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Unfortunately, not every car owner can wash their car in a driveway with a bucket and a hose. For the rest of us dwelling-challenged folk, like myself, we must drive our cars to the car wash and deal with dirty brushes and harsh detergents. Fortunately, there are other solutions, like the Hydroglide waterless wash from Chemical Guys, that take the need for water and a bucket out of the equation. Let’s see how well this stuff works.

A static photo of the Chemical Guys Waterless wash system
Chemical Guys HydroGlide Waterless Wash | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The Chemical Guys Hydroglide waterless wash system is easy to use

Spraying on the Chemical Guys waterless wash
Chemical Guys HydroGlide Waterless Wash | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The Chemical Guys recently sent me a sample of the HydroGlide waterless wash system to test out. Since I have an apartment garage to store my beloved Honda S2000 in, with no access to a water source, I figured the waterless wash system would be perfect.

All you need is a bottle of the Chemical Guys HydroGlide Ceramic waterless wash and a couple of microfiber towels to get the job done. The process of washing the car sans H2O is even easier:

  • Start with a cool, dry surface that’s shielded from sunlight
  • Spray the Chemical Guys HydroGlide solution onto the car
  • Let it sit for a few seconds to gather up the dirt (and leak onto your garage floor)
  • Wipe off the solution using a microfiber towel
  • Wait 15 seconds
  • Wipe the same spot again with a clean microfiber towel

I know what you might be thinking, “Won’t it scratch the paint?”

Maybe. However, the Chemical Guys description of the products says that it offers a “6 in 1” solution that “cleans, shines, reduces imperfections, adds depth, clarity, hydrophobicity, and protects.”

That word, “hydrophobicity,” is key here, which means that as long as you spray enough of this stuff on a panel, it should provide enough lubrication not to scratch the paint. As I found out, that was the least of my worries.

How did the HydroGlide waterless wash do?

After liberally spraying the HydroGlide waterless solution onto the hood of the car, I followed the instructions of waiting and wiping. I thought that it would wipe clean off the car, like water, but I was mistaken. It turns out that this stuff is pretty thick, and it wipes off more like a spray wax than Windex on glass.

That would be fine if the finished product meant a nice, smooth, and shiny surface, but in my experience, it didn’t. Instead, my car’s hood became a streaky mess with a thick residue that wouldn’t clean up no matter how much I “waxed on and waxed off” with my clean microfibers.

Ultimately, I ended up taking the car to a car wash to clean the stuff off. Would I recommend it? Not really. The HydroGlide formula made the paint look cleaner, so I’m sure it gets the dirt off. But the end result was lackluster at best.

Bonus product review: Chemical Guy convertible top cleaner and protectant

Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Conditioner
Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Conditioner | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

In addition to the HydroGlide waterless wash, Chemical Guys also sent me a convertible top cleaner and protectant. Fortunately, this stuff works a lot better than the waterless wash product. The cleaner sprays on nicely, and you can use a microfiber towel or a horsehair brush to clean up any rough dirty spots.

My only concern was that the solution turned white when I sprayed it on and scrubbed it, but it went away when I rinsed the top with water. The convertible top dried quickly, and I sprayed the protectant on next. The directions say to do two coats, waiting 20 minutes in between, so I followed them.

What resulted was a nice-looking finish that repels water very well. I would highly recommend this product if you have a convertible car with a cloth soft top like mine.

Wiping down the Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Conditioner with a horsehair brush
Wiping down the Chemical Guys Convertible Top Conditioner with a horsehair brush | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

How to Give Your Vehicle a Waterless Car Wash