What brand or type you use is less important than making sure that you mix it in the right amounts (even though some are vague, 1oz per gallon is usually standard), and that you use SAFE wash materials and methods to prevent scratches or swirls. There is a good link in this thread: http://www.mazda3forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=5115 Brushes, sponges, and synthetic mitts are bad news.
I alternate between my favourite Zymol Auto Wash (the "cheap" blue one) and whatever else I have lying around, depending on the vehicle and its condition. Some of the more expensive brands/products tend to offer slightly better lubrication than the "cheap stuff" but I haven't run into a truly "bad" shampoo yet...
Meguiar's Gold Class works fine. It's about $7 for a big bottle that lasts a long time if you mix it right. However I'll use dish soap only when I'm going to wax it. Some manufacturers actually recommend this. It works well. But any soap made for the car should be fine. I'm not sure I trust that crap at carwashes though, who knows what it is :shock: . I only use it in desperation in the winter.
never use dishwater soap or laundry soap, these are very hard on the paint. Always use a specific car wash item , one of the best is one called Multi Wash sold by General Motors dealers,it lathers up quickly, leaves a nice shine. Also has a million uses around the house. You can buy it in 1 litre or 4 litre sizes, well worth the money. Only needs a tablespoon in a pail of water. Chamoise is also hard on the paint, it is better to use a towel. Hope it helps.
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