Do you want a clean car but don’t have access to a hose at your home or apartment? Don’t worry, you can still clean your car! Here’s how to wash a car without a hose- that don’t include going out to the carwash!

Keeping the outside of your car clean is important- and not just because it looks nicer! Regular washing helps get rid of dirt, built-up grime, and chemicals. If left on your car for an extended period of time this buildup could cause damage to your car’s finish or even rust.

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But what if you don’t have access to a hose? Sure, you could just head out to your local carwash, but that can get expensive to do all the time. So, while it’s always best to thoroughly wash your car at least a few times a year with a hose or at a professional car wash, there are plenty of ways to wash a car without a hose.

Here are 4 of the easiest ways to wash a car without a hose.


how to was your car without a hose


4 Simple Ways to Wash a Car Without a Hose

3 Bucket Washing System

First off is the most classic ways to wash a car without a hose. It doesn’t require any special supplies- just a couple buckets and a few cleaning sponges or mitts.

The problem with washing a car without a hose is the lack of rinsing water. You can get around this by simply using 3 buckets.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Fill 3 buckets with water. Add soap to one of them. 5 gallon buckets are great for washing a car without a hose!

Step 2: Begin to wash your car from the top down. Get your washing mitt or sponge very wet and soapy and begin to scrub.

It’s  best to divide your car up into sections, so you can wash and rinse one section at a time. Once your mitt is dirty, drop it into one of the plain water buckets. This will prevent dirt from getting into your soapy water. Continue washing the section with a new mitt if needed.

Step 3: Use the 3rd bucket to do a final rinse on the cleaned section.

Step 4: Repeat until the entire car is cleaned.

This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be. But it’s how lots of people and kids washed cars in the city a long time ago.

Some of the biggest cons to washing a car using this method is the time and effort it takes to fill and carry the buckets- since the rinse bucket will likely need to be refilled a few times while washing the car.


teens throwing buckets of water on a car to wash


Pump or Backpack Sprayer

The next option for washing a car without a hose is to use a pump or backpack sprayer in place of the hose.

These sprayers are usually used for lawn and garden chemicals, but you can put plain water in them too.

Using this method, you would still need a bucket of soapy water and washing mitts to wash the car, but you can use the sprayer just like a hose to spray off the dirty water and rinse your car clean.

Pump sprayers are usually only hold about 1-2 gallons of water. Backpack sprayers can hold between 4-5 gallons of water.

Again, you will likely have to refill the sprayer a few times during your wash, but it’s better then lugging buckets around and you get some pressure behind the water as well!


cleaning a car with microfiber cloth and no water


Rinseless Car Washing Products

If you don’t want to deal with rinsing at all, there are plenty of rinseless car washing products on the market.

These products work best on a car that’s not terribly dirty. If you have visible dirt on your car you may want to run it through a simple rinse at a touchless car wash or at least spend a few quarters and give it a quick spray at a DIY car wash.

Again, you will need a bucket of water, a bunch of microfiber cleaning cloths, and a few drying cloths. You won’t be rinsing them, so have plenty available.

Mix the no-rinse product into your bucket as directed on the bottle. Fold your cloth a few times and submerge it in the bucket to get it thoroughly wet. Then start washing your car, one section at a time, starting at the top.

Once your cloth is completely filthy, discard it and get a new one.

Once your section is clean, get your drying cloth and completely dry the section.

Repeat the process until the entire car is clean.

The pros of this car washing option is that you don’t have to lug a bunch of water buckets around. The cons are that it’s not the best option if your car is very dirty and it can take awhile. But you’ll be proud of how good your car looks when you’re done!


cleaning car with a microfiber and spray


Waterless Wash

And finally, if you need to wash a car without a hose, you can try a waterless wash.

This is the only way to wash a car without any water at all. And it’s actually pretty easy to do! All you do is spray, let sit, and wipe off.

Chemical Guys Swift Wipe Waterless Car Wash is one of the best waterless wash products out there and it will leave your car very clean and shiny! This waterless wash can be used on paint, glass, wheels, and chrome.

As far as easy of use, this is one of the simplest options for washing a car without a hose. A bottle of Chemical Guys Swift Wipe costs about $12, and depending on how large a vehicle you have- and how dirty it is- one bottle may only last one wash. But that still is cheaper than a full service car wash in most areas!