I’m buying a classic car, and the seller says he’s never washed the car with water, but has used some sort of chem wipes. Is this necessary? I always thought water with a mild soap and a good drying with quarterly wax was enough, but now he’s making me nervous!
I can’t give you a definitive answer, but my guess is the waterless care is only for a true classic car and just will not be worth the trouble otherwise.
If I had a true classic car, I suspect I would follow that same procedure, although I might use some water (damp cloth) However I doubt if I will ever have such a car and I doubt if following that advice would be helpful for any but a very few.
Maybe he lived in a condo and had no access to a garden hose?
It may be a classic car but you can be sure it now has a modern finish: hand-rubbed acrylic paint and many layers of the finest synthetic wax available. Your preferred wash is good old-fashioned soapy water. Enjoy your Mercedes!
If it’s a truely classic car and properly restored it may not have a modern finish. It may be lacquer.
Chemicals, including soaps, only free the dirl from the surface. IMHO it’s better to wash it off with water than to wipe it off with any form of cloth. Truely classic cars have numerous opportuniities for water to collect and cause rust that modern cars don’t have, so a water soaked soft sponge might be preferable to rinsing with a hose.
You might get more information on classis car sites than on this one. I’ve never owned a true classic, I’m just guessing here.
Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the comments!
Also well water can be very hard and make a mess. My water is very hard and it leaves white spots(calcium) on my vehicle once it drys that are not easy to remove. I have a softner but the plumber did run the softened water to my hose spickets.
Andrew: I’m assuming you meant to say he “DIDN’T run the softened water” to your spigots. There’s a very good reason for that: Softened water will kill your yard.
For hard water, get the “Mr. Clean” car wash system. I’ve posted links before (check for it on Amazon), but it does a remarkable job of removing the harsh stuff, and your car will dry nice and spotless…even without a chamois. When I do mine, the water sheets off like it does a Rain-X’d windshield.
I wonder what someone who does not use water does if it decides to rain?
If it’s a classic Mercedes, he probably leaves it in the garage, and only takes it out when the forecast calls for a dry overcast day to keep it out of direct sunlight.
I was curious because I’ve always washed my cars and dried every nook and cranny to ensure no spots (we have hard water), and I was wondering how you’d get the undercarriage clean without water. But you’re right, he kept it garaged and only got caught in a “sprinkle” twice. I intend to drive this car. I also use my grandmother’s china and wear my nice jewelry to work, but that’s how I roll