Rinseless Washing, quick & safe cleaning of lightly dirty vehicles

What is it and how does this work?

One of the questions we get quite often is how to clean the car when you don't have access to a hose, pressure washer, or you can't get your car into a good position for a regular 3 bucket wash. Up until now, the only advice we could give was using Boss Gloss with multiple Drop Bear towels to gently remove light dust, but this method is not as safe for the paint as we'd want, and we try to avoid doing it whenever possible.

We worked to create a modern cleaning solution for detailing light to moderately dirty vehicles, without the need of a hose for washing and rinsing. After a few years of development with over 50 formula changes, we're proud to introduce Dry Spell, our modern rinseless wash that uses some cool new chemistry so you can safely clean your vehicle indoors or outdoors, with just 2 buckets, a few purpose made cloths, and a drying towel. 

Rinseless washing is ideal in many different circumstances, like for apartment dwellers who don’t have access to a hose or wash bay, people in water restricted areas, classic car owners who don’t use water due to fear of rust forming on internal areas, or simply for a mid-week, or pre car show maintenance clean to quickly bring back the shine to your garaged friend. We find it takes us a quarter of the time with this system over traditional washing with a hose.

It’s a pH neutral and biodegradable formula that’s safe on quality waxes, sealants, ceramic coatings and paint protection film, and suitable for all exterior surfaces of your vehicle.

Our Dry Spell rinseless wash should not be confused with a waterless wash. We’ve found rinseless washing to be a better, safer and more modern solution thanks to its blend of the latest surfactants, that are specifically created to break down and lift off light dirt, grit and grime with protective polymers to encapsulate them and lubricate the surface, minimising the risk of creating scratches or swirls in your vehicles paint.

It's super easy to use - you only need a couple of buckets (one with water and one for dirty cloths after use), a trigger or pump spray bottle, 6-8 plush microfibre cloths and a drying towel to clean your vehicle.

You measure out the concentrated Dry Spell into the bucket and into your chosen sprayer, pre spray the section you are working, wipe over with the folded microfibre, then dry with your chosen drying towel/aid combination. No need for large quantities of water, endless rinsing, and no chasing water dribbles around the car either.

IMPORTANT - Not for very dirty vehicles. Please follow our regular wash process with a hose and water if your vehicle is filthy, to minimise the risk of inflicting scratches and swirls.

Lusciously plush

Using the appropriate cloth is crucial in this washing system. That's why we created The Plushcious - a high-quality, edgeless microfiber towel with ideal density to retain the right amount of cleaning solution, and a deeper pile fibre to avoid pushing dirt or grit into your paint. We spent a lot of time testing the varying qualities, densities, sizes, and weaves to find the safest and most effective type of microfibre to use, critical when you aren't able to prewash the car before touching it!

Aptly named for their beautiful colour and feel in between your fingers, The Plushcious microfibre cloths are a pleasure to touch and use. The Plushcious will also suit those fanatics who want the most delicate touch when removing detailing sprays, spray sealants, and waxes.

The large 40cm x 50cm size allows for 8 fresh sides per cloth (when folded) meaning you don't need a whole tub full of microfibre when using Dry Spell

Please note: MUST BE WASHED BEFORE FIRST USE. This ensures that any of the lint from the manufacturing process is removed BEFORE you use these amazing cloths.


Setting up

Park your car in the shade, out of the wind where possible, and work on panels that are cool to the touch. Early mornings or late afternoons are best for this. 

Grab your bucket and fill it up with around 8L of water (or the middle of the Bowden's Own logo on our buckets) and fill your Frother to the 1L mark. When using The Frother for pre spraying, use it with 1 puck only. This will ensure a good spray pattern over your paint.

If you're using a trigger sprayer (like our 500mL Dry Spell Pre Mix), fill it up with around 500mL, or until it's nearly full (preferably with distilled water), then add the Dry Spell concentrate. Distilled water will help the lubricating surfactants in Dry Spell work more effectively, and won't leave any annoying water spots. Also, grab a second bucket for the dirty Plushcious cloths to be placed in after use. We like to use the Microfibre Bucket for this job.

