5 Pros and Cons of Using Waterless Car Washes – 2024 Guide

Car maintenance comes in many different forms. While servicing it regularly and making sure its technical aspects are up to date and operational, there is something far more noticeable to the naked eye. This is of course how clean the car appears to be.

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Current State of Car Washing

In modern times, there are dozens of options when car cleaning and washing is concerned. For example, traditional carwashes at local gas stations are still dominant. The problem with them however is that they are slow and not very convenient nor timesaving.

A more modern twist is self-service car washes. Completely automated and without any employees involved, these solar-panel powered hubs are sprouting at every corner. They offer quick washing by the drivers themselves, and they are quite convenient and time-saving.

Lastly, there are car detailing centers that devote several hours to detailed cleaning and washing of a vehicle. The employees clean everything, from the carpets and seats to the full exterior including the bottom of your car.

Of course, a lot of people also enjoy washing their vehicles on their porch or in their backyard, using a combination of water form the garden hose and various cleaning supplies. However, why use water when you do not have to? In this article, you will learn all about waterless car washing, as well as the pros and cons of this practice. According to CarCareTotal, it is a very beneficial washing method for both the owner and the car.

Source: Eco Touch


We are going to start with the positive sides of waterless car washing, as they are more important and there are more of them overall. Remember that these products come in various sizes and formulas, with different uses and situations, so make sure to do some research while determining the right product for your vehicle.

1. No Water

The first and most obvious pro of using waterless car washing products is the complete absence of water. No matter how dirty and unclean a car may be, it requires a large amount of water to clean up. First, one has to spray it all over, before scrubbing it and rinsing it with water again. If you do this once a week, as you should, it will most definitely increase your water bill. Waterless products come prepackaged in their own applicators and spray bottles, and you do not need anything else other than a clean piece of cloth. No prewashing or post washing is needed when using these convenient solutions. All the soaps and other cleaning ingredients are already inside, which can be used for car detailing.

Source: Inside UNSW

2. No Space Restrictions

One of the worst things about washing your car is the fact that you may not have a water source close by. Not all homes are built the same, and not all backyards and porches are conveniently placed for the homeowner to bring out the garden hose. In such situations, a waterless car washing product is a lifesaver. You will be able to wash your car anywhere, no matter how far away from home you are. What most drivers do nowadays is carry a bottle of waterless solution in their car at all times, just in case they need to quickly clean it for an important meeting or a date. Travel size containers are also available from some manufacturers.

3. Special Ingredients

As mentioned above, every waterless washing solution contains the necessary soap mix that will clean your car from all kinds of different dirt and grime. However, most also contain special ingredients that will also wax your car’s exterior and give it a protective coat. These coats can prolong the time between two car washings scenarios, and better protect it from everyday factors like dust and rain. Since there are so many to choose from, make sure to carefully read the labels to learn what each product offers.

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Of course, most things also have their limitations and waterless car washing products are no different. The following are two drawbacks of these otherwise very beneficial products.

1. Cleaning Time

Without a doubt, an affordable automated carwash is the quickest and perhaps most efficient to clean your car. You will be in and out in about 5 minutes, including payment. Therefore, if you are usually in a rush, you may not benefit that much from waterless car washers because it takes much longer to clean a car like this. You have to spray the car a few dozen times and use dozens of circular cleaning motions to cover everything. This can prove hard and time-consuming for busier people, meaning waterless washers are not for every situation. That being said, it could be a fun family chore to clean a car together with multiple family members contributing at the same time!

Source: Auto Quarterly

2. Chemicals

Since they lack water, waterless solutions have to contain some kind of liquid. The liquid they use is often a chemical, and if you are not careful you could damage the clear coat of your new car or your paint job. Now, since they are made for the car, most will be more than safe for your vehicle, but some could use stronger chemicals that will not agree with whatever your car has. To prevent problems, try to only buy biodegradable products.

Expect being safer for your hands and for your vehicle, they are also easier on the environment since they will not influence the surrounding plant and animal life. Remember, research is key to products like this!

Conclusion and Takeaways

As you can see, overall, this modern type of car washing if quite convenient. If you are someone who is often on the road, keep a container of it in the trunk and you will always have a clean car. Also, if you have trouble with a close water source, no worries! However, for people who are tight with time and who cannot afford to spend some 15 to 30 minutes on washing their vehicle, traditional and automated car washing stations are still more convenient for them.

Source: Pearl Waterless Car Wash

In any case, you will not lose anything if you give these products a chance. All you will end up with is a clean, shiny four-wheeler!