3 Different Recipes For Homemade Car Wash Soap

If you want to try making your own car wash soap, there are a number of ways to go about doing this that are easy and economical.

Maybe you don’t have time to go to the store and buy a pre-made car wash cleaner. Or, you don’t feel like spending the money on a retail car cleaner when you’re pretty sure you can try and make one on your own. Whatever the case, learning to make your own car wash soap is fairly simple and you probably already have the ingredients on hand to do so.

Recipes For Homemade Car Wash Soap 1 3 Different Recipes For Homemade Car Wash Soap

Can you make car wash detergent at home?

You can make your own car wash soap in the following 3 ways:

  • Try using a mixture of vinegar and water
  • Try using a baby shampoo (or a shampoo for sensitive skin)
  • Try a mixture of dishwashing detergent and borax

Let’s face it…sometimes it feels as though we spend just as much time in our cars as we do in our homes. And, for the same reason we like our homes to be clean, we like our cars to be, too. ‘But buying a bunch of cleaning agents gets tough on the budget, especially when certain cleaning agents we only use once a month or so.

Finding ways to make your own car shampoo with common household items can be a rewarding experience and better for your wallet and the environment!  There are several ways you can go about making car wash shampoo and I am going to give you a breakdown of how.

I love keeping my cars as clean as the day I bought them, but I don’t always have the time, money, or patience to trek off to a car wash to get the job done. Learning how I can clean my car from ingredients I have at home has been empowering and cuts down on waste, which means I actually end up washing my car more often than I used to. Let me show you how you can enjoy this task too.

How Do I Make Car Wash Soap?

Soap is soap, right? Not necessarily. 

Though we use all sorts of soaps to get things clean – from our bodies, to our hair, to our floors, and cars – soaps come with a variety of different ingredients, based on what we are trying to clean.

Some soaps, like shampoos and body washes, are designed to be less abrasive. You can even purchase these types of cleaners in sensitive formulas, making them even more gentle on certain types of scalps and skin. 

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Other cleaners are meant to be stronger and more powerful on the grunge and grime that gathers on certain surfaces. If you are trying to clean mold and mildew off a deck, for example, you are going to want to use a product that is much more complex than one you would use on your baby’s skin.

So what about cars? We know we don’t want to damage our car’s perfect paint job, but we also want to use something that will rid it of the bird poop, bugs, and watermarks that the last big storm left. And, we want something that isn’t going to leave streaks or be bad for the environment when we rinse it off into the ground below us.

There are several ways you can make a car soap that will be effective in ridding your car of all the normal dirt and grime that collects on it, while also not causing damage to the paint on your car or the ground below it. Most of these products you have at home, and you can experiment with which car wash soap recipe works best for you. 

Recipes For Homemade Car Wash Soap 1 2 3 Different Recipes For Homemade Car Wash Soap

1. Use a Mixture of Vinegar and Water

This is a straightforward car wash recipe that is highly effective at getting most cars clean while maintaining an excellent shine.

Start by putting equal parts of vinegar and water into a bucket. (Using slightly warm water will be best.) Mix the solution for a minute or so, then use a sponge to apply it to your car.

Always start as high as possible first, to avoid streaking.

As you apply the vinegar and water mixture with the sponge, use microfiber cloths to come behind and remove the excess mixture as it begins to dry. 

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Vinegar and water shouldn’t streak, but applying the mixture in partial shade will work best, so the direct sunlight doesn’t dry it too quickly, before you have a chance to wipe it away.

This combination should give your car a gorgeous shine, though some people may find it’s not soapy enough to get rid of stubborn spots on your vehicle (like mud, or crusted-on debris).

You may also find the vinegar smell to be less appealing than one of the next car wash soap recipes.

2. Try Using a Baby Shampoo (or a Shampoo for Sensitive Skin)

If you like a car wash soap that’s a little more sudsy than the one above, this might be a good one to try. And it smells great, too!

Baby shampoos are ideal for cleaning your car’s exterior because they are not only gentle, but they tend to contain fewer chemicals and other ingredients than regular shampoos.

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Sometimes the chemicals in other shampoos can be too harsh on your car’s exterior, and may cause damage if you don’t know exactly what is in them.

Baby shampoos are intentionally made to be easier on a person’s skin and eyes, especially for little people who haven’t yet developed a tough skin and need something that will get them clean without harming them. 

This makes baby shampoo work great for your car, too, especially if you have a special paint job or anything custom done to your vehicle.

To use baby shampoo on your car’s exterior, simply mix a couple of cap fulls of the shampoo in with a bucket of warm water. 

After applying it to your car, use a hose to rinse, then a microfiber cloth to remove any excess soap that may be left over.

Not only should your car shine after this mixture, but it should smell great as well!

And, as with the vinegar and water mixture, your baby shampoo car soap is gentle on the environment as well, since it is devoid of any harsh chemicals that could damage the water table or plant and animal life around your property.

3. Try a Mixture of Dishwashing Detergent and Borax

For the car wash jobs that may need a bit more deep cleaning, this is a good solution to try, that you can create from home.

Start with a ½ cup of dishwashing detergent in one large bucket of warm water. After you mix the dish soap in with the water, add a tablespoon of borax powder and mix until it’s completely dissolved. 

Borax is used for many household purposes, but is often found in cleaning supplies, for its natural ability to help break down dirt and grime when applied to different surfaces, from clothing to appliances. 

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Borax is a salt compound whose naturally abrasive elements allow it to work great for removing dirt from your car’s paint without causing any damage.

Mixing dishwashing detergent, water and a bit of borax will give your car the shine you are looking for and work wonders on some of the tougher spots, like bugs and bird poop.

As with these other household car wash soap recipes, start with a large sponge and begin washing your car from the top down.

Rinse the mixture off the area you’ve applied it to before moving on to the next, since leaving the soap on for too long will cause streaking, especially if the sun dries it before you can get a chance to. 

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