How dirty is too dirty to safely use a rinseless wash to wash my car?

by Mike Phillips

The question often comes up,

How dirty is too dirty to safely use a rinseless wash to wash my car?

Great question and while every situation will be a little bit different you can safely wash cars, trucks and s.u.v.’s with light dirt accumulation. Vehicles with a heavy dirt accumulation, especially if they are not regularly washed or if there is visible mud caked onto the paint should have the large accumulation of dirt first removed using a pressure washer or a strong spray of water. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer or a a free flowing source of water, (a garden hose hooked up to a water spigot), then most towns have a do-it-yourself car wash that you can use for a modest fee.

Reasons to use a Rinseless Wash
In a perfect world everyone would have access to free flowing water, warm temperatures, no restrictions on when and where they can wash their car etc.

The problem is we don’t live in a perfect world and not everyone has access to free flowing water or has the ability to use free flowing water due to water restrictions.

Here’s a list of some reasons for using a Rinseless Wash….

Areas with government enforced water restrictions
In today’s reality, there are many cities and even entire countries with Government Enforced Water Restrictions. In these places it’s against laws and/or regulations to wash your car with a free flowing source of water.

Geographical areas of drought
In some places there may be no official restrictions against water use but the geographical area itself is experiencing severe drought and self-compliance as well as common sense prevents people from using a free flowing source of water to wash their vehicles.

People who live in Apartments
In some areas if you live in an Apartment, a Condo or a Townhouse, there may be no place to wash your car with a free flowing source of clean water or there may be rules against it that you have agreed to comply with.

Washing in cold winter months
In cold weather, extreme low temperatures can make washing a car with a free flowing source of water dangerous and difficult at best.

Mobile Detailers
Rinseless Washing enables mobile detailers to get their customer?s car clean without having to depend upon a water source on location or the extra hassle of transporting hundreds of gallons of water in their Truck, Van or on a Trailer. Besides that, some areas require mobile detailers to contain and capture their run-off water and this is an added expense, somewhat difficult as well as time consuming.

Anytime you?re traveling
If you doing any long distance traveling, Rinseless Washing enables you to wash your car while in route.

How dirty is too dirty to safely use a rinseless wash?
There are limits as to what you should tackle with a rinseless wash and what you should take to a car wash, below are some examples…

This is light dirt accumulation
This is a good example of a vehicle that can be washed using a rinseless wash.

Image shows truck with light dirt accumulation, suitable for cleaning with a rinseless wash.

This Tundra is a good example of a vehicle that can be cleaned with a rinseless wash.

Heavy dirt accumulation and mud should always be hosed off before washing your vehicle.

Visit’s Car Wash section for all our traditional car washes, rinseless washes, and waterless washes.


  1. Interesting article! I will keep these great tips in mind. I would also use a car cover after following these advice; it will keep the vehicle clean for a longer period of time.

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