As much as many of us would like to spend countless hours valeting our cars, washing and detailing them all the way back to factory-fresh form, it's not particularly practical and often far too time consuming. Instead of all the bucket-filling, hosing-down and wax-on-wax-off action, you can simply apply a waterless wash and wax formula, often to impressive effect.
So which is the best waterless car wash? We grabbed our microfibre cloths and a variety of top products to find out.
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1. Meguiar’s Wash & Wax Anywhere
Price: Around £15 Size: 768mlRating: ★★★★★
Our top waterless cleaner was the complete package. It lifted dirt without a fuss and left no unwanted marks on trim pieces. The fine mist emitted from the nozzle got good coverage of the targeted panel, which helped to minimise wastage. Little effort was required to work the solution into the surface and it beaded water off the panel impressively. A compelling price tag completed its convincing victory.
2. Auto Curators Rapid Cleanse
Price: £20Size: 1,000mlRating: ★★★★☆
The Rapid Cleanse’s loss to our winner was a marginal one. Designed to top up shine and wax protection, it also lifted dirt from the paint’s surface impressively. It was diverse too, working on glass and trim as well. It left a water-repellent finish, although it failed to bead water as effectively as our winner. That said, it’s also well-priced and a valid alternative to our winner.
3. Triplewax Waterless Wash & Shine
Price: Around £4Size: 1,000mlRating: ★★★★☆
Triplewax’s product champions price, and proudly so – a litre bottle costs half as much as a 500ml bottle of some rival products. However, it proved as cheap as it was cheerful: the mist produced wasn’t as fine as others, so more solution is used per clean – perhaps forgivable in light of the price – but it also failed to rid the paintwork of dirt as well as our top two and water didn't bead as well post-application.
4. Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash
Price: Around 9Size: 500mlRating: ★★★★☆
Like our top two, a wide, fine spray allowed you to use a minimal amount to maximum effect. It dealt with grime well enough, and while it didn't bead as well as the best, it was certainly working. Its biodegradable formula means it can be applied on wet and dry cars if heavy mud has been hosed off first.
5. WOW classics and Sports box kit
Price: Around £11Size: 500mlRating: ★★★★☆
WOW’s kit’s claims of a high gloss and protection aren't wide of the mark. It cleaned just as well as our test victor, but it fell down the order thanks to poor beading. Usefully, a trio of cloths, which are colour-coded, are concluded for cleaning and buffing.