LAST UPDATED: July 20, 2021

The Best Waterless Car Washes: Keep Your Vehicle Clean Without Water

Best Choice . Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit Aero Cosmetics Wet Or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit
Premium Pick Dri Wash ‘n Guard ULTRA-ION Waterless Car Wash Dri Wash ‘n Guard ULTRA-ION Waterless Car Wash
Best Value Prolong Super Lubricants Waterless Wash and Shine Prolong Super Lubricants Waterless Wash and Shine

By: Andra DelMonico

A waterless car wash may sound like an odd product, but once you add a waterless car spray to your vehicle’s maintenance kit, you will probably never look back. This is because waterless car wash products make cleaning your car regularly far less of a chore, especially as it is so quick and easy to do. All you need is the spray and a few soft clean towels.

The market is awash (pun intended)with manufacturers touting their waterless car wash as the best available. It can be difficult to pick one from the outset that does all it promises — protecting a car’s surface, cleaning it without causing damage, and leaving behind a professional sheen. Here, we’ll go through our top waterless car wash products that perform to a high standard. All without, you know, using water.

The Best Waterless Car Washes

The Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit is our top pick for best waterless car wash. It can even be used across a whole range of vehicles other than cars, but the best thing about it is that it is so easy to use, so car owners can conduct a waterless wash wherever they are. They do not necessarily even have to be at home.

The reason we love it so much is that it is a great quality, high-performing product. It is water-based and alcohol- and ammonia-free, which is great for the environment. Plus, it is just so simple to use. Car owners only have to spray the solution on to their car’s surface and wipe it down using one of the provided towels that are specially designed to lift dirt off your car.

In fact, it can work on dry or wet surfaces, so if your car gets dirty in the rain and the windshield needs wiping down, this is the perfect product to use.

Key Features
  • Alcohol and ammonia free
  • Leaves a non-stick UV protective coating on all surfaces
  • Comes with four microfiber towels
Specification
  • Brand Aero Cosmetics
  • Model FBA_wcwk
  • Weight 10.6 pounds

Dri Wash ‘n Guard is a reputable waterless car wash and wax product that allows users to clean their cars conveniently so that keeping their vehicles free from dirt is no longer a time-consuming chore. The formula is specially designed to grip onto dirt so that it comes away easily from a car’s surface with a microfiber cloth. As the dirt lifts off so simply, there is no danger of scratching your car’s surface in the process. It’s a fantastic product that will protect and seal your car from any UV damage as well as any other dirt.

Key Features
  • Provides UV protection
  • Not sold with the pump bottle
  • Will not scratch your car’s surface
Specification
  • Brand Dri Wash 'n Guard
  • Model 4333115976
  • Weight 4.75 pounds

Prolong Super Lubricants Waterless Wash and Shine gives car owners a quick and convenient way to add shine and gloss to their dirty cars. The solution easily lifts dirt off the surface of a vehicle with just one sweep of a towel. It also leaves behind a protective surface so that any future tree sap, bird droppings, or bugs that end up on your car’s surface won’t damage the paint job in any way.

Key Features
  • Comes in a variety of bottle sizes or pack sizes
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Gives the ability to wash a car in just 15 minutes
Specification
  • Brand Prolong Super Lubricants
  • Model PSL64017
  • Weight 1.1 pounds

Whenever you buy a Meguiars waterless wash, you know you are going to be buying a possibility for the best waterless car wash on the market. While this product was pipped to the post by Aero Cosmetics, it is still fantastic at what it does. One of its main advantages is that you are guaranteed to have a water spot free finish when you have completed your dry car wash by using this product.

In addition to this, by using this spray for a dry car wash, you can be assured that you will not damage your car’s surface and this waterless car spray, in particular, is great for cars with glossy paints. It won’t scratch your finish, plus it then leaves a long-lasting barrier to protect your car’s paint job. This is through the clever formula that a Meguiars waterless wash uses. Its advanced technology leaves behind a glossy, synthetic wax barrier that will look after your car for weeks on end.

Key Features
  • Adds wax protection
  • Advanced polymer technology protects the car’s surface
  • Comes in a 26 oz spray bottle
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model G3626
  • Weight 1.9 pounds

This handy little bottle of waterless car wash spray from Chemical Guys is a wash, wax, and protectant all in one. It makes giving your car a dry car wash one of the easiest things in the world so that you will no longer be guilty of putting off cleaning your car until the last minute. Leaving dirt on a car’s surface can damage the paint and leave stains, so any waterless car wash products that make you clean your car more regularly is a good thing.

