Ah, car wash soap, one of my favorite products to have a debate over. Some car owners won’t have any issues telling you that all soaps are the same and the one you choose doesn’t matter. Others, like me, will stick to a few choices and maybe even just one. For most car owners, once you get “good enough” results from your car wash soap, there’s little reason to try another product. The more important question is, how do you know if your results are good enough?
Before we dig deeper into what makes a car wash soap better than others, we should discuss why car wash soap even exists. You see, you don’t want to use your standard dishwashing liquid because that can strip away your car’s wax and dull its finish. When it comes to washing your car, you’ll want a car wash soap that is pH balanced (or neutral) and is designed specifically to protect your car’s surface.
With that out of the way, I won’t sit here and argue that a specific car wash soap is significantly better than another. I do believe there is some truth in saying that most quality car wash soaps—like our recommendations below—will yield similar results. This is particularly true if you regularly wash your car and take good care of its exterior with routine coats of wax. Where you might see a difference is when your car is really dirty and how effective it is at getting all that dirt off with little effort.
You really can’t go wrong with any of our recommendations below for keeping your Porsche nice and clean. While I personally prefer some products over others, I wouldn’t have an issue using any of these on my car.
1. Top pick: Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Foaming Car Wash Soap
This car wash soap is a personal favorite of mine and it’s the one I’ve been using for years. It’s a concentrated solution, so a little goes a long way. If you get the recommended 64-ounce bottle, it should last you a few months depending on how often you wash your car. Each wash needs just one to three ounces in a five-gallon bucket and you’ll be good to go.
Like all the other quality car wash soaps we recommend on this list, Chemical Guys’ Mr. Pink is pH balanced so it’ll be gentle on your car’s surface. It’s safe to use on waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings and this is just purely a car wash soap, with no wax in it. There is however, premium gloss enhancers to bring out the shine. It can be used with a foam cannon, which is how I personally use it. Expect plenty of suds with this soap for an easy wash, and if it matters to you, it’s got a candy-like scent to it.
2. Runner-up: Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo
If I’m being honest, this list really should read as 1a and 1b at the very top, as my runner-up pick is comparable to Chemical Guys’ Mr. Pink. But we’re here to make shopping for the best car wash soap as easy as possible, which means clearly defining a top pick. But for those who are actually reading why I picked these recommendations instead of just clicking the button and making a purchase, Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo is also a concentrated solution and the recommended one-gallon bottle might even last you a full year.
Designed to be gentle on all surfaces, it’s a pH neutral formula that will clean without stripping your wax, like all of our recommendations. It’ll provide plenty of suds when washing your car, with a nice slick feel as you glide your hand mitt on the surface, getting rid of all that dirt and grime.
If I had to do a blind wash and smell test, it would probably be difficult for me to know the difference between this recommendation from Adam’s and Chemical Guys’ Mr. Pink.
3. Best wash & wax: Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax
One of the most trusted brands in the car care industry, Meguiar’s offers a fantastic wash & wax solution with this recommendation. Accurately named Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax, this car wash soap is ideal for Porsche owners who don’t have the time to routinely give their car a fresh coat of wax. While it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for a proper wax job, it does offer additional protection, which is better than none.
This car wash solution uses carnauba wax and synthetic polymer technology to leave behind wax protection and it’s pH balanced so it naturally won’t strip away any wax while it cleans. This is also the car wash soap we’d recommend if you aren’t using a foam cannon and pressure washer to wash your car.
4. Best waterless car wash: Aero Cosmetics Wash Wax ALL
We know not everyone has easy access to a hose, bucket, and all the other necessities you need to properly wash your car. For some, a waterless car wash solution is what’s needed and for that, we recommend Aero Cosmetics’ Wash Wax ALL. The company says it’s used by Air Force One, Marine One, NASA, and more, so we reckon it’ll be good enough for your Porsche. This water-based solution is alcohol and ammonia free, making it safe to use on all surfaces. It’s an eco-friendly formula that is biodegradable and meets several cleaning specifications from companies such as Boeing Aircraft, Airbus Industries, and McDonnell Douglas CDS.
So how does it work? Simply put the solution in a spray bottle and grab yourself a damp towel. Spray it on an area of your car and use the damp towel to wipe it all away. Then, you’ll want to dry that area with a different towel before moving onto another section of your car. While it’s definitely a more tedious way to wash your car, it’s the best solution for those who can’t use a hose.
It’s worth noting that if your car’s surface is particularly dirty and has gritty materials on it like sand or mud, you’ll want to find a way to rinse that off before using this car wash soap.
5. Also consider: Mothers California Gold Car Wash
Another reputable brand in the car care market is Mothers and its California Gold car wash is worth a mention. It’s an affordable, quality car wash soap that is great for those who are on a budget or are skeptical about the promises that more expensive soaps claim. If you keep up with washing your car on a weekly basis and maintain a coat of wax, this car wash soap is probably all you need.
The pH balanced formula is designed to clean without stripping away your wax, one of the main requirements we have for any car wash soap we recommend. So if you know you’re taking good care of the exterior of your car and don’t endure a lot of rain and snow, opt for this car wash soap and spend a bit more on wax or even ceramic coating.
What car wash soap works best with a foam cannon?
There are specific car wash soaps that work better with a foam cannon than others. If you’re using a pressure washer and a foam cannon to wash your car, stick with either Chemical Guys Mr. Pink or Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo, our top two recommendations. I’ve personally used both with a foam cannon and have gotten great results.