Eco Car Washes

Now that it's finally 'spring', and all the snow has finished falling (as of yesterday?!), it's time to think about washing all the mud and dust off my car.
So which is more environmentally friendly: washing your car by hand or in an automatic car wash?
Our Green Year says:
"As it turns out, washing your car at home (not a dry wash which is only good for small jobs) takes up 80 to 140 gallons of water. On the other hand, a commercial car wash uses 45 gallons of water for each wash. In addition, federal laws in the U.S. and Canada require commercial car wash facilities to drain their waste water into sewer systems, where they are treated and discharged back into the environment as clean water. Commercial car washes also use control systems to minimize water usage because too much water usage will cost them money. On top of that, there are many car washes that recycle and reuse their rinse water.
When people wash their car at home, the water and soap goes down the driveway and into the storm sewer, which then makes its way into the environment without being treated."
Of course they haven't cited their source so I went looking around and found a couple links to back that up: - Eco-Friendly Car Washing: Is It Better to Wash Cars at Home or at the Car Wash? (from - Eco-Friendly Car Wash (from Earth 911)


  1. Good to know! Although I was sad to discover that you don't get to sit in your car while it goes through the machine (at least not at Bubbles). When I worked at an ESSO station at home I sometimes got to drive other peoples' cars through the machine, which was awesome! (I got away from pumping gas for 5 minutes and sometimes you got tipped.)


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