Car Shampoo 101

Date Published
Published by

Every car owner takes pride in catching a peek of their pristine, newly washed vehicle out of the window and it’s one of the main sources of enjoyment for those into car detailing. Maintaining an attractive aesthetic to the car’s exterior is all down to the products you choose to clean it with, and a good car shampoo can be the difference between a smeared and streaky paint job and a mirror shine.

Don’t Choose One with Wax Added

Many car shampoos on the market today come with wax added to them, for those people who want to skip the full-on wax later down the line but don’t want to skip out on the protection it offers. While these may seem like a time-saving choice, the layer of wax they produce isn’t hardwearing and long-lasting and as it’s generally applied early on in the cleaning process, it can actually trap dirt and grime beneath it. Instead, use a washing-only shampoo and put a bit more effort into an actual wax later on in the process.

Choose the Right PH

If a car shampoo is not alkaline or acidic then it is described as pH neutral and whether or not you want to opt for acid, alkaline, or neutral formula will depend on how dirty the car is. Acid and alkaline formulas are better for tougher cleaning jobs as they are slightly stronger and cut through thick dirt with much less scrubbing. However, as they are abrasive, they can also cause damage to the paint, so if the car is only in need of a light wash, best to stick with pH-neutral car shampoo.

Always Pre-Wash

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their car is going straight in with the car shampoo instead of completing a pre-wash. Using a snow foam gun, apply a coat of snow foam to the car and leave it to dwell, which will help lift off heavy dirt without the need for scrubbing that can lead to scratches.