UAE motorists green choice: A cup of water to wash your car…

Or do you still need buckets? Sharjah crackdown on over-use of water raises eco-friendly choices

Sharjah is fining residents using illegal car washers, as well as any individual using excessive water when washing a car, or even a section of an apartment block.

A car owner using an illegal service can be fined Dh250.

Residents or watchmen washing a car, building, or entrance of a building can be fined Dh500.

One of the arguments behind the rule is that such methods result on excessive use of water.

But, how much water does a car wash require?

This totally depends on the method.

According to a graph prepared by Ecowashme, a car wash provider that washes your car with only 250 ml of water, it is the home wash that is guilty of the most excessive water use.

"If I wash my car in front of my house, I would use a hose to do so. I would not use a bucket," says S. Kumar, a Dubai resident, contemplating if the assumption is correct.

However, the do-it-yourself spirit is not likely to be found in the UAE and most people will opt for a car wash service.

According Ecowashme’s graph the manual car wash comes in second.

When seeing your car surrounded by water-sprouting equipment it is not hard to imagine that considerable water consumption is at stake.

But the consumption varies greatly.

Whereas one car wash uses 25 litres per saloon car and 35 for a four-wheel drive, some do not exceed 5 litres.
"We used to wash a car with 3-4 litres of water.

“Now we are applying the waterless car wash, which requires only 500ml of water per car," says the manager of Clean Car Services.

Eco-friendly car wash companies have sprung up during the last couple of years in the UAE.

With as little as a cup of water, these companies provide you a clean and shiny car.

However, price plays a role too. Regardless of the fines many people feel comfortable leaving their car in the hands of the old-fashioned bucket washer.

"I pay a monthly Dh100 to somebody who washes my car three times a week," says S. Kumar.

And the water consumption of the bucket washer takes an honorable second place, right behind the eco-friendly car wash.

“I use sometimes one, sometimes two buckets of water per car,” says a Sri Lankan expat who regularly washes cars to earn an extra buck.

“I use one bucket to soap the car, and then another one to rinse it. But, if the car is not very dirty, I only use one bucket.”
A watchman offering the service in his local neighborhood says he uses only one bucket per car wash.

Image via Shutterstock

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