An easy, economical, eco-friendly, and quick way to clean your vehicle between washes is to use a waterless car wash. A waterless car wash uses a pre-prepared lubricating spray that is used to thoroughly saturate each section of your car, which later gets wiped, one section at a time. Then any light dirt or grime can be carefully wiped off, section by section. Ideally, you would use microfiber cloths, which will not hurt the car’s finish. Waterless car washes should really only be used on cars without heavy dirt build-up. Too much dirt, and you risk scratching the car’s finish.
- Finding the Right Product: You can choose to buy various wash formulas, which you can purchase online or at an auto parts store. There are ready-to-use formulas, or you can purchase a concentrate, which you must dilute before using. Some waterless car washes even include wax to protect the vehicle as you wash it. It takes an average time of 15-20 minutes to wash your medium-sized car using this method. If you are concerned about the chemicals, just be sure to pick a VOC compliant product, which is considered safe. You can find one with the main ingredient being organic and free of petrochemicals.
- Using the Right Towels: Be sure to choose your towels very carefully. Using a soft towel with a deep nap gives plenty of room for dirt to remain in the towel, instead of being scoured against the paint. Using a thin, flat towel will not provide any spot for the loosened dirt to go, so the dirt will get rubbed against the paint as you wipe. An example of a good towel choice is a microfiber towel that has a minimum weight of 300 GSM (grams per square meter). Most microfiber towels last a long time, and can be washed and re-used 40-50 times, depending on the quality of the towel.
It is important to avoid using the same towel to clean your wheels that you use to clean the surface of your car. The wheels are usually covered in brake dust, so you shouldn’t risk putting that on your car’s paint finish. Buy some different colors of towels, so you can designate a specific color of towel just for detailing the wheels.
- For Your Tires Too: Interestingly, you can also use the waterless car wash product to shine up your car’s tires as well, making them look like new. You can use it to remove road grime, tar, and even bugs that have been stuck on the tire’s surface for a long time.