When you google waterless wash, it often comes under a lot of scrutiny. And for good reason. There are two reasons why it comes under a lot of scrutiny.

  •  It does scratch the paint – No matter what you do, how you do it, how much chemical you use, it’s highly likely that you’re going to introduce swirl marks onto the paint.
  • People usually do it wrong – The majority of people don’t care, or even know, about swirl marks. They just want a clean car. Therefore, they will scrub the dirt off and damage their paint without even knowing.

If you do it correctly however, it’s possible to introduce minimal scratching to the paint using this method. However, I need to stress that this is a last resort. It will always scratch your paint due to the fact that you are moving dirt over paint with minimal lubrication.

If this is your last resort because you’re on a shoot or road trip, then follow the tips below to get the most out of your waterless washing.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your waterless wash:

Use a good chemical – In the video below, I use Eco Smart by the Chemical Guys. The majority of their chemicals are of high quality, however the selling point of this individual product is the fact that you buy it in concentrated form. This means you dilute it yourself with water, and it therefore becomes much more economical than buying a pre-mixed solution. One bottle can produce 16 times the amount once diluted.

Use the right microfibre towel – Drying towels are perfect for this because of their high pile. The long fibres pull the dirt away from the paint meaning they’re less likely to grind against it causing swirls. They are however quite expensive, so choose a towel with a budget in mind.

Don’t be frugal – The more lubrication with waterless washing, the better. This is why I use Eco Smart as I use quite a lot of solution to minimise scratching.

Start from the top – Your car will always be less dirty on the upwards facing panels. The roof, bonnet, boot, windscreen etc. Start there and work down so you finish the wash at the bottom of the car where there is the majority of road grime.

When the towel is dirty, fold or replace – Keep checking your microfibre towel to monitor the amount of dirt you’re removing from your car. If it’s getting dirty, either fold the towel the other way or replace it altogether.

Turn the towel as you wipe – As you glide the towel across the paint, don’t press down and roll the towel so a clean part of the towel is always touching the paint. The video at the bottom of this page goes over this method.

Use another method if possible – As I’ve stated before, this should be used as a last resort. If it’s possible to use foams, wash mitts and water, then do that over this method everyday.