Back in the day, we used to drive our car over to our parent's house when we wanted to wash it.
We'd park it on the driveway, hose it down, then use all of Dad's fancy car-washing toys to make it shine. We didn't do it all that often, so we didn't worry about the water running down the driveway into the gutter (not to mention the nasty cleaning solution -- but that's for another post). We were naive. As California stares down the first official drought in the last 20 years, we realize that every drop counts.
Now, we live too far from our parent's to drive over for the monthly car wash. Instead, we head over to Kaady Carwash (it's one of the drive-thru variety). Man, those things seem to use a lot of water.
But wait! According to a report we heard on NPR this morning, a lot of those drive-thru washes, or touchless washes, reuse their water. Yeah, all that water that washes your car is captured, filtered and used on the next car -- what can't be salvaged is sent on to a local water treatment plant.
That's cool. So, until you can figure out a way to reuse your own personal car wash water, we'd recommend asking your local car wash if they reclaim their own water. If they do, that's definitely your best bet.
Here are some facts from Kaady:
Home car wash = 80 - 140 gallons
Kaady Car Wash = 30 - 45 gallons
image via Kaady