Image: morguefile.comIn California water is no longer taken for granted due to the extreme drought conditions that exist there. But California is also a culture strongly steeped in cars. And owners of these cars have always babied their prized possessions with a frequent car wash—until now.

The lack of water resources has produced a quandary for car loving fans; how do you wash your car when there are heavy water restrictions in place? As it turns out, there are good alternative ways to wash a car without using a lot of water.

But this goes beyond the venue of California as resource conscious people may want to use some of these tips to conserve water when washing their cars too.

It’s Not About the Water

Common sense dictates that using lots of water during a car wash produces a cleaner car. But this isn’t necessarily so. For a car wash to be successful it’s all about the method rather than how much water you use.

Many washed cars are still dirty after washing because the dirt just gets pushed around rather than being removed. The trick is to constantly rinse out the cleaning sponge in a separate bucket of clean water instead of just the soap bucket, which contains all the dirt.

But how do you perform a car wash with less water?

Dust It Off

There are some specialized dusters for cars that gently remove surface dirt by just swiping over the car. The fibers have special dirt attractants embedded and will pick up dirt without scratching the car’s surface.

If your car has been already waxed, these magic dusters will help to keep your car looking clean without water and take away dirt that dulls the paint’s finish.

Spray-On Car Wash

There are several “instant” car washes on the market. These products are water-based, bio-degradable, and environmentally friendly. You spray the product on and the dirt is dislodged from the paint surface. All you need to do is to use a cup of water to moisten a few microfiber cloths to lift the dirt away.

But for this to work effectively, you’ll need thick, high quality microfiber cloths and not thin cheap ones found at discount stores or from the bargain bin at auto shops.

Halt the Hose

Using a garden hose at full blast can use water at a rate of 10 gallons a minute. This is wasteful and not the best way to wash your car and conserve water. If your location has water restrictions, one way to keep your car shiny without a lot of water is to clean and dust your car frequently.

Doing this will help keep the dirt from adhering to the car and will help preserve the wax job or sealant that you applied weeks or months before.

Source: Popular Mechanics

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