When it comes time to clean your car, and you are a DIY kind of person, your tendency is probably to turn on the hose, spray it down, scrub and rinse again. Unfortunately, that requires a lot of water which is the worst way to keep your car clean in a drought. Using a water hose can release about 10 gallons of water a minute – about 100 gallons per 10 minutes. Also, important to note is that in drought-stricken areas, you can be penalized up to $500 a day for wasting water. The following tips will help you keep your car clean in a drought.
Use A Bucket
Fill up a bucket and use a microfiber cloth or sponge, using the hose sparingly for fast rinses. To reduce streaks, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the bucket of water (this also cuts back on how much you’ll need to rinse). To get more out of the water you use, wash your car on the lawn if you have one and as long as your products are safe for plants.
Use an Automatic Shut-Off Nozzle
If you’re cleaning with a hose, use an automatic shut-off nozzle so the water doesn’t run continuously while you wash your car. Using a shut-off nozzle can save about 70 gallons of water per wash.
Give Your Vehicle a Waterless Wash
You don’t need water to clean your car. Waterless cleaning products are available that remove dust and dirt from your vehicle without all the water waste. All you need to do is spray on and towel off. Make sure to purchase a waterless car wash spray, not an all-purpose cleaning spray. Waterless products do an excellent job of loosening and lubricating dirt without harming the car’s finish.
NOTE: Use microfiber (deep nap) cloths (microfiber is soft and does a great job capturing particles). After spraying on the waterless cleanser, use a wiping motion that doesn’t cross over itself because it can redistribute grime. Also, flip or change out the towel frequently.
Wash More Often
Washing your car more often, even during drought conditions, can reduce water usage. Waiting months between car washes allows more dirt and debris to pile up. While the painted finish on cars is durable, debris like tree sap, bird droppings, and other liquids that drip onto a car shouldn’t be left on the paint for a long time. When you let it sit, you’ll do more scrubbing, apply more water, and potentially damage the finish.
Use A Car Wash That Recycles
Most of today’s car washes use recycled water, so it’s far better to use them than washing your car at home. Car washes that recycle water are more eco-friendly because they use less water and waste less.
Arizona is facing a drought, and some cities are declaring water shortage areas. The good news is that even if you’re dealing with drought conditions, you can still have a shiny clean car if you use the tips listed here.