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Ridin Dirty?

December 12, 2015

Screen-Shot-2014-09-03-at-9.35.38-AMThat’s cool. We won’t judge. You should actually flaunt your car proudly. You are showing the world you care about saving water by letting that dirt last a little longer. You can even take the #DirtyCarPledge. Sign the pledge to not wash your car for 60 days. You also get cool static cling car sticker to show others why you’ve decided to keep ridin dirty. 

However, when you’re ready to wash the grime (and probably some very clever finger art) off your car, think twice about breaking out the garden hose. Instead, take your vehicle to an automatic or eco-friendly car wash. They typically use less water than a hand wash – around 45 gallons per car as opposed to 80-140 gallons from washing by hand. Some car washes even recycle their water or don’t use water at all! Also a car wash facility is required to be connected to a sanitary sewer that carries dirty water to a wastewater treatment plant unlike hand washing; which can be very hazardous to the environment. The waste water that runs off a hand-washed car contains detergents, oil, rubber, grease, and other harmful chemicals. These contaminates run into storm drains and eventually into lakes, rivers, and creeks where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks havoc on our ecosystem.


Car Wash

Car Wash

If you must wash your vehicle by hand, just use a bucket of water instead and don’t let your hose run. A standard hose uses around 10 gallons per minute. So if you leave the hose running for a quick 10-minute car wash, you will use about 100 gallons of water! Instead, use a standard 5-gallon Home Depot bucket of water to wash your car. Heck, you can even use a second bucket to rinse! With two full buckets, you will still save 90 gallons of water per wash and no harmful chemicals are washed into the environment. 

If you need to use a bucket of soapy water, make sure to read the detergent label carefully. Use only non-toxic, biodegradable versions and avoid products that say Poisonous, Harmful, or Danger. Also, avoid the driveway. Wash your car on your lawn or over dirt so that the waste water can be absorbed and neutralized in soil instead of flowing directly into storm drains or open bodies of water.

If you must use a hose, use one that is equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle. You won’t have to keep going back to the faucet to turn the water on and off and it will prevent the hose from running continuously during your wash. 

Using a power washer can conserve even more water. These come with a variety of spray settings that allow you to rinse your car much faster while using less water. On average, power washers use about 2 to 5 gallons of water per minute. That is a potential savings of up to 80 gallons more water than a standard house without an automatic shutoff nozzle. 

By choosing to participate in the ridin dirty campaign you can defenitly help conserve water and protect our water resources for future generations.