Washing your car is a boring chore for some, and a labour of love for others. Regardless of whether you enjoy it or not, it’s important to do it, and do it right.
An essential for washing a car is car shampoo. Simply added to a bucket of water, the best car shampoos remove dirt and grime easily and help water flow off the bodywork to avoid smears when you come to dry it.
How do I pick a good car shampoo?
You can buy just shampoos, or products that both shampoo and wax. For the best results, use a shampoo first, then fully wax or polish the car afterwards. If you use a shampoo and wax, it will add a layer of short-term protection from dirt and road grime (possibly up to a month's worth) to the paintwork - which also gives it an added depth of shine. The protective film from shampoo and wax products also mean you’ll notice the water run off the car quicker.
You’re best off avoiding shampoos that have TFRs (Traffic Film Remover) and APCs (all purpose cleaner), which are strong but could strip off some of the protection from the paintwork. These will be listed in the COSHH (control of substances and hazards to health regulations) sheet, which can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. They are quite rare, but it's still something to be aware of.
The best car shampoos clean thoroughly and enable water beading off the car after washing, to make drying easier.
How did we test them?
We used the instructed amount of product for a two gallon (9.0-litre) bucket of water to test the shampoos.
The quoted prices were the best ones we could find online (excluding postage), while the price per wash has been worked out using the amount of shampoo each product recommends in the two gallon (9.0-litre) bucket of water.
Many car shampoos are available in different sizes and, where possible, we’ve used prices for 500ml bottles.
Watch our video review
Read on to read our car shampoo reviews and find out which is the best you can buy
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