right products and the correct amount of them makes a huge difference in the way your car looks after a cleaning.

Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash has been popular among car owners and detailers for quite some time, and it comes from a reputable brand that has a knack for delivering superior auto detailing products. It's specifically designed to produce a rich gloss on every car, and it's also capable of removing heavy stains. It's gentle enough to be used on paint coatings, while at the same time, it lifts off dirt and debris constructed from a wide range of materials.

2. Chemical Guys CWS_101 Maxi-Suds II Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo

Our rating: 9 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_101 Maxi-Suds II Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo

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Pros:

  • 1 liter of concentrated suds
  • Safe on all surfaces
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Can be harsh on clear coat
  • Strong cherry scent

Forget about soap and water or gardening products, professional car washes have their own special recipe of chemicals specifically designed to safely remove the dirt and grime from your car without ruining the paint job.

In this article, we review some of the best car wash soaps and shampoos designed for the professional and consumer market. Each review will tell you exactly what you are buying, each car soap or shampoo includes information about its size, smell, and features. In addition, we have also looked at what other users have said about it.

The rankings were determined by a team of experts and experts who work in the field, and we have given you our detailed comparative chart in terms of choice, price, overall quality, and availability.

3. Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

Our rating: 9 / 10

Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

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Pros:

  • Best of the Best: Overall, the Adam's car wash shampoo far surpassed other products we tested for soap quality, composition, and value.
  • Most Versatile: This was the only shampoo we tested that cleaned and shined every vehicle we used it on.
  • Chemical Free: It is made of pure soap, which cuts the need for harmful chemicals (like in almost every other car wash shampoo).
  • Works With A Soap Cone: This is hands down the best shampoo for serious car enthusiasts.
  • Really Cleans (and Cleans Well): I can honestly say this is the best shampoo I have used no matter how large, small, old or new my vehicles were.
  • Extremely Effective: The Adam's car wash shampoo worked extremely well on every single surface of every vehicle we tested it on paired with a foam cannon.
  • Smells Great: A huge plus. I hate products that smell like chemicals. This one smells like sweet Hawaiian ocean breeze.

Cons:

  • Not For Dark Colors: If you have black vehicle that you want to stay black, then don't use this so much on the trim, tires and wheels.

4. Chemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo

Our rating: 9 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo

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Pros:

  • High Volume
  • Can be used on any car or surface

The Chemical Guys's CWS-402-16 is my top pick because it dissolves dirt, grime, and road salt quickly and effectively. This means that you won't have to put up with a dirty car longer than necessary.

While you may be tempted to buy a cheaper car wash soap, this one actually requires less water to get the job done! You'll be able to use about half the amount of water than with other brands. Less water means less rinsing too. This will allow you to save even more time.

In addition, the product contains surfactants and lubricants which will help you get the car cleaner with less elbow grease. The actual shampoo itself is extremely concentrated, so one bottle will last a very long time.

5. 3M Car Wash Soap

Our rating: 9 / 10

3M Car Wash Soap

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Pros:

  • Effective cleaning for your wheels
  • Keeps car looking new
  • Safe to use in tub or bucket

3M has a wide array of quality products that are designed to help you get the most out of your car. This particular product is designed for getting the dirt and grime off your car without using very much soap. It also helps keep your car looking beautiful after a wash, as it leaves behind a fresh scent.

Unlike bars of soap, you only need to use a small amount to get the job done. You can use it in either a bucket or a bathtub, which was a selling point for me because I had never maintained a bathtub before. This product is safe on the surfaces of any car, meaning it doesn't leave behind a lot of residue or sports a strong scent.

6. Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

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Pros:

  • Very easy to wash with the Citrus Wash
  • Very good soap for your car
  • Great Value

Cons:

  • Scent can be kind of annoying
  • Not great for wheels
  • Not good for high pressure (read, pressure wash)

7. Turtle Wax T-472R ICE Car Wash

Our rating: 8 / 10

Turtle Wax T-472R ICE Car Wash

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Pros:

  • Concentrated
  • Provides a decent value for its price
  • Can be used for virtually any vehicle
  • Leaves a nice shine
  • Mild and pleasant scent
  • Very little residue left on the vehicle
  • Aids in the prevention of bird droppings

Cons:

  • The pack of Turtle Wax ICE Car Wash Bottles Messes Other Stuff
  • May not be best for grabbing a quick wash
  • Not as good for sensitive paints

Overall, Turtle Wax T-472R ICE Car Wash – 48 oz., is the best car wash soap in 2020. The Turtle ICE Car Wash is well known as a great all-around car wash soap. It comes in a bottle that is easy to use and perfect for virtually any vehicle, although it may not be ideal for smaller, low-profile vehicles. This is due to the fact that the base is slightly thicker than most car wash soaps and takes a little bit more effort to rinse.

