With hose in hand and sponge in the bucket, you’re ready to get your car spic and span. But you may be washing toxic chemicals and too much water into your local waterway, adding to pollution and over-worked pumping stations. And you wouldn’t be alone. Nearly half of all Americans like to wash their cars at home. While this may be a cheaper option, it isn’t less costly for the planet.
Cultivating green living choices in your life doesn’t have to be hard, and how you wash your car is just another way to reduce your overall impact without much hassle. But why is this important? Well, because with the over 27 million car wash sessions that take place in the US every year, we’re adding polluted runoff to our rivers, lakes, and streams. The soaps and other cleaning agents you choose can contain acids, dyes, and ammonia, all of which can harm wildlife and harm human health, too.
More than that, washing your car in your driveway could mean that you’re adding toxic vehicle fluids to our fresh water sources. As you spray and sponge, things like oil, rust, grease, and residues from brakes and exhaust all run down the street and into the storm drains where they are taken into our drinking water supplies.
Additionally, most people washing their cars at home do so with much more water than they require. Every car wash at home could waste 100 gallons of water or more, which will tax your bank account as well as the planet.
There are better ways to wash your beauty. First, look for green living cleaning products that are nontoxic and those that have been tested for biodegradability. You want to choose soaps that are dye- and fragrance-free, and those that will biodegrade in the environment in days, not months or years.
Next, put down the hose and go waterless! Instead of running the water repeatedly over your car, most of which will get wasted, try waterless car cleaning supplies, like cleaners that you apply with soft and highly effective microfiber cloths. This is not only more effective than trying to spray off the dirt, it can also help you see where you may be having problems with your car (you’ll see rust, scratches, and nicks much better this way).
We’ve got a great line of waterless cleaning supplies for every nook and cranny of your car, including Waterless Car Wash & Shine, Glass & Mirror Cleaner, and Tire & Dash Dressing, all of which contain biodegradable ingredients (they break down in 7 days) that are free of synthetic fragrances and toxic chemicals. These low-VOC, petroleum-free options will also save you money ($90-162 per Green Car Kit), time (it’ll take you about 30 minutes to clean your car), and will add a layer of protection to your vehicle’s interior and exterior. It’s an all-around solution that will help you protect the earth while making it easier and cheaper for you to keep your car looking its best.