The best car cleaning products 2018: from waxes and shampoos to pressure washers

Keep your car looking shiny and new with these car cleaning products from shampoo to waxes

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Giving your car a weekly wash using a quality car shampoo isn’t a bad place to start if you’re trying to preserve or even revive the showroom look of your pride and joy. However, there are plenty of other products on the market that’ll allow you to do much more than rinse off some meagre traffic grime.

In fact, if you’re really serious about keeping up the appearance of your car then you’ll want to give it a deep clean from time to time. To do this there are wheel cleaners, polishing compounds, glass cleaners and trim revivers, all designed to bring your vehicle back to its original best.

We’ve got products here that cover all bases, because it’s easy to forget that a cool looking car isn’t just about shiny paintwork. You’ll want to home in on your alloys with a quality car wheel cleaner, get the trim back to its original lustre and make sure your interior and exterior glass is looking crystal clear with the aid of a quality glass cleaner.

We’ve got a stack of the best car cleaning products for 2018 below that range from cleaning products through to gadgets for getting the job done that little bit easier too. And, for the last little finishing touch, have a quick flit round your motor with a detailing spray to really showcase the best bits of your car.

If you’re looking to get the most effective, professional looking clean at home, then a pressure washer such as the Karcher K5 is a great way to ensure you don’t miss a spot.

It’s powerful and will cut cleaning time down massively, then you can finish off with a car cleaning product such as Turtle Wax FG7607 Original Car Wax for that super high shine. 

Check out our full list of the best car cleaning products below that will make even the oldest cars look brand spanking new. 

1. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner

Bring your rims back to showroom condition with this alloy–friendly wheel liquid

Reasons to buy
+Safe and friendly to most wheels+Easy clean option even for fiddly wheels

Most cars come with alloy wheels nowadays and it’s the rims that really set off your car nicely. So, keeping them looking tasty is vital, which is where Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner comes in. Best thing about it is the non-acid, non-alkaline make-up of the spray on liquid, so it’s fine on just about any kind of wheel. 

Gentle brushing brings out the best results, especially on complex designs, but even used without any kind of manual intervention you’ll find that your wheels come up a treat. It might sport low-key packaging but the results are a genuine revelation and it’ll last you a while too.

2. Meguiar's G17216EU Ultimate Compound

Give your tired paintwork a new lease of life with this mild but powerful compound

Reasons to buy
+Makes old and marked paint look like new+Removes contamination without damaging paint

Giving your car a wash and wax is a given, but sometimes you need to go just that little bit further. Meguiar's G17216EU Ultimate Compound can be used to mildly cut back your paint surface, so that small scratches and blemishes vanish. It can be used on single stage and clear coat paintwork and is also ideal for removing tree sap and tar spots. 

What’s more, you’ll be able to remove those annoying buffer swirls that less competent garages and drive-up car wash places can inflict on your paintjob and all without adding further damage. When you’re done, a quick once over with a quality wax and you’ll be good to go.

3. Dodo Juice Basics Of Bling Detailing Spray

Finish off your car with the liquid that can take on pretty much anything

Reasons to buy
+Cracking all round detailing fluid+Works on a variety of surfaces

Shabby interior and exterior plastic trim is a real letdown if you’ve spent time buffing up your paintwork and treating the wheels. So, a quick run round with Dodo Juice and all of your other surfaces will be looking just as good. Simply spray it on and wipe off. 

Paint, plastic trim as well as metal and glass can all be given the same treatment and this comes in a large 500ml container, while a supplementary 100ml spray is also available as part of the range. It’s a quick and easy solution for adding the finishing touch to your very own valeting routine.

4. CarPlan Screen Clean

Make your car look like it’s just left the showroom with this liquid glass cleaner

Reasons to buy
+Cheap and cheerful window solution+One pass usually does the trick

If you’re obsessed with having a clean car, or just want to make it look ‘right’ then the devil is in the detail. Clean glass all round really makes a difference and this bargain-basement super simple liquid removes all manner of residues and gunk with spray-and-go efficiency. 

Help things along with a decent cloth or paper towels and you’ll find that your glass soon returns to its original condition. Plenty of elbow grease brings out the best from this product, but it’s pretty good in small doses and can be easily worked into those tight window corners with a suitably fluffy cloth.

The best car cleaning product

5. Karcher K5 Pressure Washer

The quickest way to clean your car

Reasons to buy
+ 8-metre hose 

Whether you’re doing a deep clean or just need to give your car the once over, a pressure washer is the best way to get results fast. It features a trigger gun with variable pressure depending on how stubborn any dirt is and it reaches a maximum temperature of 40 degrees. 

It comes on wheels and detergent is included so you can simply plug and clean without the need for any other products. Users found this machine easy to assemble and control when in use.  

Autoglym The Collection

6. Autoglym The Collection

A full kit for cleaning inside and out

Reasons to buy
+ Everything you need for a professional clean 

This extensive car cleaning kit is ideal for giving your car a full clean inside and out. It includes things such as shampoo and polish, gloss protection, tyre and wheel cleaner as well as a sponge and finishing cloth to ensure no smears. All of these products fit into a handy carry case, making it easy to keep in the boot or in your garage for whenever you need it. If you’re someone who likes looking after their car, then this set should give you everything you need for that professional finish at home.  

Meguiar's Ultimate Wash and Wax

7. Meguiar's Ultimate Wash and Wax

Boost shine in between waxes

Reasons to buy
+ pH neutral 

If you want to keep your car looking good in-between waxes, then this wash and wax formula will clean your car and leave it with a high shine afterwards. Simply mix with water and scrub, and then rinse with water afterwards. 

It’s quick and easy to use, and is pH neutral so not too harsh on your vehicle. Users have said it leaves your car completely streak-free after use and you only need to use it sparingly as it gets very soapy.  

Turtle Wax FG7607 Original Car Wax

8. Turtle Wax FG7607 Original Car Wax

Removes stubborn grime and leaves a high shine

Reasons to buy
+ Protects against the elements 

Wax isn’t just used to achieve a high shine, it’s actually a great way of removing stubborn ingrained dirt on your car, and this easy to use formula is gentle and light, so it won’t scratch or leave marks on your car. 

It’s also great for providing a strong barrier against the elements, keeping your vehicle looking glossy whatever the weather. This wax has been said to provide a good level of protection between washes. 

Bilt Hamber Auto Clay Bar

9. Bilt Hamber Auto Clay Bar

Get the smoothest finish with this car clay

Reasons to buy
+ Powerful pulling action 

This bar of clay requires no other added ingredients other than water, and it is able to remove tough stains and marks while remaining gentle to the car’s paintwork. You can choose different consistencies depending on the condition of your car. 

If you like to clean your car frequently then soft clay is recommended for any vehicle with paintwork that is in good condition. If your car is a little older then a medium bar is recommended for best results.  

Meguiars Luxurious Lambs Wool Wash Mitt

10. Meguiars Luxurious Lambs Wool Wash Mitt

Avoid scratches when cleaning with this luxury mit

Reasons to buy
+ Plush lamb’s wool 

Using this soft car-cleaning mitt will ensure you’re not left with any streaks or any scratches to the paintwork, even when tackling tough dirt and grime. This mitt is said to last a long time and it also has a mesh panel on one side which is great for lifting off things such as bugs. 

After use, you simply wash the mitts in warm water so they are clean and ready for the next time. You can use this mitt with any kind of car cleaning shampoo or polish.  

Kent Car Care Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel

11. Kent Car Care Extra Large Microfibre Drying Towel

Dry off your car for high shine and no smears

Reasons to buy
+ Can absorb up to 8 times its weight in water 

Once you have cleaned your car thoroughly, giving it a good dry will ensure it’s looking as good as new and it also means it won’t risk getting anything stuck to it while it’s still wet. 

This microfiber towel is great at absorbing water and will allow you to completely dry and polish your car. It can be machine washed and won’t lose its softness, so it can be used time and time again no matter how often you wash your car.