Can I Use Shampoo To Wash My Car?

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Some drivers wash their cars daily, while others have different routines for washing their cars.

Similarly, different drivers use different cleaning agents to wash their cars; while some may use car washing soaps, others may tend to use vinegar, detergents, and even shampoos, etc.

But is shampoo a good product for car wash? Can I use shampoo to wash my car? Yes, you can use shampoo to wash your car if that’s the only available option. But there are a few things to note while washing your car with shampoo, which we’ll discuss below. And if you have other cleaning agents, I won’t use shampoo.

However, to achieve the best car wash results, some people prefer taking their vehicles to automatic car wash centers.

But this is not actually the best way to make your car look extremely clean as you want; using some special cleaning agents and materials will actually do the magic. Now, the question is, what cleaning agent should you use to wash your car?

Can I Use Shampoo To Wash My Car?

Can I Use Shampoo To Wash My Car

Assumedly, you noticed that your car paint feels greasy and full of thick grime, so you were wondering if it’d be cool to use “hair shampoo” to wash the car? Inarguably, shampoos work to remove grease and dirt from hairs, and you can also use them to wash your hands.

Shampoos tend to loosen dirt so that you can rinse off with clean water, even on car paints. But it’s quite confusing to understand if shampoos contain some kind of chemical ingredients that could eat off your car paint over time.

There are different types of shampoos people use every day for various purposes. But the most common type is “Hair Shampoos.” Regardless, of the type you have at home, it is pretty safe to use shampoos to wash your car when you cannot access your regular car wash soap.

>>>Note: The shampoo we recommend for a car wash is .

Yeah, the truth is, shampoos have almost the same chemical formulation as car wash soaps and other detergents used in washing vehicles. However, it is advisable not to allow the shampoo to sit for a long time before rinsing off with clean water.

In most auto fora, you’ll find a few people kicking against the use of shampoos as car wash soap – since it could eat off your car’s paint.

Well, that’s true to some extent, shampoos can eat up your car paint, but that could only happen if you always allow it to sit for a long time before rinsing off.

With all that has been said so far, it is apparently the shampoos are good to be used as a substitute for car wash soaps; however, using shampoos call for more consciousness and agility. Below is a clear guide on how to wash your car with shampoos.

Read Also: Can Bleach Ruin Car Paint?

How To Wash A Car Using Shampoos

How To Wash A Car Using Shampoos

Well, it’s still the same way you’d wash the car using regular car wash soap, but this time, you have to rinse earlier to avoid possible potential paint damages.

1. Mix Shampoo and Water

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You need two buckets – one would contain clean water while the other would contain the shampoo/water mix. So, pour water into one of the buckets and add shampoo to it; there’s no perfect mix ratio here; just pour in enough shampoo.

The other bucket should be filled with clean water. If you’re using a pressure washer, keep it close and ensure that you’re using the right nozzle for car wash. Not using the right pressure washer nozzle, suitable for car wash, may damage some stuff in your car.

2. Wet The Car

Alright, after reading the buckets or pressure washer, next is to wet the car. You should know that it is important to wet a car before you start the actual washing.

So, splash/spray water on the car’s body. Dip a microfiber towel into the bucket containing the shampoo/water mix and start washing the car.

3. Rinse Off Spots

When you pour the shampoo water on your car to wash a spot, ensure that you rinse off the spot as quickly as possible.

Do not allow the shampoo water to dry on the car before rinsing; hence, you should not wait until you have covered/washed a large area before you start to rinse off.

Continue in this manner until you have washed the entire car. We’d not advise you to wash your car interior with shampoo; if you need to clean the inside of your car, there’s a simple way to clean car interior.

4. Dry Your Car

After the wash, dry your car with another clean microfiber towel (don’t use the same one you used in washing the car) to avoid water spots showing up on your car’s paint.

What More?

Some people allege that shampoos do eat off waxes or clear coat (if the car isn’t waxed). While this claim isn’t a “FACT,” we’d yet advise that you regularly wax your car to prevent paint damages that may want to ruin its shiny appearance.

Car waxes aren’t expensive, and you can apply them by yourself following some simple DIY tricks. More interestingly, it won’t take you the whole day to wax your car right in your compound. Just a chip, it’s safer to use foams or microfiber towels/rags for washing cars instead of using sponges.

What Else Can Be Used To Wash A Car Asides Shampoo?

If you’re not confident to use shampoo to wash your car, you can use any regular detergent that’s used in the house for home cleaning or dishwashing.

The truth is, you can use virtually any cleaning agent that’s used for other types of cleanings/washings to wash your car. But, it is not all of them are safe for your car paint.

Read Also: Can Shaving Cream Ruin Car Paint?


So, “can I use shampoo to wash my car?” the simple answer is YES. Shampoo can be used to wash a car and nothing is going to happen to the paint.

But then, you should adhere to the precautions of using shampoos as your car wash soap; just as the saying goes, “to before warn, is to before harm.”

More so, if you regularly use shampoo to wash your car, you should also wax the car regularly to prevent paint damages. If you noticed some defects or scratches on your car while washing it, purchase an auto repair kit, read the label instructions, and fix the car yourself.

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