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From April 5, there has been a hosepipe ban across southern and eastern England (Courtesy of, and enforced by Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.) and our readers who live there don’t need me to tell you that. And with hosepiped water being a major factor in keeping cars clean, here’s a few tips on how to do the latter without resorting to the former!

And it’s all to do with your equipment!

Well,, to be honest, more the materials you use. And here it’s best to avoid supermarket own brands because that’s going to need a lot to do a lot, whereas you get what you pay for with quality, and by using an advanced shampoo with a rinse agent, you can manage with only a watering can filled up ONLY ONCE to rinse off all those shampoo suds.

Unless a car is caked in mud, it doesn’t need to be pre-rinsed before being cleaned if you use a quality bodywork shampoo conditioner that contains (usually) unique cleansing and conditioning agents that lift dirt and make it much easier to rinse off the shampoo suds. Try to make sure that it also produces and preserves a sparkling finish.

And then, as I said, grab a watering can and fill it up. If you use a rose on the watering can to ‘shower’ the bodywork from close range, you can disperse the water flow to maximise the efficiency of the rinse. And then use some sort of synthetic chamois-leather, or a Drying Towel will mop up the final few suds, while also drying the car to achieve a streak-free gloss finish.

Once that’s done, you can get down  to a bit of waxing to help preserve the car. Again, quality is the key and a quick-to-use ‘wet wax’ and high quality microfibre cloths will leave a high-gloss shine, protect the bodywork and help keep the car cleaner for longer. And if the wax also has a water repellent wax seal, you’ll find it a lot easier to rinse the car next time, saving even more money.

Paul Caller, CEO of Autoglym, manufacturer of premium car care products, said: “With such a mild winter, we anticipated the possibility of hosepipe bans and, having conducted trials over the last few months with and without hosepipes, our Technical Services Specialists have found that it is just as effective to use a watering can to rinse off our Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner. But it is important to use a rose to help each drop of water carry away the suds. Without a rose, the watering can will dispense far more water than is needed. By being careful, most cars can be washed with just one bucket and one rose-adorned watering can.”

And how does Paul suggest washing the car with one watering can and a lot of elbow grease? Here are his company’s tips, (un) surprisingly using some of their products.

  1. Move the car out of direct sunlight to keep the bodywork cool and reduce the likelihood of shampoo drying prematurely and leaving water marks
  2. Fill a bucket with water and two capfuls of Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner
  3. Fill a clean watering can with cold water and ensure the rose is securely fixed
  4. Wash the car, working from top to bottom
  5. Use the watering can to rinse, lightly ‘shower’ the car from the top down, directing the flow to areas where shampoo suds remain
  6. Dry the car with a quality synthetic chamois or microfibre drying towel, mopping up any remaining suds.
  7. Spray Aqua Wax onto wet bodywork before buffing dry with the microfibre cloth. Alternatively, use Autoglym Super Resin Polish or Autoglym High Definition Wax for extra long-lasting bodywork protection

But make sure that no pipes are involved. Otherwise the watching Neighbourhood Watch will have curtains twitching.