There’s a drought and your car is dirty. If you can’t water your lawn, how are you expected to wash your car?
Close to 38% of the state of California has been in an “exceptional drought” (that’s pretty much as bad as it gets on the drought scale) for about four years now, and as the days go by, it’s looking increasingly likely that El Niño isn’t going to quench California’s thirst. California’s not the only state that’s having water trouble: parts of the Southwest and Northern Plains are also experiencing abnormally dry weather.
Scientists announced earlier this year that they think the Southwestern United States has entered a permanently drier climate state, which doesn’t necessarily mean that the likes of Arizona and New Mexico are going to be in an omnipresent drought, but it does mean that they’re likely not going to be flush with water any time soon.
So what does that mean for washing your car? Is it condemned to being forever unclean until someone invents some self-cleaning car tech? Fortunately, the answer is no.
Here are some #LifeProTips on keeping your car clean during a drought:
- Dust accumulates in drought-stricken areas. You might not be getting any morning dew anymore, but you WILL get dust. Dust your car off every morning with a good brush to avoid build-up.
- Invest in the following: good microfiber towels, used tee-shirts, a sheepskin wash mitt, or all three. They’re better for your car and the environment than paper towels. Plus, in some cases, you don’t need water or spray to put them to good use.
- Check out some eco-friendly sprays. We recommend Eco Green Auto Clean but Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods, Sears, and most local grocery stores offer alternatives. Sprays are a good stand in for water, but be careful, because most sprays aren’t intended for very dirty surfaces.
- If you must use water, get a nozzle with auto shut-off. Hoses gone unchecked can waste 100 gallons of water and beyond!
- If you’re going for the hose, try to park somewhere the water can be reabsorbed in the ground. Try to park on the grass or on gravel. Washing your car on your drive way can cause dangerous chemicals to get into storm drains, causing pollution to an already precious water supply.
- More important than getting your car wet with spray OR water is making sure you break dirt down instead of just getting it wet or moving it around. Just like when you shower – standing in the water isn’t enough. You have to get the dirt off! Not using smart techniques when it comes to getting dirt off your car can waste water, damage paint, and be unproductive.
- Try and avoid the car wash. If you can’t help it, make sure it’s eco-friendly. One way is seeing if it’s WaterSavers certified.