As the weather improves, now is the time to remove the ravages of winter motoring and see how well your bodywork has fared. Before you pick up a clay bar, wax or touch-up paint, you need to shift the built-up grime – and as household soaps can harm paint, a specialist car shampoo is the only way to go.
There are dozens available, offering everything from protective wax finishes to fragrant aromas, so we grabbed a bucket and 12 top sellers to see which one will best wash away the winter motoring blues.
Given a decent sponge or mitt and enough water, most shampoos will shift grime, so we focused on those that made the job easier by drying the car after rinsing. We cleaned and rinsed sections of bodywork, then noted which wash left the least to be leathered off. Plus, we rated price per 10-litre bucket, as the amount you use can vary. We found all our prices online, but they exclude delivery.
The Bilt-Hamber auto-wash retains its crown, quickly clearing the panel even though you use only tiny amounts. Halfords’ big pack is second, ahead of Autoglym’s Bodywork Shampoo.