Eco-Friendly Wash - Four Ways to Get There and Save Money
By Ashley Halsey
As the term “eco-friendly” is being used more frequently, and more companies are looking into this trend, it’s not surprising to see that car wash companies are looking into this, too. Turns out, being responsible stewards of the environment also brings benefits to the bottom line.
Therefore, if you make the following four changes to your car wash, not only will you save money, but you’ll also earn money from eco-friendly customers who will use your service.
1. Reclaim Water
First, the million-dollar question: Why waste water when you can reclaim it? In fact, car wash operators have to pay for water more than once: first with a water bill, and then with a sewer bill (when getting rid of dirty water).
“In general, washing a car takes a lot of water,” says Mohammad Forster, a business writer at Writinity and Research Papers UK. “With about 30 to over 120 gallons of water per vehicle at a commercial car wash, water use can add up, thus plaguing car wash owners and operators with massive water and sewer bills.”
Installing a reclaim system can reduce car wash owners’ need to use city water, thus lowering their water and sewer bills.
A water study conducted in 2017 for the International Car Wash Association, found that conveyor car washes with reclaim systems used an average of 30 gallons of fresh water per vehicle. For in-bay automatics with reclaim systems, the average was 44.8 gallons.
“Also, be transparent about your water conservation, so that eco-friendly customers can rest assured that you care about their values, as they get their car washed at our facility,” adds Forster.
2. Reduce Electricity Usage
Electricity is how car washes are powered. As demand grows, so will the need for more power. Investing in energy-efficient equipment that can help you conserve is therefore imperative.
The use of variable frequency drives (VFDs) as motor control devices is one of the best ways for more effective use of energy to power motors in a car wash operation. “Installing VFDs allows companies to either turn up the power, or reduce it, depending on demand,” says Billy Cox, a green lifestyle blogger at Draft Beyond and Last Minute Writing.
3. Use Safer Chemicals
Steer clear of chemicals that contain unsafe ingredients — for example hydrofluoric acid (HF) and ammonium bi-fluoride (ABF). Such harsh chemicals are often corrosive and flammable; misusing them can lead to serious injury and even death. And, these chemicals can corrode car wash equipment, which can lead to high maintenance and replacement costs.
The good news is newer, eco-friendly car wash chemicals are available for car washes to use. Eco-friendly chemicals are noncorrosive, biodegradable, and nonflammable. They are much safer for customers’ cars, car wash employees, and car wash equipment.
4. Better Perception
Car washes have to appeal to everyone, including the eco-friendly crowd. With populations and technology growing over the last few decades, there’s already a need to be environmentally-conservative. And car washes are no exception to this change.
Recent studies have suggested that more and more customers are apt to go to an eco-friendly car wash rather than a less environmentally responsible alternative. So, along with installing or updating water saving devices and energy-efficient equipment and opting for noncorrosive, biodegradable chemicals, car wash owners need to cater to the sensitivities and preferences of consumers with ever-growing environmental concerns. Implement these changes,but also spread the word about what you are doing.
Being an eco-friendly car wash will not only attract more business —given that the world is now more environmentally conscious than ever before — but it will also save money on water and energy costs.