The best budget car shampoo 2022

The best car shampoos that won't break the bank

car needs cleaning

by Myles Warwood |

Getting your car looking good needn’t be an expensive hobby, sometimes, you don’t need to bust out the full detailing kit - you just need to give it a quick once over.

Make no mistake detailing your car can be expensive and most of what we use, we end up washing down the drain. However, it’s worthwhile in the end when our cars are sparkling and they smell good because of the shampoo and equipment we have used.

Tips for efficiently cleaning your car

We love cleaning our cars - certainly in the summer - but always remember for the best results, it’s always a good idea to clean your car out of direct sunlight and when the paintwork isn’t too hot to touch. This will give all of your cleaning solution time to do its thing rather than just bake in the sun and dry out from the paintwork.

After giving your car a thorough rinsing with fresh clean water, you can begin washing your car. What CAR likes to look out for in a car shampoo is lubrication and application requirements. There are some shampoos that carry extra powers, like also acting as wax or simply smelling great - you can read more in-depth about that here.

Taking into account concentration levels is important to what you define as a budget. Just because you could buy a big bottle of car shampoo for next to nothing, it may take 100ml of shampoo for an effective clean. Some higher concentration shampoos may only require a couple of drops and last longer. So, while the initial outlay might be more for what seems like less, the value for money could be greater in the long run.

CAR's best budget shampoos

26JPN Shampoo has a gentle apple scent and is formulated to be pH neutral, ultra-lubricated and easy to rinse. This combined with its thick lather helps to keep paintwork safe from accidental scratching by lifting dirt away from the surface.

26JPN Shampoo is an extremely concentrated shampoo and is recommended to be used at 1:800, but it can be used at a 1:2000 dilution with acceptable levels of performance. Even at 1:800, it offers great economy.

Advanced Poseidon Car Wash uses a special blend of anionic surfactants and polymers to remove dirt with ease whilst leaving a protective gloss enhancing film behind when rinsed off. Add 30ml per 5L of water.

With a dilution ratio of 30 ml to 5L of water, it’s simply a quick and efficient cleaner of great value, Advanced Poseidon Car Wash prolongs waxes and paint sealant by adding a sacrificial high gloss coating.

You might see the name Autoglym and think, how has that premium brand made it onto the budget list? Well, this bottle one-litre bottle costs under £10 and should be good for 50 washes. That means for that price you could wash your car every week for a year and being frugal, you’d only need one bottle running out two weeks before the end. Everyone needs a break at Christmas.

Costing around £3.00 per litre, this wash and wax is incredibly good value, only two full caps are needed to get the most out of your wash.

The specially blended PH neutral cleaning formula, with added suds, safely lifts dirt without the risk of damaging the bodywork or causing scratches. It’s also designed with a special water repellent ingredient which reduces drying time as it beads excess water from your paintwork.

Armor All Shield Car Wash is specially formulated to maintain the shine and protection of Armor All Shield. This concentrated but gentle formula carefully lifts away road film, dirt and grime without harming your paintwork, whilst giving a deep clean. Just three capfuls into a bucket of warm water would be enough to give any car a spring clean!

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