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Best Truck Wash Soaps: Make the Gloss on Your Truck Last Longer

These truck wash soaps will help you preserve the gloss of your truck

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BYLotus Felix, Mike Knott, Nikola Petrovski/ LAST UPDATED ON March 17, 2021

Investing in quality truck wash soap is the way to go if you want to preserve the gloss on your truck. The right truck wash soap will protect your truck's exterior and clean off all the dirt and grime, so you can proudly drive your truck anywhere. After careful research, we selected these three top truck car wash soaps.

Best Overall

Chemical Guys Citrus Wash


This is a citrus-based wash soap with good foaminess. It has a biodegradable formula and is environmentally friendly. It is free of additives and artificial thickeners and colors.

  • It has an advanced foaming formula, ensuring the right lubricity for easy washing and scratch-free rinsing
  • It is suitable for the two-bucket method, and one ounce mixes well with five gallons of water for a clean surface wash
  • It works both as a gloss enhancer and a shampoo
  • May leave behind water spots and stains
  • You may need to vigorously shake it before using it, as the product can separate inside the bottle
Best Value

Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash


This high-concentration soap contains 64 ounces in the formula. This makes it easy to wash tough stains with less soap, while the added wax improves your truck's gloss. This soap gives you a spot-free, radiant finish with its quick-rinse formula.

  • The Carnauba wax enhances the gloss of your truck, boosting the existing wax of your truck
  • Since it’s pH neutral, it will not cause swirl marks, watermarks, or streaks
  • Its high concentration means a single bottle will last you for a long time
  • It struggles when used with a foam blaster, and it is not particularly sudsy
  • It may also require extra scrubbing to clean the paint
Honorable Mention

Adam's Car Wash Shampoo


This biodegradable and eco-friendly wash soap combines polymers and advanced cleaners to produce good foam for cleaning off dirt and grime. It features a unique chemical technology that allows you to wash your truck in full sunlight. It has a candy-like wild berry scent.

  • The formula enhances the slickness and lubrication of this soap, preventing damage to your clear coat 
  • The concentrated formula also produces more suds, and it works well with a foam cannon or foam gun
  • It has a pH balance, making it gentle on the surface of your truck without drying out plastic components
  • It can be a little challenging to pour the soap due to its thick consistency
  • In addition, it may leave water spots
Best Truck Wash Soaps: Make the Gloss on Your Truck Last Longer

Benefits of Truck Wash Soaps

  • Removes stubborn dirt and debris. A dirty truck looks unappealing and can impact its appearance. Fortunately, a vehicle wash removes any stubborn dirt to leave your vehicle sparkling and clean. Many of these products are brushless and don’t require tools such as a pressure washer.
  • Brightens paintwork. If you’ve owned your vehicle for a while, the color might be starting to fade. Fortunately, a high-quality wash soap enhances its color and prevents it from fading with age.
  • Improves safety. You may wash your car for physical benefits, but dirt and debris on your windshield can impact your vision while driving. These products prevent a buildup of grime and dirt on your vehicle, allowing you to see clearly during your travels.

Types of Truck Wash Soaps

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Wash and Wax

A product that’s a wash and wax provides excellent value for the money and does more than simply remove dirt and debris from your vehicle’s surface. A wash and wax has the same function as a wash soap with the added benefit of a coat of wax. This saves you from purchasing a separate wax product and enhances your vehicle’s paintwork.


For an environmentally friendly option, waterless wash soaps are quick and easy to use, and don’t require any rinsing after you’ve cleaned your vehicle. The solution spruces into a thin texture so it doesn’t leave any residue behind. Consider that you can’t wash your car in warm climates or this will affect the overall result.

Top Brands

Chemical Guys

Founded in 1968, Chemical Guys is a top supplier for automotive cleaning products from car wax to car polish. The brand prides itself on developing highly-concentrated formulas to improve the product’s effectiveness and save you money in the long run. From its vast selection, we recommend the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash. This is a fast-acting solution that breaks down dirt and grime to allow debris to gently rinse away.

