No water – and clean cars
16 August 2011 | The Citizen
The new way to clean car fleets is without water, and the eco-friendly habit is spreading rapidly.
Leading motor dealerships throughout South Africa have traded in their hoses and are converting their wash bays to South Africa’s first mobile waterless car wash and wax.
Within the next few years the Eco Wash System could become a ubiquitous feature in every business where cars are being washed.
Through the installation of one mobile unit, a business is able to save up to 120 000 litres fresh potable water per month – and with no harm to the environment.
South Africa is a water stressed country and concrete action toward combating oncoming water shortage is desperately needed.
Scientists have warned that the country, with 98 percent of its surface water allocated for use, faces tough decisions as it becomes hotter and drier.
It is estimated car service facilities in South Africa discharge in excess of one billion litres of polluted water per day through their wash bays.
A traditional car wash will consume approximately 250 litres of water per wash, whereas the Eco Wash system uses between 200ml and 300ml of fluid.
“The only water used is the water to rinse the micro fibre cloths,” said Eco Wash business development manager Gary Formato.
“Dealerships have recorded up to 80 percent water saving.”
According to the International Environmental Protection Agency, cleaning a vehicle using soap and a water hose can waste up to 520 litres of water per car wash.
The dirt and debris stuck to an automobile’s surface can be a combination of soils, oils, grease and other polluting compounds.
The combination of dirty soap and excess water runoff resulting from a car wash can contaminate local soils and waterways.
Wilberry Eco Wash sought out new ways of permanently reducing water use without compromising the quality of the service being offered.
Instead of using fresh water to wash vehicles, a waterless alternative was developed using the unique Mobile Dispensing Unit (MDU).
A specially formulated carnauba wax product is sprayed onto a vehicle in a light mist spray, which lifts and encapsulates the dirt on contact.
The encapsulated dirt is removed with a micro fibre cloth without scratching the vehicle. The vehicle is then buffed to a shine.
Just one person operates a Mobile Dispensing Unit and the average time to wash a vehicle is 20 minutes.
The simple concept behind the Eco Mobile dispensing system is the fact that cars can be washed wherever they are parked. This eliminates the conventional wash bay system as no water or waste traps are required.
Vehicles can be cleaned prior to being serviced, saving in time and risk.
Auto dealerships are able to streamline their wash bays.
“Living sustainably becomes much more do-able when the solutions make sense and are readily accessible,” added Formato.
“Most people don’t realize that everyday activities, such as washing your car, can add up to a lot of water waste.
Jimmy Smith, divisional director of McCarthy Motors said after implementing the mobile units into dealerships the quality, productivity improvement and water saving improved sustainability by reducing water and pollution.
John Roberts, national service director of AMH Retail said his group have embraced the Eco Wash offering and had started the roll out of the Eco Wash system at all 38 dealerships.
“The quality of the wash, water saving and the convenience to wash wherever our cars are parked is of great benefit to us”, said Roberts.
Racing driver and chief executive officer of the SMD Group, Shaun Duminy, was enthusiastic after installing the mobile dispensing units at all his dealerships.
“We are committed to looking for ways to reduce our operational water usage to be in line with our water policies,” said Duminy.
“With the implementation of a number Eco Wash mobile units, we not only achieved this goal but financial savings and superior quality finish.”
The Eco Wash Mobile Dispensing unit was designed at Stellenbosch University and tested over a two year period.
Since its launch late 2010, Wilberry Eco Wash has installed the units at approximately 100 different locations.
These range from car rental companies, vehicle service centres, fitment centres, motor dealerships, shopping malls and car wash facilities.
“We are proud to have designed and developed a system that is being used by motor dealers such as Rolls Royce, McLaren, Aston Martin and all the other major dealers of leading brands,” says Formato.
To find out more about this innovative and cost effective car cleaning solution, contact Gary Formato on 082 372 4898 or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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