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What to use to clean car exterior 7 household products to bring out a new-like shine

What to use to clean car exterior? 7 household products to bring out a new-like shine

Is it dust and gunk that is dulling the shine of your newly purchased car? Well, if you had washed your car regularly, you wouldn’t be facing that issue today. That said, you don’t need to take your vehicle to the car washing every now and then. A clean and glassy-looking car exterior is not hard to achieve. Yes, you heard us right. All you need to do is have all the essential cleaning products.

Now you must be thinking ‘what to use to clean car exterior’. Don’t push too hard. We are here to help you out with that. Below is a short guide on what products to use and how to clean your car. So, without any further delay, let’s bring that new shine of your car back!

7 household products to clean car exterior

Below mentioned are some of the products which you can use for car cleaning when you run out of products. Though, we would recommend not using them religiously as some of them might damage your car’s paint. Overall, they are suitable for regular cleaning. Let’s get to them now.

1. Vinegar

Vinegar can be a good cleaning agent for a car’s exterior. It’s totally fine to use it when you run out of car soap. While it is entirely safe, it is advisable not to use it in great quantities for precautionary reasons.

How to use it

Vinegar becomes a good cleaning agent when mixed with water in the right proportions which is 1:3. Add 1 gallon of vinegar to 3 gallons of water to bring out a good shine. And since vinegar is also a deodorizer, it will immediately remove mold from your car.

2. Baking Soda

Don’t have car shampoo but have baking soda at home? Today’s cleaning session is sorted! Your car would appear clean and glossy when you use baking soda to clean it. And if you are worried it would damage your car’s outer wax layer or the clear coat, rest assured that it will have no effect on them. However, you must mix an appropriate amount of baking soda to make this hack work.

How to use it

Make a solution using two gallons of water and 1 gallon of baking soda for this wash. Once you start using it, you will forget your car wash shampoos. It is highly effective and certainly removes molds, gunk, and strong buildups.

Note: Use it in a moderate amount.

3. Shampoos

We don’t always have car wash shampoos available at home but our regular shampoos are available all the time. So, yes, you can definitely use your personal shampoo to wash your car. It would work similarly to a car wash shampoo. That said, it’s advisable not to let the shampoo rest on your car for long. Rinse it off fast as it could damage your car’s paint due to its hard chemical composition.

How to use it

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making car wash solutions using shampoo. Just use it in small amounts and dilute it in water to avoid mishaps.

Note: Don’t use it too often as it could fade your car’s paint.

4. Laundry detergent

You can also use your regular detergent to clean your car, regardless of its type and formula. While every detergent has unique properties, you can use it anyway to wash your car, occasionally when you run out of your car shampoo.

That said, keep in mind that you must rinse your car fast as some particles in detergents are harmful to your car’s exterior and can ruin its paint.

How to use it

Take some amount of detergent and keep a bucket of clean water close to your car. Use it like a car wash shampoo and rinse immediately. While it is not the best hack, it is doable if you have no other choice.

5. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a good cleaning agent for glass and wipers. Though, we wouldn’t recommend using it on your car’s exterior. You can use it to clean your car’s windows, wiper, windscreen and mirrors.

How to use it

To use it, pour a little amount onto the rag you use to clean your car and then wipe all the glass materials. It would definitely remove dirt and gunk hiding in the corners and inside the wiper gutters.

Note: Be careful while using this substance and avoid dropping and spilling.

6. Liquid hand wash soap

Head to your restroom, grab that liquid hand wash on your sink, and now let’s go to the garage and wash your car.  Liquid hand wash can also serve as a car wash without posing any threat to your car’s exterior. It will wipe out dust and gunk except for stubborn grimes and dirt. Since it has light cleaning substances, you cannot expect a robust cleaning from it.

How to use it

Just use it as you use your regular shampoos and detergent to clean your car.

7. Toothpaste

It may sound weird, but you can also use toothpaste to clean your car. But don’t get too excited. You will be using it only to clean other parts of your car, especially the headlights. Toothpaste has this great thing that it works amazingly well to clean headlights and clear stains from your vehicle’s upholstery.

How to use it

Simply pour some toothpaste on a rag and wipe the surface you want to clean.

So these are some household products you can use to clean your car. However, if you are reluctant to use them and manage to get on-shelf shampoos, below, we have some suggestions for you.

4 Best Car Wash Shampoos

Here are our top suggestions for on-shelf car wash products.

1)   Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash

Meguiar’s Gold Class is undoubtedly one of the best car washes available on the shelf. It is easy to use and removes stubborn stains and road gunk in just a single step without stripping the car’s wax protection. Its formula is lightweight and doesn’t cause harm to the car’s paint. It has only one downside, it leans towards the expensive side.

2)   3D Pink Car Wash Soap

3D Pink Car Wash Soap is considered the best choice for daily car washing. It obliterates dust and grime without much of a hassle. Its thick stud helps prevent roughness and scratch and gives a smooth-shiny surface. The only bad thing about this product is that it dries off fast and leaves soap water streaks.

3)   Griot’s Garage 10866 Car Wash

Griot’s Garage 10866 Car Wash is composed of premium ingredients that swiftly clean the gunk and dust by making lots of thick studs. You will get a glossy-looking car, free of soap-water streaks in just a simple wash. However, it is high priced, which puts off so many customers.

4)   Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo

It is another new formula introduced to give your car a sleek and shiny look. Its pH level is balanced and perfect for weekly washing. It has a pleasant smell and is gentle on car coating. It is also on the expensive side.


Covid-19 is a great lesson for all of us that we shouldn’t be dependent upon anything. There should always be a plan B for everything because when you are in chaos, you don’t always find what you want. Our suggested household products to wash a car will always help you in desperate situations. Lastly, don’t rely on them only. Once the situation is good, try to get a decent car wash from the market.

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