Mothers Car Care

Mothers Car Care was founded in 2010 and is one of the top brands for car care. Its automobile products are easy to use and remain kind and caring on your vehicle’s painted surface. From its range of products, we recommend the Wheel Cleaner. This product doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, making it a safer alternative to conventional acid cleaners.

Turtle Wax

Turtle Wax was founded in 1941, and continues to be one of the most popular car wash brands. Its range of car wash products and solutions provides a streak-free finish, while ensuring that you get the job done quickly. We recommend StreakFree Wash and Finish. This product contains a cationic rinse aid that naturally speeds up drying time. Your car’s surface will be left streak-free, shiny, and free from dirt and debris.

Truck Wash Soap Pricing

  • Up to $10: Budget vehicle soap will remove stubborn dirt and debris, though you might experience a few spots after cleaning your truck. It’ll have a fresh aroma that’s pleasant to work with.
  • $10-30: Increase your budget for a truck wash soap that has a thicker texture and a heavy-duty solution, so you need less of the product to achieve a dirt-free, gleaming finish.
  • $30 and up: A high-end truck wash soap comes in a thick, foamy texture, so you can easily wash a large surface area in a small amount of time. The product will have a built-in wax to act as a two-in-one, and leave your paintwork flawless.

Key Features

Thick Foam

A soap’s texture makes the difference to the cleaning effectiveness and time efficiency. Opt for a product with a high lubricity and maximum foaming action. This allows you to remove dirt and debris from the surface without having to repeatedly scrub the surface area. A thick foam also reduces the chances of scratches and prepares your vehicle to dry.

Amount of Foam and Suds

Foam and suds in a car wash cut through dirt, grease and grime, to leave your car’s surface clean and sparkling. This makes it easier to remove stubborn dirt that a product with limited foam and suds couldn’t achieve. This feature also allows the product to put in most of the work, rather than you, and eliminate a two-step process.

Pleasant Scent

Ideally, your wash will have a fresh aroma that’s pleasant to work with. If it uses eco-friendly, plant-based ingredients, that’s even better for your car and the environment.

Other Considerations

  • How Often You Clean Your Truck. The frequency you clean your vehicle will impact the ingredients used in the product. If you regularly wash your car once a week, opt for a softer soap that has fewer chemical compounds compared to concentrated versions. This means the product won’t eat away at your vehicle’s paint, leaving permanent damage.
  • Concentration Levels. The more concentrated the product, the less solution you’ll need to get your car clean. As a result, it’ll save you money in the long run by preventing you from constantly purchasing more wash soap. A highly-concentrated product also boosts its effectiveness.
  • PH Balance. A neutral pH won’t damage your car’s paintwork or remove any wax from a previous cleaning. However, more acidic or basic soaps can leave watermarks and strip your paintwork’s color with regular use compared to products with a low pH.

Best Truck Wash Soaps Reviews & Recommendations 2020

The Chemical Guys Citrus Wash has a citrus base and is a hyper-concentrated wash gloss that’s suitable for a range of surfaces. The shampoo and gloss enhancer leaves your vehicle dirt-free and gleaming. Once you apply the solution to your truck, it instantly gets to work, so there’s no waiting around. The lubricating foam removes soil and debris for an easy rinse that doesn’t leave any scratches behind.

If purchasing this soap, consider that its texture is slightly thinner than most on the market. Consequently, this means the solution can easily run down the vehicle if you don’t wipe it up quickly.

Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash is a quick and easy way to remove stubborn dirt from your vehicle without having to spend ages scrubbing. Plus, it won’t scratch or damage your paintwork, and even adds a protective coat. This is also the product to purchase if you’re tired of car soaps leaving smears or spots on your vehicle after you’ve spent a long time cleaning. The solution is powerful enough to remove stubborn grime and dirt while improving your paintwork’s shine and color.

Although this product is a good value, be aware that you need to use more solution than most to achieve a clean and sparkling finish. Also, be prepared to put in some elbow grease, as it can be difficult to remove stubborn debris.

