Wash Right

Wash Right: Keep wash water out of the street and storm drains  

What’s the Problem?

There’s no problem with washing your car, but it does matter how and where you choose to wash it. The average homeowner uses more than 100 gallons of water to wash a car. Dirty car wash water contains soap, grease, brake dust, oil, and dirt. Car washing in driveways sends all that dirty wash water into the nearest storm drain. From there, it’s a short trip to the nearest creek and Lake Washington.

 What Can We Do?

Wash your car at a commercial car wash: Commercial car washes recycle water and connect to the sewer system to clean dirty water.

Commercial Car Wash

At home: Keep water out of the street and storm drains. 

Wash on a Lawn or Gravel Area

Wash your car on a lawn or gravel area, where the dirty wash water will soak into the soil. Use chlorine and phosphate-free, biodegradable soap to wash your car. Even these soaps are harmful to aquatic life and water quality, so please use minimal soap.



Divert Water to a Landscaped Area

Can’t wash on the lawn but still want to wash at home? Use rolled up towels or sand bags to divert your wash water to your lawn or landscaping.