Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big car shampoo test 2022. Here we present all the car shampoos that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the Internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best car shampoo for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy car shampoo.


  • Car shampoos enable you to clean and care for your car in the best possible way without damaging the paintwork
  • Basically, a distinction is made between shine shampoos, car shampoos with wax care and car shampoos without additives, whereby all variants are available in different sizes and price ranges.
  • Car shampoo with wax care is particularly suitable for people who are looking for a 2-in-1 product, while a shine shampoo achieves an excellent gloss effect for the car.

The Best Car Shampoo: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying car shampoos

What is car shampoo?

A car shampoo is used to clean a car professionally and thoroughly.

Car shampoo serves as a means of cleaning the car to rid it of dirt. (Image source: / sasint)

Car shampoo makes it easy to remove dirt from the paintwork and also maintains the surface of the car's paintwork, giving the vehicle a new shine.

Why should car shampoo be used?

Car shampoo should always be used to remove dirt, grime and other external influences from the vehicle, as these can damage the paintwork.

Car shampoo helps to clean the car and at the same time maintains the paintwork so that the car looks like new even after a long period of use.

Did you know that you should not clean your car with car shampoo in the sun?

When the paintwork is heated up, both the water and the cleaner drip very quickly and can cause stains. To avoid time-consuming re-polishing, it is therefore better to wash your car in the shade.

Who is car shampoo suitable for?

Car shampoo is suitable for every car owner, as every car suffers from the effects of dirt or other substances.

Every car owner should clean and maintain their car with car shampoo to ensure the best possible support for the paintwork and bodywork.

What size car shampoo should I buy?

The size of car shampoo always depends on the size of the car and the number of washes.

Size Suitable for
500ml - 1L Small cars and few washes
1L - 10L Large cars and several washes

If you own a small car and only wash your car once a month, a size of just under 500 millilitres is sufficient for you

However, if you have a large car and want to clean your car as often as possible, you should go for a size of just under 10 litres.

The size of car shampoo often depends on the manufacturer, as they offer shampoos in different sizes and for different purposes.

How much does car shampoo cost?

There is a wide price range between the different car shampoos. Depending on the manufacturer and the size of the shampoo, the cost varies.

The price range goes from about 5€ up to 100€, whereby car shampoos with more content are more expensive than those with less content.

What are the alternatives to car shampoo?

Car shampoos can be mixed from many ingredients and each shampoo has its advantages and disadvantages.

Dishwashing detergents as well as commercial shampoo have the disadvantage that they attack and destroy the existing wax layer of the car paint. This can lead to considerable damage to the paintwork.

Car shampoo is designed for cleaning and caring for the paintwork and is optimally adapted for this purpose.

Decision: What types of car shampoo are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a car shampoo, there are several alternatives to choose from:

  • Car Shampoo Concentrate
  • Car Shampoo with Wax Protection
  • Shine Shampoo
  • pH-neutral car shampoo

The different shampoos all have their advantages and disadvantages and should be chosen according to the desired goal.

What are the characteristics of a car shampoo concentrate?

A car shampoo concentrate is basically a normal car shampoo, but in a very high concentration.

This has the advantage that only a small amount of car shampoo is needed to achieve the desired effect. This option can be more cost-effective, depending on your needs.

  • Highly concentrated
  • Small amount needed
  • Effective
  • No wax protection

What are the characteristics of a car shampoo with wax protection?

Car shampoo with wax protection offers the advantages of a shampoo and a wax in one product.

  • Shampoo and wax in one
  • Thorough cleaning
  • Wax care
  • Not as effective as the products individually
  • Usually more expensive to purchase
  • No shine effect

On the one hand, the car can be thoroughly cleaned and on the other hand, it simultaneously maintains the paintwork with a layer of wax. This product simplifies the application and offers two products in one.

What are the characteristics of a shine shampoo?

A shine shampoo gives the vehicle a new shine after cleaning.

This effect is achieved through the so-called lotus effect, which is often also referred to as the beading effect, and ensures that water that hits the paint after washing simply beads off, leaving hardly any water residue on the car.

For the last few drops on the paintwork, you can use a microfibre cloth to intensify the shine effect and remove any remaining water.

  • Glossy effect
  • Beading effect
  • No water residue
  • More expensive to buy
  • No wax protection

What are the characteristics of a pH-neutral car shampoo?

Always use a pH-neutral car shampoo because it is gentle on the car's paintwork.

  • Gentle on paintwork
  • Depending on the type, without wax care and without gloss effect

A microfibre cloth should be used to dry the surface, as this can optimally absorb the remaining water drops. (Image source: / ninofficialphotography)

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate car shampoos

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible car shampoos.

The criteria you can use to compare car shampoos include:

  • Contents
  • Mixing ratio
  • Cleaning power
  • Washing protection
  • Suitability for paintwork
  • Gloss level

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.


The content or the amount of content plays a major role in the purchase decision. It all depends on you.

If you like to clean and care for your car regularly, you should always choose a car shampoo with a larger content, as these are usually cheaper to buy than several small shampoos.

However, if you only want to clean your car when it is really necessary, then you should use a car shampoo with less content. Since you only need very little shampoo, this is the cheaper option for you.

Alternatively, you can also use a concentrate, which is characterised by its high concentration and is therefore more durable, as even a small amount is sufficient.

Mixing ratio

The mixing ratio of the car shampoo depends on the ingredients and the manufacturer. The ratio is usually marked in the instructions for use or on the shampoo itself to inform the consumer.

However, you should always make sure to buy a car shampoo where the mixing ratio is not too high. This means that you should choose a shampoo that uses as little as possible to clean the car, so that you get the most out of your shampoo.

Cleansing power

Cleaning performance is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of a car shampoo. It serves as an indicator of cleaning power and helps the consumer find the right car shampoo.

Manufacturers often tout themselves as having the best cleaning performance, but tests from reliable sources should always be used to see how car shampoos perform in practice.

Wax protection

The wax protection of a car shampoo is essential for the care of the paintwork after cleaning. For this reason, many manufacturers offer a 2-in-1 product that contains a care wax in addition to the shampoo.

When looking for a suitable car shampoo, you should therefore be clear whether you prefer a 2-in-1 product or prefer to buy two individual products.

Car shampoos are usually labelled with additional wax protection and are priced a little higher.

Suitability for paintwork

When choosing a car shampoo, you should always be clear about which car or paint you want to use the shampoo for.

Depending on the ingredients and manufacturer, not every shampoo may be suitable for every paint finish, so always consider the suitability of the car shampoo before buying.

Gloss level

The degree of gloss always depends on the type of car shampoo and is best achieved with a gloss shampoo.

Always pay attention to the beading effect, as this protects the paint from water residue and thus achieves the desired gloss effect.

Image source: / JLMedia