Car Washing

Residents often don’t realize that washing cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally unfriendly things we can do around the house. Soapy runoff from washing your car picks up pollutants and eventually makes its way to the river untreated via storm drains.

Choose a Commercial Car Wash Facility Instead!


  • Waste water is treated at a professional car wash facility
  • Federal laws require commercial car wash facilities to drain their waste water into sewer systems, where it gets treated
  • They use computer controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps that minimize water usage
  • Most recycle and re-use their rinse water

Wash at Home? Do it the Right Way! The Environmentally-Friendly Way!

  • Use biodegradable soap made for automotive parts
  • Or make your own car wash by mixing a couple tablespoons of eco-friendly dishwashing detergent with 3 gallons of water
  • Wash your car on your lawn instead of your driveway. The grass helps capture and filter the runoff
  • Use a hose with a nozzle to save water

Raise Funds for Your Organization with a River-Friendly Car Wash!

The Sacramento Stormwater Quality Partnership developed the River-Friendly Fundraiser Car Wash Program to provide guidance and help facilitate successful fundraiser carwashes while protecting local creeks and rivers from the pollution that can be carried in the wastewater from car washing activities.

Find a River-Friendly Car Wash Partner for your next fundraiser car wash.

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