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

Sharjah crackdown on over-use of water raises eco-friendly choices.

Sharjah Municipality is fining residents who are using illegal car washers. They are also fining individuals who are using excessive water when washing a car, or a section of their apartment block or villa.

A car owner using an illegal service can be fined AED 250. Residents or watchmen washing a car, building, or entrance of a building can be fined AED 500. One of the arguments behind the rule is that such methods result in excessive use of water.

But, how much water is required for a car wash? 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 to 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 honourable 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 neighbourhood says he uses only one bucket per car wash.


Do you feel Sharjah Municipality has taken the right step towards saving our precious resource? Leave your comments below.


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