7 Tips to Wash Your Car the Eco-friendly Way

Washing your car may seem like a harmless activity but in reality, if you are still using traditional ways to wash it then you are wasting a lot of water and chemicals. 

The chemicals used for car washing are also not environmentally safe. Most of the products even damage our environment. Plus, cars are usually covered in dust, debris, oil, gas, and other types of gunk. When you are washing it with water, all these ultimately go to the storm drain and end up in a river or sea further polluting the environment. 

However, you will be glad to know that in today’s market, you can find environmentally friendly car cleaning products. They are easy, safe to use, and come at the same prices.

How to Wash Your Car in an Eco-Friendly Way

Switching to eco-friendly car cleaning products and methods is a way to keep both your car and the planet clean. Some methods don’t even need the use of water. 

Here are the best ways to wash your car and save the environment.

1. Dry Wash Your Car

It can take up to 80-120 liters of water to wash just one car. An amazing alternative to this would be dry washing. Dry washing is basically a way to clean the car without using water. If you want to explore car dry cleaning services near you, hop on to noh2o.com. It’s a simple on-demand car washing app that can change the way you wash your car forever! 

For DIY ways, you can buy products from online and offline stores as well. Read the instructions on the products thoroughly before application. For your information, dry wash products are a kind of solution that degreases your car when applied on the surface. 

After applying the solution, you can use a microfiber towel to wipe off any dirt, dust, and debris. All you need to do is spray, wait a while and wipe it all off. Remember to wipe off in a straight motion. A lot of us make the mistake of wiping in a circular motion. This swirling motion can leave scratches on the surface.

Dry-washing works really well for cleaning the body and windows of the car. It’s effective and takes less time compared to a traditional water wash. However, for cleaning the radiator or bottom part of the car, you will have to rely on water. Dry-washing also won’t work, if there are thick layers of mud or dirt on the body.

2. Avoid Washing in the Driveway

Washing cars in the driveway seems like a harmless activity. However, when you clean your car in the driveway using degreasers, chemicals, and solutions. It washes away the dirt, and debris and goes into the storm drains.

The water discharged inside the house goes to the sewers for treatment before being let out in a nearby water body. But the water used in the driveway will go straight into a nearby lake, pond or river untreated. 

This untreated water will contain dirt, mud, debris and multiple toxic chemicals. The mixture is likely to pollute the water body, contaminate the water, harm aquatic life and the environment.

3. Wash Your Car on the Lawn

The best place to wash your car is your lawn or backyard. Getting the car in the lawn might be troublesome for few because of the lawn fence. 

But if you park in the lawn and wash it, all the dirt, mud, debris and toxic chemicals will end up going underground where the soil will neutralize all the toxic components before any water goes down the storm drains. 

4. Wash Your Car in the Rain

The usual drizzle will not clean or wash your car and it’s dangerous to even be outside during a storm. The best part of washing your car in the rain is that it saves tons of water. 

You won’t need your garden hose. Simply leave your car outside for a good soak. You can either wash it in the rain; it’s better because you will have a continuous supply of water or you can wait until the rain stops. 

Either way, this saves you a lot of water which is usually used for preparing the surface of the car before using any solution or detergent. However, if you are washing your car after a thunderstorm, wait at least 30 minutes before going out. This should be enough time for the sky to clear out.

5. Wash in a Shady Area

If it is a hot sunny day and shady spots to wash your car. Then avoid washing completely. The heat will simply evaporate water and you will have to use more water than you would have used normally. 

If the water dries up too quickly it will leave water marks. The soap or detergent will also leave scums on the car. Overall, the heat will make the already time consuming job even longer. Always find a shady area to wash your car quickly and save gallons of water.

6. Use Biodegradable DIY Products

If you can’t wash your car in the lawn then at least use biodegradable cleaning products instead of the regular solutions that contain chlorine, phosphate and other toxic chemicals. The best part about this is that you can make your own biodegradable products at home. 

We love DIY products and appreciate DIY car cleaning techniques. They are fun to make and in this case, help us keep our environment healthy. Here are two products you can make and use to clean your car.

  • Organic Wax

Waxes are used to get that post-wash shine. You can make your own wax organically using lemon, beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil or flax oil. 

Put 3 tbsp of beeswax, carnauba wax and 1 cup of flax oil in a can and melt it using a microwave. Take it out, pour some essential oils and stir the mixture. Set it aside for 2 days to solidify.

Apply the mixture directly on the car. Dip a microfiber towel in a cup of lemon juice and wipe your car in a linear motion. Use a dry cloth to wipe off everything and voila! Your car should have a nice, shiny, organic finish.

  • DIY Window Cleaner

Traditional window cleaners also use chemicals of some sort. But don’t worry. You can make your own window cleaner. Mix 2 tbsp of lemon juice with 1 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 cup of hot water. 

Pour the solution into a spray bottle, give it a nice swirl and spray the solution on the windows and mirrors. Wipe it off using a dry microfiber towel.

  • Wheel & Tire Cleaner

To keep those rims fresh, mix 1 tbsp of dish soap with ½ tbsp of baking soda and add 2 cups of hot water. Pour the entire thing in a bucket. Add the mixture to the wheel and use a hand brush to scrub it.

  • Tree Sap Remover

It’s very annoying to park below a tree and later find saps on the window and hood. To clean it, mix ½ tbsp of linseed oil with ¼ cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of hot water. Pour the solution into a mug, dip a dry towel in the solution and gently wipe off the tree sap. This can also be used to clean tar.

7. Use the Hose Wisely

If your car has not gone through the mud then you can clean it even without a hose. On a regular day, you can clean your car with spray bottles and sponges. You can wash your car in or after the rain and save gallons of water.

But if you have to use a hose, make sure it has an adjustable nozzle and an automatic shut-off valve. On a traditional hose, when you turn the tap on, water flows continuously. With an automatic shutoff valve, you can set a timer on how long you need the water to flow. 

Adjustable nozzles work the same way. They help you control the water flow and allow you to stop when you want. 

We still would recommend using a bucket. You can even see exactly how much water you have to use and reduce the amount when needed. When using buckets, keep two buckets. One will be for your soapy solution or detergent and the other will be used to rinse the cloth. 

Dip your cloth in the soapy bucket, wipe your car and rinse the cloth in the other one. Once you are done, take the buckets to the bathroom and pour the water into the bathroom drain.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article was helpful in providing you with all the information you needed to go green while washing your car. It’s very easy to wash your car in an environmentally friendly way. It helps you save water and keep the environment healthy. The methods and techniques we mentioned above are also not time-consuming. Next time you decide to wash your car, try these environmentally friendly steps and you will be satisfied.

Author: Brandon Park