It is easy to use too and is all ready to go as soon as it arrives in the post – whatever size bottle you choose to buy. It means that car owners can detail any car in minutes without the use of any water, which makes the process even speedier. It is safe for all surfaces on a car or any other vehicle like an RV, so it is a one-stop product for when you want a car wash without water.

It has a highly effective formula that is made up of natural carnauba wax along with other lubricating agents to give your car a protective shine once you have finished.

Key Features
  • Leaves cars with a high gloss shine
  • Simply to use
  • Contains natural Brazilian carnauba wax as a durable protective sealant
Specification
  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Model WAC_707RU_16
  • Weight 1.19 pounds

TriNova’s waterless car wash and the wax product is highly effective as well as incredibly convenient to use. All car owners need is just half an ounce of the concentrated solution to make up a full bottle of the solution that will give enough liquid to clean an entire car. The spray bottle is provided and allows users to spray the solution on easily so that cleaning their car through a dry car wash is painless and quick. The company even proclaims that the finish car owners achieve using this waterless car wash is far superior to using any traditional soap and water.

What the formula is particularly good at doing is protecting any vehicle that is cleaned with this product. It uses a special mix of ingredients that provides UV protection against the sun’s harmful rays, which is great news for the longevity of a vehicle’s paint job.

Key Features
  • Highly concentrated formula provides excellent value for money
  • Protective finish helps guard against UV rays
  • Quick to use
Specification
  • Brand TriNova
  • Model 33512
  • Weight 1.4 pounds

FW1 has managed to produce a serious contender for the best waterless car wash with this product. We love it for its unique formulation that lifts any dirt or dust away with ease while leaving behind a protective finish owing to the inclusion of Carnauba wax along with many other high performing lubricants.

The company claims that professional race car crews use this to shine up their cars and clean them easily owing to this waterless car cleaner product being able to clean up even the dirtiest of tires.

It comes in a set of three and will last any standard sized car owner for a long time.

Key Features
  • A unique formula of Carnauba wax and other specially picked lubricants
  • Can clean surfaces in seconds
  • Can be used on paint, chrome, plastic and glass as well as car rims
Specification
  • Brand Fastwax
  • Model Action Pack
  • Weight 3.95 pounds

It is not just the luminous blue color that sets this waterless car wash spray apart from all the other waterless car wash products on the market, but also the pleasing tropical fragrance that the manufacturers have included as standard too. It makes it a pleasure to use as well as being very easy given that you only need the waterless car wash spray itself and a few towels. Adam’s also produce their own waterless car wash towels which can help leave behind an even glossier finish.

The formula is designed so that a waterless wash and wax with a high shine protective finish is made possible. Plus it is so easy with this product. There are a number of different sized bottles that can be purchased too, starting from just 16 oz and going up to a huge 5-gallon bottle. This will last a very long time for those that are simply looking for a waterless wash for their standard sized cars, but it does provide excellent value for money.

Key Features
  • Tropical fragrance
  • Comes in a variety of sized bottles
  • Advanced blend of emulsifiers and wetting agents
Specification
  • Brand Adam's Polishes
  • Model D030
  • Weight 12 oz

This waterless car wash solution comes in a concentrated formula that will last car owners for a long time, even if they wash their car regularly. It is easy to make up a waterless car wash spray using this concentrate as the manufacturers have helpfully included a measuring cup built into the bottle so that users will never put too much product onto their cars.

Purchasers of Ultima’s waterless car wash products highly rate it as it can be used quickly as a detailer and clay lubricant. While some may say that having to add water to the concentrate does not make this a true waterless wash and wax solution, the end result is the same. Cars are left clean with a fantastic shine and gloss that will protect the car’s surface from damage that can be caused by the sun and dirt from the road.

Key Features
  • Highly concentrated formula
  • Easy measure bottle helps reduce waste
  • Excellent for the detail on cars
Specification
  • Brand Ultima
  • Model ULT-8016C
  • Weight 15.2 oz

Mothers have managed to produce a waterless wash and wax that allows car owners to give their cars a professional finish in just one quick step. By spraying down a surface with this specialized solution, the formula provides extreme lubrication so that all dirt, grime, and any other nasties are caught quickly and easily. It traps particles and dissolves them so that they can be wiped away in just one sweep of a soft towel.

It is safe to use on any surface so that owners can be confident that by using this waterless wash and wax over traditional soap and water, they will not scratch their car’s paint job in any way. It comes in a variety of packs so potential customers can either buy the spray as a single unit, in a pack of six or as part of a waterless cleaning bundle for the ultimate finish to their car.

Key Features
  • Safe for any vehicle surface
  • Allows a wash and wax in just one step
  • Dissolves all dirt and grime
Specification
  • Brand Mothers
  • Model 05644
  • Weight 1.73 pounds

Achieve the perfect high gloss shine no matter where you are with this waterless car wash and rain repellent. You’ll appreciate the high lubrication of this formula that helps to prevent scratches to your vehicle’s paint. This formula stands out because it doesn’t just clean your car; it also leaves behind a water-repellent coating. If your car gets wet, the water will bead up and roll off. This simple to use formula will clean your car as you spray it on and wipe it off. It’s safe for all exterior surfaces, including paint, glass, trim, and headlights.

One potential drawback of this product is that it requires a lot of work to get all of the streaks off of your windshield. If you have stuck-on bugs, it will require a lot of scrubbing on your part to get them off.

Key Features:
  • Spray on and wipe off
  • Safe for all exterior surfaces
  • Eco-friendly
Specification
  • Brand: Rain-X
  • Model: 620100W
  • Weight: 2.31 pounds

Work this waterless car wash over the surface of your car by spraying it on and wiping it off. You should be able to detail your entire car in fifteen minutes or less. The formula is a unique shine-boosting nanotechnology that enhances the longevity of your wax or ceramic coating. It also has an anti-static quality that will help to repel dirt and dust. This product is safe for use on paint, plastic, glass, and chrome. Feel confident using this detailer anywhere because it’s groundwater and environmentally safe.

Unfortunately, this product works best when you use it over Torque’s Ceramic Wax Mirror Shine. This means you’ll need to buy more than one product or you might not get the results you’re hoping for.

Key Features:
  • Shine boosting nanotechnology
  • Anti-static ingredient
  • Groundwater and environmentally friendly
Specification:
  • Brand: Torque Detail
  • Model: 45624
  • Weight: ‎ 1.12 pounds

Detail your vehicle anywhere with this waterless car wash and detailer. This three-in-one formula will clean, shine, and protect. This makes it the perfect detailer between car washes. You can use it on your entire car, including paint, trim, glass, wheels, and tires. You’ll love how fast and easy the process is. Spray it on and wipe it off. It will leave a protective coating that adds shine and keeps your car looking cleaner and newer. The coating also has water repellent qualities that will protect your vehicle from hard water spots. The formula is highly lubricated, which helps it to prevent scratches.

Unfortunately, this formula can leave streaks. This makes it best for use on light-colored vehicles. If you don’t get it all wiped off, you may find that dust sticks to your vehicle.

Key Features:
  • Use on paint, trim, glass, wheels, and tires
  • Cleans, shines, and protects
  • Gentle cleansing formula
Specification:
  • Brand: BlackMagic
  • Model: 120082
  • Weight: 32 ounces

This waterless car detailer sports the namesake of one of the most famous car enthusiasts on the planet. You’ll safely clean and gloss your vehicle’s surfaces without risking swirl marks and scratches. You can safely use it on your clear coat, paint, trim, glass, wheels, and chrome. This detailer stands out because it has a unique blend of surfactants, paint sealers, and emulsifiers. The heavy-duty formula will break down the toughest of dirt and grime. It’s super slick to help your microfiber, high pile, or waffle weave towel glide over the surface of your car. The contaminants get encapsulated and lifted away.

Unfortunately, the bottle is smaller than other detailers on this list. This means you have less product to work with. This also makes this detailer more expensive than other products on this list.

Key Features:
  • Clean wheels, tires, engine bays, undercarriage, carpets, fabric, plastic & vinyl
  • Super-slick formula
  • Heavy-duty formulation
Specification:
  • Brand: Jay Leno's Garage
  • Model: JLG-EW
  • Weight N/A

The easy-to-use spray bottle of waterless car wash comes with two microfiber towels. This eco-friendly formula is safe for the environment. You can use it on all of your car’s surfaces, including paint, fiberglass, metal, vinyl, plastic, leather, and glass. You’ll find it easy to use by simply spraying on and wiping off. Once applied, you’ll notice that your car has a glossy and long-lasting shine. You’ll also get plenty of detailer with a large 32-ounce bottle, so you have plenty of product for detailing several vehicles.

