Car wash cleaners and products

When washing your car, the basics are important. When cleaning the exterior, make sure you do so in a shaded area to avoid any streaks or water spots after it dries. Have two buckets of clean, lukewarm water on hand. You’ll use one to dunk your sponge or mitt, so it absorbs the car wash solution and the other the rinse the sponge in between applications. Finally, use the best car wash products for the job at hand, including cleaners, sponges, mitts and washcloths.

Car wash cleaners

We recommend using a specialty automotive car wash instead of dish soap, as some dish soaps can strip the wax and damage the car’s finish. Car wash soaps are specifically developed for automotive paint surfaces, so you can be sure you won’t cause any damage while washing away dust picked up from the road.

To remove stubborn stains such as insects, road tar, tree sap, and bird droppings, try using a non-diluted car wash soap or a bug and tar remover. Using a sponge, apply full strength car wash directly onto the spots, let it penetrate for 3–5 minutes, then wash it off with a stream of water.

Best car wash mitts and sponges

Armor All is proud to offer an extensive range of wash mitts, cloths, sponges and accessories to make your car washing routine quick and simple.

Car wash sponges and mitts

One of the best ways to keep your car clean is using a car wash mitt or sponge, so you can get your car shining. To avoid scratching your car with dirt and grime while washing, repeatedly clean your washcloth and refill the bucket water, especially if it’s very dirty.

Use a sponge or mitt specifically designed for automotive use like a lamb’s wool mitt, which works particularly well.


You’ll need to use different washcloths for your car and tires. For best results, change out frequently to avoid scraping your car’s surface with embedded dirt. Most of the best car wash mitts can be machine washed, and your car will benefit from the use of clean washcloths.

To avoid water spotting, dry the car immediately with a chamois or a 100% cotton terry cloth towel. For finishing touches, a microfiber cloth works nicely. Some people even use cloth baby diapers to give a car a buffed look.

Foam Cannon

Another option for at-home car washing is a foam cannon.  A foam cannon connects to your pressure washer, which makes it easy to keep your car looking clean. It provides thick and uniform foam coverage and helps remove dirt and grime from exterior surfaces.  Use a Foam Cannon with any Armor All car wash to loosen dirt with less effort.

Water usage when washing cars

You should have two buckets of clean, lukewarm water on hand when washing your car. Fill one with your cash wash solution, which you can soak into your sponge or mitt.

The other should be clear, as you will need this one to rinse and squeeze out your sponge occasionally, so you aren’t simply moving the dirt across the vehicle.

In terms of the hose, you will need to rinse your car off, you should use a low-pressure stream of water. This will help to avoid splashing water on yourself and forcing too much pressure on the car.