After a family outing last week, my car was severely disfigured by some large and unsolicited donations by avian creatures. Combined with a general layering of dirt so common in South Florida’s breezy and sandy (and road construction) air, my car was in dire need of a wash.
Now, it’s not like I let my car go unwashed all winter, I can easily go to the local car wash or find a corner of school kids with signs most of the year, but there are some things that are part of Americana; washing your car on your driveway is one of the classics.
Many years ago I was given a cool car washing aid with the “Mr. Clean” brand name. It attached to the hose and sprays water, soap and, coolest of all, water through a filter that lets it dry without spots. Yeah, I thought it was a gimmick, too, but what do you know, it works! So. I’m always looking for opportunities to use this thing and, trust me, having a black car in Florida provides plenty of opportunities to use it, overfed birds entirely optional.
Unfortunately, even when the temperature is not an obstacle (which, really, is only an issue for about 20 days a year), we have been in a prolonged drought/water conservation period due both to climactic changes and poor water management by the state. My personal imperative to help the planet (recycling, conserving, etc.) imposes a tremendous guilt complex on me that pushes me to the car wash shops (since they recycle their water).
Though the water levels remain alarmingly low, I allowed the fact that it had been at least half a year since I had washed my car myself, figuring I was “due”. I was also careful to judiciously spray the car and leave the hose (with its inevitable bit of dripping) in the grass to “save” the leaking water. The job was finished quickly, efficiently and effectively. My car looks great.
And, it rained for the first time in five weeks that evening. On the plus side, I think we got back all the water I used.