Looking for a rich foamy lather

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Jan 30, 2007
Clovis, CA
Is there any way to get a full lather while washing a car? I'm using a 5 gallon bucket and a car wash brush and none of the car wash soaps I've tried give me a lather.
.....your in CA? But the west coast in general

IIRC water is VERY hard with minerals, so lather for anything would be hard to come by.

How's the washing machine, and other soap related activities doing in the suds department?

If not great, might be time for water analysis, and or a softener.

If this is all wrong, consider it reductive and disregard.
The suds really do not serve much purpose...

Sorry if I was not clear in my response. Suds are a by-product of soap and water mixture and they have no impact on the cleaning process. They are however, a good indicator of the amount of active soap in the solution. So for instance, if one soap produces twice as much suds as another soap at the same dilution ratio, then you can assume it is twice as concentrated. Additionally, if the soap loses its suds while washing a very oily car, then you can tell that the activity of the soap is reduced since most of the surfactants have been consumed in the process of emulsifying oils in water and you might want to add more soap to the bucket or use a fresh bucket.


I personally use Meguiars D110 Hyper Wash for the traditional washes, and either Meguiars D114 or Optimum No Rinse for the rinseless washes.
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I have always used Meguiars Gold Class. Smells clean, great lather, and does a great job.
Are you using softened water? Many times outside hose bibs are tied in before the softener so you don't waste salt softening water used to irrigate your lawn.
After reading a Car & Driver story in the 80's about auto detailing I used Ivory liquid for years as a car wash soap. The car I washed had nice shiny paint after 23 years. I did wax it regularly, of course. At some point I was informed that Ivory, like other dish washing soaps, would strip the wax. So, I went back to car washing products. None of them produce the nice lather of the Ivory. I've just learned to live with the new standard.

I should mention that I was able to reduce the waxing frequency. Ivory is pretty mild as dish washing liquids go, but probably not as mild as products made for cars.
Originally Posted By: RN89
I have always used Meguiars Gold Class. Smells clean, great lather, and does a great job.

Try Ivory liquid - if you're going to be waxing when you get done. No car wash product I have ever used makes lather like it. We do have pretty hard water here, though (200 ppm TDS).
Look no further than Meguiars Ultimate wash/wax. Available at Walmart where you pick up your Super Tech 10w30 synthetic. Really though, its great shampoo.
Have been using Meguiars Gold Class, which I found to be a great product. Reasonably priced, easy to find.

However, this summer I picked up some Duragloss 901 Car Wash and I have to say I love how slick it is and the shine after washing makes it look like you just waxed your car!

Of course if you are just looking for suds then I guess you could pick up a foam cannon. I grabbed a cheap sprayer awhile ago at a HF tent sale haven't tried it yet...maybe after the winter?

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Are you putting the soap in the bucket before or after the water? If you are putting the water in first, then the soap, you probably won't get much suds. Want suds?, put the soap in, then use a sprayer on the hose to fill the bucket, and every brand I have tried makes LOADS of suds
Some washes suds up but then fall flat very fast. Black Magic is horrible at not staying sudsy like good brands (Eagle One, Meguiars Gold Class/Ultimate, Duragloss, etc)
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