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Fundraiser Car Wash


Car Washing is not a team sport.

For many clubs and teams, car washing is a fundraising ritual. However, most people don’t realize that washing the grime off vehicles might actually be causing harm to our local waterways.

  • When cars are washed on hard surfaces like streets, parking lots or driveways, the wash water (including the soap, dirt, grease and other pollutants) drains into the storm drain system and flows directly into our streams, bay and ocean. These harmful chemicals pollute the water we swim in and harm aquatic life.
  • Establish a partnership with a commercial car wash facility and hold your event there.
  • Sell commercial car wash coupons as a fundraiser instead of holding a car wash.
  • Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners only.
  • Minimize water usage. Use a hose nozzle with flow restrictions to minimize water volume and runoff.
  • Wash on an area that absorbs water, such as gravel or grass. These surfaces can filter water before it enters local waterways. Avoid washing cars on concrete or asphalt pavement unless it drains into a vegetated area.
  • Many parking lots have storm drain grates or openings in the side of the curb called catch basins. Place plastic sheeting and then a heavy rubber mat over the grate or catch basin to prevent wash water from entering the storm drain system. Rolled up towels can be placed around the edge of the mat to increase its water tightness.
  • Use sandbags, rolled towels, hoses or other materials to divert the runoff to an area that absorbs water, such as gravel, or grass.
  • Always empty wash buckets into a sink, toilet or on a vegetated area.
  • Wring sponges and rags into a bucket instead of on the ground.
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