8 Guilt-Free, Water-Friendly Car Washing Tips


We’re knee-deep in drought days, making due with shorter showers and browner lawns. Are we relegated to filthy cars until Mother Nature gets us wet (or the apocalypse happens)? No! Heed our advice for a clean car that won’t make you feel like an Earth-pillaging tyrant.

1) Park inside whenever possible. This will keep your car cleaner, and cooler, between washings.

2) Get a duster. If you’re living with street parking, pick up one of these puppies you’ve seen limo drivers use. It may not knock out bird poop, but it gets rid of light debris in a cinch.

3) Go the extra mile and buy a car cover. These are especially helpful if you leave your car outside for days at a time and only drive sporadically.

4) Pick up a waterless car wash that will clean your car without a hose. Eco Touch products also include a 2-in-1 wash/wax concentrate.

5) Or simply, wax your car. Having a gleaming vehicle not only looks good, the wax will repel all kinds of nastiness and allow more time before washes.

6) If you must go to a car wash, look for WaterSavers certified car washes. These businesses promise to use 40 gallons of water or less on an average car and recycle much of the grey water.

7) Even better, go to a self-serve car wash where you park  in a bay and do all the work; those should only use up 12-16 gallons of water.

8) Probably the worst thing you could do, water-wise, is to wash your car in a driveway or street. This usually requires a hose, which can suck up to 100 gallons of water; it also sends filthy water into the ocean. No more!