Have you ever wondered why some people are so obsessed with washing their cars? In some cases, it is just an obsession, but in other cases, it is part science, part beauty.

It’s not easy to have a beautiful car that is often mistaken for a brand new one. You have to put effort into it. If you wait for the rain to do its part, sometimes you might not be so proud of your four-wheeled companion.

Choosing the right car wash soap when you choose to wash it yourself isn’t rocket science, but it shouldn’t be a random choice, either. The market has plenty of car wash products to offer, but not all of them are top quality.

What to look for in the best car shampoo?

Choosing the best car shampoo for your car’s needs is essential when your car is new or recently painted. Even when you have had it for years but you notice that the car’s paint is still in good shape, it is necessary to think twice before choosing the soap. 

Except for choosing good car soap, it is also important to keep using the same product on a long term.

So here’s what you should be looking for in the best car wash soap:

  • Balanced pH  – caustic cleaners will leave you with an acidic surface
  • Heavy-foaming
  • Don’t be fooled by 2-in-1 products – wax and shampoo don’t work together for cleaning and protection purposes, you have to use them separately to get the protection you need. Instead, they can provide your car with an excellent shine that will turn heads.
  • Be prepared to invest a bit more – better brands deliver better results

If you are looking to buy car wash soap, you should first read our reviews. We have gathered the top best-selling products on the market and analyzed their specifications. More than that, based on customer reviews, we have been able to highlight their pros and cons.

Here are the 10 product reviews:

1. Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine

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Optimum’s car wash soap comes at an affordable price and several bottles sizes. The same soap is available from 8 ounces to 1 gallon. This 32 ounce bottle of car wash soap contains high lubricating polymers that contribute to an amazing clean-up. As far as the manufacturer advertises, this soap doesn’t need to be rinsed.

Its chemical formula is designed to make your car shine. It is suitable for all vehicle types, including airplanes, wood boats and fiberglass vehicles. When washing your car, you need to mix 1 ounce of soap with 2 gallons of water.

What’s to like about Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine ?

  • Is affordable
  • Contains polymers
  • Gives excellent shine
  • Protects the paint
  • Is suitable for all vehicles, including boats and airplanes
  • Rinse is not necessary

What’s not to like?

  • Is not suitable for extremely dirty cars. Its cleaning power is average.

2. Optimum (NRWW2012Q) No Rinse Wash & Wax

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Another formula of Optimum comes at a slightly higher price than the previous product. It comes in a 32-ounce bottle, but it is available in smaller capacities, too. This product combines the benefits of the soap and wax and offers an amazing shine.

Just like its cheaper brother above, it is suitable for all vehicle types, including those who are made of wood and glass. It can be used with both microfiber clothes and wash mitts. Although it is a high-quality product, owners of black cars might not like it so much, as improper use of the product might cause scratches in the paint.

What’s to like about Optimum (NRWW2012Q) No Rinse Wash & Wax – 32 oz.?

  • Is affordable
  • Is available in multiple sizes
  • Contains polymers
  • Gives mind-blowing shine
  • Contains wax

What’s not to like?

  • Could cause paint imperfections on dark cars

3. Griot’s Garage 11148 

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This car wash soap from Griot’s Garage comes in a 1-gallon container that will last you forever. It is more expensive than the previous products, but its double price comes with its benefits.

First of all, this product includes 15.75 x 15.75 inches micro fiber wash cloths for the interior of the car. It is suitable for quick dusting and superficial dirt and it can be used as a lubricant for the clay bar.

It is based on natural wax, which makes it perfect if you want to give your car the shine it deserves. Despite these advantages, it is not that effective for extremely dirty cars, as it does not make enough foam.

What’s to like about Griot’s Garage 11148 1-Gallon Speed Shine 3-Pack?

  • Has 1-gallon capacity
  • Is made of natural wax
  • Gives the car an amazing shine
  • Compatible with any type of paint
  • Includes micro fiber towels
  • It is suitable for boats

What’s not to like?

  • Not effective when the car is really dirty

4. Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Cleaner

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This all-purpose cleaner from Dr. Bronner’s is affordable, concentrated and it can be used for any time of surface, including floors and laundry. Make no mistake, though: this is not a detailer.

This product is made of plant-based surfactants and essential oils. It does not contain fragrances or dyes and it is effective in both cold and hot water. More importantly, this product’s effectiveness is not affected by the hard water.  It produces a lot of foam and it is suitable for dirty cars.

What’s to like about Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade and Organic Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner – 32 oz?

  • Has a capacity of 32 ounces
  • Is suitable for all surfaces
  • Makes a lot of foam
  • Is cheap
  • Works the same in soft or hard water
  • Its quality is not influenced by temperature
  • Is suitable for carpet cleaning

What’s not to like?

  • Does not kill germs and is not antibacterial

5. The Man Sham Chamois Cloth

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Among the best rated soaps out there, there’s got to be a product that does the job better than a car wash soap. Are you wondering why this product is here? Well, such a high-quality cloth that has been specially designed for cars can’t stay out.

At less than $16, this product will make your car shine and will retain as much water as possible. As advertised, this cloth does 5 towels’ work. Sounds pretty unbelievable, doesn’t it? Luckily, the manufacturer came up with the 6-month money back guarantee, which makes through all those question marks in the garbage.

What’s to like about The Man Sham Chamois Cloth?

  • Is affordable
  • Has the ability to retain a lot of water
  • Is great for detail work
  • Dries up fast
  • Has a sponge-like structure
  • Is made of PVA
  • Comes with 6-month money-back guarantee

What’s not to like?

  • Several buyers stated that few spots still remain on the vehicle’s exterior after using this towel

6. Enthusiasts Only Waterless Car Wash

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Enthusiasts Only comes with a car wash soap that convinces buyers with its unique bottle design. This product has two caps and a capacity of 16 ounces. It is easy to work with due to its unusual shape. This product is waterless and extremely concentrated. Therefore, a smaller soap is required when washing your car.

This product includes a free cloth and is extremely practical, because you can wash your car anywhere and at any time, without being required to rinse it off. Also, no bucket or additional equipment is necessary. This is definitely the ultimate detailer and it comes at a great price.

What’s to like about Enthusiasts Only Waterless Car Wash Concentrate 16 fl. oz.?

  • Is affordable
  • Has a unique design with two caps
  • Includes a cloth
  • No rinse is necessary
  • Is concentrated
  • Contains polymers

What’s not to like?

  • It is just a detailer, not suitable for dirty vehicles

7. Griot’s Garage 11146 Speed Shine

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Another great product from Griot’s Garage! This detailer is an excellent product for your detail routine. It is inexpensive and suitable for dirty surfaces. Its 35-ounce capacity will last you a long time, as it is concentrated. The great thing about this product is that it can be used on other painted surfaces, too.

It provides you with a shiny surface immediately and will help you maintain the wax for a longer period of time. On the other hand, if you want to remove wax, this is not the product you are looking for. It can remove dirt, though.

What’s to like about Griot’s Garage 11146 Speed Shine – 35 oz.?

  • Is affordable
  • Is multi-functional
  • Removes dirt
  • Offers shine
  • Is a great detailer
  • Is a great lubricant for car clay

What’s not to like?

  • Is better for colorful cars rather than black ones

8. Dri Wash ‘n Guard Car Wash

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Unlike previously reviewed products, this one is a bit pricier. Its 32-ounce bottle contains concentrated product that requires no water or rinse. At the same time, no water recipient is required when washing your car using this soap. Although its price is higher than expected, it brings a lot of advantages.

For starters, it protects your vehicle from harmful UV rays, cleans and seals the paint. It doesn’t scratch the surface of your car under any circumstances and in case any of that is not as advertised, you will get your money back.

What’s to like about 32oz Dri Wash ‘n Guard Classic Waterless Car Wash?

  • Is concentrated
  • Requires no rinse or water
  • Protects the surface from UV rays
  • Has money-back guarantee
  • Includes a free pumper

What’s not to like?

  • Is a bit too expensive

9. Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate 

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As its brand’s name suggests, this product is suitable for those who enjoy having an eco-friendly behavior. This product doesn’t have to be rinsed after use. It contains polymers, it is plant-based and concentrated. Require a dilution of only 1:25 for light cleaning.

More importantly for ecology enthusiasts, it was not tested on animals, As for the dirt, it does remove it and it also leaves the exterior surface of your car beautiful and shiny. Also, it can be used with your clay bar.

What’s to like about Eco Touch (WCW16C) Waterless Car Wash Concentrate – 16 oz.?

  • Is affordable
  • Contains polymers
  • Is eco-friendly
  • Is concentrated
  • Can be used as a lubricant for the clay bar
  • Gives excellent shine

What’s not to like?

  • Buyers need to follow the instructions when diluting the product, otherwise dirt will not be completely removed and the surface can be scratched.

10. Duragloss 901 Red Car Wash Concentrate

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This is probably the cheapest car wash soap on the market. If you are on a tight budget, this is perfect for you, as it offers good value for money. Its bottle has a 16-ounce capacity that contains non-acidic and non-alkaline liquid. Its formula helps the car dry quickly after it has been washed.

Only 1 ounce of product is required for 3 gallons of water and although its bottle is small, it will last you for a long time. The good thing is that it will not remove the wax off your car.

What’s to like about Duragloss 901 Red Car Wash Concentrate – 16 oz.?

  • Is very cheap
  • Does not remove wax
  • Is great for dirt removal
  • Is concentrated
  • Produces a lot of foam
  • Accelerates the drying process

What’s not to like?

  • Not like professional detailers. It doesn’t offer an excellent shine.


It might seem easy to choose the best car wash soap or detailer for your needs, until you get online or at the auto section in any supermarket. There are so many options and unfortunately, you can’t buy them all. When choosing the right product, it is important not to invest too much money on car wash and to stick to your needs.

The products above are mostly inexpensive, but have been created using various formulas that make them so different from one another. In the event that you have no experience with car wash soaps whatsoever, read the instructions carefully. Otherwise, you might end up buying a detailer when what you actually need is a good soap to remove all the dirt from your off-road vehicle.