Don’t Use Baby Shampoo To Clean Your Car (Use This Instead)

Car cleanliness is key for its maintenance — you should wash it if you want to maintain its good looks and shine.

However, cleaning isn’t enough; what you use to clean it also matters.

Not all washing agents are great for use on cars, and this is something you should know.

But the question is whether baby shampoo falls in that category of what not to wash your car with.

Quick Answer

Generally, you shouldn’t use baby shampoo to wash your car because it can affect the clear coat or wax coating and leave it vulnerable. Eventually, it will leave your car’s painting vulnerable to etching and stains. 

While baby shampoos are safe for babies, you shouldn’t expect the same protection for your car.

Read this article before you take out your baby shampoo. It can damage your car’s finish, and you can find out why in the article.

Can I Use Baby Shampoo To Wash My Car?

Baby shampoos don’t hurt the eyes while washing hair with them.

This can make you think it is safe to wash your car. As someone who cares for your car, you’d want to know if you can use it as a cleaning agent.

Quick Answer

As a whole, don’t use baby shampoo to wash your car because it can remove the wax protection on your car, leaving your car vulnerable

Of course, the first time you wash your car with baby shampoo may not cause any damage; however, continual usage is the problem.

While you may think they are cheaper than car shampoo or car wash soap, getting your car’s finish defenses back up might be costlier. 

You probably won’t see the damage immediately, but it’s eventual.

There’s also the possibility of it leaving residues on your car. Hence, it is important to use the right cleaning agents for cars to wash them.

However, situations can be inevitable, and you may be left with no choice but to use your baby shampoo when out of car wash soap or shampoo.

In that case, you need to dilute the baby shampoo to prevent any serious impact on your car. 

You can dilute 1/4th of baby shampoo with 1/4th of baking powder and warm water.

Then, you will need to rinse it off quickly to prevent it from leaving residues or streaks on the car.

Sure, baby shampoos can remove dirt from your car, but cleaning agents for cars are better.

What Is The Best Thing To Wash A Car With?

Now that you know that baby shampoo won’t do your car any good, you better leave it stacked on your bathroom shelf.

Since that’s out of the way, what should you use to wash your car?

As a general rule, the best things to wash a car with are the cleaning agents meant solely for that purpose, like:

  • Surface prep or wax-stripping shampoo
  • Wash and wax shampoo
  • Car soap conditioner
  • Iron removal soaps
  • Super foaming car shampoos

You can trust your car’s washing with the following types of car wash shampoo:

Surface Prep Or Wax-Stripping Shampoo

This car cleaning agent is meant to degrease the wax on your car.

It has degreasing agents enhanced with alkaline to remove sealants, old wax, and contaminants from a car’s surface. 

Wash And Wax Shampoo

This is the market’s most popular car cleaning agent because of its two functions.

It washes the car, removes dirt and debris from your car’s surface, and leaves a small layer of wax on your car afterward.

That way, your car is still protected after washing.

Car Soap Conditioner

This type of car wash soap is meant to condition your car. It cleans your car and brings back the glitter of your car’s paint and wax.

Iron Removal Soaps

These types contain low pH and are meant for removing ferrous materials and embedded brake dust on your car. 

Super Foaming Car Shampoos

Sud is important in cleaning agents. They help clean the car really well.

Foaming car shampoos are now very popular because they’re super bubbly, and since they sometimes come in foam guns, foam cannons, or touchless washing techniques, more people use them. 

If you have no access to a car shampoo or soap, you can use household alternatives like vinegar, rubbing alcohol, cornstarch, coconut oil, and cooking spray.

You can also use a wheel cleaner or other cleaning agents without chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, phosphate, triclosan, perchloroethylene, and coco diethanolamine, because they can ruin your car’s protective layer.


Washing your car with baby shampoo can damage your car’s protective layers. It can strip the protective layer on the paint and leave it vulnerable. 

Instead of baby shampoos, use dedicated car wash soap or shampoo, as they’re the safer option.

If you must use baby shampoo, you should use it once and ensure you dilute it properly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Washing your car with baby shampoo can strip it of the protective layer,
  • You must dilute baby shampoo before using it,
  • Only use cleaning agents without specific chemicals to wash your car,
  • You can use household items like vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or cornstarch to wash your car.


Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge