How to Start a Mobile Waterless Car Wash Busines

Mobile waterless car wash businesses help vehicles to stay cleaner without harming the environment

Starting a mobile waterless car wash business allows you to focus on helping the environment and putting money in your pocket at the same time by cleaning cars. Mobile waterless car wash businesses service individual drivers, industries, auto showrooms, automotive repair centers and companies such as taxi and limo services. If you choose to be a part of this exciting business, you can grow your business as your customer base expands and create a fleet of waterless car wash vehicles that travel around your service area.


Study other car wash companies in your area. Determine the number of car wash companies in your immediate area. Know the number of companies that use water and those that are waterless because both types will be competition for you. Consider taking your car to these competitors to test the quality of their car wash services. Find out their rates and create a list of services that have lower prices. Add any other services you think might be marketable.2

Find a supplier. Search for a source of waterless car wash products that are organic and biodegradable so you do less harm to the environment. Use these “green” products on your own car first to ensure the products do the job they claim to be able to do. Select a supplier with products that have earned certification from the Environmental Protection Agency as environmentally friendly. You will need products to clean the windows, rims, tires, solutions to treat the interior seating of the car and organic bug-removing products. Be sure to purchase a quality air-freshener to spray in the car after cleaning.

Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, clean and has a banner displaying your company information on the side to advertise your business. Remember you will be operating a business, so you need to present a professional appearance. Consider purchasing shirts with the name of your business on the front and back of the shirt and pants that are the same color as your shirt.
Market your business. Tell your friends, family and neighbors you are starting a mobile waterless car wash business. Let them know they will get a 50 percent discount off normal rates if they send you one client.

Eco Friendly Car Wash…things you dont know

Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, what runs off from your car goes right into storm drains — and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. After all, that water is loaded with a witch’s brew of gasoline, oil and residues from exhaust fumes — as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself.

Commercial Car Washes Treat Waste Water
On the other hand, federal laws in both the U.S. and Canada require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors. And commercial car washes use computer controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps that minimize water usage. Many also recycle and re-use the rinse water.

The International Carwash Association, an industry group representing commercial car wash companies, reports that automatic car washes use less than half the water of even the most careful home car washer. According to one report, washing a car at home typically uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water, while a commercial car wash averages less than 45 gallons per car.

Think Green When Washing Your Car
If you must wash your car at home, choose a biodegradable soap specifically formulated for automotive parts, such as Simple Green’s Car Wash or Gliptone’s Wash ‘n Glow. Or you can make your own biodegradable car wash by mixing one cup of liquid dishwashing detergent and 3/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent (each should be chlorine- and phosphate-free and non-petroleum-based) with three gallons of water. This concentrate can then be used sparingly with water over exterior car surfaces.

Even when using green-friendly cleaners, it is better to avoid the driveway and instead wash your car on your lawn or over dirt so that the toxic waste water can be absorbed and neutralized in soil instead of flowing directly into storm drains or open water bodies. Also, try to sop up or disperse those sudsy puddles that remain after you’re done. They contain toxic residues and can tempt thirsty animals.

Waterless Car Wash Products are Good for Small Jobs
One way to avoid such problems altogether is to wash your car using any number of waterless formulas available, which are especially handy for spot cleaning and are applied via spray bottle and then wiped off with a cloth. Freedom Waterless Car Wash is a leading product in this growing field.

A Better Car Wash Option for Fundraising
One last caution: Kids and parents planning a fundraising car wash event should know that they might be violating clean water laws if run-off is not contained and disposed of properly. Washington’s Puget Sound Carwash Association, for one, allows fund-raisers to sell tickets redeemable at local car washes, enabling the organizations to still make money while keeping dry and keeping local waterways clean.

Top 6 Green Tips for Apartment Dwellers

070708greenandgreener02.jpgWe asked Alegre Ramos (LEED AP and Allied Member ASID), owner of Green and Greener, an “Eco-Living General Store and Design Center” in Valley Village to share her best tips for green living for those of us who dwell in apartments…

Top 6 Green Tips for Apartment Dwellers

Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL’s): You’ve heard it before and here it is again about CFL’s. The most important thing we need to do right now with regards to the environment is to reduce our carbon footprint. While solar panels and electric cars are FANTASTIC there are also less cash intensive ways to make a real impact. These include changing out any incandescent light bulbs to CFL bulbs. CFL’s are more efficient at changing energy to light so they use about 75% less energy for the same light output. They also last much longer than traditional light bulbs and so you reduce waste and energy consumption by using it longer. Be sure to dispose of them properly. In Los Angeles that means taking them to your local SAFE center

Cut “Phantom Loads”: Many appliances use electricity even when they are off. Asmart surge protector ends that. Save money AND save the environment.

Get your apartment/condo/townhouse to recycle: In Los Angeles, the city just recently began offering recycling for multi-unit dwellings. To sign your residence up visit

Insulate with Blown Cellulose (paper): Insulation keeps your home cooler or warmer reducing the impact on your HVAC system. It also sound proofs a space. The beauty of blown cellulose insulation is that it can be done after construction has already occurred. With just a little bit of patching, you can’t even tell anything was done (see photos here). Also, blown cellulose becomes highly compacted in the walls (because it is blown in) giving you a higher insulation value (R-value) than batting (rolled) insulation, and because it is treated with boric acid it is also a pest deterrent and a fire retardant. Finally, blown cellulose insulation is usually 100% post consumer waste and is very cost effective to install. Not all cellulose insulation is created equal though, so make sure the product is coming from a good company…and if you have a landlord, be sure to check with them before embarking on this.

Beautify with fabric: A lot of times painting the walls, an easy way to perk up a place, are off-limits to those renting. In that case, textiles can do a lot to add color and visual interest to an interior without permanent changes. We recommend using organic bed linens or textiles.

Wash Your Car Without Water: Most apartment dwellers are not able to wash their own cars at their apartments…which is good because you don’t want any harsh, not-earth-friendly detergents washing down the storm drains and into the ocean where it will contaminate beaches and lead to algae blooms (car washes are at least required to catch their run-off and direct it to sewage treatment plants.) But now there is a no-water car wash option that you can do yourself!

070708greenandgreener01.jpgAlegre Ramos is a Green Living Expert and LEED AP Interior Designer living in Encino, CA. She is the founder/owner of eco-living general store and design centerGreen and Greener. G&G offers a 10% off “no-driving” discount on in-store purchases.



Ten Ways To Save The Planet Without Losing Your Mind

Check back every Monday for more ways to incorporate living green into your everyday life!

Going Green may seem overwhelming at times. You may think if you don’t go all the way why bother. But every little thing you do, does count. Don’t think that you have to have solar panels on your house to make a difference. Here are some small things you can do to help save the planet:

  1. Going to the car wash. Professional car washes are often more efficient with water use. They also dispose of the water properly, while when you wash your car at home metal and other toxic chemicals are washed in to the sewer and end up in our water ways. For a bigger impact use a waterless car wash like Eco Touch.
  2. Bring your own mug. Reusable mugs keep your drink warm longer, while saving a lot of waste. Most coffee shops will happily refill your mug and some even offer discounts. For a bigger impact only buy coffee at shops that use fair trade coffee.
  3. Skip the coffee stirrer. Americans throw away over 138 billion straws and stirrers. Put your sugar and cream in first and the coffee will stir itself. For a bigger impact skip straws in your soda. If you need the straw switch to glass or stainless stain straws.
  4. Be kind when you kill. Use vinegar to kill weeds. It will save you money and won’t hurt the environment or any pets or people. For a bigger impact skip fertilizer and just let your normal clippings do the work.
  5. Recycle those wire hangers. Wire hangers are almost always steel, which is not recycled by all recycling programs. Most dry cleaners will take them back. For a bigger impact buy hangers made from recycled plastic or other sustainable materials.
  6. Stop your junk mail. On average each American gets 40 pounds of junk mail each year. Services like Green Dimes will help you stop your junk mail. For a bigger impact stop receiving phone books and start using online directories to find phone numbers.
  7. Give it away. Before you throw something away, stop and think if someone else could use it. Either donate it or use a site For a bigger impact if you can’t donate it find a way to reuse it in a craft or in some other way.
  8. Only wash full loads. You use the same energy and water to wash one shirt as you will to wash a whole load. You will save money on electric and water bills. For a bigger impact wash everything in cold or warm water.
  9. Skip the receipt at the ATM. It would save a roll of paper more than 2 billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times. For a bigger impact pay bills online. If everyone would pay online we could save around 18.5 million trees a year!
  10. Download your software. Software is often available for download. It will save you space and a lot of cds and packaging waste. For a bigger impact download your music from iTunes or similar sites.

Water works: rainfall alone won’t keep your car totally clean

SelfwashBrown Bear Car Wash attendant Gerry Saulsman, 78, washes his wife’s car for her at the self-service station where he works.

Summer may be right around the corner, but as any seasoned Seattleite knows, there are plenty of dank days throughout the spring months that could have been yanked straight out of February. That’s why automotive experts say we shouldn’t wait to wash our cars. If they survived the winter on rain baths alone, they probably need some TLC now more than ever.

“Even in the areas that are really rainy, what people sometimes forget is that while the rain might come through and rinse off your car a little bit, what the rain really does is make the car more susceptible to picking up all the petroleum chemicals and road grime that’s on the street,” says Eric Wulf, executive director of the International Carwash Association.

The Seattle area has several options for keeping cars spic ‘n’ span, from do-it-yourself to do-nothing-but-sit.

Want to do it yourself?
  • Remember to park on grass or dirt so that the runoff doesn’t end up in the Puget Sound. And use a specially formulated cleaner. Here are some picks:
  • Eagle One NanoWash & Wax A car-wash soap with the wax built right in. Available at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and auto supply stores
  • DuduiTpro A waterless option that is non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free. Available at and
  • Foamtek Waterless Wash & WaxAnother waterless product; it liquefies dirt when it’s sprayed on. Available at
  • Gliptone Wash N Glow and Emerald Clean Degreaser A biodegradable cleaner; the degreaser works on interior and exterior spots. Available at and
  • Simple Green Car Wash A gentle and biodegradable cleaner. Available at Wal-Mart, hardware stores and auto supply stores

The best bets for effectiveness, economy and convenience combined are the professional wash facilities that offer self- and full-service washes. This is where you’ll get the right types of detergents, great water pressure and proper wastewater disposal that won’t harm the fishes.

One local favorite is the environmentally friendly Brown Bear Car Wash ( Its self-service stations are equipped with vacuums, high-pressure hoses, foaming brushes and wax treatments. They even seasonally adjust the water temperature and solution strength to cut through winter dirt.

Brown Bear’s most popular option in the wetter months, says founder Victor Odermat, is the full-service tunnel washes that don’t require you to leave the cover of your car. A single wash costs $10-$15, depending on the package.

Costco ( sells five-wash cards of Brown Bear’s premium wash for $39.99. Costco’s Sodo location also has an on-site tunnel wash, but doesn’t have vacuums.

If you want to baby your car, treat it to a hand wash at Derek’s Auto Detail ( The workers get into every nook and cranny, performing services such as vacuuming the interior, washing the windows and wiping down the dash and consoles. Cost ranges from $15-$45, depending the level of service and size of your car. “We also suggest you get a good coat of wax, says owner Derek Henthorn. “That makes it easier to wash it again.”


As someone who really cares about his vehicles, I’m always looking for the latest in car care products. Recently, a company called Eco Touch sent me samples of three of their car care products. With a name like Eco Touch, if you’re guessing they’re environmentally minded, you’d be correct. In fact, on the company’s website, they state they manufacture high-performance car-care products with minimal impact on the environment through the product’s life cycle. Hey, I’m all for products that minimize impact on the planet. So can you have an environmentally friendlier product that actually works well? There’s only one way to find out.

First I tried the Tire Shine on my Suzuki Sidekick’s 235/75/15 BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. I’m not a fan of glossy, wet-looking tire products. Thankfully, weduit Renovator (applied with one of their applicators) offered up a low-gloss look—just what I like. The product did a nice job cleaning up the tires, taking away the tire’s brown, dry look and giving the tires a freshly cleaned appearance. By the way, the tires maintained their clean look for days after the application.

Next, I hit up the wheels with Wheel, which did a great job making my chrome wheels gleam. Plus, this product can be used on household items, too—great considering we’ve got two stainless-steel garbage cans that often need cleaning.

Lastly, I gave the  DuduiTpro a shot on some tar splats located on my white Yaris’ fenders. I’m happy to report weduit’s product make short work of the tar. Yes, it takes a bit of elbow grease to get the tar off, but the product did the job well. It worked well on bug guts, miscellaneous road grime, and other greasy bits, too.

Yes, this post might sound a bit like an infomercial, but I wouldn’t write about a product if I didn’t think it was worth writing about. And to come across a product that works well and isn’t made from harsh chemicals is a good thing. I think if you check out these products, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion.