Eco-Friendly Car Wash Tips

We all want to work harder to be good to the environment, but it can be difficult to know what sorts of cutbacks end up being the most effective in the end. For example, you might think it would be better to perform your car wash at home, since you can control the amount of water you use, but the reality is that commercial car wash companies are much better on an ecological scale. That’s because we rely on high-pressure nozzles that reduce water usage, and are regulated on a national level to send all water runoff into water recycling/treatment plants. In fact, the International Carwash Association finds that commercial car washes typically use less than half the amount of water than you would need to perform the same clean at home. And self-service car washes are the best of all because every cycle is on a timer that’s calculated to streamline your car wash experience. Washing your car at home is actually one of the worst ways to treat the earth. Because you’re usually draining your water from a driveway or street into the city system (where it may run directly into the river instead of first going through a treatment plant), you’re sending chemicals, automotive fluids, and soap directly into the ecological system.

Green Car Washing Ideas

Of course, washing your car at a self-service car wash like ours is a great first step, but there’s always more you can do. With a few changes and adjustments to your regular car wash routine, you can substantially reduce your strain on the environment and feel good about your clean car.

  1. Use natural products instead of chemicals. Use baking soda to deodorize your car’s interior, or dissolve it in water to make a gentle cleaner in a spray bottle you can reuse for this purpose. Use vinegar to clean the exterior of your windows. Make your own vinyl polish with lemon juice and olive oil.
  2. Be better at maintenance. A deep wash every few months is much more damaging than a quick clean every week. If you get in the habit of cleaning your car regularly and applying waxes and other seals, you can substantially reduce your impact on the environment.
  3. Invest in a good washing mitt and reusable microfiber towels instead of using paper towels to dry.
  4. Substitute elbow grease for water. Sure, you can angle that spray at a particularly stubborn area for a few minutes to get the grime off, but you could also be just as effective doing the scrubbing yourself. Don’t be afraid to get in there and work hard to remove buildup.
  5. Avoid expensive and unnecessary products. One of the best ways to avoid putting an additional strain on the environment is by purchasing specialty products or otherwise going out of your way to appear “green.” Even if a product promises to be low in chemicals or water-free, it still requires that you buy it. Buying anything new means you’re looking at production waste, plastic/packaging waste, transportation waste—and most of the time, you can get the same results at a self-service car wash and a good high-pressure spray.

Going green doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your car’s cleanliness. Find a company that cares as much about the environment as you do, and you’ll be all set to feel good about your car wash!

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