Did you know that the average American has spent nearly $2,000 on car maintenance and repairs over the past 5 years? If you’re looking for ways to cut back on how much you spend on your car, you might want to consider washing it at home to reduce your maintenance costs.
In that case, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of how to properly wash your car. This includes learning about the different types of car soap. Well, you’ve come to the right place to learn more!
Read through this guide to learn more about the best car soap, depending on your needs, so you can keep your vehicle looking great for years to come.
Surface Prep (Wax Stripping) Soap
Whether you own a car detailing business or you just want your car to look like it’s been professionally detailed, it helps to start with a clean surface. That means you need to remove any wax that’s currently on your vehicle. The best car shampoo to do this will be a surface prep soap, also known as a wax stripping shampoo.
This particular type of car soap is made with degreasers that help break down and strip away the old layers of wax and sealant to reveal the clean surface below. Most of the time, this type of car shampoo is used in preparation for other types of detailing work, to lead to the best possible results.
Super Foaming Soap
Super foaming car shampoos are probably what come to mind when you think of car soap. This mixture has become very popular over the last several years, as more and more car owners have become interested in touchless washing techniques instead of using a garden hose and a bucket. One of the most convenient touchless washing methods is to use a car foam gun.
As its name suggests, super foaming soap is extremely sudsy. The added lubrication in the mixture reduces the risk of scratching your car’s paint as you wash it, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally damaging your car when you remove dirt and grime.
Wash and Wax Soap
Looking for a way to clean and protect your car’s exterior without having to do a bunch of extra work yourself? In that case, wash and wax soap could be just the solution you’re looking for. This formula serves as a 2-in-1 soap option, essentially acting like soap and wax.
This type of car shampoo is specifically formulated to remove dirt, debris, and grime from your car’s paint. But, unlike other car soaps, it also leaves behind a protective layer of wax on the surface of your vehicle. The end result is a clean, shiny car, with added protection against the elements. What could be better than that?
Vinyl and PPF Soap
If you have a vinyl coat or paint protection film (PPF) on your car’s exterior, you need to take extra care while cleaning it. Fortunately, there are several different vinyl and PPF car shampoos on the market to make it easier for you. These soaps are specifically designed for cleaning cars with either PPF or vinyl films so they won’t damage the surface.
Most of these soaps have a neutral pH formula to help keep your car in good shape. Additionally, most of them also include a sealant or synthetic wax solution to help protect your vinyl or PPF coating from UV damage. Much like the wash and wax soap we discussed above, this helps keep your car clean and protected for longer.
Wheel Cleaning Soap
When you’re detailing your car, it’s easy to overlook your wheels, but it’s important to keep them clean! If you don’t, dust and debris will build up over time, which can get inside your brakes, potentially causing issues down the road. Unfortunately, wheels can be notoriously hard to keep clean, since they take the majority of the beating while you drive.
To get your wheels back to looking like they did when you drove off the lot, you’ll need to use wheel cleaning/iron removal soap to get the job done. This is a bit of a harsher formula, designed to remove stubborn iron stains on your wheels that regular soap won’t.
Infused Ceramic Soap
Ceramic coating is quickly emerging as a popular technique to help protect vehicle paint, especially for newer cars. Of course, it makes sense that you’d need to use a specific soap for this type of coating. Infused ceramic soaps use SiO2 formula that requires oxygen to adhere to the surface of your car.
This essentially applies a new ceramic layer coating to your car, to give it added protection. Most of the time, these soaps are silicon-based, for best results.
Ceramic Coating Maintenance Soap
While their names are similar, ceramic coating maintenance soap and infused ceramic soap are quite different. While the latter applies a new ceramic coat to your car, the former helps preserve the ceramic coating that’s already on your car.
Since ceramic coating can be an expensive treatment, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep it in good shape and that starts with using a ceramic coating maintenance soap. This formula is gentle and doesn’t contain any natural or synthetic wax since it’s not necessary for ceramic layers.
However, keep in mind that sometimes, ceramic coating maintenance soaps can form a sticky layer on your car’s surface over time. It’s best to talk about a specific ceramic coating cleaning plan with a specialist so you don’t damage your car’s exterior.
Learning About the Different Types of Car Soap
After reading through this guide to the different types of car soap, we hope you have a better idea of what to buy for your vehicle. With regular maintenance and a little elbow grease, you can keep your car looking great for years.
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