It is possible to wash a car with one litre of water

19 Nov 2015 12:40pm
By Francois Lottering
WINDHOEK, 19 NOV (NAMPA) – With the water crisis in Windhoek prevailing and a bleak outlook for good rainfall this rainy season, the City of Windhoek is restricting the use of water.
One of these limitations is the banning of using hosepipes when washing cars.
Windhoek resident Alain Joubert says these water restrictions bothered him.
After some research and a few international calls, he came across a system that can wash a sedan car with less than one litre of water, as opposed to the between 10 and 50 litres normally used.
Presented with a reasonably dirty car, Joubert and his team of two helpers showed Nampa just how to clean the car with such little water.
He pours less than one litre of water into a bucket, and explains that the water will be used to wash and rinse the micro-fibre cloth used to wipe the dirt from the car.
Before any chemicals are applied onto the vehicle, a thin layer of mist is sprayed onto it with a pressure hose mounted on a backpack.
Joubert then takes from the backpack apparatus a transparent plastic bottle and sprays a thin layer of liquid chemical onto the car.
He explains that the water-soluble chemical and polish are the secret ingredients.
“Our product's secret is in the water-soluble wax. This wax solution lifts the dirt off the car's body and kind of cocoons (isolates) the dirt to prevent any scratches to the paintwork of the car.”
Could this product change the carwash industry in the near future?
Possibly, because the “Green-Machine” as patented in South Africa, could also bring about other savings in the form of time and keeping the environment safe.
“This means you can wash and wax the car in half the time a conventional carwash does it,” Joubert said, adding that the cleaning chemicals used are harmless and can be disposed of in the garden without harming plants.
Another benefit of this system is that it does not damage the road or paved infrastructure the car is being washed on because there are no run-offs (water running down the car).
Since there is very little water wasted and no run-offs, Joubert and his team can wash vehicles in private and public spaces.
This revolutionary car-wash back-pack is not a new invention. Joubert says the franchise is quite old, but is now more important than ever with water saving restrictions imposed by the municipality.
The monetary value of the machine can thus not be compared to the amount of water saved - precious water in times of drought.
The only drawback is that the water is too little to wash the underbody or engine of the vehicle.
However, the few mud or dirt spots underneath the car are nothing serious.
Meanwhile, two major car wash businesses in town could not provide exact figures on how much water each uses to wash one car, saying the water usage depends on how big and dirty the vehicle is. They did, however, express an interest in the virtually waterless car wash machine, especially since it promises to cut costs.
City of Windhoek (CoW) spokesperson Joshua Amukugo said earlier this month that residents of Windhoek have not reached the target of saving 25 per cent of water consumed as planned by the municipal authority.
He said last month, residents in fact used more water than expected. Water consumption was 12.5 per cent over the target, while in September it was about 22 per cent over the target.