Once you’ve decided to wash a car yourself, the first step is to find some good car-specific soap for your white cars. What’s the best carwash soap for you? You don’t want to use something generic like dish soap or laundry detergent.
Carwash soap is specifically designed to be less aggressive than products meant to clean a crusty lasagna pan or the shirtsleeve you dragged through your soup last week. You want a carwash soap with excellent lubricity and natural foaming to lift and suspend contaminants embedded on the surface of your paint. That being said, even narrowing your choices will leave an overwhelming number of options.
We’ll break carwash soap down into three categories: basic, basic with additives, and rinseless or waterless washes.
Basic options like Meguiar’s Gold Class are a good start and are usually available at your local auto-parts store. Products like this one remove contaminants without stripping any wax or polish from your paint. These are also available with additives.
Mothers Carnauba Wash & Wax, for example, performs the same function with the extra benefit of adding a thick coat of wax. Though a wash like this is no substitute for a proper coat of wax, it’s a good supplement to the existing layer of protection between full wax jobs.
Rinseless and waterless washes are ideal for those without access to a water hookup or for folks looking to reduce their water usage. We tested waterless carwash solutions and liked Aero Cosmetics Wash Wax and McKee’s 37 Waterless Wash On the Go.
Both Optimum No Rinse and Ultima Waterless Wash Plus+ are also highly regarded in the detailing community for their excellent lubricity and impressive versatility. These products are desirable because properly diluted; they can also be used as a clay lube or quick detailer.
So go forth, buy some carwash soap, and get to spruce up your ride!