How to Do a Waterless Car Wash

a person rubbing a sponge on a car door
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 60-150
What You'll Need
Waterless car wash product
Soft cloths or towels
What You'll Need
Waterless car wash product
Soft cloths or towels

A waterless car wash is an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional car wash procedures, which require from 80 to 140 gallons of water per wash. To perform a waterless car wash, you can find both petroleum-based cleaning agents, as well as organic agents made of plants extracts, on the market. If you have allergies, you should opt for the organic cleaning agents. Washing your car without water is an easy-to-do task, and may be performed at home. The physical effort it requires is higher than traditional car washing, because you need to apply more pressure when wiping your car, but the results are similar.

Step 1 – Prepare for the Wash

You may wash your car in the garage, especially if it is windy or rainy. If you want to wash your car outside, make sure the weather is fine. Waterless car wash products contain liquid, so it should not be very cold outside when you use them. Given that the solution is not very cheap, you should avoid the wind blowing the agent away as you spray it on your car.

It is not necessary to make any preparations like rinsing or pre-washing the car beforehand.

Step 2 – Apply Car Wash Product

Start from the top of your car. Apply the cleaning product on the surface. Depending on the product you chose, you will have to spray it on or apply it with a piece of cloth. Make sure you cover the entire surface, without spraying excess product. If your waterless cleaning product contains wax (most of these solutions do), do not apply it on the car windows and windshield.

Wait a short while for the product dissolve the dirt. Generally these products act quickly, but you may need to wait up to 15 minutes.

Step 3 – Remove Dirt and Solution

Use a piece of clean cloth or a towel to wipe the top of the car. Move the cloth gently on the entire surface you sprayed. The grime and dirt should wipe off easily.

Work your way down on the doors, the hood and the rest of the car. Use a clean piece of cloth for each area of the car. In case you come across dirtier areas, do not scrub, but apply more cleaning agent and let it soak.

Step 4 – Wipe the Car

When you are done removing the product and the dirt, take another clean piece of cloth or towel and wipe the entire car, employing circular movements.

You will not need to rinse the car.

Step 5 – Check for Chips

Inspect your car for scratches and small paint chips. Apply small amounts of the product on those areas and let it work for about 15 minutes. Then wipe it off. Waterless car wash products which contain wax can render minor flaws invisible.

Waterless car wash works on moderately dirty cars. In case your car is extremely dirty, you might need to wash it with detergent and water.