The product is diluted in the following ratios:
Bucket: 200:1 - In 8L of water, add 40mL of Dry Spell.
Sprayer: 40:1 - In 500mL of water, add 15mL of Dry Spell.

Immerse your Plushcious cloths in the Dry Spell solution in the bucket, making sure they are completely saturated. We recommend 6-8 cloths for an average sized sedan/SUV.

Please note: It's reasonably important to mix Dry Spell close to the stated ratios. If you accidently mix in too much product you may get unwanted streaking later, use too little and it won’t lift dirt particles or lubricate the surface sufficiently. 

Step 1: Pre spray and soak

If there's a large amount of dust on the surface of your vehicle, it can pay to use a small blower first (like our battery powered one pictured), to blow off any excess dust and dirt before you start spraying any Dry Spell onto the surface.

For the pre-spray bottle or our Frother pump sprayer, mix up a solution of Dry Spell at a ratio of 40:1. That's 15mL into our 500mL trigger sprayer, or 25mL into 1L of good quality water in our Frother pump sprayer. The Frother is super handy for doing multiple cars at a time due to its larger internal liquid capacity, and can save time and your trigger finger while spraying.

Pre spray the vehicle using either our handy Dry Spell Pre Mix bottle that comes in the Dry Spell Pack, or mix a solution in The Frother as mentioned above for some pump action pre spraying. 

Make sure to only use Dry Spell in the shade on panels that are cool to the touch and start at the top of the vehicle. Working on one section of the car at a time (e.g. the roof, the bonnet, one door) pre-spray the Dry Spell Pre Mix VERY liberally, covering the entire section and allow it to dwell for TWO MINUTES. This time is critical to allow the Dry Spell to penetrate, loosen and encapsulate the dirt on the paint to minimise the chance of scratching. While waiting, inspect the section and top up any spots you may have missed.

Step 2: Mix and dunk

Add 8 litres of water into a 15 litre bucket, or to the middle of the Bowden’s Own logo on our buckets.

Pour in 40mL of Dry Spell (200:1 ratio), agitate the solution so it mixes nicely with the water, then drown 6-8 Plushcious cloths in the solution. This highly lubricating solution will add a barrier between the cloth and the paint to greatly reduce the chance of inflicting swirls, and it smells pretty good too! 

The number of cloths you’ll need for your vehicle will depend on the size of what you’re cleaning. We find an average sized sedan/SUV will need around 6-8 Plushcious cloths.

Keep in mind you may need another couple Dirty Deeds cloths for the wheels to stop your Plushcious cloths getting contaminated with brake dust. If you're going to use The Plushcious cloths for the wheels, be sure to keep those ones separate after use - wash them separately and use those ones only for wheels, and never for the paint.

Step 3: Safe cleaning

For best results, and to reduce the chances of inflicting swirls in your paint, it's important to use the correct technique. Grab one cloth from the bucket, wring it out gently to get rid of the dripping water, then fold it into quarters. Always start at the top of the car and work your way down to the lower dirtier sections last.

With one hand on each end of the cloth, starting in the top left corner of your section, slowly pull the cloth in a STRAIGHT line, in one direction across the panel, while rolling the front of the cloth upwards to expose a clean section as you go. Flip the cloth to the clean side, then wipe the next section in the same manner, never wipe the cloth back and forth. Use each side of the cloth only once.

Unfold the cloth and re-fold in the other direction to expose two clean sides and continue with the single wipe process. The Plushcious can be unfolded twice, giving you 8 clean sides per cloth.

Once you have used all the clean sides, put your cloth in a separate bucket (like our Microfibre bucket), ready to be washed. Do not put it back into the Dry Spell bucket as this will contaminate the solution and increase the risk of scratching. We recommend the darker grey coloured cloths for the lower dirtier areas to keep the lovely mint coloured cloths looking fresh.

