Can I Use Shampoo To Wash My Car?

Can I use shampoo to wash my car? This is a fair question when you want to clean your car but are short of materials or time.

Cleaning is a crucial component of maintenance since it keeps your automobile looking beautiful and lengthens the life of specific components. Surprisingly,  hair shampoo is one of the many cleaning products that may be used to wash your car!

Does Shampoo Damage Car Paint?

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Shampoos are seen as an accessible option for washing the car, but if misused, they can risk damaging your automobile. 

Hair shampoo’s biggest drawback is that it removes the wax coating, which protects cars’ paint. As a result, the paint may be vulnerable to etching and stains. 

Additionally, not all hair shampoos are pH-balanced, making them potentially too abrasive for car paint. 

Hair wash may also permanently harm your car’s clear finish if left out in the sun without being watched. If you have to clean your automobile with hair shampoo, be sure to properly rinse it out before applying wax or sealer. [1]

Which Hair Shampoo Is Good For My Car?

Still, proper hair shampoos can do a good job cleaning your car. The market is flooded with numerous shampoo alternatives, making the decision difficult. Baby shampoo is a perfect substitute if you’re short on finances or don’t want to spend the additional money on specialized car-detailing supplies. 

Baby shampoo may dissolve built-up filth when properly diluted without damaging your paint or clear coat. Although designed for hair, baby shampoo offers suitable qualities for cleaning your car. 

Baby Shampoo is designed to be gentle on your scalp while still dissolving built-up grime. In our situation, it will function the same manner on the paint of your automobile.  This is a simple solution that will provide outstanding outcomes.

Note that it’s still essential to use the proper ratio when using shampoo for the car.

Start by adding a 1/2 cup of shampoo to your bucket rather than manually blending your shampoo cleaning solution. Fill the bucket 3/4 of the way with water using a hose nozzle set on a straight stream (or, for a similar stream effect, place your thumb over the mouth of the hose). To start cleaning, the solution should be sufficiently diluted. Simply add extra water to the mixture if it becomes too soapy.

Start by cleaning a tiny part of the automobile to get a sense of how your homemade cleaning solution works, then modify the ratios as necessary. [2]

What Can I Use To Wash My Car At Home? 


A few home supplies can make washing your car with shampoo a little more practical. Baking soda is something you probably have in your house. Add around a cup of baking soda to make your shampoo and water combination an even better cleaning solution for your car. It will be beneficial for your tires and rims in particular. Just use a cloth or sponge to liberally rub the mixture over your tires and rims as you normally would. After letting the mixture rest for a while, rinse it off with water. 

You can also add a little bit of white vinegar to the mixture for an extra cleaning boost if the filth is stubborn. [3]

Can I Use A Hair Conditioner To Wax My Car?

As we discussed, hair shampoo is an accepted method for cleaning the car occasionally. But did you know that you can also use a hair conditioner afterward, which will serve as a perfect car wax solution?

There is no proof that applying a hair conditioner may harm your automobile, although using strong detergents may degrade the shine. Most hair conditioners include lanolin, a moisturizing ingredient that helps preserve our hair. This oil may also help vehicle paint, giving it a bright appearance. 

After washing and rinsing your car, add roughly 1/2 cup of your conditioner to a clean pail of water if you need a rapid shine. Combine, then liberally apply. Remember to rinse entirely and use a microfiber cloth to enhance shine. [4]

Can I Use Hair Shampoo To Wash Car Interior?


Most car owners don’t think twice about using hair shampoo to clean their car’s interior. After all, it’s a gentle cleanser that is designed to be used on delicate hair, and works fine on car exterior too. However, there are some potential downsides to using hair shampoo on car upholstery and carpet. 

First, while hair shampoo is designed to be gentle on hair, it can be too harsh for car seats and may strip away the protective coating.

Moreover, hair shampoo is designed to be used with water. When you use it to clean your car’s upholstery, you are essentially using a wet vacuum. This can lead to mildew and mold growth, especially in hot, humid climates. 

Finally, hair shampoo is not as effective at removing stains as some other cleaners. If you have any tough stains on your car’s upholstery, you may want to use a cleaner that is specifically designed for removing stains.

For best results, use a car-specific shampoo that is designed to clean without damage. [5]

Best Shampoos To Wash Car

Though hair products can work well, you can not complitely replace products specially designed for your car with them. Shampoo and conditioner could be used as occasional alternatives. However, in most cases, we recommend seeking high-quality car cleaning solutions to maintain your vehicle fresh and glossy.

Given the many alternatives available, choosing the correct shampoo for your automobile may be challenging. 

However, based on their pricing, ratings, and any components set these shampoos apart from the competition. We limited the field down to a few of our best recommendations:

Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax

Meguiar's Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax -...
  • ONE EASY STEP: Premium formula conveniently and gently washes and adds wax protection in one easy step. Can be used anywhere with no hose,...
  • WATER SPOT-FREE: Advanced chemistry contains a water spot-free formula coupled with a high-lubricity that protects the surface against swirling...

One of Meguiar’s oldest shampoos, Ultimate Wash and Wax, has undoubtedly withstood the test of time. This has a pH of 7, the same as the UHD Shampoo, making it safe for any paint coatings that may be present. Although it doesn’t produce as much foam as some other shampoos on our list, it is pretty affordable. It also has the advantage of containing wax, in addition to these extra advantages. 

