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Saving Water When Washing Your Car

Here in Central Florida, we are currently under a "Level 4" watering ban which bans people from home car washing. A fine can be imposed, as a backyard car wash job can easily use from 3-5 gallons of water. 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.


First, we cleaned out the 2 1/2 gallon garden sprayer. Then poured in 1 pint white vinegar. Next, we added 1 gallon clean tap water. Mixed everything and we were ready to go! The trick is spray a small area at a time, and after one of us wiped in circular motions, the other followed with the other towel to absorb all the moisture remaining.

We cleaned from top to bottom, well actually, as I am 5 feet tall, my husband did the entire roof! But, we cleaned windows and the whole car body. I contemplated adding a squirt of dish washing liquid to make the solution "wetter" but chose not too as I didn't know if it would require more rinsing. The plain white vinegar and water solution worked beautifully.

We did not do the wheels and tires but perhaps we will include them next time. We did not use all the solution we had made. We did not "hose off" the car with either water before using our thrifty solution nor over wet each small area as we worked. By the way, our car had a hefty accumulation of road stuff on it as it had been about a month since it had been to the car wash in town. Happy thrifty car washing!

By Hamnurse from Thonotosassa, FL

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May 31, 20090 found this helpful

I am curious about how you managed to do this since you said there is a ban on water usage of this sort.

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June 7, 20090 found this helpful

Here's an idea. When you are taking a shower set a bucket in with you and collect some of the water from there. then save the water in containers until time to wash the car or water the lawn or house plants and use that water that you collected taking a shower. the water is basically clean and should do just fine. You will be surprised by how much water you will have to use for your various needs. Peace!

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