Clean Ride

DIY Versus Commercial Carwash




We all want our new, energy-efficient vehicles to look their best, and ecoconscious drivers want to extend their green lifestyle to include cleaning their car. Washing can provide some exercise and saves money, but the International Carwash Association reports that automatic car washes use on average fewer than 45 gallons of water per car, compared with 80 or more at home. Commercial facilities also drain wastewater into sewer systems to be treated or reused, while soapy do-it-yourself water can directly enter waterways via storm drains unless it’s in an area that filters into a local aquifer.

Here are some helpful tips.

Conserve water. For DIY folks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends using a bucket instead of a hose for washing a section at a time, and then quickly rinsing using a pistol-grip hose nozzle, and also washing the car on gravel or a lawn, so wastewater doesn’t flow off pavement or sidewalks and down a storm drain. Be sure to use phosphate-free, non-toxic biodegradable soaps and waxes.

Check under the car. Grime, dirt and salt may have accumulated in crevices of the undercarriage, especially in colder regions, so spray underneath, too.

Be observant. A fender-bender, stray pebbles or the impact of another car door may have chipped exterior paint. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, corrosion, acid rain, storm damage and harsh sunlight can also mar body paint and expose metal surfaces. Treat these blemishes with a stop-rust spray and touch-up paint before they spread.


Sources: epa.gov, ASE.com, CarWash.org, ehow.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Corporate Conscience

McDonald’s plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 165 million tons in 12 years, and Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser beer plans to wholly rely on renewable sources for energy in seven years.

Last Straw

To end the pollution caused by 500 million discarded plastic straws daily in the U.S., eateries are forgoing them, cities are banning them, and groups are selling bamboo and silicone replacements.

After Plastic

As leading industries turn their attention to adopt sustainable principles, engineers and inventors are developing product packaging bioplastics that readily degrade.

Green Shoes

Living an eco-lifestyle extends to the shoes on our feet, with strategies that include better maintenance, eco-friendly materials and sustainability-savvy shoemakers.

Hyperloop Hyper-Speed

Plans are underway in Europe for a vacuum-tube mode of transport capable of zooming people and freight safely overland at 700 miles per hour.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags