During California drought, waterless-wash methods becoming more popular for cars

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, July 21, 2022
During drought, more California drivers cleaning cars without water
More drivers are turning to waterless wash products to keep their cars clean during California's drought.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The current drought has been front and center in our lives this year. Water restrictions everywhere.

But what about keeping your car clean? Commercial car washes tend to use recycled water, but if you're a DIYer...

Washing your car with a hose and bucket may be restricted, depending on where you live.

Or you can get a clean car without ever turning on a tap: Mothers Waterless Wash and Wax.

"If you use this product once a week, it can effectively replace a traditional car wash. It's a simple mist, wipe, and buff," said Jim Dvorak, spokesperson for Mothers Polish.

Basically, if you can dust furniture, you can use this spray to get your car clean, drought or no drought. Mothers car care products was founded in Southern California in the 1970s, so they've been through a few water crises themselves.

"During the last drought we saw a need for a waterless wash and wax product, so we tweaked our instant detailer. So it helps lift away dirt, it doesn't scratch the paint, so it provides a great shine and a clean car," said Dvorak.

Basically, spray and wipe, preferably in a shady spot. It's also handy for cleaning off things like bird droppings.

Mothers says each bottle can clean up to four cars, or figure maybe three larger SUVs. It costs about $12 a bottle or even less, so you can keep your car clean for only a few dollars.

Products like this are available at lots of places, like the big discount stores, and auto parts and accessories retailers. Ace Auto Parts in Huntington Beach has been getting more inquiries, and seeing more sales, than usual.

"Oh yeah, a lot of people looking for that trying to save water. They're just interested in saving water, and I haven't heard anybody complain about it yet so it must work pretty well," said Bruce Alvarez, the store's owner.

Washing your car the normal way probably doesn't use that much water in the grand scheme of things. But as the saying goes, every drop counts these days.

Oh, and there's a benefit to your car as well.

"We have a lot of customers that, when they turn in their cars, they get a better price on that trade-in," added Jim Dvorak of Mothers.