How To Wash A Car Without Water


Washing a car usually requires incoming water. But some people do not have this luxury. If you do not have a garage or a yard, your car is parked on the street. And you can’t really spray water on the street. Some people have a yard but can’t connect a water hose, and bringing buckets of water is just tiring. So, is there a way to wash a car without water? Well, that’s what I’ll be explaining today: How to wash a car without water?

You can wash a car without water using a waterless car cleaning product. A waterless car wash is done only on semi-dirty vehicles. Stuck dirt, bird droppings, and road grime can’t and should not be cleaned with a waterless product.

Let’s see the thorough guide on the waterless wash.

Choose A Waterless Product

The first thing you need to do is buy a cleaning product for your car. There are plenty of wash products you can find on Amazon that do not require gallons of water for cleaning your car. Besides the basic waterless car wash, there are some items with additional benefits.

  • Waterless Car Wash With Wax
    This wash solution allows for car cleaning without using water. But it also adds a layer of protection to the paint job. Buy this if you want to achieve that shiny surface and add a degree of protection while cleaning.
  • Waterless Car Wash With UV Protection
    As the name suggests, this product will also protect your paint from UV rays. If your car is regularly exposed to the sun, protect your paint with UV protection.
  • Organic Waterless Cleaners
    If you are worried about how the cleaner will affect the paint, you can choose something organic. These products can also be used in your home, so that’s that.

Now, you should know that some of these should be diluted with water. The products are wash sprays. So, if the product requires dilution, you can do this at home, you will only need a small amount of water. Read the instructions on the bottle to make sure.

Cleaning Supplies You Will Need

We are talking about a waterless car wash here, so not many supplies are needed. Besides this being an easier way to clean your car, it’s less expensive, and most importantly, it’s eco-friendly. Here’s what you will need.

  • High-Quality Microfiber Towels
    I recommend avoiding low-quality micro-fiber cloths. The reason being, these can cause paint scratches. The better the towel, the safer it is for your paint. Another thing, get multiple microfiber towels. You should always wipe with a clean surface. The dirt particles will stick to the paint. Either get multiple microfiber cloth or large ones that you can fold.
  • Optional: Spray Bottle
    If the wash product you bought needs to be diluted with water, chances are, you will need a spray bottle. So, buy one or find one in your home.

Once you have everything in order you can start cleaning your car.

Cleaning A Car With A Waterless Product

Cleaning A Car With A Waterless Product

First of all, I want to make something clear. A waterless wash is only possible on cars with minimal dirt. You wash the car this way only to make it extra clean and looking shiny. Dry dirt, bird droppings, and road grime can’t be cleaned with this. More so, it’s dangerous to clean your car like this if it’s too dirty. You will scratch your paint if you do so.

Getting Rid Of Dry Dirt

Start by getting rid of any road grime and bird poop. You can’t use water, so you will need to find other solutions. If you are able to fill one bottle with warm water, that’s great. This will dissolve the dirt, so you can wipe it away. If this is not an option for you, I recommend trying WD-40. This is a great way to dissolve road grime and bird poop.

This will be effective if the car has only 2-5 spots with dry dirt. You can still clean if there is more but it will take too much time. If your car is exceptionally dirty, do not go for the waterless wash. I recommend going for the traditional car wash. Then, you can maintain your car with a waterless product.

Apply The Waterless Cleaner

Apply The Waterless Cleaner

Once you make sure there’s no hard dirt, you can start cleaning the minimal dirt. The way to approach this is to go section by section. For instance, start with the hood, once you clean the hood, move on to the top. Once you are done with that, move to the doors, then to the back, then to the wheels. You will be wiping before moving to the other section, do not leave the cleaner on the car for a long time.

Apply enough cleaner just to cover the surface. Do not add too much. You just want to cover the surface, do not form pools in one area. The cleaner dissolves the dirt, too much will dissolve the paint too.

When you have applied the cleaner in one section, start wiping. Here is where you need to be careful. Do not wipe with the dirty side of the cloth. Fold it, so you will get more clean surfaces. If you wipe with a dirty cloth, you will be putting dirt back on the care. More so, you may damage the paint.

Also, do not wipe in circles or back and forth. Scrubbing and rinsing is a big no-no. As I said, the paint dissolves the dirt on its own. By scrubbing you are pushing the dissolved amounts of dirt against the paint. The correct way to this is to wipe in one direction, and not to wipe with a dirty towel. Using separate towels for each section is an effective approach. Remember, a quality microfiber towel is way safer than a cheap one.

There you go, that’s all it takes. Do this for each section of the car. For some parts, you may need to use more wash fluid. You can repeat all of this if you are not satisfied with how clean the vehicle looks. Repeating 2-3 times is enough, do not go for more.

Additional Cleaning Tips

  • The tires should be the last part that you clean. Most of the time, it’s the dirtiest part of the car. If you start with the tires, you won’t have enough micro-fiber cloths. And you can’t clean with a dirty towel.
  • Consider buying a special cleaner for the wheels, a wheels cleaner.
  • If you are able to bring a bucket of water, by all means, do it. It will help with the windows, and with dry dirt.
  • Clean your windows with a window cleaner and a chamois cloth.
  • Use a separate towel for each section.
  • A wax-based product is a great way to add an extra layer of protection. 
  • Go to a commercial car wash if you haven’t washed your car in a while. A waterless wash is a way to keep your car clean, not to get rid of hard dirt.
  • For the interior, use a car interior cleaning product and wipe with microfiber.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Do Microfiber Towels Scratch Cars

High-quality microfiber towels are soft and should not scratch your car. Cheap microfiber cloths fall apart easily and are not effective after one use or wash. As long as you stick to good microfiber cloths you should be good. Do not use towels that have fallen apart.

Which Is Better Chamois Or Microfiber

Microfiber is softer and better for surfaces sensitive to scratches. In general, microfiber is better for cleaning sensitive parts that you do not want to damage. Chamois is better at absorbing water, it can cause some scratches though. Chamois is best when used on the windshield and the windows.

Are Car Washing Machines Bad For Cars

Yes, car washing machines that you find in professional cleaning places can be bad for your car. The chemicals used can damage the paint and cause swirls. Although these are great at removing dry dirty, they can be bad. So, if you do not have any dry dirt, the way to go is with a waterless car wash.

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