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The best waterless car wash 2021

What is the best waterless car wash for 2021?

Most people wash cars at home, wasting gallons of water as they hose down their cars. However, waterless car washes offer a more convenient and environmentally-friendly alternative. They are easy to apply, can be used practically anywhere and leave behind a beautiful shine that rivals your local detailer.

There are many waterless car washes to choose from, but Aero Cosmetics Wash Wax All stands out as a top choice for its sheer versatility. Because it is safe for nearly any surface, you can use it on anything from vehicles to boats to countertops. Plus, a gall of the plant-based formula is enough to wash up to 24 cars.

What to know before you buy a waterless car wash

What is a waterless car wash?

If you’ve never heard of a waterless car wash before, it may sound odd. Simply put, they are high-lubricity sprays that can polish and wax a vehicle’s exterior without the need to be rinsed off. They do this by getting underneath a car, encapsulating dirt and grime so it won’t scratch the paint job when wiped away.

How to use a waterless car wash

Waterless car washes are exceedingly simple to use. Depending on the formula you purchase, you apply it directly from the bottle to your car’s exterior or, if using a concentrate, you mix it with a small amount of water first. 

After application, you wipe away the waterless wash along with the dirt and grime. Afterward, you can buff your car with a cloth to increase its shine. The key to getting good results with a waterless car wash is to use very soft microfiber towels and regularly swap out dirty ones for clean ones.

Why use a waterless car wash

Washing a car the traditional way is not just a time-consuming process but a wasteful one as well. The average person wastes 80 to 140 gallons of water to wash a sedan. 

Along with environmental benefits, waterless car washes offer conveniences too. Since they don’t require access to water, people can use them anywhere. This makes them great for people who live in cities where they don’t have the luxury of washing a car in a driveway. It also means you don’t have to worry about water restrictions or droughts.

Most will find the process of washing their car with a waterless wash to be quicker than the traditional method. There is less setup, less clean-up and you won’t have to waste time drying your vehicle.

Features to look for in a quality waterless car wash

Concentrate or ready-to-use formula

Proper waterless car washes come in concentrated and ready-to-use formulas. For concentrated formulas, simply combine a small amount of the waterless wash with water in a spray bottle. For ready-to-use options, no setup is necessary.

There is also a third option called no-rinse washes. These are a form of concentrate that aren’t quite waterless car washes, as you usually have to add a couple of gallons of water, but that is still considerably less than a traditional wash. For example, with Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine, combine two gallons of water with 1 ounce of the formula to wash an average sedan.


Everyone knows that if you want your vehicle to shine like new, you need to wax it. Waxes also protect paint jobs against damage from road debris and UV rays, so your car will stay looking good for longer. Some waterless washes include wax in their formula, making them genuinely one-step solutions to cleaning a vehicle’s exterior. 

How much can you expect to spend on a waterless car wash?

The most affordable waterless washes are concentrates and no-rinse options, both of which can cost as little as 50 cents per wash. Ready-to-use washes cost $5-$15 per 16-ounce bottle, which is enough for two to four washes of the average sedan.

Waterless car wash FAQ

Can a waterless wash be used on very dirty cars?

A. No. Unfortunately, if your car has a heavy build-up of dirt and grime or a lot of caked-on mud, a waterless wash is not suitable. Instead, you’ll have to wash your vehicle the traditional way, after which you can start using a waterless wash on a more regular basis, so you don’t experience that heavy build-up again.

Can I use waterless washes on my windows and wheels?

A. Yes. The majority of waterless washes work on every surface of your vehicle’s exterior. Some can even be used on interior surfaces. As with any new cleaning product, please read the manufacturer’s directions regarding where and how to use it. 

What is the best waterless car wash to buy?

Top waterless car wash

Aero Cosmetics Wash Wax All

What you need to know: Wash Wax All is an alcohol and ammonia-free option that is versatile enough to be used on all types of vehicles and even appliances and countertops.

What you’ll love: It leaves behind a nice shine and can also be used as a wet wash for filthy vehicles.

What you should consider: The shine doesn’t last as long as an actual wash.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top waterless car wash for the money

Meguiar's G3626 Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax

What you need to know: A one-step formula, Meguiar’s Ultimate washes and waxes a vehicle’s exterior.

What you’ll love: It works surprisingly well considering its low per-ounce cost for a ready-to-use formula.

What you should consider: You cannot use it on matte surfaces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Chemical Guys EcoSmart-RU Waterless Wash and Wax

What you need to know: Made from a blend of lubricating agents, hyper-surfactants and carnauba wax, EcoSmart-RU removes dirt without causing scratches and leaves behind a hydrophobic protective coating.

What you’ll love: It doesn’t leave behind water spots and can be diluted for cars that just need a light cleaning.

What you should consider: The spray bottle nozzle tends to stop working.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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