Best Overall
Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow

A sensible all-around car wash soap.

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Best Value
Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds

An Amazon bestseller with powerful suds.

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Best Foam
Armor All Car Wash Formula

A tried-and-true name in car wash soaps.

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Best
Two-in-One
Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax

A bargain two-in-one wash and wax combo.

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Best for Beginners
Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

A streak-free car wash soap great for all vehicles.

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Thinking about using dish soap to wash your car? Think again. 

Car wash soaps, much like shampoos that we use on ourselves, are specially designed for a specific surface type to improve long-term health and prevent damage. The right soap for your car, therefore, should be chosen with care. Fortunately, our team of expert reviewers has tested the best car wash soaps on the market to help you find the right one for your vehicle.

Best Car Wash Soaps

#1 Best Overall: Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow

The Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow being used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

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Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow received our Best Overall pick because of its formidable cleaning capabilities at a price that won’t break your budget. Its concentrated formula makes car cleaning a breeze for the everyday motorist and will leave the surface of your car shiny and protected.

The soap’s honeydew aroma is also enticing and pairs well with its spot-free shine. 

Key Features

  • Available in 16.0-, 64.0-, and 128.0-ounce sizes
  • One cap of soap per 5.0 gallons of water
  • pH neutral
  • Honeydew melon scent
  • Safe on all car surfaces
  • Sudsy formula
  • Streak- and spot-resistant

Our Experience

Because the Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow soap scored well across all of our team’s review categories, we highly recommend it. It smelled amazing, and we couldn’t get enough of the snow-like foam it formed over our testing car.

  • Scent: As its name implies, this soap smells just like a fresh honeydew melon. The scent isn’t too overpowering, so sensitive noses can breathe easy.
  • Concentration: For our testing purposes, we used less than an ounce of soap with a 1.0-gallon bucket and were nearly overwhelmed with the suds it produced.
  • Foaminess: The Honeydew Snow foamed easily with medium stirring and spread easily across the test car. Suds created a snow foam layer over the car that was easy to scrub and eventually rinse.
  • Streak/Spot Resistance: Our vehicle had no evidence of streaks after washing. Water spots were also not present.
Overall Rating4.8 out of 5
Scent5
Concentration5
Foaminess4.5
Streak and Spot Resistance5

What Customers Are Saying

Over 27,000 Amazon customers give this car wash soap an average score of 4.7 stars, with 81 percent of reviews being a perfect 5 stars. 

Many reviewers rave about the soap’s foaming abilities, likening it to a layer of snow that rests on their cars. They also like the scent that comes along with it. Many positive reviews are from car owners who used pressure washers to spray their vehicles and microfiber towels for drying. 

What Is It Good For?

If you want longevity and protection with a fresh scent for your car, then the Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow car soap may be right for you. This soap is great for anyone looking to complete a basic wash of their vehicle.

#2 Best Value: Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds

The Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds being used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

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Chemical Guys Mr. Pink is the number one bestseller on Amazon for car wash soaps because of its excellent grime-stopping properties. Its suds-heavy formula of slick polymers and hyper surfactants is superb at lifting dirt from vehicles, reducing the amount of time you need to spend scrubbing.

Key Features

  • Available in 16.0-, 64.0-, and 128.0-oz sizes
  • One cap of soap per gallon of water
  • pH neutral
  • Light fruity smell
  • Suds-heavy formula
  • Streak- and spot-resistant

Our Experience

One thing we really enjoyed about using Mr. Pink was its high amount of suds produced with minimal effort.

  • Scent: Although the Mr. Pink soap had a fruity and slightly chemically smell, it wasn’t very strong during or after the wash.
  • Concentration: An ounce of soap was plenty for our 1.0-gallon water bucket to start foaming with medium-effort mixing.
  • Foaminess: There’s a reason Chemical Brothers calls this “super suds.” We were blown away by the amount of foam produced, which rinsed well off of the car.
  • Streak/Spot Resistance: We found no noticeable residue left from Mr. Pink, even after drying. 
Overall Rating4.7 out of 5
Scent4
Concentration5
Foaminess5
Streak and Spot Resistance5

What Customers Are Saying

Just over 37,000 Amazon customers have reviewed this product for an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 79 percent of all reviews being 5 stars. Many of the positive reviews praise the Mr. Pink Super Suds cleaner for its powerful foaming ability and compatibility with waxed cars. 

