Did you know washing your car on pavement will send detergents directly into storm drain systems? It’s actually better to use a commercial car wash to prevent oil and grease, and other toxics from washing into our storm drains and enter Lake Champlain untreated! At home, vehicles should be washed on the lawn, which can absorb unwanted runoff.

When fertilizer is over-applied to any landscape it is often washed into our waterways during storms via stormwater runoff. The nutrient rich stormwater enters our waterways like Lake Champlain untreated and if levels reach excess amounts can cause blue-green algae blooms or other water quality issues.

Avoid polluting the lake when you clean your car

There are simple practices to follow to avoid adding pollutants to the lake.

  • Avoid hosing down your garage floor and driveway; instead, sweep regularly.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products. A water and baking soda mixture works great on removing corrosion from battery terminals and cleaning chrome; mix the soda with a mild, biodegradable dishwashing soap to clean wheels and tires.
  • Use a mixture of white vinegar or lemon juice with water can be used to clean windows.
  • Be sure to repair any fluid leaks in your vehicle and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.

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