A GREENER WAY TO WASH YOUR CAR


 

 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of the nation is under “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought” conditions.  In San Francisco where drought is severe,  people are  issued a water allotment and should you go over your allocated amount,  there is  a significant  fine.  Additionally, shut off valves are mandatory on hoses.  You can’t wash your car without one.  My sister who lives there mentioned that everyone’s car is dirty!

Did you realize that car washing is one of the most environmentally unfriendly chores we do?  Water run off from car washing goes right into storm drains and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands. Household waste water enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment.   If you wash your car at home, it is important therefore, to choose a biodegradable soap specifically formulated for automotive parts.  There are several brands such as Simple Green’s Car Wash or No Rinse™ Wash & Shine, a car wash system that only requires 1-2 gallons of water to wash the entire car. You can make your own biodegradable car wash by mixing one cup of liquid dishwashing detergent and 3/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent (non-toxic and phosphate-free) with three gallons of water.

To cut down on the amount of water you use when washing your car, try rinsing with rainwater collected  in a bucket or rain barrel.  Use a bucket as much as possible, which  saves water and use the hose only on the final rinse. Try to avoid washing near the storm drain.  You can  cover the drain with a rubber mat or wash the car on grass or gravel and let water seep into the ground.  If you do this, please use non-toxic, biodegradable detergents.

We are lucky here in the Northeast with no drought problem, but that’s no reason not to be conscious of your water intake!

 

 

 

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

 

 

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