DIY and Eco-Friendly–These Waterless at-Home Car Wash Tips Save Money and the Planet

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Keeping the car clean is a chore many drivers would rather forget. A quick trip to the neighborhood’s automatic car wash often seems like the best solution to get rid of the grime. Of course, you can always turn on your own garden hose, but you might get mediocre car-cleaning results.
Washing your car both at home and at the car wash uses and wastes gallons of water. People who want to be more environmentally friendly should consider using waterless car wash products.
Closeup of person cleaning car tire with a soapy cloth
You can clean your car without using water.

How can you wash your car without water?

According to CNET, a waterless car wash product is typically a premixed solution that’s sprayed onto the car to break down and lift the dirt off. The solution usually comes in a portable spray bottle for easy storage and use. It lubricates and loosens stubborn particles without damaging the car’s finish.
The process uses little to no water at all. The ingredients in the spray formula are specifically created to soften and dissolve dirt. A simple wipe with a microfiber towel leaves the surface of the vehicle shiny and spotless.
How you use the microfiber towel can make a difference too. A consistent wiping pattern that doesn’t cross over itself produces the best results. You can use a thicker microfiber cloth to trap the dirt more easily.

What are the benefits of waterless car washing?

There are several significant benefits to using the waterless method of washing your car.
The most obvious benefit is that you’ll save a lot of water. According to Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash, an in-bay automatic car wash can use up to 35 gallons of water in a single wash. A tunnel car wash, with high-pressure applications, can use up to 120 gallons of water.
If the car wash doesn’t recycle water, a lot of it is wasted. You might not even get a good clean for the amount of money it costs.
Waterless car wash products are eco-friendly. They contain no harmful chemicals, are often biodegradable, and prevent excess water usage. Since the products are portable, you can take your spray bottle with you when you travel for easy removal of dust and grime.
Waterless car wash products are affordable and can help you save money. You don’t need to spend a fortune on tools and kits or on expensive automatic car washes. Washing a car yourself is a great way to save on overall water bills.

Which waterless car wash products should you buy?

You can purchase waterless car wash products online at Amazon or from other retailers. Car and Driver recently tested and ranked several of these products. They found that most waterless car wash products do the job as advertised.
Topping the list is Aero Cosmetics Car Wash Wax, an affordable, do-it-all waterless car wash product. It leaves your car with a smooth, just-waxed finish while it cleans. Car and Driver also recommends Meguiar’s Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax for its nearly odorless performance and wide availability in auto parts stores and supermarkets.
If you prefer a thorough cleaning without the wax, Car and Driver suggests McKee’s 37 Waterless Wash on the Go. The quick-drying formula comes in a bottle with multiple sprayer settings for wide and even applications. It leaves the car with a smooth, streak-free finish without the waxy shine.
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