Living in Southern California during the worst drought the U.S. has ever seen is no walk in the park. You have to get creative about how to save water - something I almost never had to worry about growing up in the rain-drenched North East.
Well, I have stopped going to car washes, but have found a faster, cheaper, and totally environmental friendly way to wash your car. The dew wash!
So here's the drill:
- make sure you have two or three of those micro fiber mitts (see above)
- get up between sunrise and before the dew has evaporated from your car's surface
- use the mitts to remove the dew and collected dirt/dust/detritus from your car.
For this third step, I do it in two stages: 1) I use one mitt (you'll need two if you have a van or a truck) to get off the majority of the dew and dirt, and then 2) I use another mitt to get off the last bits of dirt and to fully dry the vehicle.
It takes only 5-7 minutes to wash your car from top to bottom, you didn't have to fill up a bucket of suds, drag out your hose, schlep to a car wash, pay a damn dime, save for the mitts, which will last you like forever!
The only downside is that it looks like you went to the car wash a half a week ago. Well, isn't that better, anyway? Instead of dropping a whole load of cash getting your car sparkling clean, only having the consternation of seeing your car all dingy less than a week later, you get your car quite presentable even if it's not sparkling in no time at all! Plus, if you get a decal from LA Waterkeepers saying you are going dirty for the drought, you have a badge of honor that will ensure that "no one" will look askance at your less than perfect shine! A win-win-win-win!
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When cleaning your car and the bug spots are hard to get off, just use a nylon bath scrubby ball that comes with many bath sets. They are soft and will not scratch the paint, but will work wonderfully on those greasy bug spots and black tar.
"Wash" your car during a water shortage by wiping it down with a soft cloth (microfiber works well), while there is dew on it in the morning. A lot of grime comes off with the moisture.
Here is a quick and easy way to wash the car. The other day I decided to wash my car windows, which were looking pretty smeary. I used a bowl of vinegar and water about 3 cups water and one of vinegar.
Here in Central Florida, we are currently under a "Level 4" watering ban which bans people from home car washing. We cleaned our 2006 Honda Accord using approx. 3/4 of a gallon of water, two old soft bath towels, and maybe 45 minutes of our time.
If you tuck your car wash sponge into a pair of old pantyhose, it will clean the car better and get more gunk off of the paint. It is safe and easy.
When in doubt about whether a do it yourself car wash is working, look for the wet ones. Because it has been used recently, it is more than likely a working one.
Tips for washing your car. Post your ideas.
First of all, do not try this on any car that you care about! I had an old, old Toyota and the paint was very dull and had lost it's shine. I tried something very simple to renew the shine.
I wash my car frequently in the summer months at the small car wash in my town. Sometimes when I am in town running errands and need to wash the car, I don't always want to because I may be wearing the wrong shoes. (I hate to get splatter on nice shoes). I keep a pair of old flip flops in the trunk, slip them on and wash away! Alica
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What is a cheap way to wash a car?
By Brian Lewis from Wonthaggi, Victoria, AU
We wash them at home, with a bucket and dish soap. We rinse with the hose, but keep the hose off when not in use.
I read about this tip; use a tank sprayer (like for bug spraying). The fellow said he filled it with water, wet down the car, I don't think he even used soap. Used a brush or cloth that would not scratch the auto and then sprayed it clean. Very little waste. Sounds great - try it!
Old fashioned type here. I use water and soap and sponges. Why not? It's kills 99% of germs, I use this idea throughout my whole house with hot water. Why not kills 99% of germs. Be frugal. Why not settle for something everyone once used. A little bit of bleach in the toilet and tough stains, and rubbing alcohol for the mirrors, a little bit in luke warm water. If your hands are sensitive I suggest using gloves.
This is how I clean. Oh, soon I'm going to start buying sponges and rags instead of paper towels. I'm cheap lately. Good for the economical times.
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Since it's officially spring, I thought I would share this tip with you. We like to save some money on car washes by washing our vehicles at home. It is great fun for the family to get out the hose and wash the car together.
Instead of washing the car with the hose, buckets, or car wash and wasting so much water; fill 1/4 of a bucket with water, use a micro fibre cloth, wring out so it's nearly dry.