Alternatives to Car Wash Soap: DIY Car Wash Solutions

VD September 09 2021

When you have a car that you love, your desire to keep it sparkling clean is absolutely natural. No one likes to drive a muddy and dusty vehicle. Appearance aside, if your car is dirty, it may lead to a number of issues because there are chances that some of the dirt and debris can find their way to the sensitive parts of the vehicle.

There is no doubt that car wash solutions can be expensive, plus, some of these solutions can be filled with harsh chemicals that are bad both for you and the environment. Fortunately, you can make your own homemade car wash soap out of the typical items that can be easily found in your home.

Car wash alternatives

You will find a surprising number of cleaners and ordinary household soaps that you can use in place of a car wash soap. However, it is worth noting that many gentle cleaners and natural soaps have been offered on the market in the last few years. If you are looking for a car wash alternative, you can use the soaps and cleaners as they have a neutral PH and are much softer, as a result.

  • Dish soap

You must be wondering can you wash a car with dish soap? The answer is that it is among the most common car wash soap alternatives and can be a long-term solution. Although dish soap has a stellar reputation of being an inexpensive replacement, you might be surprised to know that a car wash soap can be more damaging when used as a proper car wash replacement.

  • Shampoo

The shampoo is among the best alternatives to the car wash soap out of all the household products that you may have. Unlike the laundry detergent or a homemade car wash soap, it is not made from harsh chemicals and is specially designed to be used on your skin. Baby shampoo is something that is relatively closer to the car wash soap when it is about gentleness on your car paint, but it may also not be that effective. Therefore, it is recommended to dilute shampoo with water before you use it on the vehicle.

  • Laundry detergent

Working as a once-and-done solution to clean the car, laundry detergent is also quite like dish soap. If you are to use it for a long time, it may result in some damage because there are usually some powerful chemicals used to get rid of the dirt on your clothes. These chemicals do the cleaning job excellent on the car but cannot be that much vehicle-friendly. Try to use water for diluting the detergent before using it, as it may be harsh to the car paint.

  • DIY car wash soap

The soaps, as well as cleaners that you have in your home, can be helpful for you to make a large number of DIY car wash solutions. The majority of the best ones include baking soda, water or a homemade car wash soap, and even and combination of many ingredients. The top DIY car wash soap uses a natural pH soap, a mild soap, or a natural cleaner.

How to make homemade car wash soap?

If you have tried different car wash soap alternatives, and none of these work well for you, then the best alternative for you will be to make a car wash solution at home. Such a car wash solution can offer you better control over different ingredients, and it can be easily fine-tuned to meet your specific requirements.

You may need some shaved mild soap or a cup of liquid soap, a bucket of warm water, and two cold water buckets. Add this liquid soap to an empty tub, and later on, pour in the warm water. With the help of a long spoon or a stick, you need to stir it thoroughly in order to mix both the ingredients and try to break down the soap chunks so that they can be completely dissolved. When the soap mixture is allowed to sit for a while, you will find it ready to be used on the vehicle.


Typically, car cleaning is not a complicated process, and you may only need to have a good wash soap, a bucket, a clean microfiber cloth, and a lot of water. You can have a car wash soap alternative that can be helpful for you to clean the vehicle without a car wash. Most often, the alternative can be different things that you already have in your house, like a homemade car wash soap, a baby shampoo, laundry detergent, and baking soda. 

When using any alternative to a car wash, you need to make sure that nothing harsh is used on the car's paint surface because you would never want to damage it.