The Best Waterless Car Wash of 2019: Eco-Friendly Clean!

Dec 14, 2018 | Detailing, Reviews

When it comes to washing your car, there are three things you have to keep in mind: cost-effectiveness, formula strength, and ease of use. Because of that, it’s no wonder most car enthusiasts opt for a waterless car wash.

There are some regions of the country that experience drought and aren’t allowed to use water in a frivolous way. There are also places that don’t have access to a hose for washing their vehicle. In some cases, a waterless car wash is the only option available.

So fear not Californians and Apartment people, let’s look at these eco-friendly washes and see which works best for you.

The Best Waterless Car Wash

NameQuantityContains Wax? 

Aero Cosmetics

128 oz

No

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TriNova

16 oz

Yes

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Meguiar's

26 oz

No

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Chemical Guys

16 oz

Yes

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Griot's Garage

22 oz

No

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Aero Cosmetics

Quantity

128 oz

Contains Wax?

No

Check Price

TriNova

Quantity

16 oz

Contains Wax?

Yes

Check Price

Meguiar’s

Quantity

26 oz

Contains Wax?

No

Check Price

Chemical Guys

Quantity

16 oz

Contains Wax?

Yes

Check Price

Griot’s Garage

Quantity

22 oz

Contains Wax?

No

Check Price

1. Best Overall

Aero Cosmetics Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit

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The Aero Cosmetics waterless car wash is one of the best selling car wash kits out there, and given the fact that it’s plant-based and eco-friendly, we are not surprised by its popularity.

You can use this wash on both dry and wet surfaces – the results will be incredible either way. What’s more, it doesn’t contain ammonia or alcohol, so you can rest assured knowing that your car paint won’t get damaged.

The liquid can be used both as a car wash or as a wax. All you have to do is spray it onto the surface and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. As if that’s not enough, the car wash leaves behind an anti-static UV protective coating, which means that your car won’t be damaged by the sun afterward.

The kit includes 1 gallon of the car wash, as well as an additional spray bottle that contains 16 oz of the liquid. Furthermore, you will also receive four microfiber cloths and one mini scrubber. The manufacturer will also send you different guides that will help you clean your vehicle as effectively as possible.

Pros and cons

  • Biodegradable
  • Heavy-duty waterless wash that can be used on a variety of vehicles
  • It doesn’t leave any streaks
  • Not great for very dirty vehicles

2. Best Value

TriNova Waterless Car Wash and Wax Kit

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TriNova is a well-known brand in the detailing space, and their wash and wax kit is yet another fan favorite.

This kit contains a highly-concentrated waterless car wash liquid that will remove any dirt from your car without scratching or damaging the paint. The kit comes with a full bottle of the concentrate that will allow you to make about 30 bottles of car wash.

You don’t need use any water with this liquid (except to make the car wash), nor will you need to have buckets or other cleaning supplies. The kit also comes with a cloth (microfiber) that will safely and gently clean the surface of the car without much hassle.

On top of washing your vehicle, it also gives your car a long-lasting shine. What’s even better is the fact that it will last for up to 3 weeks. However, bear in mind that those promises are hard to keep if you live in a particularly rainy area.

The TriNova car wash can also clean chrome surfaces, and usually, it won’t leave any streaks. Nevertheless, some users find that it can leave streaks on glass. It’s better to pay special attention to those areas while cleaning or opt to use another detailing product for windows and side mirrors.

Pros and cons

  • You can use it on a variety of surfaces; wheels, chrome grills, and plastic trims
  • It can easily remove bird droppings, bugs, and mud
  • Drought-friendly
  • Comes with a high-quality spray bottle
  • It may leave streaks on windows
  • It can also leave streaks on dark-colored cars, but you can buff those streaks out

3. Best in Formula Potency

Meguiar’s Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax

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The Meguiar’s Waterless Wash & Wax is quite legendary.

This car wash is highly-concentrated, so you won’t have to use much force to lift the grime and dirt from the surface. All you have to do is spray a little bit onto the surface and gently wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Afterward, your car will have an incredible shine that will last for weeks due to the hydrophobic wax layer that’s left after cleaning.

Regarding cost-effectiveness, bear in mind that one bottle of this liquid will allow you to wash about five average-sized cars. Nevertheless, it depends on the amount of dirt, grease, and other particulates on the vehicle. So, if you use it between regular car washing sessions, it will probably last you longer than other similar waterless car treatments.

