8 Eco-Friendly Ways to Wash Your Car

How do you normally wash your car? Most of us will answer “the driveway” as the place where we normally wash our car. Washing our car in the free driveway might be one of the most harmful things we do to our environment. Like the other wastewater from our home, the car wash wastewater doesn’t go into the septic to get into treatment. The car wash wastewater from the driveway goes straight into the sewer or drains and gets mixed with the river or local pond without any wastewater treatment. This chemical car wash water pollutes the aquatic life and its ecosystem.

There are many ways to clean your car, one of the best way is to clean via car vacuum cleaners. All the oil, gasoline, paint residues, dust, soap chemical, and other pollutants from the car wash water completely destroys the aquatic ecosystem. It is a must that we avoid polluting the aquatic ecosystem by following other eco-friendly methods instead of the traditional one.

Let us explore some of the eco-friendly ways in which we can wash our car and other automobiles.

1. Commercial Car Wash

Commercial Car wash is an obvious answer to clean our car in an eco-friendly way. Car wash centers are required to treat the wastewater before letting it go into the drain or sewer. In this way, the aquatic ecosystem doesn’t get polluted as the waste is treated beforehand by the wash centers. They also use a computer-controlled motorized pressure pump to efficiently clean our cars. It minimizes the use of water in cleaning the car.


Using a commercial car wash or drive-through car wash saves you a lot of time and energy in cleaning your car even if it costs you some money. They also give you a thorough cleaning of your car, so your money spent will also be worth in the long run. Commercial car wash centers are probably one of the best ways to clean our car in an eco-friendly way.

2. Bio-Degradable soap

If you like to wash your car by yourself in your home, you can still do it in an eco-friendly way by using biodegradable soap. These soaps are better than your normal car wash liquid as it is phosphate-free and has no harmful chemicals. They are also water-based cleaners, so you can safely use it on your car to clean without affecting your environment.

The main reason why cleaning your car in the driveway causes harm is because of the chemical soap or liquid that you use. It contains harmful chemical with phosphate, sodium, and potassium that affects the soil and water when mixed. When you use a biodegradable soap instead of your normal one, you can still wash your car in your home without affecting the environment.

3. Waterless car washing

There are other ways in which you can wash your car without the use of water. One such way is to use car wash spray. Using a spray gun, you can wash your car while also minimizing the use of water. You can do spot cleaning with a spray gun and wipe the dust off with a washcloth. It is effective in spot cleaning than using a pipe or hose.


The main advantage of this method is that no chemical water is let into the drain and sewers, so you are cleaning your car in an eco-friendly way. While you won’t get the satisfaction of cleaning your car whole using a pipe, this way of using the spray gun to clean the car is definitely better for the environment.

4. Don’t let chemical water mix into the sewer

If you are used to cleaning your car in your home using a chemical or bio-friendly soap, you can still be eco-friendly by following this advice. The environment gets affected when the wastewater gets mixed into the soil or the sewer, so you can prevent this to be eco-friendly in cleaning your car.

You can use a bucket to collect all the dirty chemical water from the cleaning before it reaches into the sewer. Then, you can dump this waste chemical-laced water into your kitchen sink or toilet. This will work because the water from your house gets treated before it reaches the river. It is a great eco-friendly way to wash your car.

5. Washing your car on gravel or grass

Washing your car above gravel or grass might not be completely eco-friendly, but it’s still better than doing nothing. The stone and sand mixture in the gravel or the grass will filter the wastewater from your car wash, so it will not reach the nearby sewer to get mixed into the river.


The wastewater will soak into the ground and settles there. It will still affect the soil and the land, but the aquatic ecosystem will be protected as the wastewater will not mix into the sewer.

6. Use the chemical subtly

Even if you use a bio-degradable or other chemical soap to clean your car, you should use it as little as you need to clean. Using the chemical soap abundantly without any caution will clearly affect the environment much.

So it will be prudent for you to use the chemicals as little as possible so the environment doesn’t get affected much. The biodegradable soap that was mentioned earlier will also contain a few harmful chemicals, so you must use those carefully as not to affect the environment.

7. Cleaning Windows using Vinegar

Instead of using chemical soap to clean your windows, you can use vinegar. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar and washcloth to do a spot cleaning of your windows. It will clean your car while not affecting the environment in any way.

8. Using reusable washcloth

Instead of using a one-time use cloth or wipes to clean your car, you can use a reusable washcloth. Using the reusable washcloth will benefit the environment in a great way. It reduces the accumulation of dust while also saving your money on buying new clothes.


Many of us are not aware of the environmental problems caused by cleaning the car in our home. It can be easily mitigated by following any of the steps listed above but using a commercial car wash center is considered the best option for both the car and the environment. We hope you got some information on how to clean your car in an eco-friendly manner.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com

2 Responses to 8 Eco-Friendly Ways to Wash Your Car

  1. Pingback: Car Washing at Home: 6 Eco-Friendly Tips to Consider

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