Eco-Friendly Ways to Wash Your Car

wash you carA surprising recommendation that has been given recently supports the use of automated vehicle washing systems over hand washing a vehicle. New information based on recent studies also points to the fact that washing a car with a normal garden hose uses nearly 100 gallons of water versus the 40 gallons used by an automated wash that has a water reclamation system.

Most people do not have a method to collect and filter the dirty wash water that contains gasoline, oil, surfactants, and other grime that will run off into a storm drain, enter a waterway and damage marine life. Read on to discover eco-friendly ways to wash your car.

Park the Car on Grass

When hand washing a car rather than taking it to a car wash, park the car on the grass. It is better to have the dirty water soak directly into the soil rather than allow it to wash into a storm drain or sewer system. Water that enters a storm drain system as opposed to the closed wastewater system attached to a restroom system does not go to a water treatment plant. This means that any pollutants in storm drain water will end up in a waterway.

Use a Commercial Wash System

According to Men’s Health magazine, they urge you not to wash your car at home, since it uses much more water than a commercial car wash and can leave deep scratches in a paint job. Possible cost savings from washing a car at home in the driveway are deceptive. The expense of supplies, time spent and the additional charge on a water bill will offset what seems to be savings from paying for a commercial car wash. Many gas stations have automatic car wash systems that cost $10 or less to wash the exterior. Check with the attendant to see if they have a water reclamation system as well.

It may seem that washing the exterior of a vehicle causes more harm than good. This is not true in the long run because a clean car is more fuel efficient. The dirt and other particles on the outside add drag and make the engine work harder to maintain a certain speed. A well maintained exterior gives pride to the owner and adds to re-sale value.

Find the Right Car Wash Business

Just like car maintenance, the car wash equipment needs to be maintained and kept in good working order. The pumping system and nozzles need to be checked regularly for wear or leaks. Upgrading or adding a water reclamation unit to an existing commercial wash will save both money and water.
The International Car Wash Association (ICA) is a non-profit trade group that studies the impact of washing vehicles on the environment and looks at methods of water conservation as well as pollution prevention. Look for car washing businesses that are considered “WaterSavers” by the ICA to find the best eco-friendly car wash near you. Both business owners and consumers can support eco-friendly car washing by learning more about reclamation.


Author Bio:
Andrew Hoffman is a car enthusiast and freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. With over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry, he has worked with many clients, including large businesses like N/S Corporation, to exact the most efficient and thorough car wash systems for his business. During his free time, he enjoys finding new ways to conserve the environment and go green.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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