Car News Articles 
 Environmental Issues (56)





Environmental Issues

- Print

What is The Most Environmentally Friendly Way I Can Wash My Car?

Dear EarthTalk: What is the most environmentally friendly way I can wash my car: doing it myself or going to the local car wash? -- Jim, Denton, TX

Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, what runs off from your car goes right into storm drains -- and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. After all, that water is loaded with a witchs brew of gasoline, oil and residues from exhaust fumes -- as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself.

On the other hand, federal laws in both the U.S. and Canada require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors. And commercial car washes use computer controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps that minimize water usage. Many also recycle and re-use the rinse water.

The International Carwash Association, an industry group representing commercial car wash companies, reports that automatic car washes use less than half the water of even the most careful home car washer. According to one report, washing a car at home typically uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water, while a commercial car wash averages less than 45 gallons per car.

If you must wash your car at home, choose a biodegradable soap specifically formulated for automotive parts, such as Simple Greens Car Wash or Gliptones Wash n Glow. Or you can make your own biodegradable car wash by mixing one cup of liquid dishwashing detergent and 3/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent (each should be chlorine- and phosphate-free and non-petroleum-based) with three gallons of water. This concentrate can then be used sparingly with water over exterior car surfaces.

Even when using green-friendly cleaners, it is better to avoid the driveway and instead wash your car on your lawn or over dirt so that the toxic waste water can be absorbed and neutralized in soil instead of flowing directly into storm drains or open water bodies. Also, try to sop up or disperse those sudsy puddles that remain after youre done. They contain toxic residues and can tempt thirsty animals.

One way to avoid such problems altogether is to wash your car using any number of waterless formulas available, which are especially handy for spot cleaning and are applied via spray bottle and then wiped off with a cloth. Freedom Waterless Car Wash is a leading product in this growing field.

One last caution: Kids and parents planning a fundraising car wash event should know that they might be violating clean water laws if run-off is not contained and disposed of properly. Washingtons Puget Sound Carwash Association, for one, allows fund-raisers to sell tickets redeemable at local car washes, enabling the organizations to still make money while keeping dry and keeping local waterways clean.

CONTACTS: International Carwash Association, Simple Green, Freedom Waterless Car Wash, Puget Sound Carwash Association

CarJunky Recommends Simple Green for your car cleaning needs.





comments powered by Disqus


Related Articles:
Recycling Your Vehicle
Greener Pastures: P2O Plants Convert Farm Waste to Fuel
How Bad Is The BP Oil Leak?
Recycle Your Car
The Smart Way To Replace Your Vehicle
Retire Your Ride Recycling Program
Green Car Care Tips Your Car Can Go Green
Magnesium Chloride Keeps Roads Safe
Environmental Impact Of Snow Removal
Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline From EarthTalk
LED Lighting Automotive Technology
This Spring, Orange is the New Green
It's Getting Easier For Drivers To Go Green
Yellow School Buses: Greener Than Many Think
Biofuel From Algae Holds Up Against Other Alternative Fuels

sdg
sg
?????????


Stay Updated!


Environmental Issues
Related Articles
Every Driver Can Curtail Exhaust
Driving Green For Dummies: It's
Easy Steps Toward Green Driving
Five Tips For Greening Your
King Of The 'Green' Road
Recycling Your Vehicle
Greener Pastures: P2O Plants Convert
How Bad Is The BP
Recycle Your Car
The Smart Way To Replace
Retire Your Ride Recycling Program
Green Car Care Tips Your
Magnesium Chloride Keeps Roads Safe
Environmental Impact Of Snow Removal
Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline From EarthTalk
LED Lighting Automotive Technology
This Spring, Orange is the
It's Getting Easier For Drivers
Yellow School Buses: Greener Than
Biofuel From Algae Holds Up


Feed Button



Car Insurance Info | Newsletter | Car Classifieds | Online Car Rentals
Auto Pictures | Link To Carjunky.com



Complete List of Article RSS News Feeds


Copyright © 1999 - . CarJunky® All Rights Reserved.