The greenest way to keep your car clean is not to use it but if you have to wash it keep water and detergents to a minimum, and use a bucket and sponge rather than a hosepipe.
According to the International Car Wash Association, the average home drive way wash uses 100-350 litres of water.
Not only is this wasteful, the detergents and contaminants contained in the water usually run straight off into stormwater drains, and not sewers. This means the dirty water is likely to enter nearby rivers untreated, adversely affecting both human and aquatic life.
Automatic car washes are little better, using an average of 121 litres of water per wash, not to mention all the extra energy consumed by the moving brushes and high pressure jets.
The simplest way to save water on car washing is to wash the car less; and the easiest way to do this is to use the car less!
However, when you do need to wash your vehicle, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce waste and pollution.
Always use a bucket and sponge rather than a hose. This will help you use up to eight times less water.
To avoid contaminating local rivers, park your car on a lawn or gravelled surface before washing it so that the dirty water runs off into the soil rather than stormwater drains.
If we all became more aware of the amount of water we use, we might avoid the hosepipe bans and water restrictions that are becoming an increasingly common feature of the British summer.Take pledge