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10 of Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Auto Detailing Products

Tired of washing your car with harsh chemicals? You have options. Today, there are many eco-friendly car detailing products that both car enthusiasts and professional auto detailers use.

Aisde from any environmental impact, I like to mix in a few eco-friendly products because they contain contain harsh chemicals often found in some detailing products. If you’re a detailer, it’s a good idea to offer a selection of green car care products to customers.

In this post, we’ll share 10 of our favorite eco-friendly products and devices to help you deliver the best results possible. Many of these products contain natural ingredients and require less water than traditional products.

1. Steam-powered cleaning devices

Steam is a good eco-friendly alternative for interior use; you can use steam to clean sticky cupholders, dirty door jambs, or even tackle tough stains on carpet.

Devices called steam guns attach to air compressors and blast pressurized steam to clean carpets, seatbelts, and many other interior surfaces.

The Tornador is the industry-standard device for interior steam cleaning and pretty fun to use.

Tornador Car Cleaning Gun

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2. Cordless or electric pressure washers

For washing small cars, an electric or even a cordless pressure washer (that doesn’t require running water) is a much greener alternative to gas units. Y

ou can also use biodegradable soaps in a foam gun or foam cannon that attaches to the pressure washer lance.

For very light applications, Sun Joe makes a portable unit that requires no power or water; its pump generates water pressure and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can attach a hose if needed, but it’s not required.

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Sun Joe SPX6001C-XR

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Sun Joe SPX6001C-XR cordless pressure washer

If you are using a two-bucket method to wash your car with minimal water, this is a great product to use just for rinsing.

3. Waterless car wash products

Waterless car wash products are great to use in between washes, especially if water usage is a concern.

Chemical Guys makes a waterless car wash spray we recently reviewed here at Carwash Country. It smells great, is affordable, and is perfect for quick touch-ups

Chemical Guys Waterless Car Wash Spray

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Chemical Guys Swift Wipe Waterless Car Wash

4. Products by Simple Green

Simple Green is a great eco-friendly company that makes a great line of products made from biodegradable ingredients. One of which is a degreaser that I use and love because it cuts through brake dust, tar, and dirt on tires and wheels (and smells great too). 

This product is designed to be diluted, so it goes a long way.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner

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Simple Green All Wheel & Tire Cleaner

5. Water containment mats

Another good idea with environmental protection in mind is a device called a water reclamation mat. Many professional detailers and hobbyists use these mats because they help keep water out of storm drains (even if you don’t use eco-friendly chemicals).

You can find professional-grade and consumer-grade options if water runoff is a concern. Once you’re finished washing, suck up your suds with a wet/dry vac. Done.

20′ x 10′ Water Containment Mat

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6. Eco-friendly wash kits

Looking for a truly eco-friendly and convenient way to wash your vehicle? Consider a basic wash kit that includes a rinseless wash product, microfiber towels, and a pump sprayer.

Chemical Guys Eco-Friendly 5-Piece Wash Kit

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This package is designed to clean any vehicle with only 1 gallon of water.

7. Eco-friendly car wash shampoos

Car shampoo is a staple for normal maintenance washing, but there are a few eco-friendly options to choose from. If you have limited access to water, check out this waterless car wash product by Chemical Guys.

Chemical Guys EcoSmart Waterless Wash and Wax

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Ecosmart Waterless Wash and Wax

We recommend these types of products only for us in between washes, for light dirt and grime only. As a car wax and wash all-in-one, it’s an affordable way to wash off dust that appears a day or two after properly washing your car.

8. Eco-friendly interior detailing sprays

For seats, dashboards, leather, plastic, or vinyl…it can be tough to find a non-grease product made of all-natural chemicals.

Striker is one of the few I’ve found specifically designed for interior use.

Striker Eco-Friendly Interior Detailer

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It’s made in the USA, leaves behind a natural finish, and is perfect for removing light dust and residue.

9. Eco-friendly wheel cleaner

Looking for a basic wheel cleaner that is pH-neutral and will not stain your rims with harsh acids? Look no further than Adam’s Eco Wheel cleaner.

Adam’s Eco Wheel Cleaner

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Adam's ECO Wheel Cleaner

Unlike conventional products in the wheel cleaning category, this one has a pleasant smell and is one of the few eco-friendly products designed for wheels.

10. Eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner

As a companion to the ECO Wheel Cleaner, this product is a great all-in-one cleaner that you can use for engine bays, wheels, and more.

Adam’s Eco All-Purpose Cleaner

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Adam's ECO All Purpose Cleaner

Many Adam’s products are available by the gallon so you can dilute them to the strength you desire; they also have great reviews and offer a wide variety of products in this category.

Don’t rely on harsh chemicals to wash your car

The good news is you won’t need to use harsh or harmful chemicals if your vehicle stays relatively clean. A good ceramic coating and regular washing will require fewer gallons of water so you can mix in more of these waterless or rinseless products into your process.

Quick Tip

The best car cleaning products many people assume are the strongest cleaners. In reality, stronger chemicals are only needed in extreme detailing jobs, not for routine washing.

​Want to learn the basics of washing and detailing? Check out our video course, Washing and Detailing for Beginners. Happy detailing!

Ready to improve your washing and detailing skills?

This video course unpacks the fundamentals of washing and detailing. From exterior cleaning and blemish removal…you’ll learn the secrets that will give you spotless pro-level results!

Baxter Overman is the founder of Carwash Country and has been been cleaning up dirty vehicles for nearly 20 years. Since 2017, he's helped thousands of beginners see better results by learning the fundamentals of washing and detailing. He's on a mission to make the car wash process more fun...and way easier.

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