Minimum Water for Car Washing

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bob012345
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Due to the extreme drought, what is the minimum amount of water required to wash a small car such as a Corolla and how would you do it?
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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If you go to a car wash place (either the gas station automated things or self-service car washes), they generally recycle the water. It's more of a hassle than doing it at home, but "greener" during the drought.
 
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  • #3
bob012345
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If you go to a car wash place (either the gas station automated things or self-service car washes), they generally recycle the water. It's more of a hassle than doing it at home, but "greener" during the drought.
I could recycle the water by washing the car on my lawn.....
 
  • #4
berkeman
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I could recycle the water by washing the car on my lawn.....
Sort of, but your lawn may not like all of the soap (have you tasted it?) :smile:
 
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bob012345
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Sort of, but your lawn may not like all of the soap (have you tasted it?) :smile:
Is there a biodegradable soap that won't hurt the grass in small amounts?

As for tasting soap, yes actually. At the beginning of the pandemic I would come home and wash hands, face and even rinse out my mouth with soapy water then peroxide. Overkill I think now but I never got sick.
 
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  • #6
bob012345
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Well, it didn't taste that bad.

Anyway, My car washing idea is along the lines of two buckets, one soapy and one for rinse water. Giving the car more of a sponge bath. Surely, even the recycled water in a commercial car wash has to lose a gallon or two to evaporation off all the surfaces and ground? I think I could do at least as good. So, two gallons minimum?
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Overkill I think
LOL you think correctly. Did you clean everything you brought into the house? I did and that was a lot of work! Shopping was such a pain! But it made sense.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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If you go to a car wash place (either the gas station automated things or self-service car washes), they generally recycle the water. It's more of a hassle than doing it at home, but "greener" during the drought.

We have a brand new super-green car wash by my place and I LOVE it!
 
  • #9
DaveC426913
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On Rigel XII you don't need any water at all.

1626043273831.png
 
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  • #10
bob012345
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LOL you think correctly. Did you clean everything you brought into the house? I did and that was a lot of work! Shopping was such a pain! But it made sense.
Nah. At first I wiped the grocery packages down but after a while they said that wasn't necessary so I stopped.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Nah. At first I wiped the grocery packages down but after a while they said that wasn't necessary so I stopped.

When did they say it wasn't necessary? From what I read, that wasn't determined until fairly late in the game. I don't think I stopped until late last year when it was announced that most transmission was airborne.
 
  • #12
berkeman
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As for tasting soap, yes actually. At the beginning of the pandemic I would come home and wash hands, face and even rinse out my mouth with soapy water then peroxide.
Soapy water instead of diluted hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)? Did you read to do that somewhere? I've never heard that before...
 
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Couldn't you just pee on it a little every day?
 
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bob012345
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Soapy water instead of diluted hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)? Did you read to do that somewhere? I've never heard that before...
No, I didn't read that anywhere it was just my own paranoid cleansing ritual. Probably because I had heard experts say soapy water destroys the virus outer shell and renders it non-functional. I used a small amount of soapy water, then rinse and then followed with a swig of peroxide which is commonly used as an oral agent. I could have and should have just swigged with diluted peroxide.
 
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bob012345
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When did they say it wasn't necessary? From what I read, that wasn't determined until fairly late in the game. I don't think I stopped until late last year when it was announced that most transmission was airborne.
I heard Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss his views on CNN. Sure, it wasn't a study but it was enough for me.
 
  • #17
bob012345
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I did the experiment. I washed my car with less than one gallon of water! It required a lot of elbow grease in place of a lot of water. I then went overboard and gave it a final rinse, which it did not really need, with a whole gallon of clean water since I had already set it aside.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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I did the experiment. I washed my car with less than one gallon of water! It required a lot of elbow grease in place of a lot of water. I then went overboard and gave it a final rinse, which it did not really need, with a whole gallon of clean water since I had already set it aside.
Did the last gallon of clean water drip off clean or sudsy? I don't thin it is impossible to wash and rinse a car with two gallons of water and an extreme effort, but it would be very difficult.

Google tells me a car wash uses between 8 and 85 gallons per car depending on the water conservation features. From working on industrial washers of other things, I would expect that a modern car wash re-uses the rinse water as fresh/makeup for the wash water, and siphons an equal amount of wash water off to drain.
 
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berkeman
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I washed my car with less than one gallon of water! It required a lot of elbow grease in place of a lot of water.
And you most likely scratched up / de-shined your car's finish pretty seriously. Have a nice day.
 
  • #20
bob012345
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Did the last gallon of clean water drip off clean or sudsy? I don't thin it is impossible to wash and rinse a car with two gallons of water and an extreme effort, but it would be very difficult.

Google tells me a car wash uses between 8 and 85 gallons per car depending on the water conservation features. From working on industrial washers of other things, I would expect that a modern car wash re-uses the rinse water as fresh/makeup for the wash water, and siphons an equal amount of wash water off to drain.
Clean. I used very little soap, a few drops really.
 
  • #21
256bits
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Clean. I used very little soap, a few drops really.
Depends upon how dirty the car was to begin with.
One bucket of soap wash, with a bucket of rinse is fine as long as you haven't been playing in mud puddles.
Been there. Done that with a bucket of water or two.
The most difficult part was the running board area.

Anyways, if the vehicle ahead of you at an automatic car wash was playing in mud puddles, the grit from that vehicle gets attached to the 'mops' ( whatever they are called ) and ends up ruining your finish with scratches.

Safer to do it your way, or go to one of the coin operated sites with the pressure washer. You will end up using way less water than the automatic ones.
 
  • #22
ProfuselyQuarky
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My mate used a damp washcloth to clean his car every morning for about half a year when he bought his "dream car". Extremely inefficient and constantly subject to ridicule but the car was clean :smile:
 
  • #23
bob012345
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My mate used a damp washcloth to clean his car every morning for about half a year when he bought his "dream car". Extremely inefficient and constantly subject to ridicule but the car was clean :smile:
I used a smaller sponge so as to control how much water was soaked up so there was less runoff. Basically just like painting with a narrow brush instead of a wide brush. It takes more work.
 
  • #24
bob012345
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And you most likely scratched up / de-shined your car's finish pretty seriously. Have a nice day.
Elbow grease in the sense of hard work not hard physical rubbing. For me at my age and shape, going over the whole car with a smaller sponge to control water waste was a lot more work than if I used a big soapy sponge and a water hose.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elbow grease
 
  • #25
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While it's kind of sideways to the specific question I think the best approach to minimizing car washing water is simply to not wash the car very often. It's almost entirely a cosmetic thing.
 
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