How To Wash Your Car with (almost) No Water

car-wash with less water

Guest Post by Bill Organ

As water restrictions come upon us you can follow existing advice about car washing (turn off the hose unless actually rinsing, etc.) or go to the good folks at the local car wash who use recycled water. But if you like to do it yourself you can actually get your car spotless using just a few quarts of water. Done right, you won’t waste or spill a drop. You can even do it in your closed garage. Here’s how:

  • Drop a clean medium size terrycloth towel (don’t use microfiber or anything tricky) into a standard bucket and fill it 3/4 full with fresh water. DO NOT ADD SOAP.
  • Pick up the towel and give it a gentle squeeze until the water stops pouring back into the bucket.
  • Flop the towel onto the roof of your car and work it back and forth, turning often, until you’ve picked up all the dirt. This works even if the car is filthy.
  • Drop the towel back into the bucket and take a second towel and dry the half of the roof you just cleaned.
  • Use a third towel to mop up any last small beads of water. That’s it for that section of the car. You will not go back to it.
  • Repeat with the other side of the roof, then hood (half at a time if you have a bigger car), trunk, windows, etc. Finish with the wheels.

The car will be dry and cleaner than it has ever been before. You will have one very dirty towel, one somewhat dirty towel, and one damp towel. Toss the first two into your regular laundry. Take the rest of the dirty (but soapless) water and pour it on your thirsty plants. Take a ride in your spotless car. You have every reason to be proud of yourself.

What you need:

  • 1 dirty Car
  • 3 medium sized terrycloth towels
  • 1 standard bucket (1 gallon or more)
  • 3 Quarts of water