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Optimum No Rinse- How To.


It’s either getting colder or you cannot wash your car in your driveway. What are you supposed to do? Live with a dirty car? Nope. The answer is rinsless washes. There are a few on the market; this is an explanation of how to use ONR. Much other rinse less washes are used in the same way.


What will you need: Optimum no rinse, a wash bucket, a wash medium (a mitt or microfiber cloth). Water, a drying towel and a dirty car.

Here is everything assembled, and ready to go. I have added gloves since its getting cold. Even latex gloves help keep your hands warm. They are however not needed.


A closer shot


Step one: Place the wash mitt in the bucket. I have chosen 1 bucket with a grit guard to make things simple. Two buckets can also be used. Fill bucket with warm water, I try to get it as hot as possible because it will just cool down in the snow.



Step Two: Add ONR to the wash bucket. The direction say to add one oz per gallon of water. How much water needed will depend on how big and dirty the car is. Today I used 2 gallons, so I added 2oz of Optimum no rinse.


Note it may give the water a slight blue tinge, it might not just depends on the bucket, water ect.

Also it’s important to note the water will not foam up like soap. If it does your bucket is dirty. (Old soap left in bucket) empty it out and start over.

Step Three: Throw on the rubber gloves, and get ready for the cold (assuming its winter) as you can see I had my gloves ready


Go to where the car is. I did mine on the street in front of my house in plain view; I was not worried as I was breaking no bylaws.

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Step Four: This is where we start washing. The car is dirty, the mitt is wet, and we are ready to go. Start by picking up the mitt. You will notice it is dripping water; you may not need this much to clean the car. If it is a light dust give it a quick ring. If the car is really dirty then don’t wring it at all.


Start at the top of the car as water will drip down, we do not want to have to dry the car 10 times per spot.

You want to make sure to rub every area of the car, the knap in the mitt or cloth will pick up and trap the dirt. Do not just let the water run over the paint; make sure the mitt runs over it.

Here is a pic of me doing the roof.


I use long back and forth strokes to make sure I get every inch of the paint.


Once I have done the whole area, I flip the mitt over and do it again, this makes sure I got everything. With some practice it will become second nature.


As you can see, half the roof is still wet; this is the area I did


We then want to dry the car. We use are drying towel as we would if we where washing the car normally, except we only dry the area we washed. If it’s important not to go over the dry area as the dirt will get stuck in the cloth and be dragged around when washing the rest of the car.


The towel should still be clean; all dirt should have been picked up by the wash tool not the cloth. If the cloth comes out dirty you are not cleaning the area well enough.

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My cloth is wet, but clean.


Continue this process throughout the whole car working from top down. You can also do the glass this way.

Step Five: We want to do the wheel wells and rims now. I save these for last as they are often the dirtiest.



Since there is more dirt and grime on these areas use more solution on your mitt. It should be dripping.


Get right in there; you may want to roll us your sleeve as its going to get dirty.


As you can see the water will get dirty, this is fine. If it gets to dirty make sure to chance it. There is no harm in changing it once or twice. You are still only using 4 gallons of water. Much less than a regular wash.



The towel has stayed clean the whole wash; it is wet but can be hung to dry.


Once you have washed the car you have the option of going to wax. You may find it easier to clean the paint next time because the wax helps protect the paint form getting dirty.


Thanks for reading, I hope this was a help. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to ask. Also comments, good or bad would be appreciated. The only way to get better on these is to know what I have done wrong.

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Guest Driven Auto Detail


Nice write-up! I've switched my washes over to ONR and really like using it. I have one question for ya. Where did you get your bucket. I think I've seen it at a store somewhere but can't remember where. It looks like it comes with a "grit guard" of it's own.

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