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Washing your vehicle is an important part of car maintenance but it can have some negative impacts on the environment!

The overflow, which can contain particles of oil, rubber, metals as well as any number of chemicals found in car cleaning products, tend to travel down the driveway, into the street and directly into the nearest storm water drain. Once there, it enters our waterways, ending up in rivers, lakes and possibly the ocean. An easy way to use water efficiently when washing your car is simply to lessen the frequency in which you are washing it.

Choose an accredited 5 star commercial car wash!

  • One way to get your car cleaned in an environmentally responsible way is to visit an Australian Car Wash Association (ACWA) approved commercial car wash.
  • The accreditation, which is indicated by a five star Water Saving Rating, recognises car wash operators for their environmentally responsible business practices.
  • The Smart Approved WaterMark also indicates that the car wash uses best practice in water management.
  • Consider using a waterless car wash.
  • Select a low flow/high pressure wash.

Wash your car in a shaded area

  • Sunlight can cause water to evaporate quicker, which could increase the amount of water you need to use to rinse off your car. Find some shade, such as under foliage or an outdoor roof.

Park it on the lawn or on gravel

  • If you want to wash your car at home, parking your car on an absorbent surface, like grass or gravel, is better than parking on the pavement because the runoff can be absorbed and broken down by micro-organisms.

Use a bucket

  • Choose a bucket over a hose to improve your water efficiency. Fill a bucket with water so that you can monitor how much water you’re using instead of continually spraying your car with a hose. Keep another empty bucket by your side to wring out your sponge and prevent the runoff from flowing into the storm water drain. After you’re done, empty the bucket into your laundry sink so that the waste water can go through the sewerage system.
  • Remember, you can also use greywater from your bath to wash the car.

Use a hose with an adjustable nozzle

  • An adjustable hose nozzle is preferable to those that only turn off at the tap; operated by a squeezable trigger, the nozzle will help control the water flow and will stop spraying when the trigger is released.

Use a microfiber cloth

  • Microfiber cloth is non-abrasive and works better than regular rags at cleaning your car and preserving its paint.
  • Consider using a waterless detergent.

Smart car washing

Look for the Smart Approved WaterMark logo on a product website or packaging so you know that the product you are buying is water efficient, durable, fit for purpose and environmentally sustainable. Products endorsed by the Smart Approved WaterMark have been reviewed by a credible, robust Independent Expert Panel

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