When it comes to washing your vehicle, it is best used in a bucket with lots of water. The Turtle ICE Car Wash does a great job of breaking down dirt, and leaves a very nice shine. Another thing that I like about this car wash is that it does not strip any of the existing wax from your vehicle.

8. Chemical Guys CWS_101_64 Car Wash Shampoo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_101_64 Car Wash Shampoo

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Pros:

  • USDA Biobased
  • Cleans and Protects
  • Water-Based Formula
  • Less Streaking And Lathering
  • Rain-X

Cons:

  • Not Environmentally Friendly
  • Not For Very Dirty Vehicles

This product from Chemical Guys is another favorite on the market today. Although it's not a complete wash experience, it is definitely great for just cleaning up your car or truck.

This product contains a detergent-like formula that helps to dissolve away dirt, road grime, and other contaminants without having to use a lot of elbow grease.

Not only does it effectively wash away harmful dirt particles and contaminants, but its also suitable for any vehicle. It's non-toxic formula gives it a lot of versatility and it's great for cleaning a wide range of vehicle types.

9. Chemical Guys CWS_808_64 Hybrid V7 Optical Select High Suds Car Wash Soap

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_808_64 Hybrid V7 Optical Select High Suds Car Wash Soap

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Pros:

  • Environment-friendly formula
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great packaging

Now we come to the car wash soap. The thing is, the best car wash soap depends a lot on what your personal preferences are. Some people like gentle soaps, others like newer technologies and want to use synthetic soaps. No matter what you’re looking for, the Chemical Guys Hybrid V7 is perfect.

It’s perfect for cleaning your car as it breaks down and lifts dirt for a thorough clean. But the best part of the Hybrid V7 is how easy it is to use. There’s no mixing. You just spray the soap on and rinse off. This is a major plus when it comes to car wash soaps. Having to mix the soap in a separate bucket is just too much work.

10. Nanoskin CHERRY SUDS Wash & Shine Shampoo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nanoskin CHERRY SUDS Wash & Shine Shampoo

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Pros:

  • Good cleaning power – one bucket filled the entire car
  • Smells great

The Nanoskin CHERRY SUDS Wash & Shine Shampoo cleans your car like no other. I personally love the smell that wafts through the air as it cleans.

This is a cherry smell, so if you’re buying for a car with a cherry paint job you are guaranteed to do the paint justice. This also does a great job of cleaning.

One bucket filled the entire car. The biggest feature I loved was the soft feeling the car had when you're done washing it. The water felt great to handle and not dry and brittle like with other shampoos. It also rinsed very easy and left virtually no water spots.

11. Chemical Guys CWS_101_16 Maxi-Suds II Super Suds Car Wash Shampoo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_101_16 Maxi-Suds II Super Suds Car Wash Shampoo

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Great Soap
  • Long-lasting, good Scent
  • 16 oz. bottle can wash up to 12 cars, making it a value for money product

Cons:

  • Limited color options
  • Slightly more expensive than other car wash soaps

The Chemical Guys CWS_101_16 Car Wash Shampoo is a fantastic blend of shampoos and surfactants that can remove dirt and grime from all kind of surfaces, and deep clean your car with cherry-scented foam.

Apart from being very effective, the bottle comes with a 16 oz. capacity that can handle cleaning of up to 12 cars (approx. 18 wheels).

The packaging contains a 16 oz bottle and can be used to wash cars, as well as other surfaces. In fact, the soap can clean even the toughest stains, and can restore surfaces to the way they were in the past.

12. Meguiar's G17748 Ultimate Wash & Wax

Our rating: 7 / 10

Meguiar's G17748 Ultimate Wash & Wax

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Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Ideal for boats

When it comes to car wash soap, Meguiar’s has been in the game from the start. We’ve been using this brand for years and can’t imagine a world without it. This soap is fantastic for detailing and washing boats or any other 4-wheeler or two-wheeler.

The formula is enriched with so many different lubricants that will remove dust and dirt from all the hard-to-reach areas. The polymers in the formula help glide that water over the vehicle’s surface, helping maintain the shine and preventing water spots.

This elite formula is also capable of removing the harshest of stains from your paint and will leave your car smelling fresh. While the 48-ounce bottle is more than enough to last you a while, it’s also the most expensive of the bunch.

13. Turtle Wax T-79 Zip Wax Liquid Car Wash and Wax. 64 oz.

Our rating: 6 / 10

Turtle Wax T-79 Zip Wax Liquid Car Wash and Wax. 64 oz.

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Pros:

  • Creates a dazzling shine
  • Works on any paint color
  • Doesn’t leave a sticky residue
  • Less than an half an hour to complete a car wash from top-to-bottom

Cons:

  • Requires more effort than using a single-step wash and wax kit
  • Can be user-unfriendly
  • Takes a lot of hard work and elbow grease

Goop’s all natural, foaming car wash has been around since the 1970s and has become an icon of garage cleanliness. Although it does an excellent job of properly cleansing your car, this bubbly car wash soap requires a fair amount of effort to properly apply and come off completely after washing. It needs to be applied with a sponge, not a wash mit, and scrubbed in thoroughly. It will leave behind a residue if it isn’t rinsed off with a hose after letting it sit for several minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What car wash soap is best?

The top rated car wash soap for every budget and need is Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo. It does a great job on paint and wheels, gets washed off easily like it's advertised, and it's reasonably priced.

If you're some one who only needs to wash their car every few weeks or months, then filling up a 5 gallon bucket with water and Dawn dish soap will work fine. It's less risky to wash you car with dish soap as opposed to car wash soap, because there's no additional chemicals to dry out your paint.

If you're an enthusiast who takes a lot of pride in the appearance of his or her car, the difference between car wash soap and dish soap in terms of effectiveness and safety can be night and day.

Which shampoo is best for car wash?

Go into any auto parts store and you likely will be thoroughly confused by the amount of products that tout their automobile washing abilities. Some people swear by Dawn dishwashing liquid, while others swear by car shampoos such as Zymol and Meguiar's products. There are even several good-looking products, such as a line of car shampoos from AmazonBasics, that cost a fraction of the price of more well-known car-washing products.

Our advice is to select any of them, but avoid the stuff that comes in a spray bottle. If you've ever tried to use one, you'll know that it just doesn't cut it. The pressure is too high and the result is a bath in suds that leaves your car's exterior soaking wet.

What is a good substitute for car wash soap?

If you're looking for a more environmentally friendly car wash option, try using dish soap. It's cheap, available everywhere, and easy to mix. Most offer dawn as the primary ingredient. Simply dilute it at a 1:4 ratio with water and you'll have a good but cheap car wash soap.

It's not too good a soap. It certainly won't clean as well as car wash soap, but it's better than nothing.

Is it OK to wash car with shampoo?

We always recommended to use car soap or a cleaner specifically designed for cars made of gentle chemicals. It can be argued that car shampoo (which is inexpensive and easy to find) is just as effective as a specialized car cleaner.

However, it’s true that because car shampoos are designed for other purposes (like cleaning your hair), they contain chemicals that can be harmful to your car. Some of these chemicals are known to strip the wax from your car’s finish, which can be harmful.

If you want to be safe, use a specific auto cleaner.

Conclusion

We hope our latest review of the best car wash soaps and shampoos in 2021 is helpful in helping you figure out how to go about choosing the best car washing soap for your vehicle. Our key points are simple – quality, efficiency, and cost effectiveness mean the most to us, and we hope they mean the most to you as they do to us.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Meguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car WashBest OverallMeguiar's G7101FFP Gold Class Car Wash
Chemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and ShampooBudget PickChemical Guys CWS_402_16 Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap and Shampoo
Adam’s Car Wash ShampooUpgrade PickAdam’s Car Wash Shampoo