Save Water and Money: Don’t Wash Your Car at Home

If one of your weekend to-do’s is washing your car in the driveway, you’re not much different from many homeowners who feel like they will save water and money. But that could not be further from the truth.

Typical equipment to wash your car at home can use 41 gallons of fresh water, and washing a car with a garden hose can use more than that amount of water in as little as 6 minutes. But that’s only half the story. Washing your car at home also sends detergents into storm sewers where they can eventually contaminate local water sources.Want to Save Water and Help the Environment? Stop Washing Your Car at Home

But don’t despair. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to wash your car, while you save water and money, you may not have to look any further than your local carwash. The International Carwash Association has created a new program called WaterSavers to help you identify carwashes that have met specific conservation guidelines to reduce water use, reclaim and/or recycle water and discharge waste to a treatment facility.

Car washes in the WaterSavers program use a maximum of 40 gallons of water per car in conveyor and in-bay/rollover systems. Self-service washes in the program maintain high-pressure systems that use 3 gallons of water per minute or less. All water discharge is routed to a water treatment facility or leech/septic field as permitted.

Members in the program meet these requirements annually and maintain on-site verification records regarding their water conservation practices. They also put up signage to alert the public to their participation in WaterSavers.

There are more than 700 WaterSavers members across the country. To find one near you, visit

Leave a Reply