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There are times when you just can’t be bothered to take your car to the car wash and you simply want to wash your car at home. Luckily, there are plenty of household items  you can use to wash your car.

Household Products For Washing Your Car

You’d be surprised by how versatile some of your everyday items can be. If you’re at home wondering “what can I use to wash my car,” just take a peek inside your pantry, bathroom, or storage closet, and you’re sure to find an answer.

Car Exterior

When cleaning your car, it’s important not to use any harsh products that can damage its wax coating and paint. Try using any of these products instead:

Baking Soda

The great thing about baking soda is that it isn’t just for cooking. You can use it for other things too, including cleaning your car exterior. Just mix one cup of baking soda with one gallon of water for your very own homemade cleaner.

Peanut Butter

Dealing with tar or tree sap on your car? You can get rid of them using peanut butter from your kitchen. Just apply it to the stain, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, and then gently rub it off with a microfiber cloth.

While it can certainly help get rid of some of the stains, don’t expect it to work like magic. As delicious as peanut butter is, it isn’t as effective as commercial cleaners.

Baby Shampoo

If you’re looking for a safe option, then you can’t go wrong with baby shampoo. Because it’s specifically made for babies, it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that can damage your car’s paint.

Unfortunately, this also means it won’t be strong enough to get rid of any tough stains. Its mild formula also creates a very thin lather, and if you aren’t careful, you might end up scratching your car.


If you’re dealing with dirty windows, you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and water to clean them. Just take one tablespoon of vinegar, one cup of alcohol, and one cup of water, and mix them together for a homemade window cleaner.

You can also use a similar mixture to clean your windshield wipers. Dilute three cups of rubbing alcohol or vinegar in one gallon of water, and use it to gently clean your wipers.

Leather Seats

Are your leather seats stained from drops of coffee or sauce from your favorite takeout place? While it’s always best to hire a professional to clean them for you, you can also use these products to clean them up:


You can use any non-gel toothpaste by applying a small amount on the stains. Take a spare toothbrush and use it to gently scrub the toothpaste into the stains.

Rubbing Alcohol

You can also use rubbing alcohol on your leather seats. Just take a cotton swab, and use it to dab the alcohol on the stains.

Vinegar and Linseed Oil

If you have linseed oil in your cupboard, you can also mix two parts of it with one part vinegar as an alternative cleaner. Apply the mixture directly to your leather seats and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stains away.

Hard and Vinyl Surfaces

Wondering what to clean your car interior with? Here are some of the best household items you can use to wash your car’s hard and vinyl surfaces:

Rubbing Alcohol

Use rubbing alcohol to clean your dashboard, center console, and other hard surfaces in your cabin.

Lemon Juice and Oil

If life gives you lemons, you don’t always have to make lemonade. You can also use them to make a homemade car cleaner. Just squeeze out some lemon juice and mix it with olive or coconut oil. Spray it on your dashboard and other hard surfaces in your cabin, and wipe it away with a dry cloth.


Nobody likes looking at stained fabric, but it isn’t always practical to take your car to the auto detailer just because of a few splotches on your car seat. Try using these household products  first:


You can use cornstarch to get rid of any greasy stains on your fabric seats and upholstery. Just sprinkle cornstarch on the stains, and after a few hours, you should be able to vacuum the powder and stains away.

Vinegar and Dish Soap

You can also clean your upholstery with one cup of vinegar diluted in one gallon of water. If you need something stronger for stubborn stains, you can also add a small amount of dish soap to the mixture.

Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is great for disinfecting most surfaces, including fabric seats and other upholstery. Just rub it on any stains and leave it to dry.


You’re no doubt surprised to find onions on this list, but that’s because it isn’t actually a soap alternative. It’s a homemade solution for any cigarette burns on your upholstery.

Cut an onion and let its juice soak the cigarette burns. It isn’t going to magically repair the scorch marks, but it will make them less noticeable.

Household Products To Avoid

As you ask yourself “what can I use to wash my car at home,” don’t forget to also think about which products you shouldn’t use to wash your car. Some household products contain harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good, so be sure to steer clear of them.

Dish Soap

Dish soap might be great at removing grease and oil from your pots and pans, but it isn’t a good idea to use it for your car exterior. This is because dish soap is a little too good at removing grease and oil, to the point that it can also strip away the clear wax coating your car.

Using dish soap once won’t immediately strip away your wax, but it’s probably for the best if you delay your car wash until after you pick up a fresh bottle of car soap.

Laundry Detergent

If you’re looking for the best household soap to wash your car with, then your laundry room is the wrong place to go looking for the answer. Just like dish soap, laundry detergent contains chemicals that are harmful to your car’s protective wax. It’s best to keep your detergent out of the garage and in your laundry room where it belongs.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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