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Hose pipes make it easy to wash your car. You can fill buckets and rinse dirt quickly. You can use a pressure washer and foam cannon. But in the real world, you may need to wash your car without a hose or water.
This is especially true for you if …
- You live in a water-restricted area.
- You live in a condo, apartment complex, townhouse.
- You are a mobile detailer.
You need to keep scratches to a minimum. And you also want to save time. The good news is that there are a number of safe ways to wash your car without a hose.
- Rinseless Wash
- Waterless Wash
- Cordless Pressure Washer
- Quick Detailer
To wash your car without a hose you need to use a rinseless wash or waterless wash product. These products will keep swirls and scratches to a minimum when washing your car.
Method 1 : Rinseless Car Wash
This is the best way to wash your car without a hose in my opinion. I use it sometimes even when I do have access to a hose line when I’m in a rush or my car isn’t that dirty. But it’s safe to use on a dirty car too.
You need just one bucket of water. In the water, you put a cap full or two of the product. Use a microfibre wash mitt to wipe down the car. Buff dry with a microfibre towel. It’s that simple.
For very dirty cars use multiple wash mitts to prevent the water from getting too dirty.
The fact that you dilute the product in a bucket of water makes it very cheap. You can use a spray bottle to cover the area with the solution too. The spray bottle is great for loosening heavier dirt. The more you can do to keep scrubbing to a minimum the better.
Chemicals in the product encapsulate dirt and keep it away from the paint which reduces scratches.
One thing you should avoid as much as possible when washing your car is putting too much pressure on your wash mitt. This will cause swirl marks and scratches over time.
It doesn’t produce any suds which is a bit strange at first. But it actually makes it much faster as you don’t need to rinse it down. So no hose needed. Very highly recommended
Method 2: Waterless Wash
A waterless wash is even more convenient than a rinseless wash. If you don’t have access to any water this is perfect.
A waterless wash is probably not suitable for very dirty cars because it cant prevent that much dirt from inflicting scratches. But it’s great for getting light dirt off. It’s also great for bird poo attacks.
It’s normally not diluted so it works out more expensive than a rinseless wash. In fact, one bottle is only good for a few washes.
It’s best to use multiple microfibre cloths when using a waterless wash. A wash mitt is not suitable for this job. I like to use white microfibre towels so I can see the dirt I’m removing. There are a number of great quality edgeless microfibre cloths on the market that you can use.
I always keep a waterless wash and a couple of microfibre towels in my car when I’m on a road trip to tackle bird poop emergences.
But its trump card is the convenience. No water is needed. Simply cover the area with the product and wipe it away with a microfibre cloth. Then buff with another cloth.
Method 3 : Cordless Pressure Washer
A cordless pressure wash could be a great solution for you if you don’t have access to a hose.
You’ll need a bucket or two of water which the machine can use and for your car soap bucket.
These are sometimes used by mobile detailers due to their convenience. You can even use them to create some foam using a special attachment.
Obviously, they can’t produce as much pressure as an electric or gas power pressure washer. But they have enough power to rinse down your car. In fact most gas pressure washers have way too much power for washing cars anyway.
You can use a small hand sprayer to foam your car and then wipe it down with a microfibre wash mitt. Finally, rinse with the Cordless Pressure Washer. You can get your car safely clean using this method and keep scratches to a minimum.
It’s best to use multiple microfibre wash mitts as dragging a dirty mitt all over your car will scratch it. Throw them in the washing machine when you’re done.
If you find the battery doesn’t last long enough for you, you can always buy a spare. Some batteries have higher capacity and power output than others so keep an eye out for that.
Here are my steps for washing a dirty car with a cordless pressure washer
- Fill a bucket with clean water and some car shampoo
- Fill a bucket with clean water for Cordless Pressure Washer
- Rinse the car down with a pressure washer to remove heavy dirt.
- Wash car with a microfibre wash mitt
- Grab another clean mitt as they get dirty
- Rinse down car with a pressure washer
- Dry car with plush microfibre drying towel and detail spray
- Apply a spray wax if desired.
Method 4 : Quick Detail Spray
A quick detailer is great for light dust. But it’s not recommended for use on a dirty car.
I mainly use a QD spray after I wash my car as it’s by far the fastest way to boost shine and to fix up water spots. It’s great for getting rid of fingerprint marks too.
Soft clean microfibre towels will also go a long way towards preventing scratches. Again, I like to use white towels so I can see the dirt.
The reason its not a good idea to use a QD spray to wash a dirty car is that it doesn’t offer enough protection against scratches. Your paint will end up scratched and faded very quickly.
A quick detailer can be used inside and outside your car. But don’t get any on the steering wheel as it can make it too slippery. I also keep it away from my windscreen because it can cause streaking when the wipers are on.
A quick detailer is always a great tool to have but it’s important to know how and when you to use it.
It’s all too easy to scratch a nice shiny coat of paint. A hose is great for rinsing dirt and suds but it’s not always possible to use one.
A Rinseless Wash and some microfibre wash mitts and towels are just as good and will leave your car clean without causing too many scratches. I think it’s the best way to wash a car without a hose.
A Waterless Wash is a spray liquid which more expensive than a rinseless wash but is more convenient because it doesn’t require a bucket of water.
A Cordless Power Washer uses a rechargeable battery and a bucket of water and provides enough pressure to rinse down your car after a hand wash.