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Benefits of an Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Car Wash

environmental impact of car washes

If you want a car that will last you for years to come, you need to take it upon yourself to become a responsible automobile owner. That starts with regular vehicle maintenance. A clean and well-functioning car operates better and is easier on the environment. The first step in basic vehicle care is getting it washed on a regular basis at an eco-friendly car wash.

Did you know that some car washing methods are more wasteful than others? Washing your vehicle at home may seem like an efficient way to go since you can control how much water goes in a bucket, on a sponge and then onto your car. However, it isn’t actually more efficient. Going to a professional eco-friendly car wash is actually less wasteful than washing your vehicle at home. You save time, money and water at a car wash!

In this article we’ll share why an eco-friendly car wash, like Sundance Car Wash, is the way to go for responsible automobile care. We’ll talk about the benefits of using your local car wash, along with the ways you can be a more responsible automobile owner.

car washing tires with pressure washer

Is a Car Wash or Hand Wash Better for the Environment?

Water is one of our most valuable resources we have. Many places in the world lack sufficient water due to drought, heat waves and climate change. Unfortunately humans also contribute to the loss of water through excessive waste. One way to make a difference is to choose the most effective way to wash your car.

Yes — there is a right way to wash a car. Washing can save a lot of money in costs. This includes reducing the need for a new paint job, preventing rust and scratches, and preventing external parts, wheels and tires from corroding or getting clogged up by dirt and gravel. But if you or your car wash uses the wrong kind of soap or too much water, you’ll have a direct negative effect on the environment.

Washing your automobile by hand may seem like the best way to control those factors. You can control your water usage and the brand of soap you use. But surprisingly, commercial car washes are the more sustainable option. These businesses are better equipped to handle the soapy grime that comes off when you rinse off your car. As Greenmatters says, “This is because car washes are required to treat all of the wastewater that comes out during the wash, prior to it being flushed down the drain.”

Car washes use computerized mechanisms to regulate water pressure and maximize efficiency. They pay for the water used to wash cars, so they make sure it doesn’t go to waste. One of the ways they do this is through car wash water recycling.

washing and orange car

Car Wash Water Recycling

Car washes are a water-intensive service, with less eco-friendly car washes using up to 80 gallons per wash of which plenty is saved through car wash water recycling. Water recycling refers to a closed-loop system that collects water used in a car wash, treats it, cleans it and then reuses it for another customer.

Recycled water can be used over and over. It reduces the amount of water that needs to be purchased. This process also reduces pollution as it won’t be necessary to send any used and contaminated water to the sewers or other bodies of water.

Reduced water usage, chemical use, and wastewater makes water recycling a positive and eco-friendly practice. It also comes with some economic benefits as well. This process helps reduce operation costs and monthly water bills for any car wash. That’s because using recycled water reduces the amount of water that needs to be purchased from a municipal water supplier.

It can also reduce wear and tear on car wash equipment. When a car wash uses recycled water, less fluid is pumped through the equipment each day. That should lead it to lasting longer and lower maintenance costs over time. car wash with soap and red rollers

Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Car Wash

Washing your vehicle at home may be an easy way to keep your automobile clean, but don’t overlook the benefits of a sustainable car wash. Here’s why you should let the professionals clean your automobile for you at an eco-friendly car wash:

