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5 of the Best Eco-friendly Car Cleaning Products

Eco car wash

There are a multitude of different ways you can adjust your driving and car maintenance routines to help protect the environment. These range from driving more carefully to reduce harmful emissions and improve fuel consumption to choosing eco friendly, natural products for cleaning and maintaining your car.

Contrary to popular belief, being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be more complicated or expensive than living any other way. With just a few small adjustments to your normal routine you could be saving the environment as well as money.

So if you have already saved money by going online to compare car insurance quotes and are now looking for some new and innovative ways to save money, you’ll be interested in the following five suggestions for eco-friendly car cleaning products to help start you on your new greener path.

1. Use waterless car wash

Waterless car wash products and systems are designed to save you time and money.  They clean your car and leave a protective finish in three simple steps: Spray, finish and buff. You will need to spray on the formula and leave it for a few minutes to work into the dirt but then you simply buff off and finish.

Waterless car wash products remove dirt, stuck on bugs, scuff marks and road tar.  The entire process takes around 30 minutes, whereas washing and waxing your car in the traditional way can take hours.

Washing your car at home uses between 300-500 litres of water every time and commercial car washes uses around 170 litres of water per car – for more information on this, read here.

2. Get off the driveway

Washing your car in the driveway with a hose is just about the most environmentally unfriendly way to do it.  Not only will you use gallons of water (see above) the water that runs off your car contains chemicals from cleaning detergents, gas, oil and residue from exhaust fumes.  All of this runs into storm drains, which then travels untreated into the nearest river or lake.

If you really have to wash your car the conventional way at home, then park your car on lawn or gravel instead. The natural microbes will filter the washing water, breaking down some of the compounds and stop them from entering watercourses.

3. Do it yourself

If you like the idea of washing the car yourself but don’t have a spare patch of dirt or grass to do it on then head to the nearest self-service car wash.  Select one where the water is captured and sent to a water treatment plant, which is often the cheapest and most eco friendly option. You’ll only use around 55 litres of water washing your vehicle this way.

4. Use natural products

However dirty your car is, resist the urge to use harsh chemicals and heavy duty detergents.  Instead turn to natural, biodegradable or even home made car-cleaning products.

Vinegar is fantastic for polishing glass and baking soda can be made into a very effective car-cleaning product. Simply add ¼ cup of baking powder to ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid to a large jug and then fill with water.  Then add one cup of your homemade solution to a large pail and fill with warm water.

5. Be efficient in your cleaning technique

  • Never wipe or dust the paintwork with a dry cloth, you could scratch it
  • Never wash a car in the hot sun, this could cause your paintwork to crack
  • Clean your vehicle from the top downwards
  • Clean one section of your vehicle at a time
  • Towel dry the car using cotton nappies or a chamois leather rather than disposable products.  Chamois leathers may be slightly more expensive but can be used time and again and will last for years.