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How to Wash A Car Without Water: Follow These 6 Simple Steps

Washing your car at the garage will consume about 150 – 500 liters of water in a single go. That’s why you need a big “pool” of water to make your car clean. But there is more to do than that, you really can wash your car without water. It sounds insane, right? But it’s true. You really can do it at home by following our 6 easy steps of how to wash a car without water. The result will surprise you. 

how to wash a car without water
You really can wash your car without water with 6 simple steps below

6 Steps To Wash Your Car Without Water

Step 1: Find The Right Product

It is important to note that you have to choose the right products, otherwise, the clean products will not do its job. Besides, if your car is caked in mud, a car wash without water will not help and may even scratch the paint of your car. So use a waterless product if you have minimal dirt or dust or rinse your car with water to remove dry dirt.

You should scour the automotive section at your local hardware store, or visit an automotive shop to get the right waterless car wash product or solution. These usually come in a spray bottle for extra convenience. You’ll also find that many waterless products have wax in them, giving your car’s paint an extra layer of protection as you clean it. Moreover, you should choose a UV – blocking formula for even more protection. While wax will help protect your car’s paint from UV rays, some formulas have an extra degree of protection.

Step 2: Preparing The Micro-fiber cloths

A right towel will help to clean the car paint and a wrong towel will give your car the scratches. A good rule of thumb is to use a minimum weight of 300gsm as the high quality fabric does a great job at picking up dirt and debris, while preventing smudging and smearing. The micro fiber towel is the right cloth which you should use to clean car without water since it is soft and smooth and prevents scratches. Moreover it can collect the dirt so your car will be cleaner. You can also find a chamois cloth instead of a micro-fiber. Any product that absorbs liquid without scratching is ideal. It is the tips of how to wash a car without water.

clean car without water
A good rule of thumb is to use a minimum weight of 300gsm as the high quality fabric does a great job at picking up dirt and debris, while preventing smudging and smearing.

Remember to buy a lot of microfiber cloths for the cleaning process as you will use multiple sides for each towel, then moving on to a new one once it gets dirty.

Step 3: Divide The Car Into Multiple Parts

The third step on how to wash a car without water is dividing the car into multiple parts, diluting car wash fluid if necessary. By dividing your car into different sections, you make it more manageable and you can make sure you do not miss any spots. You always want to start from the top and work your way down, as you don’t want to be transferring dirt from the lower section of your vehicle to other cleaner portions. Here is the way you can divide the car:

  • The side glass
  • The roof
  • The hood and trunk
  • The upper half of the side doors
  • The lower half of the side doors
  • The front bumper
  • The rear bumper
  • The wheels

That is how you can divide the car into many panels, but you also can divide the car in any way you’d like. As long as it’s easy for you to do the job and easy to recognize. Use as much of the waterless car wash solution as you need to sufficiently cover the section you’re working on. If there’s some hard dirt or mud, use another product to loosen it up first.

Some formulas require diluting with water, while others are ready-to-use. Read the instructions on the bottle to see which one you have. If you bought a large bottle of waterless car wash, you will need to transfer some into a spray bottle. Otherwise, most products already come in a spray bottle.

Step 4: Spray The Cleaning Liquid To Each Section

On the next step on how to wash a car without water, you need to spray the cleaning liquid on the section you want to wash. Use as much waterless car wash fluid as you need to cover the section. If there is some dirt on the paint, you can put a little bit of water to help loosen it up so that you don’t overuse the fluid.

car wash without water
You need to spray the cleaning liquid on the section you want to wash.

The tires are usually dirtier than the other parts of the car, so you may need to use additional fluid. Make sure that you save the tires for last as they will be dirtiest and hardest to clean. Complete each section by section so the fluid will not evaporate or leave a cover on the car.

Step 5:Fold Your Microfiber Cloth

Once the panel is sprayed, start wiping with your microfiber cloth in one direction. Don’t wipe back and forth or in a circle as this will push the dirt around, leaving a streak or swirl pattern on the paint. Gently moving the towel over the sprayed section to not scratch the paint. Also remember to not put too much power on it. All you have to do is pick up the fluid and dirt with the microfiber towel. Fold the towel to find a cleaner side, maximizing the number of clean surfaces. Assuming your cloth is large enough, you can fold it twice in half to have 8 usable sides. When the front and back are dirty, unfold and refold it to reveal the clean sides. Every time you start wiping, you’ll want to use a new, clean side, so as not to reintroduce dirt. You don’t want to be rubbing dirt directly onto your paint now, do you? Once the towel is all dirtied up, move on to a new one.

how to wash a car without water
Gently moving the towel over the sprayed section to not scratch the paint.

Changing the towel frequently and changing right after you clean the car by all sides of the towel is important. So keep in mind that thing if you want to clean your car without water.

Step 6: Repeat the Process

If your car is really dirty and only one time for spraying, folding is not enough, let’s repeat the process. It is the last step of how to wash a car without water. Move on to the next section of your vehicle once you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of the part you’re working on. Continue this process until the whole car is clean, working again from top to bottom. If you have a wax-based product it may require a second or third “buff” step. Read the directions on the bottle to see if this is necessary.

When You Should Not Wash A Car Without Water

Washing a car with water consumes a lot of water so many people think about it. But there is the case that you should not do it and we already mentioned above, when your car is caked with mud or full of sand… If you insist on washing with a cleaning sprayer and wiping by towel, you will damage your car paint. You can save the water but have to pay a lot to repair the paint span. 

Water doesn’t clean your car

You should realize that it’s not actually the water that’s doing the dirty work if you’re still skeptical about cleaning your car without water. If you want to test it out, rinse your dirty car with just water and leave it to dry. You’ll soon realize that it’s not that much cleaner than it was just a few hours earlier.

clean car without water
You should realize that it’s not actually the water that’s doing the dirty work

Sum Up

Cleaning your car regularly can help to prevent the dust from penetrating the car paint.The more often you clean your vehicle, the easier it will be to remove dirt and debris from your vehicle. If you wait a month or more, you will likely have a hard time removing all the dirt and may need to go to a professional to have it washed. Waterless washes can be great, but they won’t work if you wait too long in between washes even you know how to wash a car without water correctly.

When thinking about cleaning the car, do not forget to check our 6 easy steps on how to wash a car without water. You can follow other maintenance tips to better understand your car and learn how to fix it when needed.