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No rinse wash versus hose and bucket


Aug 30, 2018
Chapel Hill, NC
I like spraying ONR on first too - when I wipe a wet towel on a dry/dirty car, I can feel the drag and sometimes hear the scratching. Spray bottle with pre-mix works great. Wash my car in 30 minutes in the garage, about half the time it takes using hose/sponge/chamois in the driveway. And no more hose wrestling! Or just washing a few panels if the whole car isn't dirty is super quick.

Also I keep a smaller spray bottle in the trunk to wipe off bird droppings, bugs, mud splashes, anything else I happen to see when on the road and don't want it baking on in the sun. Hadn't thought to use distilled water though that's a good suggestion.


Oct 1, 2018
We have only used Waterless washes since owning our Teslas. If your car is really dirty with weeeeks of dirt or caked on mud, take it first to one of those self-spray car wash stations to remove the really caked on stuff. You don't want to rub any of that in. The waterless spray does a good job loosening dirt and dust on the car but it's not meant for heavily soiled vehicles. We have Xpel, and now on my car also ceramic coating, on our cars and it doesn't take much to get the heavy stuff off. Just be mindful to follow Tesla's recommendation on using a spray particularly around your sensors. If you use the waterless method it also adds a coating that helps slough off dirt in the future and makes the car look so nice and shiny. Makes you regret when you haven't washed it in a while since clean the car looks fabulous and new.

BTW if you are going the DIY route, we use the products from Eco-Green Autoclean. Believe they sell the products out of southern California. We have an Eco-Green Autoclean car wash location here in Redwood City we frequent when in that area. Picked up some supplies from them in person for touch up use at home -- like from those pesky birds and bees. Our detailer who did our PPF also uses their products. We are fortunate to have another Waterless car wash outfit in the San Jose area (Future Wash) that we also go to. Believe they use another waterless product but not sure which. Both sources of products however do a great job.

Since people have asked how you do it, here's a link to the Eco-Green Autoclean website on How To (with video): How to | Eco Green Auto Clean, Inc. . As you will see, you fold the microfiber cloth into quarters as someone mentioned and then turn inside out and fold in quarters to use that side of the cloth for 8 clean cloth passes with it. Make sure you start off with a dampened cloth. Same if you use a product like The Absorber -- "today's" chamois cloth -- to dry off your car ( The Absorber, Superior to Microfiber Car Cleaning Towels ).

Any opinions on the absorber vs. Microfiber drying towel?

If anyone has recommendation for best drying towel, that would be great. Tons of choices on amazon, but would like real world experiences. Thanks.


Oct 12, 2016
Ann Arbor, MI
I have both. I dry with microfiber, I switch to a dry newly laundered towel pretty often.

I have a silicone squeegee type “California drier”, I use that to sweep most of the water off the surface of the clean car then finish the drying with the dry microfiber.

I think both work well. I think there is less chance of dragging an abrasive particle across paint with the microfiber. Realistically, I don’t think It makes much difference. Just the fact you are asking means you are pretty careful of your paint so I think you’ll do well with either one.

Cirrus MS100D

Supporting Member
Jul 6, 2017
Pennsylvania, USA
I’ve been using the Griot’s Garage Spray-On Car Wash since we’ve owned the car and immediately started using it when I acquired our 4 year old FIAT. I won’t go back to a hose and bucket method.

Yeah, you need a bunch of high-quality microfiber towels (which apparently are also killing the environment? Hmmm... where to from there...?) but I can usually get by with a moderately dirty S using 4-6 of them. It’s amazinf how this stuff can “melt” the dirt on there. After a Vermont ski trip and PA over-salted roads, I had considered trying to pre-rinse since the car was totally caked, but thanks to the insane weather, 1 day later saw moderate rain, so I left the car outside for an hour, which was enough to get me to where I was comfortable doing a usual spray wash and it was just fine.

I also love the ability to be interrupted (kids, work, whatever) and resume from wherever I left off. I think I have a free hour, I do the roof and hood, whoops, gotta stop - no worries, come back tomorrow and do the rest. Or don’t.

Love the spray-on wash stuff.

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