So, the very obvious core of taking care of your vehicle and keeping it washed would be a car soap. There are a lot of different types of soaps out there and it can be hard to decide which one would be the absolute best for you. Bu for your general “everyday” soap you’ll likely just be needing a pH neutral and preferably high foaming soap. The reasons as to why? If a soap is pH neutral that obviously mean it’s not acidic and believe it or not some soaps are, which can cause some major issues if you’re washing during a hot day or in direct sunlight because then if the soap sits too long on the paint or dries it can actually cause damage to and discolor your paint. The reason you’d prefer a high foaming soap is it will be more lubricative while washing and lowering the chance of causing any scratches to the paint when hand washing. If you have and use a foam cannon with a pressure washer you can create a very thick layer of foam that will also keep the paint from getting too warm if it’s a hot or sunny day out.
Now that you have your pH neutral soap there are other’s you could consider getting. Some of these would be a soap formulated with a small amount of ceramic or graphene in them which will apply a protective coating over your paint when you wash with them. The coating may last you for a few months and will make any future washing much easier since none of the contaminants or dirt that may end up on your vehicle will be touching and bonding directly to the paint and it will further improve the shine and depth of your paint. However you do want to be careful using these types of soaps as they can trap any dirt or contaminants between the paint and the coating so it’s generally recommended only to wash with these types of soaps if you’ve already washed with another soap or if your car or truck isn’t to dirty to begin with.
Another type of soap you could consider would be a soap infused with some form of wax. These can leave behind an amazing shine but the waxes generally don’t last that long and if you plan to apply some type of ceramic or graphene coating in the future you won’t want to have any type of wax on the surface of your vehicle. You can stack wax and a ceramic or graphene however the ceramic and graphene coatings must be applied first and then the wax after. These coatings bond with porous objects so if you apply a wax overtop of your paint there’s no way for the ceramic or graphene can bond to your paint.
If you enjoy going out trailing and mudding and get a lot of mud/dirt buildup it can actually be useful to have a low pH presoak or soap since it will help break down all the salt, sand and other contaminants on your trail buggy’s paint. You will have to be careful with these because they can eat away at your clear coat or if your vehicle is ceramic coating it can also damage the coating. Low pH soaps are also not something you would want to use on a sunny or hot day and potentially risking it drying on your vehicle and causing damage but for a niche group or a very soiled and gross work truck they have the strength you’ll need to eat at all that grime.
There’s also car shampoos safe specifically for vinyl wrapped or PPF covered cars and “ceramic maintenance” shampoos but honestly they’re all mostly just pH neutral or high pH (alkaline) soaps and are just very light soaps with 0 harsh chemicals.
So which soap or combination of soaps do you think is best for you and the needs of your vehicle? No matter what type of car detailing soaps, waxes or coatings you need. Detail Medic has everything you need for your detailing tool kit. Thank you for reading and please support our small family run business