The best environmentally-friendly car shampoos on the market

You don't need to wreck the planet to get a clean car, one of these eco-friendly car shampoos will do the job perfectly.

A car being washed with shampoo

by Ryan Gilmore |

There are an awful lot of chemicals that go into a proper car wash, not all of them nice. At the nastier end of the spectrum, traffic-film removers (TFRs) and fallout removers pose serious health and environmental risks if you're not careful, a pity as we've found no eco-friendly examples currently for sale. Happily, there are small changes you can make if you're wanting to take better care of the planet, starting with some eco-friendly car shampoo.

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If you're a little worried about eco-friendly car shampoos being a little feeble in the muck-shifting department, don't be. Almost all biodegradable car shampoos available today are strong enough for even the messiest paintwork. They can also often be applied similarly to regular car shampoo which makes switching to one of these shampoos a doddle. We've tested several biodegradable shampoos and found that they can genuinely compete with regular car shampoos and can heartily recommend them.

The best eco-friendly car shampoos

Zirconite Nano Shampoo

The best eco-friendly car shampoo
Zirconite Nano Shampoo
Amazon

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Not just good for an eco-friendly shampoo, Zirconite's Nano Shampoo is a good shampoo full stop. Super-concentrated and powerful, it's the perfect choice for removing traffic film and dirt from your paintwork without stripping away any existing wax or sealant.

It's eco-credentials come from the fact it's biodegradable and made in the UK. The former means it's free of nasty chemicals that may pose a threat to wildlife, the latter means that it has less distance to travel, reducing emissions (for UK readers).

Tested 2022 - "Zirconite Nano Shampoo is a really good choice of pH-neutral shampoo because. And because you only need about 30ml of product per wash, a one-litre bottle should last you ages. It easily removed dirt from paintwork and the claimed 'Lotus-Leaf' rinsing effect did reduce water spotting and speed up the drying time. The apple scent is very nice too."

BIOHY Car Shampoo

The best vegan car shampoo
BIOHY Car Shampoo
Amazon

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A fully vegan car shampoo, this German shampoo is a more delicate choice and is designed to gently remove contaminants without removing any protective coatings. It also means it's gentle to people, perfect for those who have extremely sensitive skin. While it doesn't sound as powerful as other shampoos, it can at least boast excellent hydrophobic qualities that'll ensure water beads right off your paintwork.

Greased Lightning Showroom Shine Exterior Valeting Car Care Bundle

The best waterless eco-friendly shampoo
Greased Lightning Showroom Shine Exterior Valeting Car Care Bundle
Amazon

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An excellent way to think about the planet while cleaning your car is to go waterless. Waterless washes do without the need for a pressure washer or hose, often requiring little more than a couple of litres of water to work. Greased Lightning has a large range of waterless car washing products, from window cleaners and shampoo right down to powerful wheel cleaners and even black-trim restorers.

We've tested the full range and Greased Lightning remains our top pick for waterless washes. And while the inevitable microfibre towel wash means the wash isn't entirely waterless, it does use a lot less water than conventional shampoo.

Diamondbrite Car Shampoo 250Ml

The best eco-friendly concentrated car shampoo
Diamondbrite Car Shampoo 250Ml

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This shampoo is derived from vegetable oils which means it's tough on grease and grime while remaining fully biodegradable, perfect for the environmentally aware. Shipping in a small bottle (250ml), this shampoo is concentrated and that small bottle should last you a couple of washes. It doesn't scrimp on cleaning performance either, this shampoo is foamy, pH-neutral and won't eat a protective coating. All very impressive stats from something so small and based on the same oils you cook potatoes in.

Autoglym Polar Wash 2.5 Litre

The best car shampoo with eco-friendly packaging
Autoglym Polar Wash 2.5 Litre
Amazon

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While Autoglym's Polar Wash isn't biodegradable, it is very good. Designed for use in a pressure washer it easily removed embedded dirt and mud without potentially scratching your paint. It's being included because it's part of Amazon's Climate Pledge to cut down on unnecessary packaging and ensure it's as efficient as possible.

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