It’s easy for most people to understand how cars aren’t eco-friendly. They are quick to point out its effects on the environment due to the carbon monoxide exhaust and the consumption of fossil fuels.
But what most people forget is that even the simple act of washing your car isn’t eco-friendly either. Here’s why:
- Washing a car wastes 20 to 40 gallons of water per wash. Imagine the environmental impact of saving that much water per car owner, just by changing the way we clean our cars.
- Washing a car with water also tends to cause runoff of dirty and toxic water containing grease, grime, detergent, metal dust particles, and automotive fluid. Car wash runoff is an unnoticeable pollutant that goes into our drains and eventually to our groundwater, rivers, and seas. This is most obvious when you observe a garage floor after a car wash – it’s usually a dirty mess.
- The soaps and cleaners that most car washes use aren’t environment-friendly. This means that when they go to the drains along with the cleaning water, these chemicals will also end up in the groundwater, rivers, and seas.
The good news is that for the past few years, many companies in the US and Australia have been offering an eco-friendly alternative to the typical carwash. This alternative is known as a “waterless carwash”, and it uses almost no water at all. Plus, the cleaning agents are all rated eco-friendly.
The good news is that there are now a couple of companies in Metro Manila offering this type of service.
But how does it work?
How a Waterless Carwash Really Works
A waterless carwash uses a special cleaning formula based on natural waxes rather than soap and water. This cleaning formula is sprayed on the car, and it usually contains emulsifiers (eco-friendly detergents and wetting agents). These break down dirt and actually lift it from the surface, ready to be gently wiped down and properly disposed of.
Then, a microfiber towel is used to remove dirt after spraying. It gently captures the dirt, leaving your paint unscratched. Another microfiber towel will then be used to buff and shine the surface.
After this “wash”, a mix of fluids and lubricants protect your car from scratches while you wipe and rub. Then there are the polymers that act as wax and glaze that protect your car paint and keeps it glossy – possibly reducing the amount of body repainting jobs you have to do in the long run.
If you are really concerned about the environment, all you have to do is ask your waterless carwash service for details about their materials, as well as check if their formula contains environmentally-friendly ingredients.
Since this is a relatively new service, there are only a handful of companies providing it in Metro Manila. But because more people are becoming aware of this carwash alternative, it’s been gaining popularity both abroad and locally. Maybe in a few years, the eco-friendly waterless carwashes may be the norm.
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