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How to wash your car while keeping the environment in mind
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How to wash your car while keeping the environment in mind

How to wash your car with the environment in mind

It is a common sight on a rainy weekend: car in driveway with a bucket of soapy water next to it and a garden hose at the ready.

It’s not well known that car washes at home can also cause water pollution in our communities.

What you need to know

  • To wash your car at home, you will need over 100 gallons water
  • Untreated, water from the street or driveway runs into streams and rivers.
  • All commercial car washes must comply with environmental regulations
  • You can reduce the harmful effects of washing your car yourself if you wish.

Clean vehicles are an essential part of maintaining vehicles for a long life. Unfortunately, DIY isn’t good for the environment.

When we wash our cars, we tend to be most concerned about getting rid dirt and dust off them. Along with the dirt and oil are grease, oil, fat, exhaust residue, as well as soap chemicals.

When you wash your car in your driveway, the water and any other debris it contains flows into storm drainages that eventually reach your local waterways. It isn’t treated so it pollutes water.

It’s not only the soap that causes problems. The soap’s phosphates can cause excess algae growth if they get into streams or lakes. Algae not only looks bad, it also damages water quality and takes up oxygen when it decomposes. This is the same oxygen that fish need to remain healthy.

We also waste a lot water when we wash our vehicles ourselves. The Mid-America Regional Council saysThe average homeowner uses more water than 100 gallons to wash their clothes.

Alternatives that are cleaner

According to government regulations, they must drain their wastewater into the sewer systems which carry the water to treatment facilities. The water is filtered before it leaves the car wash facility. The waste that has been filtered must be stored and disposed in specific ways.

Commercial washes also use less water and try to reuse water where possible. Despite the fact Reclaiming water from the wellIt is a complicated process but it is more efficient than constantly bringing in water.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

WaterSavers is a program run by the International Carwash Association that recognizes car washes who meet certain standards. They must use an average of 40gallons of water per vehicle. Other water and chemical requirementsAccording to Bethanee Martin, Express Wash Concepts.

Do you still want to do it yourself

There are other options if DIY is your preferred method. Check that your car is free of fluid leaks. Use a soap that is non-toxic, phosphate free, and biodegradable.

You can park on grass or gravel to absorb some of the water and filter it naturally. After you’re done, empty the soap bucket into a sink.

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