Tips for Adults

Use a Car Wash

Washing your car can send harmful chemicals down storm drains not designed to filter water and from there chemicals and soap will get into our streams, bay and Gulf where they can harm marine creatures, plant life and water quality. Wash your car with gentle chemicals where the water will seep into the ground or use a professional car wash that treats and recycles water.

Problems


Car Washing Detergents Contain Toxic Chemicals

Conventional car wash detergents contain chemicals like acids, chloride, and phosphates (including hydrochloric acid, naphthalene, methylene chloride, and sulfuric acid). When washing the car on the street, these chemicals run untreated down storm drains into our creeks, poisoning fish and wildlife

Phosphates in Soap Cause Excess Algae Growth

Phosphates and nitrogen create nutrient pollution which causes algae to grow and reproduce very quickly creating a range of ecological problems including fish kills because of toxin production, decreased oxygen levels, and lack of sunlight.

Hose Spray Wastes Water

Washing a car at home can use up to 100 gallons of water and commercial car washes use between 40-60 gallons, while self-serve spray guns need only 12-18 gallons for the same car.

Things You Can Do


Take the Car to a Car Wash

Carwashes that follow The International Carwash Association WaterSaver guidelines will limit water used to 40 gallons of water and will route the used water to water treatment centers or septic systems.

Use Chlorine-Free and Phosphate-Free Soap

Help prevent extra toxin and nutrient pollution from getting in the water with a car wash product that is biodegradable and doesn't contain phosphates, chlorine or other harmful chemicals.

Green Earth Technologies Car Wash (Amazon)

Wash Car on Gravel or Grass

When polluted water seeps into the ground, there is a natural filtering process that takes place, but runoff from driveways and curbs drain to storm drains that send pollutants directly to the our estuaries and waterways.

Use Waterless Car Wash Spray

Waterless car wash sprays not only conserve water, but they help keep pollutants out of our storm drains and our rivers and bayous.

Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash Concentrate (Amazon)

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Resources

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Links

Marine Debris Tracker App

WaterSavers® is a recognition program from the International Carwash Association designed to help professional car washes promote their environmentally responsible business practices. Find locations of parcipating car washes.

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