That's a tough question, since most cars are made up of a lot of different surfaces. Acrylic paint, vinyl, chrome, rubber, plastic, glass, cloth, sheet metal and other materials all demand a variety of cleaner. So let's start with cleaners that you shouldn't use. Most household cleaning products have solvents that break down the oils in paints and vinyl. Laundry detergents usually have extremely high alkaline levels that also can harm the finish. Soaps can leave a dull film.
Only at a professional carwash like ours can you always get the right solution dispensed in the right proportions. For example in the summer we use a higher percentage of insect-removing solutions. And in the winter we use added solutions to combat salt and deposits. In fact, carwashes across the nation develop their own customized solution programs to best fit their area's needs.
When you do clean at home, you should hove a variety of cleaners on hand. Be sure to carefully read all label directions, since many cleaners can damage other surfaces. And remember, just because a small amount of a cleaner works well, that doesn't mean that more works better. The best thing to do is to consult a professional here at our carwash.