Waterless car wash: 2016 group test

7 Jul, 2016 12:15pm Kim Adams

Top up the shine on your car, or give it a quick clean in the garage, as we pick from eight buys for hose-free washing

Waterless washes were thrust into the spotlight by hosepipe bans, but they’re a fine way to wash and wax your car even when the reservoirs are full. And they work well at this time of year when grime build-up is light and can be safely removed with a cloth.

A waterless cleaner is also great for using undercover or in the garage if you’re dodging summer showers. If time is short, they’re often faster than a bucket and sponge plus a tin of wax when cleaning and protecting paintwork. So which will give you more time to enjoy the sun this summer? We grabbed our microfibre cloths and eight top sellers to find out. 

How we tested them

The core of the test was one lightly soiled panel and another with far heavier grime, which were masked before each sample was used with minimal wiping. It’s hard to separate our samples on cleaning alone, so we also wanted to be able to mist on the cleaner for the most efficient coverage, plus we rated the water-resistant finish left after buffing. Extras such as cloths were factored in when we assessed value using prices from a range of online sources. 


All our test products cleaned well, but the best overall package again comes from reigning champ Meguiar’s. Behind Wash & Wax Anywhere in second place is the Classic version of WOW, while the cost-effective Triplewax Waterless Wash & Shine completes our podium.

  1. 1. Meguiar’s Wash & Wax Anywhere 
  2. 2. WOW Classic & Sports Box Kit 
  3. 3. Triplewax Waterless Wash & Shine