Tips and advice

Best waterless car wash to buy

If you want to freshen up your car, these waterless car wash sprays will do the trick

Most brands now offer at least one waterless car cleaner among their car-care products. They’re useful for a quick spruce up between full washes, at car shows, or even to remove the dirt that can get left on your car after it’s rained. 

There’s no doubt that using a waterless car wash product is much quicker and easier than getting out all your cleaning equipment, covering every inch of your car in water and applying wax. Thankfully, waterless car cleaner products can also offer a good level of protection and finish. We’ve put some of the bestsellers to the test to give you our pick of the best waterless car wash and cleaning products on sale.

Verdict

All of the products we tested did a reasonable job but Meguiar’s stood out as best for a number of reasons. It was able to clear away grime and leave a shining finish with ease - a result left unmatched by the other products.

Read on for our list of the best waterless car wash products…

Meguiar’s Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax review

  • Price: £17
  • Size: 768ml
  • Rating: 5/5

Meguiar’s offering has been renamed since we last tested it and was previously known as ‘Wash & Wax Anywhere’. It has always topped our tests and remains our top pick for another year. The Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax is one of the best options for beading, allowing water to roll off and leave a shining finish. The product goes on in a consistent, fine spray that leaves no spots. You then remove the grime using one of the included cloths and buff with the other. 

Buy now from Amazon

Shelby Platinum Waterless Wash & Wax review

  • Price: £24.99  
  • Size: 1 litre
  • Rating: 4.5/5

The Shelby product performed just as well in the cleaning test and was actually better in terms of beading but the instructions weren’t as straightforward. The product website advised using two cloths but the bottle said you only needed one and the microfibre cloth included was relatively small. These issues, combined with the product’s higher price tag, put it in second place.

Buy now from Clansman

Farécla G3 Rapid Detailer review

  • Price: £8.99
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Most brands now have a dedicated waterless wash but Farécla’s offering is a detailer described as a ‘mild-cleanser’ intended for use between washes to remove dust, fingerprints and other imperfections. The bottle’s trigger was effective and produced a spot-free spray, while the cleaning power of the Rapid Detailer was one of the best. Farécla’s product has also demonstrated its ability to shift water very effectively in other tests.

Buy now from Amazon

Auto Curators Rapid Cleanse review

  • Price: Around £15
  • Size: 1,000ml
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Auto Curators Rapid Cleanse is part of a range of high-end cleaning products aimed at home enthusiasts. It’s designed to top up your car’s shine and protection on top of any wax you’ve already applied. It’s also not limited to paintwork, offering compatibility with glass and trim as well, while you can also use it as a rinse aid to reduce water spotting as a car dries.

It’s versatile and works well as a waterless cleaner, shifting grime and covering a large area of bodywork with a fine mist each time you squeeze the trigger. Like the Meguiar product, it leaves a water-repellent surface but takes a little longer than the winner. It looks expensive but you get a generous amount, making it good value.

Buy now from Amazon

Triplewax Waterless Wash review

  • Price: £4.50  
  • Size: 1 litre
  • Rating: 4/5

The price for Triplewax’s offering might not be reassuring but actually, despite being one of the least expensive products we have tested, it previously managed to get into our top four. This is not just due to its low price tag; the spray comes out nicely and the same two-cloth method previously mentioned is used to clean and buff. Beading was this product's best asset, with the cleaning performance a little behind its competitors. If you’re looking for a low cost option, however, Triplewax Waterless Wash does an effective job.

Buy now from Amazon

McLaren Waterless Wash & Wax review

  • Price: Around £14
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 4/5

McLaren’s waterless cleaner smells very good and is sprayed on and wiped off with a sponge, which is unusual. After application it is then left to haze and buffed with a microfibre cloth. Instead of the sponge method, we’d actually recommend using a microfibre cloth to loosen the grime, as it produced much better results that were comparable with those of our winner.

However, the McLaren product required more work to buff to a shine than Meguiar’s, and it was easy to accidentally use too much cleaner, given the narrow, thick spray produced from the trigger. At £14, it’s also closely matched with Meguiar’s on price, and so were the results when using a microfibre cloth. However, we’d steer clear of the sponge method to get the best from McLaren’s offering.

Buy now from Halfords

Polished Pigs Quick Detailer review

  • Price: Around £11
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 4/5

Polished Pigs is an impressive newcomer that’s the brainchild of two detailing enthusiasts. It’s intended mainly for use as a detailer designed to give a show finish but it cleaned well, leaving only faint streaks. The trigger is adjustable, meaning you can make the spray finer, and the product smells very pleasant. Polished Pigs was one of the best performers in terms of beading; it was fast, effective and maintained a good finish after several days. 

Buy now from Polished Pigs

TurtleWax Wash & Wax review

  • Price: Around £8
  • Size: 750ml
  • Rating: 4/5

US detailing giant Turtle Wax claims its product leaves a gleaming finish thanks to ‘hybrid polymers technology’ and it works quite well. The spray came out finely for the most part but there was a thick section that meant you ran the risk of using up too much. In terms of cleaning alone, it was just behind our top two. The instructions don’t mention using two cloths but following their ‘one-step formula’, we found the cloth became damp quickly. The pack was big, which meant this was one of the best value options we tested.

Buy now from Amazon

Diamondbrite Waterless Wash & Wax review

  • Price: Around £10
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 4/5

Diamondbrite has impressed us with its waterless cleaner previously and it stays consistent with a four-star rating this time around. On the beading test it just beat our winner as it cleared its section much quicker than its competitors. The two-cloth method is used for this product; one to lift off grime and the other to buff, scoring well in the cleaning test. The spray came out a little too thick but all in all its performance warranted the high price tag.

Buy now from Car Parts 4 Less

Bear Car Care Brilliance Hybrid Quick Detailer review

  • Price: Around £13
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 3.5/5

Similarly to its competitor Polished Pigs, Bear Car Care is a brand started by two enthusiasts. Again, to get a fine spray you have to adjust the trigger nozzle, which can be annoying as you have to find the sweet spot every time you use it. It’s definitely worth the trouble, however, as Brilliance performed well in the cleaning test, coming in just behind our top two. The hybrid formula left a finish that continued repelling water for days to come, so it performed well on the beading front.

Buy now from Amazon

Simoniz Waterless Wash & Wax review

  • Price: Around £5
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 3.5/5

The Simoniz product was a great price and a good choice for people on a tighter budget. The ‘wash’ element worked well and it was easy to buff to a shine using the clean and dirty cloth method. The spray lifted away the grime easily but came out a little thick. It left behind a faint film but this came away with a little more wiping. The ‘wax’ part of the process was a little less effective, with relatively slow beading that didn’t improve over time.

Buy now from Car Parts 4 Less

Armor All Express review

  • Price: Around £10
  • Size: 12 wipes
  • Rating: 3/5

We’ve been fans of Armor All’s waterless wash wipes for a long time. It’s not easy comparing wipes with sprays but these wipes offer a very convenient solution, especially for small areas. If you were to use them on a whole car, however, you’ll probably find you use up half the pack which doesn’t make them as cost effective. For best results, you should really use a microfibre cloth once the grime has been lifted to buff and leave a better finish.

Buy now from Amazon

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