Washing Without Water

Gone are the days of the driveway carwash with the free-running hose.  According to a study years ago by one of the larger car wash trade associations, the vintage-style do-it-yourself car wash used, on average, 120 gallons of water.  The typical automatic tunnel wash uses an average of 35 gallons of fresh water per vehicle, even with water reclaim and recycle.

Mobile car wash and detail service, utilizing highly efficient wash techniques, can bring the per-vehicle water use down to 10 gallons or less.  Using the process outlined in the blog entitled “Wash Like a Pro:  Bucket Wash Process”, even the home car washer can get a sedan thoroughly washed with about 10 gallons of water.  In some municipalities, however, water use is tightly regulated.  And sometimes at-home vehicle washing is prohibited outright, for example during periods of extreme drought.

There are several other situations in which washing with water may not be an option.  Many condominium or apartment complexes do not allow vehicle washing on the property.  Or, the vehicle to be washed may be a part of a personal collection stored in a large garage.  And then there are museum pieces that cannot be washed in place because of the concern about water getting on the flooring or immediate surroundings.

So, what can we do if washing a car with water is not an option?  In this case, it is possible to safely “wash” a vehicle using Proje’s SiO2 Quick Coat Ceramic Waterless Wash, which, amazingly, requires NO water.

Waterless Washing

The concept of washing a vehicle without water is understandably foreign to most folks.  Yet the technology of “waterless wash” has been around for decades.  The concept is rather simple.  A waterless wash chemical is a specially formulated liquid chemical solution that combines emulsifying agents, lubricants, as well as glazing and protective agents.  When sprayed onto the vehicle surface, this chemical “soup” emulsifies and encapsulates surface dust and dirt, which can then be safely wiped away with high-quality microfiber towels. 

This process, when performed correctly, places no more micro-scratches into the painted surfaces than would normal washing methods that use water.  High-quality waterless wash products also contain surface-filling agents that fill in minor imperfections and micro-scratching, leaving behind a paint surface that is more brilliantly reflective than can be achieved by simple washing alone.

Enter Proje’s SiO2 Quick Coat Ceramic Waterless Wash, which is a highly advanced waterless washing formula that contains all of the above important ingredients, along with SiO2 ceramic style protection.

The Waterless Washing Process

First, let’s discuss the (perhaps obvious) limitations of waterless washing.  If your vehicle just came off of a multi-mile off-road slog over mud-covered trails, then waterless washing is not going to work!  On the other hand, if climate conditions between washes are moderate, and you wash your vehicle often, then waterless wash will work great.

The standard waterless wash.  Don’t work in direct sunlight.  Start at the roof of the vehicle.  Mist the area generously with Proje’s SiO2 Quick Coat Ceramic Waterless Wash.  Let it dwell for a moment, which will give it time to pull contaminants from the surface and encapsulate them in its rich emulsifying agents.  Then gently wipe the area clean with a Proje’ Plush Microfiber Towel.  You may want to come back with a second Plush Microfiber Towel to make sure the area is streak free.

Now, there is a trick to good towel technique.  Before starting, fold your “first towel” over once, and then over once again.  This yields a “quarter-folded” towel that has eight individual surfaces available for use.  It may be wise to use only one of these surfaces per work area.  That means you will be refolding the towel each time you move to a new spot.  And that also means that you will probably need several towels to complete the wash on a vehicle.  It is conceivable, using the methodology described here, that one may need as many as eight towels to fully waterless wash a typical sedan.

One section at a time, continue this process of spraying SiO2 Quick Coat Ceramic Waterless Wash, then wiping it off with a Plush Microfiber Towel, on all the remainder of the vehicle.  You can use this process on the windows as well.

You may want to use a separate set of towels on the wheels and lower areas of the car, as these tend to be dirtier.  Save the best towels for the more pristine body panels to reduce the possibility of scratching.

Towel maintenance is very important.  The set of towels used for a waterless wash, once used, should be thoroughly washed in the washing machine using detergent designed specifically for microfiber towels.  If using standard laundry detergent, use only liquid detergent that has no fragrances or dyes.

Post-wash Dress-up

Since Proje’s SiO2 Quick Coat Ceramic Waterless Wash contains ceramic protection elements, by using it to wash your vehicle, you are automatically protecting the vehicle surfaces at the same time.  Thus, there is no need to follow up with a post-wash mist-and-wipe product or wax or sealant.

As described in the blog entry “Post-wash Dress-up”, you are certainly welcome to do a final wipe of the windows using Proje’s Genesis Glass Cleaner and a dedicated towel, although you may find that it is not necessary after using the waterless wash on the windows.  Additionally, leaving the SiO2 Quick Coat untouched on the windows will coat them with a hydrophobic layer that repels water and dirt.

Dress the tires and trim as desired using Proje’s Fusion Tire Dressing.


Washing a vehicle without water is absolutely possible, using quality products from Proje and proven techniques described herein.