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Car cleaner-Greener ways to wash your car

Time: 2009-06-24

        It’s getting to that dusty time of year, when the urge to wash or at least rinse your car can get overwhelming.

        Unfortunately, keeping your car shiny clean isn’t very eco-friendly. When people think of the environmental impact of owning an automobile, water may not come to mind as readily as air pollution or fossil fuel consumption. But large quantities of water can be both polluted and wasted in our quest for a cleaner car.

        According to the Southeastern Carwash Association, home car washing is the second largest use of residential water during the summer months, topped only by lawn watering.

        How much water you use to wash your car depends on how long you run your hose. A standard  garden hose, with a 5/8 inch diameter and a typical water pressure of 40 lbs per square inch, will run at the rate of about 11 gallons per minute. [See "Keys to an Eco-Conscious Car Wash," a June 4, 2009, Washington Post article, for more information on water use and car washes.

        Car washes are usually a better alternative to washing your car at home. And car cleaner or auto vacuum cleaner will be a best tool to clean your car.Car wash facilities typically use less water than people who wash their cars at home, and in addition many commercial car washes reclaim and recycle their wash water. In contrast to that 100 or so gallons of water used to wash a car at home, self-serve car washes use roughly 15 gallons of water per vehicle, conveyor-type car washes use 35 gallons, and in-bay car washes about 43 gallons.

        Car washes in Portland that use recycled water and have other eco-friendly features include Kaady, Washman, and Eco Car.

        Another option is waterless car washes. They are increasingly finding favor in drought-plagued Australia as well as water-restricted areas of the US. These waterless washes are basically fluids that can be sprayed on your car and wiped off. Although there is a small amount of water in the cleaning solution, no rinsing is required. Waterless products you can buy include Eco-Touch (reviewed below in the video), No Wet and Lucky Earth.

        Planning a charity car wash? Check with your local car wash and see if they will allow a fundraiser at their location. It will be much a more eco-friendly option than a car wash held in a parking lot. For an example of how they do benefit car washes up north, see the Puget Sound Car Wash Association’s fundraiser program. This program allows schools and other groups to sell tickets that are redeemable at local car washes.

        If you must wash your car at home, keep these tips in mind and took correct car cleaner vacuum.

        * Park your car on gravel or on a lawn to minimize run off.
* The biggest variable in water use is your hose, so be sure to use it sparingly, shutting it off when you don’t need running water.News comes from:Yuyao TigerAuto Accessories Co., Ltd.
* Better yet, use a bucket and a sponge instead of your hose.
* Make sure you use a biodegradable, phosphate-free, eco-friendly cleaner. A good one to try is Simple Green, either the regular formula, or the new Simple Green Car Wash.

        And remember that your car doesn’t need to be showroom-clean all the time. We can learn to tolerate a dusty car if it means purer streams and more drinking water in the reservoirs.

        Sometimes the best way to save water is not to use it in the first place.

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