We found that the technique of using one side of a plush cloth, rolling it up and over as you gently go over the surface, before flipping to a clean side for the next section is a game changer. This simple technique keeps the safely removed dirt away from your paint and seriously cuts down the risk of ever creating micro-scratching or swirling.

It's best practice to dry each freshly cleaned section as you go, following the instructions below in the Safe drying section.

Step 4: Safe drying

You can dry the car with either the Twisted Pro Sucker or Big Green Sucker and Boss Gloss or using After Glow with the Big Softie cloths. We prefer After Glow as it's a spot-free drying aid that adds a great shine/glow to the paint, to complement that of Dry Spell. It's also mega lubricating which is critical for minimising the risk of scratching or swirling the paint.

After you have finished wiping down your chosen section, dampen, wring out, and fold a Big Softie cloth and spray 6-8 sprays of After Glow into the low pile side. Working in a north-south, east-west motion, dry the car using the damp cloth, being methodical to soak up any water left behind. Wait a minute for the product to flash off, then buff off any residue with a second dry Big Softie.

When using Boss Gloss and the Twisted Pro Sucker or Big Green Sucker, spray 4-6 sprays of Boss Gloss into each side of the cloth, and dry the car down, starting at the top and working down. See our detailed guides below:


Now enjoy the new found shine on your paint!


Cleaning wheels with Dry Spell follows all the same rules and procedures as using it on your painted surfaces. If the wheels are super dirty, it is recommended to use Wheely Clean to break down the brake dust on the wheels, before using our system of brushes to effectively clean the entire wheel.

Use our Dirty Deeds cloths for the wheels, leaving The Plushcious cloths for the paint only, free of any wheel grime, brake dust etc. To use Dry Spell on the wheels, spray the pre mix liberally onto the wheel surface and into the barrel of the wheel if you can reach your hand in there safely. Leave it to dwell for 2 minutes, then take a pre saturated Dirty Deeds cloth and gently wipe the surface of the wheel and other areas you can safely get to.

Grab a second clean and dry Dirty Deeds or similar cloth and dry the wheel. You can use your drying aid of choice here (Boss Gloss/After Glow) and add some extra protection to the wheel if you want with a sealant like Bead Machine too!

Adding protection

Dry Spell will leave an amazingly slick and shiny finish, but it's a good idea to add some protection to the paint every couple months or so. Topping up the protection on your paint regularly will help Dry Spell work better by making it easier for the solution to encapsulate and lift dirt from the surface - the more protected your paint is, the easier it is to clean!

Lazy Wax, Carnauba Body Wax and Fully Slick are all suitable to use to protect the paint after using Dry Spell. Our super hydrophobic products Bead Machine and Beaut Beads will offer the best protection for your vehicle. Keep in mind that if you're going to use Beaut Beads or Bead Machine for protection, that you should still use Flash Prep prior to either of those, for the best possible bond of the product to the paint.

Using any of our super hydrophobic protection products will also help Dry Spell work its absolute best the next time you come to wash your car.

For a more detailed guide on these, see our articles below:

Beaut Beads & Bead Machine:


Microfibre care and storage

It's CRITICAL that you wash The Plushcious cloths immediately after using Dry Spell, using Microfibre Wash either in a bucket or in your washing machine. If you can't get to wash them, leave them in the Dry Spell solution until you are ready to clean them.

Add 20-60mL of Microfibre Wash to your machine (depending on how many cloths you're washing) and put the machine on a normal wash cycle with warm water. DO NOT ADD FABRIC SOFTENER.

Once the cloths have been washed, pop them in the dryer on the cool/warm setting for around 45 minutes, or until they come back nice and fluffy. Once the cloths are dry, pack them away in a sealable container, ready for their next use! It's always critical to wash The Plushcious cloths before first use too!

For a more detailed explanation of this process, please see our dedicated caring for microfibre guide below:

How dirty is too dirty?

