Rinseless Car Wash: How To Use Optimum No rinse

For a lot of people, washing a car is a chore. Especially the maintenance washes that need more effort to set up than actually wash the car.

This is where optimum no rinse comes in.

ONR is a product that will save you a lot of time and effort. It will also save you a lot of water if you have pesky water restrictions!

What Is Optimum No Rinse

ONR is a sudsless product that’s designed to remove the rinsing stages from washing a car.

Before ONR, the only product you could use to wash your car was shampoo.

With each rinse, shampoo, heavy metals, exhaust tip residue would enter the water system via storm drains.

Back in the day, this wasn’t a huge issue but now that saving the environment is becoming a big thing, eco-friendly detailing products are in development.

Because Optimum No Rinse is sudsless, you won’t have to worry about rinsing detailing products and other contaminants down storm drains and breaking the law.

Using ONR will also significantly cut down on water usage. If you use the Garry Dean Method, you’ll only need 1 bucket of water to perform a complete wash. It’s that little water required.

Risks of Rinseless Washing

Like any other type of car wash, there are risks involved when performing a rinseless wash. Realistically this is just a disclaimer for idiots or the unfamiliar.

Every detailing product and wash method has been developed with the safety of your car in mind.

Most of the potential issues can be solved with paint correction, but it shouldn’t even come to that.

The biggest risk you will encounter is paint marring.

Scratches and swirls are rare when using ONR but they can occur if you try to tackle a job that’s too big.

When trying to wash a car that’s heavily polluted, you may have to add in a pre-wash stage. If you don’t, you will run the risk of scratching your paint when you come to perform the rinseless wash.

Does ONR Leave Water Spots

Leftover mineral and dirt deposits from water droplets can dry onto the paintwork of your car. They can also embed themselves into the clear coat of your car.

In the trade, we call them water spots. They’re absolutely horrible to look at and they’re even worse to correct.

Can optimum no rinse leave water spots?

The short answer is yes. Almost any detailing product can leave water spots on your vehicle.
You don’t need to worry though, thankfully these are soft water spots.

I used a test panel and let the product completely dry onto the panel. After 10 minutes you could see visible water spots that changed color as the light hit them.

Removing them was straight forward. I just had to take a wet cloth to the panel and they were gone. This is because they were “soft” water spots.

To prevent water spots, don’t work in direct sunlight, work quickly and always dry your vehicle after washing.

Learn more about water spots here.

How To Use Optimum No Rinse (ONR) Wash

Performing a rinseless wash is simple.

There are a handful of different techniques to choose from. Some are “safer”, require less set up and others require less equipment.

I recommend trying out each ONR Wash technique to find out which one works best for you.

Two Bucket Rinseless Wash

Two Bucket ONR Wash

If you didn’t already know, The Two Bucket Wash is regarded as the safest wash method to date.

To perform the 2 bucket wash method you will need:

  • 2x Wash Buckets (Grit Guards Optional)
  • 10-20 Microfiber towels
  • Optimum No Rinse Product

If you’re already familiar with the two bucket wash method, this is no different. The only change is that you will use a rinseless wash in place of car shampoo.

To Perform the Two Bucket Rinseless Wash follow these steps:

  • Fill 1 bucket with rinseless wash and water
  • Fill 1 bucket with just water
  • Take a microfiber towel and soak it in the ONR solution
  • Safely wipe an area of the panel clean
  • Rinse the towel off in the bucket with just water
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve cleaned a panel
  • Dry the panel with a dry Microfiber towel
  • Repeat all of the above until you have a clean car

Garry Dean Method

Garry Dean Wash Method

The idea of this method is to use a towel until it’s too dirty and then discard it.

Once the towel is dirty enough that it may damage the paint you should discard it and pick a clean one from the wash bucket.

To perform the Garry Dean wash method you will need:

  • 1x Wash Bucket (Grit Guard Optional)
  • 50+ Microfiber Towels
  • Optimum No Rinse Product

I like to think that this method is even safer than the two bucket method.

In theory, it is.

Doing this method properly will ensure that there’s zero dirt or debris from the car entering the wash solution. This will minimize the chances of marring the paintwork.

To perform the Garry Dean Method follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bucket with water & rinseless shampoo.
  2. Throw 30 Microfiber towels into the wash bucket and let them soak.
  3. Take out 1 or 2 and squeeze them until they’re dry-ish. (These will be your drying towels).
  4. Use a wet towel from the bucket to wipe the panel clean. You may need multiple cloths per panel.
  5. Use the damp towels to dry the panel
  6. Finally, buff the area with a completely dry towel
  7. Repeat these steps until you have a clean car.

I can respect that this method may not be for everyone. The hobbyist detailer will not have 50 different microfiber towels ready to wash their car.

Microfiber towels are incredibly cheap but there’s no reason to go out and buy a lot of them just to do this wash method. The 2 Bucket Wash method is probably just as safe.

ONR Spray Bottle

Create a detailing spray

I’ve seen this technique paired with both the 2 bucket wash method and the Garry dean method.

It’s convenient to be able to carry around a spray bottle and apply the product as you go, rather than going back to your wash buckets.

When using this technique, you effectively create your own waterless wash product. This will allow you to wash your car wherever and whenever you want.

  • 1x Spray Bottle
  • 15+ Microfiber towels
  • Optimum No Rinse Product

To perform this method, all you need to do is dilute the ONR product using water into a general-purpose spray bottle.

I would suggest using a dilution ratio in the range of 1:10 – 1:16 to make a quick detailer or waterless wash type product.

Once you’ve done that, all you need to do, one panel at a time, is:

  1. Spray Diluted ONR Solution onto the dirty panel
  2. Let the solution dwell for 10-30 seconds
  3. Wipe the product off using a clean towel
  4. Repeat this process until you have a clean vehicle

All three of the ONR wash methods will serve you well, no matter which you choose.

Personally, since I have access to a proper detailing set up every time I want to wash my car, I only have use for the spray bottle method.

If I ever feel too lazy to wash my car properly, I’ll bring out the spray bottle. I’ll give the car a once over hoping to delay the wash process for another couple of weeks.

Another time that I use this method is when I’m on the road. Whether it’s a car event or an important meeting, I always like my car to look presentable.

Having a quick pre-made bottle of ONR in your car is very useful. Make sure you trust the bottle that you store it in, we don’t want ONR spilling all over the interior of your car.

Optimum No Rinse Car Wash & Shine 

ONR Wash and shine container

When it comes to rinseless washes, there’s only one that you should buy.

Optimum No Rinse Car Wash & Shine is the original rinseless wash solution. Meguiars did offer a rinseless wash but it looks as though they’ve stopped production.

I’m not going to try to sell you on this product. You’ve read the article, it sells itself.

Not only is it the ultimate rinseless wash solution, but it can also be diluted at different ratios to create other types of detailing products.

For a Rinseless wash, you should use a dilution ratio of approximately 1:256. This is around 1 oz for every 2 gallons.

To make a clay bar lubricant you should dilute the product at a 1:64 ratio. This is 2 oz of product for every gallon of water.

If you want to make a Quick Detailer or Waterless Wash you should use a ratio between 1:10 and 1:16.

I’ll admit, upon an initial glance at this product, I thought it was very pricey. $30+ for <1 liter of product? You’re joking…

But, once you consider how highly concentrated this product actually is, and the dilution ratios that you will use, You can see how far this product will stretch.

Optimum No Rinse is a product that you really have to see work its magic to believe in it.

For those car lovers that are constantly in a state of worry about marring their paint, ONR is an additive that will give you complete peace of mind.

Give it a chance. Buy ONR now and let it completely change your approach to detailing.

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