  • Conserves water — Believe it or not, washing your vehicle at home can consume anywhere between 80-140 gallons of water. An eco-friendly car wash only uses about 45 gallons of water. That’s a 60 percent reduction of water usage. Sustainable car washes pull this off by using state-of-the-art equipment to effectively distribute water and recycle all of that water used in every wash.
  • Solar energy — Solar panels are becoming a common energy source at eco-friendly car washes. Some of these businesses have begun to install them on their premises to power lighting, pumps, and other electrical equipment on their premises.
  • Timers and sensors — Sustainable car washes often utilize timers and sensors to control the duration of equipment operation. That way, they’re only active when they are needed. They reduce energy consumption by using sensors to detect the presence of a vehicle and then turn on the cleaning process.
  • Reduce pollution — When you wash your vehicle at home, all the soap and chemical-filled water flows directly into the sewers. Eventually it empties out into rivers and streams, where it can negatively impact the environment. This doesn’t happen at a car wash. Car washes retain that used water in a holding tank and wait for the solids to settle. It’s then filtered and treated to clear out all the impurities and recycled for the next customer.
  • Avoid toxic chemicals — Similar to at-home washing, a traditional car wash often uses chemicals to clean a car, but a sustainable, eco-friendly car wash will only use non-corrosive, biodegradable and non-flammable detergents, shampoos, waxes and other cleaning agents instead of chemicals.
  • Uses less energy — Traditional car washes clean with hot water. Eco-friendly car washes, on the other hand, go with pressurized water. As the Family Handyman says, “It takes far less energy to pressurize water than to heat it, making the process more economical for the business while reducing the load on the power grid.”
  • Protects employees — Traditional washes can be a hazardous place for employees because of potentially toxic chemicals used in the cleaning process. Employees at sustainable, eco-friendly car washes have a safer work environment which leads to happier and more efficient employees.
  • Protects your car — Not only does an eco-friendly car wash protect employees, but it makes sure that your vehicle is safe too. The chemicals used at traditional car washes can wear away your car’s paint job and create tiny scratches that collect road dust, grease and other pollutants as you drive. As the Family Handyman says, “That means your car needs to be cleaned more often, and more exposure to those chemicals creates a destructive feedback loop.” But the steam cleaners and pressure washers used at sustainable, eco-friendly car washes will clean your automobile efficiently without ruining the paint job.
  • Minimize waste — An at-home car wash typically involves disposable wipes or paper towels as part of the cleaning process. Those end up in landfills when they’re disposed of, ultimately harming the environment. But when you go to an eco-friendly car wash, you’ll see staff using rags and microfiber clothes. These clean your vehicle better and can be reused for multiple washings.
  • Technology will only continue to improve — Sustainable, eco-friendly car washes use cutting edge technology to minimize waste and clean your automobile as effectively as possible. The good news? That technology will only continue to get better. Currently, computers regulate the flow of water through high-pressure nozzles and technologically advanced drains collect water and process it. Experts are constantly working on these solutions and more to ensure that car washes can continue to clean automobiles sustainably and efficiently.
  view inside a car wash  

How to Be an Eco-friendly Car Owner

Taking your vehicle to a sustainable car wash is the first step in being a more eco-friendly car owner. There are little things you can do throughout the year to make sure you are being responsible and positively contributing to the environment. Here are some steps to get you started:

  • Take your vehicle in for preventative maintenance — You don’t need to wait for something to break down to take your automobile to the shop. As Firestone states, “regular maintenance services can help your vehicle run more efficiently, reduce your carbon emissions, and save you money in the long run.” Have your mechanic change your oil, replace spark plugs and wires, replace fuel and air filters, and check your onboard computer control system for error codes.
  • Switch to fuel-efficient tires — Invest in fuel-efficient tires to make your automobile more sustainable. These tires have a low rolling resistance, which means they require less energy to move in the direction you’d like. Less energy is needed, which means less friction is created. That results in the need for less fuel when you’re driving.
  • Store less in your vehicle — We’re all guilty of occasionally letting junk pile up in the trunk of our cars. But the heavier your automobile is, the more gas it needs to haul that load around. Make it a point to periodically empty out and lighten up your car. You’ll become more fuel efficient that way.
  • Go easy on the brakes — The more frequently you use the brakes, the faster they will wear down and the more gas you will burn through every time you need to get back up to speed. Try to plan all routes in the best way you can to reduce excessive braking. One way to do this is to try to avoid the highway during rush hour.
  • Use the air conditioner sparingly — Using your car’s air conditioning can reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy — especially on short trips. Try to opt for opening the windows instead whenever you can.
  • Fill up your vehicle with gas the right way — Believe it or not, the way you fill up your automobile with gas matters. As Firestone says, “when you top off your tank with a little extra fuel after the pump has stopped, you can increase the possibility of harmful vapors escaping from the tank and releasing into the air.”
  • Use cruise control — When you’re on the highway, you’ll be able to save gas by utilizing cruise control. Just make sure weather conditions are good and traffic is steady, but not too heavy.
  • Check your tire pressure — Correct tire pressure will improve your fuel economy. When this is overlooked, you may be driving inefficiently. Your tires won’t move the way they should, making your engine work harder to compensate. When this happens, you’ll end up using more fuel and emitting greenhouse gasses into the environment. Have your tire pressure checked once a month to avoid this.
  hand drying a car with a towel after a wash  

In Conclusion, Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Car Wash with Sundance

As mentioned, there are a number of ways to become a more responsible car owner, but if you really want to be responsible, start by taking your vehicle to Sundance Car Wash.

We’re thrilled to be consistently voted as one of Lancaster County’s favorite car washes. We pride ourselves on providing an efficient, sustainable, eco-friendly car wash experience. We use high-efficiency machines to save water, electricity and gas without sacrificing wash quality. We also recycle our wash water and use biodegradable soaps and waxes to care for our environment. Extra-filtered freshwater is used to rinse your car for that new car shine.

We are clean and green, to help keep you and the environment safe.

Want to see what it’s like to have a sustainably clean and shiny car? Take a look at our site to find a location near you!



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