Weekly cleaning of car without water but with a few spray bottles?

I see a guy walks with a few spray bottles and he cleans his car without using water in the parking lot, every weekend.
Can u do that - What are some of these spray bottles?

You can,… but I strongly recommend against it. All he’s really doing is sanding down the surface, putting microfractures in the paint.

You want water… lots of water… to rinse the dirt off without you’re having to touch it anymore than absolutely necessary.

+1 to mountainbike’s comment.
Whether you are at war or at peace, you should use copious amounts of water when you clean the exterior of your car.


One question: was this in California during the drought, when washing your car was prohibited?

He is using detailing spray (hopefully!). It is used to quickly clean a not-so-dirty car without lots of soap and water. Depending on how he uses the car (not so much) and in what environment (not off-road in a mud pit) this might be OK. He may also use it after running through a no-touch wash as a final cleanup and spot remover.

This is one of many products like this;


Yep a product like “Quick Detailer” for in between washes. Does a nice job but not if its dirty.

Why not ask the guy with the spray bottles what he is using and how good it works?

How about a California Car Duster? As long as it’s not dirt that is tightly adhered, I’ve had pretty good luck with one. I see people at car shows using them all the time. Those folks are fussy. For optimum shine, after waxing at home and driving to the show, some of them use use Windex. Only problem is, Windex cleans cars so clean they seem to disappear.

Those folks are fussy. For optimum shine, after waxing at home and driving to the show, some of them use use Windex. Only problem is, Windex cleans cars so clean they seem to disappear.

Ammonia is a good wax stripper…I wouldn’t windex on a vehicle I just waxed.

Are you looking for ideas on washing your car using very little water, or washing it in a parking lot of an apartment building with no hose hookups? If so, I have a few ideas that have worked for me.

@keith - yeah it is parking lot of an apartment - what ideas do u have?

So can the quick detailer pictured can be safely used on paints (especially if the dirt is not so bad)?
And should not use windex on paint?

He is a strange to approach so never asked him - he carries about 5 spray bottles?

We can still use water to wash cars - there is no restrictions that I know

Maybe thew car is already clean and the bottles are empty. He’s just messin with you.

Saving water is one thing, but I heard about this new fad…“The Eco Shower”.

That’s where you stand naked in front of the fan and throw a glass of water into the fan.


Yeah maybe they are filled with water. Kind of a California sponge bath. I didn’t think they allowed washing cars anymore with the water shortage.

I have washed a car in an apartment parking lot using only a bucket of water. I filled it in the shower, about 2 gallons. Then I used a wash cloth to wash the car, keeping the wash cloth soaked in water. That meant dipping it into the bucket and washing about 2-4 square feet at a time. Then I refilled the bucket and rinsed the car. Total about 4 gallons. The car was a 90 Dodge Colt so it was pretty small.

Another way is to rinse out a gallon milk jug and fill it. slowly pour water from it over small areas as you wash with a cloth. Then refill the jug and give a final rinse.

Once you knock off the heavy dirt this way, then follow with a quick detailer or even do a full wax job.

You cannot use the quick detailer on a dirty finish, even if it is only slightly dirty. Dust and dirt is abrasive, even the smallest particles. It take some water flow to remove it, even a small amount of flow, but flow none the less.

Would it be asking too much for the OP to edit the heading ( water instead of war ) for people doing searches ?

Is that what he meant?
Being a fairly literal person, I assumed that he was referring to the cleaning of vehicles in a war zone, during a truce.