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Though you should leave major repairs and service to the professionals, you can do plenty of car maintenance yourself. In fact, tinting your windows or changing your oil yourself is cost-effective. And because some automatic car washes can cause damage, you might prefer to wash your vehicle by hand. If you want to save on your water bill, you can also give your prized possession a waterless car wash.

All you need to do is apply a special cleaning solution, with no lengthy drying times required. Many brands make waterless car wash products, but here are our favorites.

Chemical Guys CWS20964 Swift Wipe Sprayable Waterless Car Wash

This product promises to clean, protect, and gloss cars‘ paint in one simple step. Its special polymers instantly lift dirt from the paintwork and protect it against swirls and scratches. The slickening agents provide maximum lubrication, so you only need gentle swipes to get the job done. 

Chemical Guys CWS20964 Swift Wipe Sprayable Waterless Car Wash can be used on pretty much any hard surface of your vehicle. It can even last eight to 12 months between treatments. Most of the 2,000-plus customer reviews are positive, praising the product’s final shine and overall value. 

Half-gallon and gallon jugs cost up to $37.99 on Amazon. The 16-ounce spray bottle gives you less solution, but it’s easier to use and costs only $9.97.

Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit

Washly CEO Karan Walia uses a waterless car wash on a vehicle
Washly CEO Karan Walia uses a waterless car wash | Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

This waterless car wash also costs about $38 on Amazon, but it’s a better value because it comes with more materials. You get a gallon of wash wax, a spray bottle, and four microfiber towels. The company boasts that this product meets the standards of cleaning materials for jet planes.

In addition to cleaning, the Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit leaves a UV-protective coating that will keep your car’s paint from fading in the sun. You can also use it as an extra layer of protection after a clearcoat application or paint sealing. Eco-conscious buyers will be pleased to know that the solution is water-based and free of harsh chemicals.

Almost all of the nearly 10,000 customer reviews are positive. Buyers say it’s easy to use and offers plenty of solution for washing larger vehicles multiple times.

Flowgenix Grand Finale Waterless Wash, Shine & Shield


When Should You Use a Waterless Car Wash?

This waterless car wash is available on Amazon in an eight-ounce spray bottle for $19.95. The company promises the solution leaves a shiny, mirror-like finish and extends the life of your car’s paint job. You can also use Flowgenix Grand Finale Waterless Wash, Shine & Shield on personal watercraft, motorcycles, and bikes.

Many of the nearly 5,000 reviewers say they love the bubblegum scent it leaves on their vehicles. Though most of the reviews are positive, several say this product is a waste of money. Sometimes, the nozzle gets damaged in transit, leaving a wet mess inside the shipping box. Some customers were also disappointed with the solution’s average shine and the abundance of water beads left behind.

Adam’s Waterless Wash

Usually listed for over $40 per gallon jug, this product is marked down to $27 on Amazon. Adam’s Waterless Wash contains a blend of wetting agents and emulsifiers that can efficiently remove large dirt spots with less effort. It also uses eco-friendly ingredients and even leaves your car with a tropical scent.

This waterless car wash also comes in a five-gallon container for $153, enough to wash large vehicles such as RVs and boats. For smaller jobs, you can get a 16-ounce spray bottle, sold alone for $10 or combined with microfiber towels for $21. The cloths feature a waffle-weave pattern that effectively traps dirt and prevents scratching.

Reviewers say this waterless car wash makes their vehicles shiny in minutes, with no leftover streaks or solution buildup.