There are hundreds of car wash soaps on the market, browsing Amazon or walking the aisles of your local auto parts shop you’ll find dozens upon dozens of brands, smells, and varieties. We’re here to give you the information you need to make an informed decision on which soap is the best one for you!
Nonconcentrated car soaps vs. Concentrated foaming car shampoos
Most car wash solutions fall into one of these two categories and their titles say a lot! When using a two- or three-bucket car wash method, a simple car wash solution will suffice. A simple car wash solution means “non-concentrated”. Some of these solutions can even be applied directly to your vehicle from the bucket, no water is necessary.
When looking for a solution to use with a foam cannon of any kind, a concentrated foaming solution is a must. We’ve seen it time and time again, a brand-new foam cannon is unpacked by an excited first-time user only to discover that it's not making the same shaving cream foam that’s has seen on social media. Most of the time, , this is due to a non-concentrated soap. When foaming, it's very important to use a concentrated solution, this allows the user to produce exactly the thickness of foam they want. Finding the perfect concentration is simple. Start with 3oz of the solution in your foam cannon and fill the rest with warm water. Now give it a go! If the foam cannon is not producing a thick enough foam, add another ounce to your cannon, and so on. Continue the steps until you’ve found the perfect ratio.
Professional-grade, high-foaming concentrate soap
There is a third, less accessible type of car wash solution, the professional-grade, high-concentrated foaming soap. Typically, you would only experience soap like this in an automatic car wash. Most manufacturers sell directly to automatic car washes in bulk quantity, making it hard to get for the average consumer. Fortunately, we spent over two years testing and creating an American-made solution for the end-user, at the professional level of quality! Our Perfoamance car shampoo is the highest concentrated solution on the market, just 1-2oz of soap is all that’s needed for an entire foam cannon or bucket wash.
Take a look at our side-by-side foam solution test video to see it for yourself!
pH levels, lubricity, and foam quality
Outside of concentration, there are three other elements you’ll want to look for when searching for the perfect foam. pH balance, lubricity/slickness, and foam quality. pH balance is what makes your solution safe or unsafe on your vehicle. Solutions with pH levels that are too acidic or too alkaline can eat away at your wax, paint, wrap, or coating. Look for a pH-neutral label. Next is, slickness aka lubricity. This has a lot to do with concentration and directly affects your dwell time. Having a perfect amount of lubricity allows the solution to linger but should also not be so thick that it’s difficult to remove from the surface. This element can be learned most likely through use. You’ll be able to tell if your solution is coming off too easily or too difficult when you rinse. Finally, foam quality! This is all about use as well, it will be very clear once you get it running with a foam cannon whether the solution creates high-quality foam or not. Some solutions claim “high foaming” however, the only true test is to see it in action.