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Water-free eco car valeting

A new eco-friendly valet service can wash your car without using water and yes, it really works.

Did you know it takes 140 gallons of water to wash a standard sized car? Mind boggling isn’t it. So as we’re all trying to do our bit for the environment I was keen to check out Carhop, a new eco-friendly car valeting service that not only uses natural products but promises to wash your car without water. Yep, that’s right.

One of Carhop’s founders used to live in Dubai, where water is obviously at a premium. After seeing the clever car washing services there they decided to bring the concept back home to Sussex.


Friendly Car ‘Hopper’ Lewis turned up in my drive with just a couple of canisters of product. I was expecting something akin to hand sanitiser but Lewis told me the patented formula soap is carbnauba wax, which is the extract from the leaves of a Brazilian tree, so there are no nasty chemicals to worry about if it gets into the grass (or your inquisitive pets).

It is wet – he sprayed it on, but it’s a minimal amount of liquid (the hosepipe stayed coiled on the wall) and it does work.

Lewis told me the secret is to attack it quickly, buffing the car with a microfibre cloth before it dries out. He seemed to put a bit more elbow grease in on the dual washing/polishing than you might need with water.

Carhop call it ‘a spa for your car’ and being buffed with coconut products certainly seems spa-like! Perhaps I should have run some whale music through the stereo.

Inside the car was frankly a good deal messier with crisp crumbs and spilt drinks and he did a great job, even removing an old spillage stain that my other half had previously tackled to no avail with household products.

Drying off after cleaning

My friend’s campervan was a worser case scenario than my Mini – bigger, muddier, covered in seagull droppings and with the debris left by young kids inside. But it still didn’t take multiple buckets and a hose to tackle.

Campervan before (left) and after (right)

Outside my own car gleamed by the time Lewis had finished and, provided I don’t hit any muddy puddles, the results should last around five weeks. Lewis had even dug the moss out from all the metal grooves.

After – one shiny Mini Clubman

It’s a clever, eco-friendly service and one that will be immune to the inevitable hosepipe ban come summer.

Of course it’s also a great time saver and a winter avoider – no-one wants to be out in this weather with their hands frozen around a wet sponge. Even in summer, while I’d like to believe I tackle car washing like Edie in Desperate Housewives <cough> it’s a lot more like me grumbling on about how it seems to take forever.

Carhop offers one off bookings so you can trial the service but for the best savings you should subscribe to a regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly clean. There are also discounts if you get your colleagues together to have your cars spruced up together in the work car park.

The service operates within a 30 mile radius of Worthing, covering most parts of West and East Sussex.

You can choose from a full valet (as I had), interior cleaning or exterior cleaning at a time and place to suit you and book and pay simply online. There’s a current 40% off your first appointment for Muddy readers when you join the monthly Carhop subscription valet service. 

Find more ideas here

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3 comments on “Water-free eco car valeting”

  • penny January 31, 2020

    What a splendid idea – environmentally friendly! I am on a water meter so this idea is very appealing. I do wish him good luck with this service.
    Best wishes,

    • debbieward January 31, 2020

      I didn’t think about the water meter Penny, good point. I’m on one too!

  • Jeanette Ward February 13, 2020

    we do it our own eco way here by washing the cars in the rain, as we are having plenty at the moment.


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