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Here are links to some of my favourite car wash products.
- All Purpose Cleaner: Koch Chemie Greenstar (USA Amazon Link or UK Link)
- Wheel & Tyre Cleaner: High Definition Detail Braking Point
- Maintenance Wheel Shampoo: Garage Therapy/ ONE: Wheel Shampoo
- Citrus Pre-Wash Spray: Mile Deep Release
- Snow Foam: Squid Ink Alkafroth and Garage Therapy /ONE: Snow Foam V2
- Shampoo: Garage Therapy /ONE: Car Shampoo
Looking for equipment and tools as well? Check out my recommended accessories page for brushes, cloths, mitts, sprayers etc.
Here’s some more info on each of the products listed.
Wheel Cleaning Chemicals
Koch Chemie Greenstar
This is my go-to all purpose cleaner. I use it primarily for the wheel arches but also sometimes to give the wheels a good pre-wash to make the contact wash safer and less likely to induce swirls and marring. I find it works best for these applications at a 10% concentration either in a spray bottle or pump sprayer.
Here are links to Koch Chemie Greenstar:
HDD Braking Point
This is a great value, strong wheel and tyre cleaner. It really helps to streamline the process as it works effectively on both areas so there’s no need to use separate chemicals. For filthy wheels, I use it neat but for wheels which are a bit better maintained then 1:4 works great. It is a gel-based formula so has the added benefit of a long dwell time and reduced risk of drying out in warmer weather.
Here is a link to High Definition Detail Braking Point.
Garage Therapy /ONE: Wheel Shampoo
I was a bit sceptical about wheel shampoos before I tried them, but I’ve now been using them for well over a year on my car and love the results. They work really well at safely cleaning well-maintained wheels when a stronger cleaner would be unnecessarily aggressive. That’s why I use them on my own car.
My favourite is the Garage Therapy Wheel Shampoo which I use in an IK Foamer at a 1:50 ratio. It has great cleaning power and foams up really nicely. Plus it is very economical at this dilution ratio. Alternatively, it can be used in a bucket (roughly 20 mL to 20 L of water).
If the wheels I’m dealing with are super dirty, I’ll go for HDD Braking Point, but if they are well-maintained then this is my go-to cleaner.
Here’s a video showing this product in action.
Here is a link to the Garage Therapy /ONE: Wheel Shampoo.
Paintwork Cleaning Chemicals
Mile Deep Release
When a car is really dirty, I like to start the wash process with a citrus prewash spray. This particular one is dilutable so really cost effective, foams up very nicely when agitated on areas like the tyres or wheel arches and does a great job at pre-washing the car.
It can be diluted in a pump sprayer or just a standard spray bottle for different purposes:
- 1:9 ratio: for light cleaning/ removing bugs and bird poop on a well-protected car
- 1:4 ratio: for cleaning dirty/ unprotected cars
- 1:1 ratio: for heavy degreasing e.g. engine bays
Here is a link to Mile Deep Release
Squid Ink Alkafroth
This is a lesser known snow foam in the detailing industry and it definitely deserves more attention. It’s thick, has a good dwell time, economical dilution ratio and most importantly, it has excellent cleaning ability.
I tend to use it at 1:20 in the foam cannon when the car isn’t super dirty, and then 1:10 if the car hasn’t been cleaned in a long time or doesn’t have any protection on it.
Here’s a link to Squid Ink Alkafroth Snow Foam
I tested this snow foam against some other popular choices and I was really pleased with how it performed. You can see this comparison on my YouTube channel.
Garage Therapy /ONE: Snow Foam V2
This snow foam, like the one above has impressive cleaning ability which is the main thing for me. It works really well at a 1 in 10 dilution and although it doesn’t have a very long dwell time (roughly 5 minutes), it hasn’t ever let me down in terms of cleaning power.
It also has the other following benefits:
- Contains rust inhibitors
- Caustic, phosphate and NTA free
- Works effectively in a pump/ trigger sprayer as well as a foam cannon
Here is a link to the Garage Therapy /ONE: Snow Foam V2.
Garage Therapy /ONE: Car Shampoo
This has remained my favourite shampoo for maintenance washes for a long time now. It’s a pH neutral pure shampoo which means it doesn’t contain any waxes or gloss-enhancers which could clog up the existing protection on the car.
I like to use about 15 mL in a 20 L bucket of water, or apply it directly onto the car using a foam cannon. I find this works best at a 1:9 ratio in the foam cannon. This helps to make the contact wash even safer by adding plenty of lubrication.
Here is a link to the Garage Therapy /ONE: Car Shampoo