The 6 Best Car Wash Soaps To Use With A Pressure Washer

Washing your car with a pressure washer can make the task much easier than in the old days with a couple of buckets and rags. The foam cannon attachment can ensure that every inch of your car receives the lather and suds it deserves. In addition, the chemical agents in the pressure washer soap are specially designed to break down tough grime and dirt. Many companies push a ton of products, and it is hard to know which soap is best. The last thing you want to do is use a soap not made for a power washer, or one not even made for washing cars, and end up doing more work than you need to when the soap leaves water marks all over the place. 

Best Car Wash Soaps To Use With A Pressure Washer 1 The 6 Best Car Wash Soaps To Use With A Pressure Washer

Table of Contents

What’s the best pressure washer soap for washing your car?

The best car wash soaps for use in a pressure washer are:

  • Meguairs Gold Class Car Wash
  • Chemical Guys Mr. Pink
  • Adams Car Wash
  • Karcher Pressure Washer Car Wash & Wax Cleaning Detergent Soap
  • Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax
  • McKees 37 Extreme Foam Power Wash and Wax

It is easy to think that just any soap can be used in a pressure washer, but that isn’t the case. Regular soaps can wreak havoc on your car’s finish because the chemicals they contain eat away at the wax or even the clear coat. 

Other soaps gunk up your power washer because they are not designed to be used in machinery with attachments like a foam cannon. You want to choose a soap designed specifically for the task at hand. (For example, you would never use a laundry cleaning soap for your car? Or would you use the soap made to clean your house or deck? You’d be right to assume that those soaps are filled with chemicals that could wreak havoc on the wax on your car).

There are several to choose from, depending on your budget, soap foaming action, whether wax is included, or even what you want your car to smell like after washing it. (Believe me, it’s a thing).

Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

Meguiars is one of the big boys in the car care world. The company started as a furniture polish company but expanded its line. The company makes many car maintenance products, from waxes to microfiber towels and everything in between. Meguiars is a one stop shop for everything you need. 

The soap has an excellent concentration (you don’t have to use much to get the desired results, just mix about a 1.5 ratio of soap to water). The foaming action is good, mainly when using the foam cannon, covering the car, and the compound is gentle enough not to impact the wax or after coat, making the cleaning easy. After wiping down the soap with a microfiber mitt, you simply rinse off and use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb the moisture. It is that easy. 

The soap has an effective cleaning agent and smells good, so you don’t feel like you are drowning the car in a chemical bath. I loved the concentration; a gallon was more than I needed for most of the summer. 

Meguiars is at the top of the list on several review sites, including and reviews. It also earned an honorable mention at The company also makes an ultimate wash and wax formula considered the standard for this application. (The soap secured a 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon). 

Price – $21.94 (Gallon on Amazon)


  • Good suds – excellent foaming action
  • Pleasant smell
  • Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • Works well on grime and dirt
  • Company has good rep – makes variety a of products for car care.


  • A few complaints about leaving residue – spots behind

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

Chemical Guys Mr. Pink

Another California-based company, Chemical Guys, is on a mission to bring you into the family. Their family. (I am not sure why I feel like it’s an offer straight out of a Godfather movie, but it feels a bit like it). 

This progressive company makes a wide variety of products, and they are becoming the go-to for excellent compounds among many car-enthusiasts around the globe. Their products aren’t flashy like Turtle Wax or Armor All, which big conglomerates own. They are just good. (And that is a deal you can’t refuse. Sorry, I got carried away for a moment). 

The website offers 20% off to entice customers just for adding your name to their email list. (Don’t forget to click on the deals tab to see if there isn’t a deal on things you might need). The company offers free shipping for any order over $49. 

The first thing you notice about Mr. Pink is the smell. The shampoo is decidedly Cherry. (They also make a lemony car wash or even one that smells like a strawberry margarita or honeydew). This product is ph balanced, meaning it will not strip wax or create issues with ceramic coatings. (Some soaps are so harsh that they do a number on the clear coat and leave a lot more work for you to do to reapply wax or sealant and then buff it out). The formula in Mr. Pink is biodegradable so that it won’t hurt the environment. 

The soap will produce much more foam than you are used to. So if you are the kind of washer who loves giving your car a luxurious bubble bath every time, this is the soap for you. The soap is very concentrated; only 1 -3 oz are needed to produce a lot of foam. 

Another advantage is that this soap can be used in direct sunlight without drying up and leaving a ton of water residue behind.  

The soap is the #1 bestseller on Amazon with a 4.7 rating. The formula is rated high on several websites like Cnet and with a 9.8 rating and best overall on

Price – $19.99


  • Good suds – excellent foaming action
  • Pleasant cherry smell
  • Very Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • It can be used in the sun
  • No streaking
  • Good Value – cost vs. usage.


  • None that worth mentioning

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

Adams Car Wash Shampoo

Adams Polishes began its car care business in California in 2000, before relocating to Thornton, Colorado (outside of Denver) in the spring of 2018. Its founder, Adam Pitale (hence the name), has been heavily involved with the company, including its acquisition by parent company Montreal-based Recochem a couple of years ago. Even though the company has grown by leaps and bounds in its short time on this earth, the quality of the product has remained excellent.

Adams has a reputation for making outstanding products that car owners keep returning to purchase. Many detail shops use Adams as their soap brand and won’t use anything else. 

The company has retail brick-and-mortar locations selling its wares all across the country, so if you have questions, you have someone to turn to for answers. (Not to mention that you can find the stuff at almost any parts store or the big box stores).