While there are few negative reviews about this product, some of the positive ones recommend using a foam gun or foam cannon for the best results.

What Is It Good For?

For any car owner who wants an incredibly foamy wash that won’t damage their previously waxed car, consider the Chemical Brothers Mr. Pink Super Suds Shampoo and Superior Surface Cleanser.

#3 Best Foam: Armor All Car Wash Formula

The Armor All Car Wash Formula being used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

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Coming up on its 60th birthday this year, Armor All has been a trusted name in car care for generations. It’s no wonder, then, that its Car Wash Formula stands as one of our team’s favorite car wash soaps.

Key Features

  • Available in 24.0-oz container
  • 1.0 oz. of soap per gallon of water
  • pH neutral
  • New car scent
  • Safe on all car surfaces
  • Very sudsy
  • Streak- and spot-resistant
  • Microfiber towel and soap kits available

Our Experience

While the Armor All Car Wash Formula was tough on tackling dirt and grime with its strong foam, it left a slight chemical odor.

  • Scent: The Armor All soap had a chemical smell when being applied to the car. However, it was reminiscent of the new car smell one gets with a fresh purchase. 
  • Concentration: An ounce of soap per gallon of water was plenty, only requiring light mixing to create a sudsy foam.
  • Foaminess: The foam also stayed on the car very well and was tough on car grime, but took some effort to rinse off.
  • Streak/Spot Resistance: One thing we particularly liked about this soap was its ability to dissolve dirt streaks without leaving streaks of its own. It also left no streaks on the sunroof nor water spots on the surface of the car.
Overall Rating4.6 out of 5
Scent4
Concentration5
Foaminess4.5
Streak and Spot Resistance5

What Customers Are Saying

Over 2,200 Amazon customers have given the Armor All Car Wash Formula an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 76 percent of reviews being 5 stars. Many of the positive reviews highlight the streak-free shine of the soap leaves and its foaminess.

One common trend among reviews is how well this soap works with the partnering microfiber sponge from Armor All, which can be purchased as a kit on Amazon.

What Is It Good For?

The Armor All Car Wash Formula is suited for first-time car washers and those who don’t mind a lot of extra foam. Although the scent might not win you over, this is a perfect basic car wash soap for anyone looking for a quick rinse.

#4 Best Two-In-One: Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax

The Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax being used to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

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Want wax protection on your car without having to do the waxing? Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax keeps your car’s paint job looking brand new while also providing optimal protection.

Key Features

  • Available in 48.0-oz or 1.0-gallon containers
  • 1.0 oz. of soap per gallon of water
  • pH neutral
  • Soap and wax combination
  • Safe on all car surfaces
  • Sudsy formula

Our Experience

Although it left a great finish on painted surfaces and created a good foam, the Meguiar’s product required some heavy stirring.   

  • Scent: Meguiar’s left a chemical odor after being applied to the car.
  • Concentration: An ounce of soap per gallon of water was enough to create foam suitable for washing.  
  • Foaminess: The soap was very foamy, but not without effort. The wax soap sat in the bottom of the bucket in a clump and required extra stirring to create foam.
  • Streak/Spot Resistance: There were no streaks or water spots left on the paint surfaces of the car, but all glass washed had light water spots leftover.    
Overall Rating4.6 out of 5
Scent4
Concentration5
Foaminess4.5
Streak and Spot Resistance5

What Customers Are Saying

Around 4,000 Amazon customers rate the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. A total of 84 percent of these reviews are 5 stars, claiming the product is the ultimate wax product for getting a brilliant finish.