The downside of this detailer is that it isn’t designed for cleaning your entire vehicle. It’s best used for spot cleaning. However, using it as a spot cleaner can result in an uneven finish from the protective film that it leaves on your car.

Key Features:
  • Safe for paint, fiberglass, metal, vinyl, plastic, leather, glass, and more
  • Eco-friendly
  • Long-lasting shine
Specification:
  • Brand: Car Care Haven
  • Model: WW
  • Weight: 2.25 pounds

You need special products when you have a matte finish to your vehicle. This specially formulated detailer is meant for cleaning, maintaining, and protecting your matte finish or vinyl wrap. The formula contains a Spray Sealant Technology that will prevent stains or contamination. It repels debris, road grime, and dirt. This product is safe for use on satin paint finishes, vinyl wraps, and OEM matte finishes. This product stands out because it has a low pH level to prevent permanent damage to your matte finish. Finally, a UV additive protects your finish from fading when left in the sun.

The drawback of this formula is that it’s only meant for matte finishes. This makes it limited in where and how you can use it. The nozzle on the bottle is really long, making it awkward to use. However, you can cut it to make it easier to use.

Key Features:
  • Wax, silicone and petroleum-free
  • Removes oils, dirt, dust, road grime, and fingerprints
  • Streak-free formula
Specification:
  • Brand: Ducky
  • Model: D1045
  • Weight: 16 ounces

Best Waterless Car Wash Buying Guide & FAQ

Things to Consider When Buying a Waterless Car Wash

When looking to buy a waterless car wash product, there are a number of things to consider first. Initially, you need to look at the size of your car and therefore what size bottle product you will need to buy. There is no point buying a small bottle of our top pick if you have an RV in mind to clean. Secondly, think about how you would like your waterless car wash products to come. Some products come in a concentrated formula that requires users to make up the final solution — by adding water. While this can offer the best value for money, it can also be an added step that some potential owners simply don’t want.

Lastly, think about what material you are going to use when cleaning your car. Do you have a set of old towels that are soft enough for your car’s surface? If not, you will need to look at investing in waterless car wash products that come with specially designed microfiber towels so that you can start using your products immediately.

waterless car wash

Benefits of Using a Dry Car Wash

There are so many benefits to using a dry car wash. They really are a fantastic product if used properly.

Saves Water

Little to no water is needed when using a waterless car wash. This is great as it helps to conserve water as well as reduce water bills, thus saving dry car wash users money each quarter.

No Harm to Your Vehicle

Given that waterless car wash products are specially designed to help your vehicle, they, therefore, contain a mix of lubricants and cleaning agents that are included simply to lift dirt by submerging dirt particles in the solution. This lifting action means that there is no danger of scratching your vehicle.

Gives Your Vehicle a Protective Surface

In addition to not scratching your vehicle, the waterless wash and wax products, or a waterless car wash spray, will leave a car with a protective finish. All users have to do is spray, then wipe, then buff. It’s a great system that leads to long-lasting shine and protection. In fact, the very best waterless car wash will protect your car against water damage for up to three months.

Cleans Deeper Than Just Getting to the Dirt

When cleaning a car with soap and water, have you ever noticed how difficult it is to remove things like bugs or scuff marks or, heaven forbid, road tar? A waterless wash will remove all these things easily as well as dirt.

Saves Time

Everyone loves to save time on chores, and conducting a car wash without water will clean up your car in under half an hour – whatever its size. It makes washing your car more regularly that much more possible too as you are more likely to do it given that it takes no time at all.

Helps Preserve the Environment

In our day and age of climate change, if we can alter our behavior so that we can help preserve the environment, it is always a good thing. A waterless wash using a waterless car cleaner helps protect the environment not just by saving water, but also because it means that no harmful car cleaning products are entering our water cycle in addition to stopping the residue that you are washing off going straight into the gutter.

Multi-Purpose

Many waterless car wash products are actually multi-purpose and can be used to clean other items in the home with ease. Getting limescale off your shower door or tiles, for example, becomes a breeze.

Very Easy to Use

One of the reasons that a waterless car wash spray is so useful is its ease of use. Sprays are incredibly easy to apply and these waterless car wash products are so easy to remove too, as well as lifting well trodden in the dirt.

waterless car wash

When to Use Waterless Car Wash Products

A waterless detailing spray is not a substitute for the majority of car owners. For most people, these detailers are best used between in-depth washes. They work well as a spot cleaner for removing bird droppings, bugs, and debris. There are certain situations where a waterless car wash is a must.

