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New cars need extra care to protect that shine. In most cases you need a shampoo or soap that will protect any existing sealant, coating or wax on your car and get as much dirt off as possible without needing to scrub.
I’ve tried more shampoos than I can count. Bet what’s the best shampoo for new cars in 2021?
A great shampoo should do these things well…
- Help break down grease and dirt.
- Protect against scratching.
- Not stain your car if it dries out.
- Protect existing wax or sealant.
- Create good levels of foam in your bucket.
- Create good levels of foam in a foam cannon.
The best shampoo for me right now is Chemical Guys Honey Dew Snow Foam. It generates thick suds that help reduce scratches and has excellent dirt removing power. That’s why it has so many five star reviews on Amazon.
How does a car shampoo protect against scratches?
They contain chemicals that are super slick and slimy. When you feel water that has dish soap in it between your fingers it will make your fingers feel grabby. But with a good car shampoo your fingers will feel slippery.
This slipperiness will help protect your car from scratches. When you move your wash mitt over your car it will be protected. Dish soap won’t give any protection.
Further Reading : Why New Cars Lose their Shine so Fast?
Washing tools for your new car.
Probably even more important than the type of shampoo is the method you use. If you use a brush you will scratch your car. Lambswool or Microfibre wash mitts are by far the best way to go.
I use a pressure washer because it gets so much dirt off the car before I touch it and this will obviously reduce the amount of scratching. But you can also use other methods.
All in One Washing Kits.
If you would like everything in one order from Amazon I recommend this Chemical Guys kit, “Chemical Guys HOL169 16-Piece Arsenal Builder Wash Kit“. It comes with some of Chemical Guys best car care products including one of my favorite car shampoos. Very highly recommended.
Washing your car the right way will greatly reduce scratching. Please read my post on How to Wash a New Car without Scratching it for lots of easy washing methods and tips.
Best Shampoo : Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam.
My best overall shampoo for new cars for me is Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam. I always have some of this stuff on hand. It offers great cleaning power and lots of lubrication when used in a bucket wash.
- It has stunning reviews on Amazon.
- It generates fantastic levels of foam in your bucket wash. Much better than a lot of popular car wash shampoos. And I just love the honey dew scent.
- It’s great value especially when you buy a gallon.
- Its high levels of slickness protect your paint from scratches unlike dish soap.
- You can use it as a pre wash shampoo too. It creates superb foam that sticks to your car when used in a pressure washer and foam cannon.
- Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam is the best all round shampoo and probably the only shampoo you really need.
Best Premium Shampoo for New Cars.
Adams Car Shampoo costs a little more than most shampoos. But I have seen this product used by multiple professional detailers so I know it must be good.
One detailer I know orders this in 5 gallon containers and uses it on high end luxury cars and on any new cars his business details.
- It easily cuts through grease and dirt on your car and makes washing a pleasure.
- It gives great foam in your bucket as well as in your foam cannon.
- Like all Adams products it never lets you down.
Best Pre-Wash Foam Shampoo for a New Car
A true pre wash foam will break down grease and dirt on your car and remove the majority of dirt before you go in for the hand wash.
- I like to use Bilt Hamber Auto Foam as a pre wash foam. It delivers thick foam when used with my Karcher K5 Full Control pressure washer. Although the foam is not as think as other products.
- Simply foam your car and allow it to dwell for a few minutes. Then blast off with the pressure washer. It will get more dirt off than any other product in my opinion.
- The slight down side of this product is that it doesn’t offer any protection if used as a hand wash. So you need to use something else for your hand wash. But because so much dirt has been removed it makes the hand wash safer and less likely to cause scratches.
- I also find it great for cleaning wheels and wheel wells.
- If you have a dark colored car you should definitely consider using this product because dark colors show up scratches so much more. If you have a white car it’s probably not as important.
Best Wash and Wax Shampoo for a New Car.
If you think about it, the amount of wax in a wash and wax shampoo that actually gets on your car must be very small. Consider that one cap full is diluted in a whole bucket of water. It’s really tiny.
Having said that, I have used many of these in the past and they do as good a job as any other shampoo at getting your car clean as well as adding some shine and maybe protection.
The wash and wax product I’ve used most is Chemical Guys Glossworkz Auto Wash Shampoo. OK so it’s not really wax, but the amount of gloss it adds is impressive. This is a secret weapon of mine, especially if I’m in a hurry.
I’ve used this shampoo in the winter time even when it’s raining when I wash my car. There is no point in drying it in this situation so I wont get to add any detailer spray to enhance the shine.
The product will protect existing wax and add surprisingly high levels of gloss. What more can you ask for.
Best Shampoo to use before polishing or waxing a new car.
In this case it’s a good idea to try to remove some existing wax or sealant. This will will help your new coat of wax to bond better.
Adams Strip Wash is the shampoo to use in this situation. It will strip wax and sealant but not ceramic coatings. It’s not acidic or anything so it wont damage your clearcoat.
If you want as clean a surface as possible, an iron remover spray will also help to remove existing protection while removing bonded iron deposits from your paint. Also worth looking at tar removers that dissolve the black blobs or tar and glue. Gyeon Tar is one of the best.
If your car still feels rough to the touch at this stage it’s time to use a clay bar. You will then have a perfectly clean surface, ideal for applying a polishing out scratches or applying a new layer of sealant or wax.
Best Shampoo for use with a Ceramic Coating.
Gyeon Bathe is the most recommended shampoo to clean cars with ceramic coatings.
Ceramic coatings can be very effective but can easily break down if not taken care of properly. Make sure you learn the safe car washing methods if you want it to last as long as possible.
If you know what type of ceramic coating is on your car you should see if they recommend a particular car was product.
For example, Carpro ceramic coatings should be cleaned with a Carpro shampoo like Carpro Reset.
Many ceramic coatings are damaged by harsh chemicals like those used in iron remover sprays or automatic car washes.
Tips for Using a Car Shampoo on a New Car.
What I’ve learned about using shampoo
Tip 1 : If you use too much product you might get lots of suds but you can end up with streaking or little stains where the suds dry on your car. But wash your car in the shade and when the paint is cool to the touch and this is less of an issue. If you see negative reviews on Amazon for any of my recommended car shampoos, this is probably what they did wrong.
Tip 2 : Not enough product and you don’t get enough suds and cleaning power.
Tip 3. So you should just follow the instructions, right? Well, I find it depends on your water. Hard water means you might need to use more product. It’s really a case of trial and error.
Tip 4: Using warm water can result in more suds. Also it keeps your hands warm in winter.
Tip 5: Use your pressure washer to agitate the water to get more suds.
Tip 6: Don’t use too much downward pressure on your paint. The goal is to loosen the dirt so you can rinse it off.
Tip 7 : you can get more suds and cleaning power by putting some shampoo directly on to the wash mitt.
How I picked my favorite products.
- Trying products myself.
- I ruled out products where the suds didn’t last in the bucket.
- Talking to professional detailers.
- Asking manufacturers questions about their products.
- Talking to other detailing enthusiasts.
- Reading Amazon reviews.
- Reading detailing forums.
- Watching YouTube videos.