Discover the best ways to wash your car without wasting water or harming the environment.
There are lots of ways to be an eco-friendly driver. But even if you own an electric or hybrid car, you have to wash it eventually. Road salt, dirt and other debris can build up and do serious damage to your car. A regular wash can go a long way to maintaining the longevity of your car.
However, washing our car poses a lot of risks to the environment. The soap, grease, dirt, and debris we rinse off our cars can end up in our storm drains and then travel to our streams, rivers, and lakes.
So how do you protect both your car and the environment? You might think you can save water and energy by washing your car at home. But the truth is, commercial car washes are your most eco-friendly option.
Federal laws in Canada require commercial car wash facilities to drain their waste water into sewer systems that get treated before they travel to our waterways. Commercial car washes also use less water than the average person washing their car at home. They use computer-controlled systems and high-pressured nozzles and pumps that minimize water usage. Many also recycle and re-use the rinse water.
Another eco-friendly option is to wash your car in a self-serve car wash. This way, you can bring your own eco-friendly car wash products, control the amount of water you use with a pressurized hose and all the rinse water will get drained into their sewer systems that are professionally treated.
Wash your car at home the eco-friendly way
- Choose eco-friendly car wash products. Look for words like “non-toxic” and “biodegradable” on the label, and make sure there aren’t any ingredients such as phosphates, fragrances, chlorine, or petroleum.
- Wash your car on the lawn. This way, the rinse water can be filtered through the grass instead of ending up in our waterways.
- Wash your car in the shade or on a cloudy day. When you car is sitting directly in the sun the water will evaporate quicker, which will cause you to use a lot more water.
- Use reusable cloths rather than disposable products.
- Turn off the hose when you aren’t rinsing it off.
- Use peanut butter to get rid of tree sap and tar. Rub it on, wait a few minutes and then wipe it away.
- Use vinegar to get rid of bug guts stuck to your car. Just soak a cloth in vinegar and rub them off.
- Don’t pour the water from your bucket onto your driveway, sidewalk or street. Instead, take it inside and pour it down your sink or toilet.
- For a small car wash job, use an eco-friendly car wash product.
- Use a non-toxic car wax to protect your car and keep it cleaner, longer. Look for a car wax made of natural Carnauba wax (made from a palm tree). Find the purest form you can without any harsh chemical additives like colour or fragrance.