This wash will not scratch your car or damage it in any way. Furthermore, you can use it on a variety of surfaces, including chrome and plastic trims that go around your vehicle. It won’t even damage cars with a clear coat finish, nor will it scratch those with a glossy finish.

Pros and cons

  • Easy to use, just spray and wipe off
  • Pleasant citrus scent
  • The product has a great quality-price ratio; it gives fantastic results for a reasonable price
  • Not great for super dirty vehicles
  • Best to clean in a shaded area to prevent streaks

4. Best on a Budget

Chemical Guys Waterless Car Wash

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The Chemical Guys EcoSmart is a unique formula that will allow you to remove dirt and grime from just about any surface on your car.

The formula is eco-friendly and safe to use, no matter if you have a dark-colored or a light-colored car. Once you spray it on, the highly-potent formula will carefully lift the dirt from the car surface without damaging the paint. Afterward, you can use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away the dissolved dirt.

However, what’s great about this particular waterless car wash is the fact that it will wash, wax, and protect your car at the same time. What’s more, you can use it on both dry and wet surfaces, and you don’t have to worry about using it only in the shade.

The formula contains all-natural carnauba, which will give your car a great shine. The manufacturer also used anti-static technology that allows you to keep your vehicle in top-notch condition for at least a week, as the formula will repel dirt and dust.

Pros and cons

  • It works great both for cleaning dirt and for fine detailing after a car wash
  • It is a natural product that will not harm the environment
  • The spray bottle is a bit faulty

5. Best in Lubricity

Griot’s Garage Spray-On Car Wash

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The last car wash we would like to mention is the Griot’s Garage Spray-on Car Wash.

The formula is powerful enough to get rid of light dirt, yet it will not scratch your car or damage the paint job. The wash also has a pleasant scent to it as well.

However, if you want to avoid streaks that can happen on dark-colored cars and windows, it’s best to use the two-towel method. Spray the car wash onto the area you want to clean, then remove the dirt with one microfiber towel and use the other one to buff away any streaks before they dry. This method will give you the best shine and the best results.

That doesn’t mean that this spray will always leave streaks, but it can happen, especially on windows. Thus, it’s better to pick a method and stick to a movement that will give you the best clean – for example, do long strokes from top to bottom.

Finally, the best part about this car wash is that you can buy a few versions of it. You can get different bottle sizes, as well as kits. There are two kits available, and both of them come with Griot’s microfiber cloths.

Pros and cons

  • Just spray and wipe clean
  • High lubricity helps remove dirt and dried on particles
  • Won’t strip wax or sealant
  • The spray bottles leave little to be desired
  • Best for spot cleaning

What to Look for in a Waterless Car Wash

A waterless car wash is an eco-friendly alternative for people who don’t have access to a readily available water source. With that said, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Some washes contain waxing ingredients, others have higher lubricity. You also have to consider how much of your vehicle you plan to clean.

Let’s look at important factors to keep in mind before making your decision.

Natural ingredients

Of course, not all waterless car washes will have natural ingredients, but it’s preferable to use natural ones since they will do the least damage to your car.

You don’t want to use harsh chemicals to get rid of light dirt – you want something natural to lift it from the surface. Luckily, there are several options out there.

Waterless Formula

It doesn’t really make sense to use a waterless car wash that still requires you to bring a gallon of water with you. Therefore, try to find those brands that make promises and deliver on them.

That, however, doesn’t apply to highly-concentrated liquids that require you to make your own car wash. With that said, even the concentrates don’t require a ton of water to work properly.

Inexpensive

A waterless car wash is not a replacement for regular cleaning – you will still have to deep-clean your car from time to time. It’s best to avoid spending a lot of money on a waterless car wash when going to a detailer or car wash may end up being cheaper.

Conclusion

Using a waterless car wash is a great eco-friendly approach to cleaning your car. For people who don’t have access to a water source with a hose, it’s a great alternative.

Most formulas won’t damage your paint job, nor will they leave streaks that you cannot buff away. Still, it’s best to treat this type of car wash as something that you can use for maintenance.

Waterless car wash shouldn’t be used on extremely dirty vehicles – it just won’t work. However, light dust, soft mud, and bird droppings will be cleaned in a matter of minutes.

Richard Reed

Writer for TheVehicleLab.com

The Vehicle Lab

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