Rinseless washing is for light to moderately dirty vehicles, but what is light to moderately dirty?

Light dirt/dust would be described as a very fine film/mist of dust/dirt over the paint of the vehicle, usually accumulated from being parked in a shed for a couple weeks.

Moderately dirty would be described as a slightly thicker layer of dirt/dust over the paint of the vehicle that's accumulated from being in a shed, or perhaps the vehicle has been kept outside, but hasn't been rained on or driven in the rain.

If your vehicle has been driven through the rain, or over roads with water, mud etc on them, then we recommend using our normal washing method with a hose and bucket method. This is to minimise the chances of inflicting swirls and scratches in your cars paint.

Refilling the Pre Mix/Frother + Storage

Dry Spell mixed at 40:1 with good quality water, preferably distilled water, is going to give the best results for pre spraying your paint, to gently break down and encapsulate dirt on the surface. 

For the Dry Spell Pre Mix mix up a solution of Dry Spell at a ratio of 40:1. That's 15mL into our 500mL trigger sprayer.

For The Frother, add 25mL of Dry Spell concentrate to 1L of good quality water. For best results, use The Frother with only 1 foam puck.

You can leave the mixed Dry Spell in the bucket after use for around 2 weeks before disposing of it and making a fresh batch.

You can leave the Dry Spell pre mix in The Frother for around 2 weeks before rinsing it out and changing it - longer if using distilled/demin water.

More info

This 1 litre bottle of dry spell is super economical, as it can make up to 200 litres of finished product. You can buy it either in the 1 litre concentrate or in the handy Dry Spell Pack which comes with the 1L concentrate, a 500mL pre-spray already mixed with distilled water and as our generosity never ends, a great little measuring cup too. 

Dry Spell has become one of the most used products in our sheds, as it’s practical, economical, water saving and gives what we think is a nicer finish than traditional washing, all done in a quarter of the time.

We know it’s not going to be for everyone, but we love it because it allows us to spend less time detailing, and more time doing what we love doing, which is driving our cars. We know you’ll enjoy using it as much as we do.

Dry Spell Pre Mix is available to order separately through our website or as a special order through retailers. This is pre mixed at 40:1 with quality distilled water, ready to use!

Dry Spell is exclusive to Supercheap Auto stores initially and will become available in other retailers in the coming months. If your local Supercheap Auto doesn't have them in stock, simply ask them to order them in for you. The product codes to quote for them are:

Dry Spell 1L: BODRY - RRP $44.99
Dry Spell Pack: BODRYP - RRP $64.99
Dry Spell Pre Mix: BODRPM - RRP $22.99
The Plushcious: BOPLUSHY - RRP $23.99 (2 pack)

Other uses

For those of you who are familiar with rinseless washing, you'll know that a rinseless wash is really a multi purpose cleaner and can be used on a lot of different surfaces, for a myriad of different jobs in and around the car. While we didn't specifically set out to design Dry Spell to be used on these different areas, it is capable of taking care of a lot of different jobs. It's important to remember though, that a product designed for a specific job, in most cases, is going to be the better product for that job!

With that said, here's a list of jobs that our customers can also use Dry Spell for. Keep in mind we don't recommend using Dry Spell for any of these jobs in place of more specific products, this list is just to give you an idea on some of the other uses for Dry Spell.

Quick detail spray, clay lube, glass cleaning, drying aid, wheel cleaner, stainless steel bench cleaning, hardwood and tile floor cleaning.

As a general rule, mix at a ratio of 20-30:1 for quick detail spray and clay lube, and 30-40:1 for all other jobs. It must be said again though, used as a quick detail spray for example, Boss Gloss will still do a better job in our testing, so keep this in mind!


Any questions?

Your car should now be nice and shiny and clean, and you have been water-conscious while doing so!

Should you have any questions about anything mentioned in this article, or have questions about other products and processes, feel free to get in touch on 1800 351 308, or shoot us an email to info@bowdensown.com.au.


Happy washing,

Brett Hobbs.

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