View Full Version : Anyone here tried waterless car wash?

June 19th, 2017, 12:54 PM

It seems so good to be true...

Of course my part of town is still somewhat in drought. I've been cutting down on car washes and have only been washing them at car washes that recycles water. Never realize that technology has advanced sufficiently that we could now be washing cars without hosing it down?!?!?!? Is this really safe? Amazon has great reviews. If true, I think I'm switching. It not only saves water, but it also saves money!

June 19th, 2017, 01:03 PM
I don't know about that particular brand, but that stuff in general works well on newer cars with nicer finishes that are generally clean to start. It is worthless on a truly dirty car, a car with older paint, or on a car that you may have treatments on (wax, sealant, etc.). Totally decent on average cars. I am not sure about the environmental side effects, but they probably can't be worse than water and soap going down the drain.

June 19th, 2017, 01:12 PM
I meant to ask you guys about a ceramic coating I saw at a booth at a car show...

I think it was this: http://ceramicpro.com/

June 19th, 2017, 01:51 PM
With proper technique (lots of soft clean microfiber towels, swiping in one direction only and turning to a clean portion of towel for every swipe) it's very safe for paint finishes. It doesn't work amazingly well for built up filth but for regular washings it's very effective. Extra effective on waxed/sealed/coated paint actually, because those things make it easier to clean a car regardless of whether you use a hose or not. Stuff sticks to the paint less, especially in the case of a good coating (which goes to Keith's question).

I haven't used the brand linked either. Lots of people like Optimum No-Rinse (ONR). I've tried Ultima Waterless Wash Plus and I'm having a little problem with tiny round dots being left behind (likely product drying on the surface) which I haven't gotten to the bottom of yet. It could be my technique or the fact I've used it in direct sunlight a couple times (at autox events).

The dirty little secret with "waterless" washing is you end up having to do a load of laundry with all the microfibers you have to wash afterward. So I'm not sure if this actually saves any water. It's sure useful for people who don't have access to a hose, or who want to wash their cars inside their garage due to weather or something.

I haven't done a Rinseless wash but that may be the most water-saving way to wash a car. Look it up and see what you think.

June 19th, 2017, 01:54 PM
Extra effective on waxed/sealed/coated paint actually, because those things make it easier to clean a car regardless of whether you use a hose or not.

What I have read - but don't know - is that most of the waterless washes will strip wax & sealant away faster than a higher-end soap, so while they may work better short term, you may spend more time recovering the paint. IDK, YMMV. :)

June 19th, 2017, 02:01 PM
This I have not heard. We must find the truth!

June 19th, 2017, 02:21 PM
Yes, the truth shall set us free!

Btw cuda, you made good point about the additional load of laundry...

June 19th, 2017, 03:47 PM
Yeah, the secondary environmental affects are a real unknown.

My neighborhood has no storm drains, so I wash the car on the lawn in back. Water I use doesn't go into a waste treatment plant, it waters the lawn. It's not 1:1, but it's an improvement over gallons down the drain.

June 19th, 2017, 06:26 PM
I wash on the lawn whenever I can too. In winter time I don't always park on the lawn because it'll get too muddy.

I know for regular car soaps there are basically three types:
1) Most of them leave a little something behind
2) Some of them are designed to leave nothing behind, letting your wax/sealant/coating determine surface behavior
3) The kind designed to strip wax/sealant (not very common)

I am preferring #2 these days. Bought a bunch of them to test. I like CarPro Reset best, although it is one of the more irritating ones on my skin. McKee's 37 is good but not the most economical (have to use a lot). Ultima Paint Guard is up there but smells like old soap, so meh. Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild is awesome but it's a thick gel so harder to get the right amount cleanly into the bucket.

My previous favorite was Duragloss 901. Really stellar car soap. It leaves a little something behind, but if you're not picky about that like I am, this is great stuff and not expensive, and smells awesome too. Definitely a step above the Meguiars Gold Class I had been using for 15+ years.


For waterless washes, I did a bit of looking but didn't see any claims either way that it does or does not strip wax. It certainly hasn't seemed to harm the Wolfgang sealant on the blue Z. My belief has been that WW products rely more on lubrication to encapsulate dirt, rather than heavy duty cleaners to break it down. Certainly when I swipe a dirty panel during a WW, the microfiber picks up a ton of dirt.