If you own a classic or vintage car that is susceptible to rust, then you won’t want to spray it with a hose. A detailer will help you keep your car clean without exposing it to potential corrosion. If you live in a drought-plagued area or have water use restrictions, then you won’t be able to wash your car. Perhaps you don’t have water use restrictions, but your property tends to get muddy and mucky easily. Washing your car with a bucket or hose will make a mess of your property, so it’s best to use a waterless detailer. Finally, if you keep your car under a cover or in a garage, then you won’t have access to water. A waterless detailer lets you clean your car when you don’t have access to water.

How to Use a Waterless Car Wash Spray

Using a waterless detailer is simple when you have a plan in place. Choose your detailer of choice and gather your super-soft microfiber towels. Fold your first towel in half and then in half again. There should be eight usable sides. Always start at the top of your vehicle and work your way down.

Spray a section of your vehicle and use your folded cloth to wipe the car clean. Always wipe in one direction. Do not use circular motions, as this will create swirl marks in the clear coat. Finish by buffing the surface dry with a separate clean cloth. Refold your cloth so that the second of the eight sides are exposed. Spray the next section of your car and wipe it clean. 

Continue this process of spraying, wiping, and buffing until you’ve worked your way over the entire car. When you have used all eight sides of your folded cloth, you’ll need to replace it with a new cloth. 

Don‘t be stingy with your detailer spray. While these products claim to have high lubricity, you need to use plenty of product to experience the full benefits of the detailer. 

Best Waterless Car Wash FAQ:

Q:  What is a waterless car wash?

A waterless car wash is a means of washing your car without the need of heading to a car wash, or using a big bucket of soapy water. Their aim is to reduce the amount of water used to help preserve the environment.

In general, a waterless car wash is a premixed solution that lubricates your car when sprayed on. The idea is to saturate your car in the solution so that car owners can then simply wipe away any dirt or grit that has accumulated from driving on dirty or wet roads. By wiping away the solution, the car is immediately clean and dry. The texture of the solution used often leaves a pleasing shine too.

They are only really designed to help drivers clean their cars that are only slightly dirty. However, they are a quick way to clean automobiles between proper washes or even maintain a car if they are used regularly enough.

Q:  How does a waterless car wash work?

A waterless detailer works by trapping the contaminants that are on the surface of your car and lifting them away when you wipe the liquid off. These specially formulated products are highly lubricated to ensure that you don’t scratch or damage your vehicle. Some detailers have wax added to polish and shine. Others have water-repelling qualities that help to prevent hard water spots. These added qualities help the detailer to do more than just clean your vehicle. They can polish, wax, and protect also.

Q:  Can I use a waterless car wash on all surfaces?

Yes, you can use your waterless car wash on all surfaces, unless your particular waterless car wash products say otherwise. Always, for that reason, read the label of your waterless car wash spray before use. However, in the main, the best waterless car wash will most definitely be able to be used on all surfaces of the car. Just remember to start with the cleanest sections of your car first and also remember to use a clean towel when wiping the waterless car wash products off your car. And never let the product dry on any surface.

Q:  Do waterless car washes scratch the paint?

The waterless car wash spray won’t scratch your car on its own. It’s a liquid that you spray onto your vehicle. However, you can create scratches while using this type of product if you don’t use it properly. Always wipe in one direction and never use a circular motion. Spray plenty of product on the car’s surface so that the dirt is effectively trapped. Only use a super soft and clean microfiber towel. Have plenty of towels on hand so you’re always using a clean towel.

man waterless washing his car

Our Top Pick

As a waterless car wash spray, this product from Aero Cosmetics is a fantastic option overall. It provides car owners with a quick and easy means to clean their car that not only leaves their vehicles with a high shine finish, their cars are also protected against environmental elements like the sun and its UV rays. Additionally, it is a product that that is good for the environment as it reduces water waste in addition to stopping harmful chemicals entering the water cycle as no water gets washed into storm drains.

We love that it works on both dry and wet surfaces and how the manufacturers have made it so easy to use. It is so easy that if the solution is kept in the car, it can be used anywhere for quick touch-ups. Car owners will find they clean their car more regularly thus protecting it even further.

Sources:

  1. How Often Should You Wash Your Car? – How Stuff Work
  2. How To Remove Water Spots On Car – WashOs