How To Keep A Car Clean Between Washes

You know what’s annoying? Let me tell you. You wash your car on a Saturday and for whatever reason by Tuesday you can already see a layer of dirt on it. Now here’s the truth: I cheat on my wife. But not how you think.

Not with one of the cheerleaders from the Miami Dolphins, but with my car. Every Saturday, without fail, you can rest assured that I will have blocked out 2 hours of my day so that I can show my car the TLC that it deserves.

Knowing how to keep a car clean between washes has definitely helped me.

I make sure to give it an excellent wash, without even touching it. Inside and out. I steam, vacuum, polish, spray wax, buff and so much more just to make sure it’s sparkling clean and gleams. I love when my car is so clean that it’s a mirror. I can just stare at it and see the reflection clearly. Even the convertible roof is grime free.

Now the reason I bring this up is because if on a Tuesday, I see that my car is dirty and decide to take out 2 more hours in the week, which is 2 less hours than I’m spending with my wife – then you can bet that she’s not going to be best pleased. And if she’s not going to be best pleased, it means she’s going to let me know about it.

Don’t laugh, I know you’ve been there….

So what was I to do? I didn’t want to secretly collect all my car cleaning accessories and take them to some hotel car park so that my car and I could do our thing. No. That would be wrong. I couldn’t break the once a week rule BUT I also couldn’t stand to see dirt on my car.


How To Keep Your Car Clean Between Washes – Summary

  1. Firstly, clean the wheels.  Not just dust but also dirt and other bits picked up from the road.
  2. Use a spray cleaner and generously cover them; wait a minute or so and then use a brush to clean them. Pull out the hose and quickly rinse them off. 
  3. With the hose, remove all dust from the exterior of the car. 
  4. Use a microfiber cloth and really work the outside of the car, often flipping it when needed. 
  5. Wash the car, and not use water to clean it afterwards. Use Optimum Polymer Technologies – no rinse and wash.
  6. Using a pump sprayer filled with a couple of gallons of water, mix in the non-rinse shampoo and spray it all over the car and wait 5 minutes.
  7. The same company provides a huge red sponge to wipe away this rinse less shampoo. Then, with no water, and no spray, all is complete. Using a microfiber cloth, start drying off the car.
Ocean Salt and Dust

Where Is All The Dirt Coming From?

Whilst I don’t live near the ocean, in Miami the salt is in the air. And that does have an affect on the air as well as on the cars. Additionally, both where I work and where I live, there seems to be a heck of a lot of construction going on. This has meant that there’s more dust in the air than usual and quite selfishly and rudely, that dust is landing firmly on my car, even though I spent 2 hours a few days earlier making sure you could eat off it.

The Work Around

Well the way I saw it was if I didn’t use a jet wash, a wet/dry vac, a steam cleaner and all my other exciting tools, then maybe it didn’t count as an actual car wash. If I only took 10-15 minutes to clean the car versus 2 hours, then maybe it didn’t count as an actual car wash.

I wasn’t into quick car washes. It almost defeated the point of doing it yourself, but I didn’t want to get into a bust up with my wife and I needed to make sure that I had a system in how to keep the car clean between washes.


Keeping Car Clean Between Washes

As you’ve probably read in my other posts, especially the one about eliminating the smoke odor from a car, I like to analyze my car before working on it. I have a very simple system that involves a stool and a bar.

So as I perched myself on the stool, drank my beer, I could see a pattern. Periodically I would move myself and my stool to a different position just to cover all angles of the car.

It seemed that most of the dust had been near the front and rear wheels (for obvious reasons) but there was a fairly big layer on the roof and hood too.

Ok analysis over. It was time to get all my bits together and very quickly and discretely, so as to avoid a divorce, get busy cleaning. I knew what I was going to do and I had to be quick about it.

Keep car clean between washes
Clean the Wheels

Firstly, I had to clean the wheels. The car had been driven quite a bit since being washed and it showed on the wheels. Not just dust but also dirt and other bits picked up from the road (I don’t even want to think about it).

I used a spray cleaner and generously covered them, waited a minute or so and then used a brush to clean them. I pulled out the hose and quickly rinsed them off. Not bad. I could live with that (well, until next Saturday that was). And most importantly, it didn’t take long.

Hose The Car down

Whilst you’ve got the hose out, it’s time to remove all that dust from the exterior of the car.  Quickly hose down the whole car and put the hose away as if it never happened. Of course, whilst I rushed to do this, I was praying that it was hot enough for the sun to evaporate any of the evidence that was dripping down my car and my drive.

I guess I could just say that it happened to rain for 1 minute. And only on my car. Surely my wife would believe that? It’s plausible right?

Well, I didn’t have time to find out. I had to keep going.

Clean with microfiber

I used a microfiber cloth and really worked the outside of the car. Often flipping it where relevant. The aim was to dry the car as well as cleaning the dust off it. I could flip each microfiber towel 4 times and once I had used all 4 pieces, I would leave that towel aside for the wash and just grab another one.

Optimum Polymer Technologies – no rinse and wash

Now the next mission was to wash the car, and not use water to clean it afterwards. I had to use a rinse less car wash. I went for the Optimum Polymer Technologies – no rinse and wash.

Now these products are hot and trending right now and if you’ve not come across them before, their USP is that they don’t need to be washed off with water. So how does it work?

Well they are effectively high end lubricants and using them allows you to lubricate the surface making it easier for all the dirt to slide off.

I had never used this product before and so it was going to be my first time. I needed to have my pump sprayer handy and filled with a couple of gallons of water. Once that was done I mixed in the rinse less shampoo and sprayed it all over the car.

Then I had to wait. 5 minutes felt like an eternity. My wife would be home any time and if she caught me cleaning my car – she was going to flip. I felt like Quentin Tarantino did in Pulp Fiction when his wife was on her way home and 2 guys show up with a body in the back of the car. I kept playing that scene over in my head to be luckily interrupted by the 5 minute timer on my cell phone.
Wipe away

The same company happens to provide a huge red sponge to wipe away this non-rinse shampoo. I quickly ripped that out the packet and used it all over the car. Scrubbed, wiped – whatever I was meant to do with it, I just did.

Then, with no water, and no spray, it was done. I was done. All I had to do was grab my finest microfiber cloth and start drying off the car.

Job done

And that was it. I quickly threw everything into the garage and ran into the garden with a good book as if nothing had ever happened. After a wonderful dinner at home with my wife and of course she was none the wiser, I went out to examine the car.

Was I convinced by the rinseless car wash…?

I must say it didn’t do a bad job, but I also didn’t like the feel it left on the car. Something about its touch just didn’t feel quite right. However, Saturday wasn’t far and my mission of cleaning off all the dirt in record time was accomplished.

So if you’re ever looking for a way to keep your car clean between washes, there you have it. Of course unless you have a more understanding wife than I do, in which case you can literally just wash it properly again.