Wax on, wax off

Photo source: Thomas Hawk, flickr

The current layer of dust enveloping my cute white Jetta had me thinking that I’m in serious need of a car wash. I used to live on the coast and recognize the importance of regular washings to protect the paint and keep that windshield clean. Living back in Fresno is a similar story but instead of salt water I battle pollen. Growing up I used to love washing the car with my dad in our front yard, but equally fun was going to Red Carpet Car Wash and trying to spot our station wagon through all the soap suds as the cars passed through the tunnel. It’s the little things, right?

Photo source: autos.aol.com
While I love most things DIY, zipping over to the car wash is much easier these days since there are drive through options at most gas stations. I was also happy to discover that this method is much greener than doing it yourself at home. Hosing down your car at home can use up to 140 gallons of water whereas commercial car washes use an average of 45 gallons per car. In addition, commercial car washes are required by law to drain their wastewater into sewers ensuring that the water plus soap (read: chemicals) gets treated properly. We all (should) know by now that water use means energy use, so leave it to the pros (unless you’re a big spender and want to install one of these babies), save water, save energy, and save an afternoon for a different DIY project.