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Keep your car shining just in time for spring

Thursday, February 20, 2014, 9:54 AM

It may not seem like it, but the warm days of spring are right around the corner. By now, your car is probably so salty, you’ve probably forgotten what colour it is. It’s time to give your car a bath. Unfortunately, a lot of the dirt and chemicals that come off your car are not great for the environment. The good news is there are more options than ever to keep your car clean and green.

Many municipalities recommend you don’t wash your car in your driveway. With good reason too. All the grease, salt, and soap ends up going down the storm sewers. These drain directly into rivers and ponds, which can have a devastating effect on local wildlife.

The best place to wash your car is in an automatic car wash. Modern ones filter the water after each wash, so it can be reused for the next customer. This means less wasted water and fewer harmful pollutants heading into the environment.

(Gerry Duncher via Flickr)

(Gerry Duncher via Flickr)

While washing at the gas station is easy and quick, it can be expensive. The next best option is the classic coin operated wash bay. You have to do all the heavy lifting, but all the tools are provided. Some older ones may not recycle water however, waste is directed into the septic sewers to be treated later on.

If you want to save some more money and wash at home, there are now plenty of eco-friendly tools out there to lessen your impact.

Electric power washers are a great tool for cleaning your car. Not only do they have more scrubbing power than your garden hose, they don’t use as much water. It’s a great way to do more with less. They’re also handy for plenty of other cleaning jobs around the yard. Unlike gas ones, they don’t produce harmful emissions.

When it comes to cleaning chemicals, look for ones that are biodegradable. They break down faster and have less impact on wildlife. The leftover soapy water in your bucket can be safely used to water your lawn, saving it from going down the drain and into the watershed.

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