According to the International Car Wash Association, washing a car at home can use between 360 and 630 litres of water. A commercial car wash can use between 180 and 270 litres.
Added to the fact that South Africa is rated as the 30th driest country in the world and that only 3% of the world’s water is fresh, with 2% locked up in ice caps and glaciers, are the statistics that inspired the Eco Wash directors.
In conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch, they developed a new technology known as the Eco Wash Mobile Dispensing Unit.
The solution uses an internationally patented low-pressure system to spray biodegradable wash and wax products on to a car in a light mist. The dirt is lifted hydrostatically and encapsulated into the wax on contact, which is then removed using a damp micro-fibre cloth and a dry cloth to buff the remaining wax to a neat shine.
The unit uses just one litre of water to wash and polish a car. It is being used in more than 200 dealerships around the country.
“It is being used in high-end dealerships such as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and at BMW’s headquarters,” says Eco Wash chief executive Henry Wilkinson.
“Eco Wash has also recently been appointed the approved waterless car wash supplier at Shell South Africa, Total South Africa and Caltex South Africa. These companies are in the process of creating environmentally friendly car wash bays for their service stations.”
The organisation has developed a rental model to allow businesses access to the technology without significant capital outlay or increased running costs.