We have to face the facts: car washing can pose threats to the environment. Water drainage is the primary problem associated with a car wash. Many soaps contain harmful chemicals that degrade water quality. The pollution problem is only compounded when the soapy water is mixed with the grime, dirt and grease removed from a vehicle. Most washes use at least 40 gallons of water for a single car. The water runoff inevitably has to go somewhere; usually a nearby storm drain. This runoff, depending on location, ends up in either our water treatment centers or larger bodies of water. The former affects the water we drink and the latter affects animals and crops. Regardless of who the pollution directly affects, it is definitely not good. On the flip side, not washing your car can also leave an environmental footprint. Any water discharge from a dirty car will leave a polluted trail. It is imperative to keep your vehicle clean, and clean it in an environmentally friendly way.
So if you need to keep your car clean but car washes aren’t environmentally friendly, what should we do? There are ways to minimize the environmental impact of car washes. New technology has revolutionized the standard car wash. High pressured steam technology allow cars to be cleaned using less than a gallon of water per car, with practically no water runoff. New, better, eco-friendly cleaning solutions are created every year, rendering classic soap obsolete (for car washing purposes). All in all, be smart about how you clean your car.