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We know it can be a hassle and sometimes even a little annoying having to bring out and putting together all your car washing equipment like your pressure washer, hose, foam cannon, buckets and so on. Not to mention people have busy lives and doing all this takes time that you may not having during the week. Why take 1-2+ hours to fully wash your car when you only really need 15-20 minutes with a quick detailer or waterless wash!


For starters we’ll have to tell you no matter how many companies try and sell you on the idea of how safe their waterless wash is on your paint even when your vehicle is very dirty…That’s just not the case. You will have to make a judgement call on this and determine whether or not it’s safe to actually use a waterless wash. Let’s say your vehicle is covered in dirt, completely caked with pollen or mud. Then chances are it may not be the safest thing to use a waterless wash or quick detailer as it combined with a microfiber may end up scratching your paint.


With that disclaimer out of the way what are the differences between a waterless wash and a quick detailer? To be honest they’re fairly similar and SOMEWHAT interchangeable. However there are a few key differences.


A waterless wash is formulated with chemicals that can break down and essentially “capture” dirt and other contaminants on your paint making them easier to lift up with a microfiber. Because of how the fibers are made in a microfiber they grab onto these contaminants very well. A waterless wash is what you’ll want to use if your car is dirty and you’ll need to spot clean bird poop, pollen, dirt, etc around your vehicle.


Now onto a quick detailer. Sort of the same thing except there are a few major differences. Quick detailers aren’t formulated in the same way as a waterless wash would be and because of this they don’t have the same agents that pick-up dirt, dust and other contaminants as well. A quick detailer CAN clean but only in some minor cases with very minimal dirt or dust. A quick detailer will have some of sealant formulated into it to actually help protect your vehicle’s paint and enhance the gloss of the paint.


Now the choice is up to you. Whether you get a waterless wash because you go a while between washes or maybe live somewhere under a bunch of trees and get all kinds of debris, bird dropping and tree sap on your vehicle’s surface. Maybe you just need a quick detailer for some very minor cleaning because your work commute isn’t too long or maybe because your vehicle stays parked in the garage…plus it will give you a bit of boost to the shine and gloss of your paint.

We would recommend after you fully wash your vehicle with whatever soap you use to actually apply some type of sealant or coating like a ceramic or graphene spray coating to your vehicle. It will majorly increase the gloss of your vehicle but it will also bond to your vehicle’s surface and protect your vehicle’s paint from taking damage from whatever contaminants your car or truck comes into contact with during the day. They also make any cleanup on your vehicle much quicker and simpler because they prevent these said contaminants like dirt, dust, pollen and so on from embedding themselves into your clear coat or for examples bird droppings which are acidic and will actually eat away at your paint and clear.


A ceramic/graphene coating go perfectly with something like a waterless wash or quick detailer because it reduces the risk of you scratching the surface of the paint when you wipe at it with a microfiber towel and it just allows whatever is on the surface of your vehicle to come off easier! If you want to learn more about ceramic and graphene coatings we have a couple posts about them as well!


Again, thank you for reading. Detail Medic has all your car detailing products you need to make your vehicle clean and shiny. We are a small family run car care product manufacturer. Please support our company.

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