Summer is the best time of year to give your car a nice wash outside in the driveway! Unfortunately, this relaxing activity can be an incredibly inefficient use of water and can actually pollute the environment with chemicals and toxins! Luckily, there are a few ways to make sure that your car gets a regular wash that is both energy efficient and eco-friendly.
Go to the car wash
Perhaps surprisingly, going to a commercial drive thru car wash is actually your best option. Since car washes are required to treat their dirty water, they are eco-friendly. Additionally, commercial car washes use computer systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps, allowing them to minimize their water usage and maximize their water efficiency. These car washes also focus on convenience as part of their customer service, so they are generally a quick and affordable option as well.
Doing it yourself
If you prefer to pull out the hose, bucket, and soap at home, you can still be efficient and thoughtful about how you do it. Here are some tips for staying eco-friendly and energy efficient:
- Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, and water-based cleaners. Phosphates, sodium, potassium, and other harmful chemicals are common in many car-washing products. These chemicals can be dangerous for aquatic life, especially since dirty water from home car washes will eventually find its way to streams, lakes, and rivers.
- Use soap sparingly. Even if you are using green products, they likely still include some level of toxin inside. Therefore, use as little as is necessary to get the job done!
- Use a water spray gun attachment to limit water usage. The precision of a spray gun gets the job done quicker and uses much less water than your regular hose attachment.
- Wash your car on the gravel or grass. This way, the dirty water will be filtered before it enters the ground. If you simply wash your car in the driveway, water might find your storm drain or some other path that won’t filter the water before it reaches its final destination.
- Dump your dirty bucket into the toilet or in the sink. Household wastewater is treated before it reenters waterways, so this ensures that the toxins and chemicals (not to mention all of that dirt and grime) will be safely taken out.
Of all of these options, going to a commercial car wash is definitely your best choice for energy efficiency and eco-friendly!
Looking to increase the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of your car? Check out our Bright Insights blog post to learn how to choose the best green car for you and your family!