Adam's Car Wash Shampoo is safe to use on all areas of your vehicle and acts as a degreaser. Its mixture holds a rich and thick foam during your washing experience. At the same time, it’s gentle enough to use on plastic elements and won’t dry out your truck’s trim. This pH-neutral soap is a great purchase for cleaning your vehicle weekly. It creates a slick texture that safely and effectively removes all dirt from your car without damaging the paintwork.

However, some customers noticed that this product can leave water spots on your vehicle. Therefore, it’s best to check over the car after washing or complete the maintenance with a rich wax.

Mr. Pink is a popular car wash soap used for cleaning all vehicle types. What makes this product so special is the sudsy foam. The soap foams up to an incredible degree, allowing you to remove all kinds of dirt and debris without much effort. Mr. Pink also leaves a pleasant smell that lingers. You can choose candy or pina colada and pick a 1-gallon, 16-ounce, or 64-ounce bottle. The Chemical Guys product turns out to be perfect for weekly vehicle maintenance. It features a pH-neutral formula, so it makes a completely safe option for frequent washes. The liquid is extra slick and rinses off easily without leaving scratches on the surface. Overall, Mr. Pink is easy to use, safe, and efficient. With it, your vehicle's paintwork will brighten up and have a better appearance than ever. 

Mr. Pink doesn't work well for everyone, though. The product is designed for pressure washers and can't work well without them. If you need a truck wash soap for handwashing, you might want to check out some other options on our list. Also, some buyers complained about the product leaving spots when not wiped to dry completely.

The Karcher car wash soap is a multi-purpose cleaner formulated for hand and pressure washer use. You can use it to clean and maintain cars, trucks, RVs, and much more. The formula is powerful enough to provide great cleaning results in a breeze. Because the Karcher soap is highly concentrated, you'll be able to use it for quite a while. The product is pretty easy to use, especially when combined with pressure washers. It rinses away quickly without leaving residues and leaves the surface perfectly clean. The formula is also biodegradable, which makes this car wash soap safe for the environment. Additionally, the product has an integrated Tru-Measure reservoir for precise dispensing. 

However, don't forget that the Karcher car wash soap is an inexpensive multi-purpose product. You won't be able to achieve glossy show-room results with it, even if it does contain wax. Also, some buyers were unsatisfied with the smell. To avoid inhaling a strong odor, we recommend using the product outside or in a well-ventilated area.


  • Make sure the truck wash soap you select is safe for all kinds of paints. It should have good lubricity and pH balance. The pH neutrality prevents the wax from stripping.
  • Use the truck wash soap with plenty of water. Water enhances the lubrication and helps avoid abrasions. Begin the process by wetting your truck first to rinse off the grime. 
  • High-pressure water is suitable for washing the engines of your truck and its wheel wells. However, don't use high-pressure water directly on the truck's surface to avoid scratching it.
  • Use a microfiber drying towel with your truck wash soap instead of cotton/polyester household towels. The former absorbs more and has a softer texture for quicker drying and protects your truck's finish.


Q: Can I use dish soap instead of truck wash soap for my truck?

No. Dish soaps are abrasive. They don't have the right pH balance and will damage the paint of your truck.

Q: Can I wash my truck in direct sunlight?

It is not advisable. Direct sunlight creates water spots. It is crucial to keep your truck wet through the washing process, so it is better to wash your truck under shade to prevent premature drying.  

Q: Why should a truck wash soap have a heavy-foaming formula?

It makes it easier to clean off the dust and grime. Foam loosens the dirt and grease, so these contaminants can be readily washed off. Foam also enhances the lubrication, protecting the finish of the truck.

Q: What is the best pH for truck wash soap?

Select wash soaps with a pH balance of 7. Such pH neutrality prevents the soap from attacking the protective coat of your truck. Heavy solvents can damage the sealant coating and wax of your truck.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash. It is environmentally friendly and doesn’t contain additives and artificial colors.

If you want something considerably cheaper, you can select the Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash.