Wash Your Car - without wasting water
You can wash your car without being wasteful with water. I don't believe that washing a vehicle is all that important, but then that's probably because I live in the country and it's impossible to keep a vehicle clean for more than a day or so with the dusty dirt roads we have out here.
So, assuming that it's a good idea to keep your car looking clean, let me offer several ways to do this without wasting water. You might not be able to make use of all of these suggestions, but I'll offer them anyway because they're likely to be of use to someone out there looking to be more conservative with their water.
My first suggestion is to own a car that is painted in a color that doesn't show dirt or dust. My former neighbor used to drive a pickup with just such a color - champagne gold. I remember him telling me that he hadn't washed it for 6 months, and I remember thinking, "It doesn't look dirty or dusty at all." Go for lighter colors and stay away from white. That should help you reduce the need to wash your car in an effort to keep it looking good.
Another suggestion is to modify the way in which you wash your car. I find that a quick spray all over and then washing it out of a bucket half filled with soap and water makes good sense. You can rinse off the car as you go (if it's sunny or especially warm outside) or wait until it's all washed before rinsing. The idea here is to let the rag or sponge do the washing instead of the hose. And, the half-filled bucket allows grit to settle to the bottom so you don't have to be overly concerned about scratching the painted surface when you reuse the soapy water from the bucket.
Regardless of how you like to wash your car, use a fine spray to wet it down and rinse it off. A spray is much more efficient than a stream when it comes to wetting and rinsing because it provides more surface area of water to come in contact with the car body and soap you're trying to rinse off.
A pressure washer is another great way to wash a car. The advantage of the pressure washer is it uses so very little water, yet provides plenty of pressure to wash the car. The closer you get to the car (within reason), the more power is exerted by the spray. If you point the pressure washer into the air and let it spray, the water almost disappears in the air - that's just how little water it uses.
If dust is your problem, there are car dusters that can be used in between washes to reduce the amount of water necessary to keep your car clean.
And, lastly, I think it should be obvious that a car wash is out of the question when it comes to routine cleaning. You can wash your car many times over for the price of a single car wash, and I've never known a car wash to do as good a job as you can yourself.
Done with Wash Your Car, take me back to Save Gas