Maguar’s shampoo is also an excellent method to provide protection in between washes, even though the wax component in it will never equal the amount of protection you’ll see with a stand-alone wax. It includes carnauba, so when wet, it may provide some very nice beading to the surface and raise the shine levels. While it looks excellent on any vehicle color, it especially brings out the shine on deeper colors like black

Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner

Autoglym VP2BWA Bodywork & Accessories...
  • A collection of four essential car care products
  • Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner is a low foam and deep cleaning shampoo with a water repellent finish for easy rinsing and ongoing protection

Another recipe that combines shampoo and conditioner to provide a fantastic, dazzling finish is from Autoglym Bodywork. 

According to the manufacturer, the solution provides a thorough clean with little foam residue, making it simple to rinse off without leaving any traces. 

Additionally, according to Autoglym, its Shampoo Conditioner cleans your car without taking away any polish or wax that you have previously used to keep its superb sheen. 

Just one capful may be used for every 10L of water, so this 2.5L container should last a long time to meet all of your vehicle cleaning requirements. 

Duel Autocare – Bahama Blue Shampoo

Duel Autocare, a relatively new player in the detailing industry, offers the fantastic Bahama Blue Shampoo. 

It doesn’t only froth up beautifully in the bucket, but the suds also cling around for a long time. You will find it very pleasing how smoothly the wash mitt moves on the paintwork. This can decrease the likelihood of leaving scratches and swirls on the paintwork. 

Additionally, since it has a pH of 7, it won’t remove any existing wax or sealer from your automobile. Furthermore, it has a coconut scent, or what you might associate with the Bahamas. It does have a wonderful scent that enhances the experience. 

The bucket only needs a tiny quantity of shampoo, and that little bit goes a long way. It also functions as a wheel shampoo, making it a two-in-one tool. 

Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo 

Adam's Car Wash Shampoo (Gallon) - pH Car...
  • ✅ ADAM’S CAR WASH SHAMPOO: SAFE, EFFECTIVE, & SLICK - Our pH neutral wash soap safely lifts dirt away from your car's paint, without damaging...
  • ✅ SAFE FOR ALL VEHICLE SURFACES - Our advanced cleaners and polymers make Adam’s Car Shampoo gentle enough to not dry out your trim or...

Adam’s car wash shampoo serves as an ideal budget car shampoo choice with ideal capabilities. The neutral mix of Adam’s Auto Wash Shampoo is believed to be perfect for your weekly car maintenance. 

Adam’s says that its chemical method suspends any potentially harmful mineral material and makes it ready for rinsing. It may even be used outside in direct sunshine without leaving any stains behind. 

The solution is stated to be soft enough to be applied to any surfaces, including paint, vinyl, rubber, and plastic, although the thick foam should be effective. 

Best shampoos To Wash Car Interior 

When it comes to picking a shampoo for cleaning the car interior, owners would need to be more gentle and cautious, as interior materials are much vulnerable to damaging than exterior cover metal. Here are a few go-to shampoos to gently remove stains from your seats and keep car interior fresh.

CarGuys Super Cleaner

CAR GUYS Super Cleaner | Effective Car...
  • ✅ The Hype is Real! – Are you tired of using cleaners that work, but not as good as you expected?! You won’t experience that here! Our...
  • ✅ Replace your Cabinet of Chemicals! – Do you get confused by all the different types of cleaning supplies that are available? It gets...

A multipurpose cleaning product for your car’s interior is CarGuys Super Cleaner. It is capable of removing dirt and stains from metals, leather, vinyl, plastic, and upholstery. Even sensitive surfaces like the displays on your instrument panel may be cleaned with this solution. 

Adam’s Polishes Total Interior Cleaner

Adam's Polishes Total Interior Cleaner &...
  • ✅ Clean, condition, and protect your car's interior with our all-in-one formula featuring advanced ceramic coating and SiO2 technology. Say...
  • ✅ Experience the ultimate interior cleaner and protectant with anti-static, UV protection, air freshening, cleaning, and restoring properties....

The Maine Blueberry-scented Total Interior Cleaner from Adam’s Polishes offers a lovely fruity aroma. The smell is a refreshing break from the standard chemical cleaner odors offered by the other products on the market. 

Aside from the scent, the cleaner has a lot of cleaning power and offers UV protection. 

Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer

Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer - This...
  • Safely cleans ALL interior surfaces.Fit Type: Universal
  • Contains sun blocking agents to preserve original appearance

Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer is mostly used to clean your car’s interior dashboard. This covers the whole radio, as well as any displays used for navigation, center consoles, the steering wheel, buttons, vents, and so on. This composition has no oily components, which allows it to dry rapidly and provide fantastic cleaning results. 

Meguiar’s deep cleaning solution goes above and beyond to remove all filth and grime. Additionally, there is a UV protection component. 

Related: Blacked Out Headlights

The Bottom Line

Overall, whether you opt to wash your car by hand or take it through an automated car wash, be sure to use the proper cleaning products. While hair shampoo or other homemade cleaning solutions could do the work, it’s still much recommended to seek products made specifically for car. These products will help to maintain the finish of your car and protect it from the damages.