According to the newsroom at AAA, altogether Americans spend about 70 billion hours behind the wheel in a year. It’s no wonder we as a public tend to treat our cars better than ourselves. Of course, we love to have our vehicles looking shiny and new, and keeping a car clean can make it last longer as well.
If not done mindfully, washing your vehicle can have a big environmental impact. By using an eco-friendly car wash that uses eco-friendly car wash products and eco-friendly car wash soap, you can lessen that impact. There are even alternatives you can use at home.
Watch Your Water Waste
Believe it or not, one of the best ways you can save water when washing your car is by using a commercial automated eco-friendly car wash. Most automated car washes not only recycle water waste, but they typically use 60% less water than washing your car at home. You can also ask them if they use eco-friendly car wash products.
If you live in a snowy region, it is important to do your first couple “spring cleanings” at a commercial car wash to properly deal with any chemicals from ice melts applied on roadways, as well as toxins or heavy metals that may have built up through the winter months.
If you do wash your car at home, make sure you are either using a bucket for water or a hose that has a sprayer or shut-off valve. Leaving a hose running with no sprayer can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
If you live in an area that has storm drains, avoid allowing your wastewater to drain into them. Check with your municipality about their vehicle-washing regulations, and ask if they have wash water drains you can use that divert the waste to the sewer treatment center.
You can also help by washing your vehicle on a porous surface like grass or gravel. Just make sure you are using eco-friendly car wash soap—so no chemicals or other harmful substances.
Mind Your Ps & Qs
PERCs and QUATs that is. Mindfulness is important even in the cleaning of your car, so take the time to read the labels of products you are considering. Avoid using car wash products that contain:
- PERCs – Perchloroethylene
- QUATs – Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
Eco-Friendly Car Wash Products
We all want clean waterways and healthy flora and fauna, and eco-friendly companies are answering that call. DetailXPerts, an innovator in environmentally-friendly automobile care, has put together a list of their eco-friendly car wash products, along with wonderful information about why it is important to use them.
To go the extra mile in conserving water, consider waterless car wash products.
Recipes with Results
Harsh chemicals are not needed if you want to have a sparkly clean car. You probably have the ingredients to make your own eco-friendly car wash soap at home that will still have your car sparkling. One recipe is as simple as:
- 1 cup of liquid soap (environmentally-friendly laundry or dish detergent)
- 1 cup of baby shampoo (milder for you and the earth)
- 1 bucket of warm water
The best way to clean any glass is by combining vinegar, lemon juice, and distilled water in a spray bottle. This solution can also work on dirty windshield wipers. If they are really stubborn, add a little rubbing alcohol. Dry with microfiber cloths, old clothes or towels, recycled newspapers, or cloths made from sustainable fibers like:
If you have stubborn goo like sap, bugs, and bird poop, use the same recipe above for eco-friendly car wash soap, but add some baking soda. This also works great on grimy headlights (or try toothpaste!).
Enhancing the Interior
You can keep the inside atmosphere of your car healthy and clean in an eco-friendly way as well. Avoid cleansers with any of the components mentioned above. For best practices, just vacuum the interior. Have some lingering odors like pet smells and much-loved sports equipment? Sprinkle baking soda, let sit for about 5 minutes and then vacuum.
You know those little trees that are supposed to keep your car fresh? Some of these products can be made using toxic ingredients. Stay green and eco-friendly by using essential oils in your homemade cleaner or try using dried herbs. Some people and pets can be hypersensitive to fragrance, so better yet just keep it clean by adding lemon juice to your homemade cleaner.
An Eco-Friendly Energy Future
Kiwi Energy embraces a caring commitment to our community. Help create a sustainable energy future by contacting Kiwi Energy with your questions about eco-friendly products and practices.