Is Your Car Cleaning Process Sustainable?

By John Lendrum - November 25th, 2019 | Posted in Article, DRIVING, Education, News

washing a car with a sponge 6003

Kindly supplied and written by Jennifer Dawson

Commercial car washes use approximately 60% less water to clean an entire car compared to cleaning your car at home, according to a University of Florida article. This is an indicator that new car drivers may need to give up home cleaning for the more-sustainable car wash option. When you consider the impact that every new vehicle has on the environment, you’ll realise that conserving water and using the right cleaning processes and chemicals is vital. More car wash businesses are opting to use water-based, recyclable and chemical-free cleaning products to ensure sustainability. Given the rising number of new drivers on the roads, embracing sustainability efforts would not be complete if we failed to address the question of sustainable car ownership, and particularly the car cleaning processes used today.

Green Cleaning For Your Car

It’s a fact that a booming car industry will birth an equally successful car maintenance sector. However, most new car owners would be surprised at just how big the car wash industry is in the UK. Just recently, the saga of unregulated hand-car wash centres in the UK hit the news, unravelling a previously-hidden breadth that took the country by surprise. The sheer number of these centres should be a good indicator of the untapped need for more car-washes at more affordable prices. But as with most things, there is a significant trade off to be made when you choose cheap: in this case, the trade off has come at the price of sustainability and the adverse effects to the environment, not to mention the health risks posed by the cleaning chemicals used in these establishments. The chemicals tend to be unsustainable and ought to be phased out in favour of green cleaning detergents. Given these concerns, it has become imperative for new car owners to look towards more sustainable ways to clean their cars, as some traditional practices may actually be harmful to the environment.

Opt For Commercial Cleaning 

It often seems that you would conserve more water and use fewer chemicals if you just washed your new car yourself, but this isn’t the case. This does not mean you can’t do a simple wipe down or wash your car mats yourself. You can definitely do those at home, and at your convenience. However, it’s ultimately better for the environment when you get your new car commercially cleaned, with the exception of commercial hand-car washes. But of course, as with all things, you should do a bit of due diligence first. There are car-washes that run by a green cleaning policy, meaning the products they use and their water consumption is sustainable: you should ask beforehand, and have a preference towards such establishments. If you do intend to wash your car from home, consider buying eco-friendly cleaning detergents that are good for the environment.

However, even without this consideration, commercial car washes recycle their water and use absorption systems that keep runoff chemicals from getting into water systems. In fact, businesses that pay attention to using the right water treatment systems for their car wash get good returns on investment within a reasonable time frame. For these reasons, go commercial, spend the money, save the water and avoid the unregulated hand-car washes. The environment will thank you.

Going green on car cleaning is not too difficult. Just find yourself a good car wash with sustainable policies, and you’ll be doing your duty as a global citizen. There’s no doubt that consumers in both big and small markets are increasingly embracing environmentally-friendly practices and exercising their power and voice through the steps they take in every-day practices like car washing.

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