How to be water conscious while keeping your car clean

In case you weren’t already aware, here’s a friendly reminder that there are currently water restrictions in place for most states and territories across Australia.

These restrictions may change how you currently use water, especially when wanting to wash your car.

What water restrictions are in place?

For a quick refresher, here’s what the Bureau of Meteorology currently states for all the capital cities. If you need to know what these restrictions mean, click here to find out how these could change how you use water.




Water Restrictions Level 1


Permanent Water Savings Rules


No restrictions


Area 3 waters days


Water Wise Measures


No restrictions


Permanent Water Conservation Measures


No restrictions

Up to date as at 4 September, 2019.

What are the rules for washing your car?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use a bucket for the water
  • Use high pressure cleaning equipment
  • Use a hose that has a trigger nozzle
  • Best practice to wash before 10am or after 4pm

Here’s what you can’t do:

  • Leave a hose or tap on and unattended
  • Wash your car with a hose without a trigger nozzle
  • Wash your car on a hard surface, unless it’s the only safe option (best practice)

How to keep your car clean during water restrictions

Stick to the shade

Water evaporates quite quickly when it’s in direct sunlight. Washing your car under the shade can help with evaporation and give you a little more time to get scrubbing. Not only can it decrease the amount of water used, but also keeps your car cool to avoid patchy drying and very hot windscreens coming into contact with very cold water causing a very large and expensive crack (believe me, I’m telling you from experience unfortunately).

Wash on the grass

You’ll have to wash your car on grass to stick with the water restrictions in place (if they’re enforced in your area). However, finding a grassy area for the water to drip onto still has its benefits at the same time, rather than letting it run into the drains.

Don’t skip the polish and wax

Polishing your car will help to remove any remaining dirt and grease as well as help with any smaller scratches. Waxing then helps to add a layer of shine and protection to your car’s paint. It can help with repelling dust and dirt, possibly allowing you to go longer between washes.

Recruit helpers

Get your friends and family involved to speed up the process. Not only could a faster car washing job save on some water, but you can also knock out quite a few cars in a shorter period of time.

Consider a waterless wash

 You may have never heard of such products, but surprisingly there are many waterless car cleaners out on the market. All you need is a very damp microfiber cloth and your product. Just follow the instructions on the cleaning product and you’ve barely used any water at all.

Go to a car washing place

When all else fails (not that it should), you could always visit a DIY car washing place and use their equipment. Better yet, you can go to a professional car wash and sip on a coffee while they use their industrial equipment to clean your car in no time.

It can make a significant difference if we all can reduce our water usage, starting with how we choose to clean our car. We hope our tips helped to inspire you to think about how you’re using water.

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