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Detailing Car Wash Methods Examined: Rinselsess Washing


The Rinseless Car Wash Method Examined by Signature Detailing NJ

Defining the Elements of the Rinseless Car Wash Method

The rinseless car wash method is a hybrid between the traditional wash method (soap / water / agitation) and the waterless wash method (spray bottle and towels).

Generally, this method is used for the maintenance and or preparation of vehicles in cold weather climates when traditional washing outside is not possible. It may also be used when surfaces are too dirty to effectively clean with the waterless wash method.

The rinseless car wash contains (more or less) the following elements:

  • A bucket (or more, depending on your philosophy)
  • A dedicated rinseless or waterless wash solution
  • A mitt, sponge, or other media to agitate (wash) the surface with during cleaning
  • Some sort of drying towel (microfiber drying towels are the ONLY way to go these days)

How to Perform a Rinseless Car Wash

The rinseless car wash method combines processes from both the traditional car wash method and the waterless car wash method.

Rinseless Car Wash Steps:

  1. Use 1 Bucket and add the appropriate amount of a dedicated Rinseless / Waterless Wash Solution (CarPro EcH2o) , filling it 1/2 or 3/4 full with water and add a Microfiber Wash Mitt (DI Hybrid)
  2. Spray down the entire vehicle with the rinseless / waterless wash solution
  3. Remove the wash mitt from the bucket of solution and gently wash the panel, using only enough pressure to engage the mitt to the surface.
  4. After washing the panel, place the mitt back into the bucket. Immediately dry the panel with the MF drawing towel (The Gauntlet 20×30”)
  5. ** Note: For a gentler wash overall, or for heavily soiled surfaces, add a secondary bucket with the rinseless/waterless solution to clean the wash mitt between panels.

The rinseless car wash process may take about 20-30min to complete.

This is a great method for cold winter months when it’s freezing outside or the level of surface contamination is too much for a waterless wash. Additionally, this is a nice option for both professional detailers and car enthusiasts alike to effectively keep vehicles clean.

Closing Thoughts on the Rinseless Car Wash Method

In closing, the rinseless wash method, featuring a rinseless / waterless solution and manual agitation with a microfiber wash mitt is great option for preparing and washing vehicles when:

  • Weather is near or below freezing and a traditional wash is impossible
  • Vehicle surface contamination levels are heavier and rule out a waterless wash
  • A slight variation of this approach involves quickly pressure washing the vehicle to remove loose contamination and then immediately waterless washing the vehicle. This may be particularly helpful in extreme hot or cold seasons.

    Of course, the lack of pressurized water does not allow the rinseless wash method to thoroughly clean all areas of a vehicle. Therefore, even in mild climates or in warmer seasons, a traditional wash may be necessary once each season for a true deep cleaning.

    Overall, the rinseless wash method is a staple for the colder months in many facets of the auto detailing industry and enthusiast car care. Consider adding it to your arsenal in the colder months and enjoy its effectiveness and ease of completion.

    Gregory Gellas
    Signature Detailing NJ
    Hillsborough, NJ 08844
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    4 comments on Detailing Car Wash Methods Examined: Rinselsess Washing

    1. Christopher Driggett says:

      Great series of articles. I have found a good in-between solution. Use a prefoam like Bilt Hamber’s touch-less which gets rid of the heavy soil and dirt and then do a waterless wash. This method saves me a lot of time. No buckets and only a pressure washer.

    2. Philip A. Arnold says:

      Thanks for a great article Gregory. I have become a firm believer in “rinseless” and “waterless” since I do almost exclusively older classic cars. What they don’t need is a good bath. The only product you mentioned was Car Pro which I assume is your go to product. But I found it curious that you didn’t mention ONR which to me is the gold standard. Is this not true? Is there something I don’t know? (Of course there is 😉 ) Look forward to your comments. Thanks.

    3. Ron Ayotte says:

      I’ve been doing rinseless washes for years in winter. I take my vehicles and those I detail to the local “pay and spray” to rinse the heavy salt off, then park in my heated garage and do the wash.

      All three of my vehicles are ceramic coated, so clean-up is a breeze.

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