The soap is super-sudsy and pH balanced, which won’t remove any kind of waxes or ceramic sealants on the car. The soap also counteracts harmful minerals in your water, producing a smooth, soapy concoction. 

The suds start working almost immediately, breaking down the grime and dirt buildup on the surface. (You can see the dirt melting, which is a testament to the cleaning agent in the soap). Adam’s is also designed to be used all over, including rubber, fiberglass, vinyl, or plastic, so you won’t have to worry about the soap discoloring your car moldings. 

The soap has a pleasant berry scent, not overpowering like some of the other products from its competitors.

This essential soap is Adams best seller and has the versatility of being able to be used in a bucket (if you’re an old-fashioned hand washer) or in a foam cannon on a power washer. It is bio-degradable and very environmentally friendly. 

The soap is an excellent basic soap for beginners or experts, and if you haven’t used it before, I suspect that after using it, chances are you will be adding it to your best-loved list. 

The soap is a clear winner on several websites, including and, and received the Cnets review as best overall. The soap rated 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon with over 2400 reviews. 

The only negative I found was that the website offers no discounts (many companies offer online discounts to military, first responders, or medical personnel – it would be nice to see the company follow the lead of some tire companies offering said discounts).

Price – $39.99 (gallon)


  • Good suds – nice foaming action
  • Pleasant berry smell
  • Very Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • It can be used the in sun
  • No streaking
  • Ph balanced – good for mother nature


  • Free shipping for over $100 order (other websites have better deals) 
  • Slightly more expensive than other brands 

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax

Mother’s began offering an alloy wheel and chrome enhancer in the early 70s and has morphed into a powerhouse of all things car care. Its first offering was the Mag and Aluminum Polish that your high school buddy was plastering all over his ‘68.

As word of mouth began to spread, the company struggled to keep up with the demand for its products. Nowadays, the California-based company just keeps churning out over 100 different soaps, washes, waxes, and sealants. 

The exciting thing about this Car wash and wax is that it contains Carnauba (harvested from Brazil’s rain forests). 

Carnauba has been used in various applications that you might not have even realized, from varnishes and all kinds of makeup to car care waxes. One of the properties of Carnauba, which, when sprayed onto the car, is that it bonds with the paint and forms a very water-phobic wax. 

This soap will glide off for a clean that is spot-free. It is pretty universal (works on matte finishes) and has a thick consistency.

The gel-like shampoo is different from other dish soaps, but the suds are thick and rich, and because it contains wax, you may need to rinse your car more than once. Even though you don’t have to, most detailers hand wipe off the car with a microfiber mitt just to be sure to get every bit of moisture off the car. Mothers sell a kit that includes the mitt and a package of microfiber drying cloths worth getting. 

The soap scores a 4.6 on Amazon and makes the list of several website reviews. (It rated #5 on review and near the top of car and driver’s list).

It is ph balanced and biodegradable – so no worries about flushing chemicals down the sewers or into the yard and burning up your yard. 

Price – $12.99 (64 oz on Amazon)


  • It contains Wax – so there is no need to apply wax later
  • Very Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • No streaking but you will need to rinse more than once
  • Ph balanced – good for mother nature.


  • May leave streaks if not used correctly
  • The very thick gel can be hard to handle

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

Karcher Pressure Washer Car Wash & Wax Cleaning Detergent Soap

While the pressure washer car soap is made in the US, this German-based company is trying to compete in a crowded field. The company makes power washers, so it makes sense that they would offer their consumers a car and vehicle wash specifically designed for pressure washer applications. 

The soap is environmentally friendly and biodegradable and produces ample suds. 

I liked the easy-to-read measuring cup incorporated on the top of the gallon container that made pouring the right amount quick and easy. . The soap is very concentrated, so you don’t need a lot to meet your applications. 

The soap is a foam up and spray-off variety, and while it is not rated as high on Amazon as other soaps (4.4 out of 5), it did make the top choice on review of best car/pressure washer soaps with an almost perfect score. Despite the occasional negative review, most reviews have been 5 stars. 

Price – $23.99 (gallon on Amazon)


  • It contains Wax – so there is no need to apply wax later
  • Very Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • Ph balanced – good for mother nature


  • May leave streaks if not used correctly. 
  • Don’t use in the sun, some complaints about drying too quickly.

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

McKees 37 Extreme Foam Power Wash and Wax

In Florida and across the country, McKee’s is a company creating a massive buzz in the auto, RV, and marine care industry. Their microfiber towels are excellent, and they have a wide selection of washes, waxes, and sealants.

This soap and wax are made explicitly for use in either power washers, foam guns, or even by hand (in a bucket). It is concentrated, so you don’t have to use a lot to achieve a lot of suds all over your car. 

They recommend cleaning a section at a time and then wiping it down with a microfiber mitt, and while this means a long car wash, you can touch every corner of the car. 

The soap achieves an excellent sudsing action and is specifically designed to turn your power washer into a suds machine. The formula won’t affect your power washer nozzle like regular soaps sometimes do.  (For an excellent video review of a different McKees37 product, their spray-on wax, on see

The soap is rated 4.6 on Amazon. However, many outdoor – off-road enthusiasts love McKees products because they eat through mud and caked-on dirt after a weekend of four-wheeling. (This is a soap that is good for cleaning out ATVs or spraying out horse trailers, if you catch my drift).

While it is more expensive than other cleaners, most users felt the price-to-value ratio was good. 

Price – $24.99 (32 oz on Amazon)


  • Very Concentrated – a little goes a long way
  • It can be used in the sun
  • Ph balanced – good for mother nature


  • You May need to use a mitt and hand dry with a microfiber cloth

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website.

Similar Posts