There are very few negative reviews of this product, but some claim that a separate wash and wax process will obtain longer-lasting results.

What Is It Good For?

If you want the durability of car wax without paying for a professional detailer, Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax may be perfect for your needs. Although it takes extra time and effort to properly wash with this soap, the end result is worthwhile for any motor enthusiast.

#5 Best For Beginners: Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

The Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo being used with a microfiber towel to clean the exterior of a vehicle.

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This soap is ideal for any car owner who likes a basic wash for easy-to-handle road grime and other contaminants. Its formula is perfect for weekly washes without damaging your paint and can be purchased with a bucket and glove as a great DIY kit for beginners.

Key Features

  • Available in 16.0-oz, 1.0-gallon, or 5.0-gallon bottles
  • 1.0 oz. of soap per gallon of water
  • pH neutral
  • Wildberry smell
  • Safe on all car surfaces
  • Sudsy formula

Our Experience

We had to scrub slightly harder with Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo than other car wash soaps we tested, but it performed well, leaving our test vehicle with great shine.

  • Scent: During and after washing, the soap produced a berry scent that was very subtle. There was no hint of a chemical smell.
  • Concentration: An ounce of soap per gallon of water created enough suds for a wash with ease.
  • Foaminess: A medium amount of foam was produced by light mixing, and the foam was easy to spread and rinse.
  • Streak/Spot Resistance: No evidence of streaks or spots was found after washing and drying. But the soap wasn’t strong enough to handle tougher stains on the car such as tree sap, ground-in dirt in crevices, and old bird droppings.
Overall Rating4.4 out of 5
Scent5
Concentration5
Foaminess4.5
Streak and Spot Resistance3.5

What Customers Are Saying

With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 2,000 Amazon reviews, Adam’s shampoo is liked among customers. A total of 86 percent of reviews are 5-star ratings, with many customers detailing how pleasant their cars shined after use.

There are not many negative reviews for this soap, but the few that exist claim the 16.0-oz. bottle is difficult to use or damages easily in shipping.

What Is It Good For?

For an introduction to car cleaning products, Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo is a safe bet. Its soap may not be as tough on stains as other choices, but the value for a great wash is still worthwhile.

Best Car Wash Soaps Buyers Guide

When buying a car wash soap, it’s important to consider the vital features that the product must have to be effective.

Scent

If you are sensitive to strong odors or have a loved one that may be, it’s important to consider how strongly a car wash soap will smell. It’s best to avoid soaps that have a chemical smell and try to use those with a more subtle, inviting scent.

Concentration

A soap with a high concentration of polymers will need less water to be effective. This not only provides you with a more thorough wash but also requires a lower soap-to-water ratio so you can get more washes for less money.

Foaminess

Foaming car washes are better than others because foam is more effective at picking up dirt and grime than a typical waterless car wash. Lubricity is important to consider, as well, so that you can expend less effort for a better result.

Water Spot And Streak Resistance

Besides keeping your paintwork fresh, car wash soaps that are resistant to water spots and streaks are better for auto detailing needs. Swirl marks can be detrimental to your car’s wax job so the less, the better.

Other Considerations

Be sure that your soap is pH-balanced before purchasing, as an unbalanced soap can cause long-term damage to your car. Also consider investing in wash products such as buckets, wash mitts, microfiber towels, and even a foam gun to perform the best possible cleanup for your vehicle. If you are worried about your environmental impact, consider a biodegradable car wash soap, as well.

Our Review Standards

The best car wash soaps in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors like Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. Our product testing team ordered the five car wash soaps that best met these standards.

Best Car Wash Soaps Testing Process

A team member tested each product on a car, taking note of how much foam the soaps produced, how strong of a scent they left, the concentration of the soap-to-water ratio, and how many streaks and water spots they left behind.

Each soap was tested according to the instructions provided by its respective manufacturer. Our product review team rinsed a single dirty car with water, applied each soap to a specified area, and then rinsed again with clean water.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Data accurate at time of publication.