In June of 2007, I moved to the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ. That summer was particularly hot, setting records for the most days above 110º. As newcomers, we felt like we were being initiated into the desert club. Another new thing for this VA girl, was accepting the layer of desert dust that settles on every surface. I drive a black Honda Element and it wasn't long before my car, even garaged, needed a bath.
So I set about the task just like I would have back in VA. I gathered my materials, a bucket of water, soap, sponge and towel. (If you don't dry a black car, it really shows the water spots.) I extended the hose and started washing. It wasn't long before I found myself struggling against a few things. First the concrete drive (black top back in VA) became treacherously slick. The heat was not only dehydrating me, but the car would dry before I could clean it properly and it was just too plain hot to even think about the interior. I did the best I could, but it wasn't much fun.
Time went by and before long, my car was needing another washing. I just couldn't face going through the same bad experience twice, so I tried something new. I kept the car in the garage. I had one hand towel for washing and a larger towel for drying, I still had a bucket of water, but very little soap. I wet the small towel and squeezed out all of the excess water. Then I just scrubbed a section of my car, dried it off, and then moved on to the next one. It was fast, easy with no mess. Not a drop of water went to waste and there was no fussing with a hose. Both my car and I were sheltered from the direct heat of the sun which made us both happy.
Afterwards, I was thinking about what I had just done and realized that not only was it fast and easy, but I had used less than a gallon of water to wash my entire car. It gave me yet another reason to feel good about my new method. So now it's just what I do.