How Car Washes Are Actually Better For The Environment

By Promo Car care Team | July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
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We have seen big shifts in consumer habits in the past few years, especially moving towards more environmentally friendly trends. Society is more aware than ever about water waste and consumption, and how it impacts our environment on a global scale. A lesser known way to save water (and our Earth) is by choosing to go to a car wash over washing your car at home. Scroll down to read the reasons why going to a car wash is actually better for the environment.

Car Washes Save More Water!

We get it, what’s better than enjoying a nice, sunny day finally washing your car after putting it off for the last couple of months. The majority of people believe they are saving money when washing their cars by themselves, but research would prove that ideology wrong.
According to the Western Car Wash Association, washing your car at home uses 40 to 140 gallons of water compared to the 9 to 15 gallons a professional car wash uses. To scale it a bit for you, washing your car at home uses the same amount of water as you would flushing your toilet 20 to 70 times. It uses more water than washing your clothes, taking a bath, and taking two showers combined. On the flipside, a professional car wash uses the same amount of water as flushing your toilet 4 to 8 times at most. Or, it uses about the same amount of water as your dishwasher does.
The water saved on choosing to visit a car wash over doing it yourself is insurmountable. In fact, a commercial car wash uses less than .1% of water used in a medium or large municipality, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency. By taking a quick 10 minute trip to a car wash, that’s a conscious decision to save 60% of the water you would usually use.

How you are contaminating the water supply

How much water people waste not using a car wash

Automated car wash operators have dramatically changed with the introduction of AI and machine learning.  A traditional tunnel car wash has cut back on the amount of water they use per car wash by making adjustments to the car washing equipment needed to clean your vehicle. These alterations include: decreasing the size of spray nozzles, lowering the water pressure, being more diligent with leak detection within their machinery, and repairing issues immediately. The most water-efficient car wash systems use less water (9 to 15 gallons) than what a typical home washing machine requires to get your clothes clean (13 to 50 gallons). 

Industry Commitment to Protecting the Water Supply

Pollution and climate change are two of the biggest worries of today. Over the years, our waterways have been polluted heavily by consumer lack of knowledge and care. Many individuals aren’t aware that washing your car can have grave implications on the environment. When you wash your car, the runoff that travels off the driveway, street or parking lot can contain substances that pollute the environment. Dirty water containing soap, detergents, residue (from exhaust fumes), gasoline, heavy metals (from rust), and motor oils can wash off and flow directly into storm drains which usually lead to the nearest creek or stream. 

Many tunnel car washes have installed water reclamation systems to prevent water waste. Most of the water used in a tunnel car wash (9 to 15 gallons of fresh water per vehicle) is recycled and used again by the next customer. The water that isn’t recycled moves towards a special sanitary sewer, where it will be safely treated and disposed of without any harm to the environment. The contaminated water will not go into the local groundwater or sewer system, like it would if you were washing your car at home.

Safer for your Vehicle’s Finish

If you’re looking to keep that brand new paint job looking fresh, it is better for your vehicle’s paint and finish to avoid hand washing. Since car washes are now equipped with the latest technological advancements seen in soft foam cleaners, soft microfiber bristles and controlled pressurized nozzles, there is less of a likelihood of your vehicle sustaining damage to the finish from abrasive cleaning that would be sustained through hand washing. 

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