5 Eco-Friendly Car Wash Tips
When you wash your car in the driveway with conventional cleaning products, you’re wasting water and sending chemicals out into the environment. The chemicals in the cleaning products can damage the environment. Plus, your car is covered in dirt, oil, gas, and other nasty things, and as the water runs off your driveway and into the street, it hits storm drains which carry it to larger bodies of water. Instead, choose natural car cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. That way, you can clean your car in a green way without sending chemicals into nearby rivers or lakes.
1. Park in the Grass
The soil in your yard is capable of filtering chemicals like oil and gas out of the water that runs off your car when washing it. Though ideally, you wouldn’t be putting that debris into your yard, either, it’s a safer spot for it than the storm drains on your street, where it’ll completely miss the water treatment plant in favor of the nearest river. Plus, the run-off water from washing your car will be absorbed by your lawn, and you can skip watering your lawn thanks to the car wash.
2. Ditch the Hose
When you want a greener DIY car wash, ditch the hose altogether. Spraying your car down, filling buckets, and rinsing sponges wastes a ton of water. Instead, use a small spray bottle of water and a sponge to get dirty spots on your car. Combine that technique with waterless products to do a quality spot-clean of your entire car.
If you prefer to buy waterless products, try Eco Touch Waterless. Eco Touch is a brand of eco-friendly car wash products you can order online. You can also make your own car cleaner the same way you make your own natural cleaning products. When you make your own organic car cleaning products, you have no doubt as to what’s going on your car and rinsing into your yard and the environment.
3. Make Your Own Window Cleaner
One of the best natural car cleaners you can make is a window cleaner. It’s baby-safe and works in your home, too! You don’t need Windex or a similar product to create a streak-free shine across all the windows of your car. Plus, you can use certain DIY window cleaners on the body of your car, too, as long as you wash them off quickly.
The most popular way to make window cleaner is to mix equal parts distilled vinegar and tap water into a spray bottle. Use a dry cloth to scrub at any difficult spots, then wipe down your windows for a streak-free shine. You can use this window cleaner to spot-treat the body of your car — but beware. You must use a little bit of water to wash it off after you’ve removed the spots. If vinegar is left on your car’s paint, it can cause the paint to fade.
4. DIY Organic Wax
To create a post-wash shine and to get any difficult spots off your car, all you need is to mix lemon juice with olive oil. Do two parts olive oil to
every one part lemon juice. Use an old toothbrush and a cloth to rub this mixture into your car’s coat. Then, do the whole wax off thing with a dry buffing cloth.
If you’re handy with the stove, you can absolutely make your own car wax. Rodale’s Organic Life has a simple recipe for car wax that you can create in your kitchen. If your car is lacking that beautiful shine, making your own wax is a great way to bring that look back to life. It’s also great for getting stubborn dirt, dried bugs, and other debris off the body of your car. Use this DIY wax on those spots your other cleaners couldn’t handle.
5. Don't Be Afraid of the Commercial Car Wash
Not all car washes use environmentally friendly car wash products, but if you find one that does, you can feel good about visiting. Commercial car washes have to send the water they use to sewage treatment plants. That way it doesn’t end up in your local waterways and gets cleaned before being returned to the environment. Do your research to find a nearby car wash that uses green cleaners instead of traditional soap products, if you can. If you can’t, you don’t have to feel guilty if you drive through a car wash every so often.
Getting used to giving your vehicle a green car wash may take a few tries. Keep at it, because the results are worth it. When you have that car gleaming and beautiful, and you know you achieved that result without using a lot of water or bathing your car in harsh chemicals, you’ll be happy with your choices. Always keep finding more ways to add green behaviors into your life.