Washing Your Car Without Harming the Environment or Wasting Water

Background
Use a Car Wash
Get on the Grass
Saving Water
Car Wash Soaps and Detergent
The Dirty Water Bucket

Background

The general public is becoming increasingly aware of the damage cars and other motor vehicles are doing to the environment due to tailpipe emissions, but other aspects of car ownership also cause environmental harm. Among these damaging practices is the simple act of washing the car. Some simple steps can be taken to ensure keeping your car clean, also keeps the environment clean and green.

Use a Car Wash

Taking your car to a car wash may seem extravagant, particularly if you can do the job at home, but commercial car washes have steps in place to protect the environment. Car washes filter and reuse the water from washing cars. If you wash your car on the street, the wastewater, detergents and contaminants enter the storm water system and flow into waterways. Oils, grease, brake dust, heavy metals and detergents then pollute the water and cause environmental harm.

Get on the Grass

If you do wash your vehicle at home, take the car off asphalt or concrete surfaces and wash it on grass, gravel or another permeable surface. The grass and gravel will filter contaminants from the water so they don't enter waterways and, if you are on grass, your lawn will get a good soaking.

Saving Water

Not only do car washes recycle and reuse the water from washing your car, they also use less water in the first place when compared with how much water you are likely to use when washing at home, by hand. To save water when washing your car at home, use a water saving hose nozzle with an automatic shut-off like a trigger type nozzle. If possible wash your car with graywater. The rinse water from your washing machine may be idea for washing your car.

Car Wash Soaps and Detergent

Make sure the car wash soap or detergent you use is biodegradable and free of both chlorine and phosphates. Only use products designed for washing your car. Others may cause damage to both your vehicle and the environment.

The Dirty Water Bucket

You've finished washing the car and have a bucket full of dirty water. Where are you going to dump that? I dump mine on the non-food plants in my garden. If you are worried about doing that, put it in the toilet or down a sink so the water is treated in the sewer system before returning to our waterways. Don't dump the dirty water into the storm water system.

Source: AZoCleantech

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