Environmentally Friendly Car Wash Kits

Rain DrainThe City of Auburn offers car wash kits, which allow your organization to have a car wash event with minimal impact to the environment. These kits are easy to use and can be checked out free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please call the Community Development & Public Works department at 253-931-3010 and ask for our Car Wash Kit Coordinator.

Where to Get a Car Wash Kit?
To check out a free car wash kit, visit the City of Auburn Customer Service Center, located at 1 East Main ST, Second Floor.

Car Wash Kit Check Out/In

  • Kits may be checked out on Thursdays from Noon until 4:30 PM.
  • Kits are checked out on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Kits checked out must be returned on the following Monday between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

Car Wash Kit Site Conditions

City staff may need up to two (2) business days to review the site of your carwash, so please plan accordingly.

Certain site conditions are required for the kits to function properly:

  • The catch basin where the runoff will be collected must be the correct size for the kit to fit into.
  • There must be electricity available to run the pump.
  • There must be a sanitary sewer connection or sufficient vegetated area to receive the polluted water.

City staff will help you determine where kits may be used or you may contact our Car Wash Kit Coordinator for a list of pre-approved sites at 253-931-3010.

Why use it?
When a car is washed on a paved surface, like in a driveway or in a parking lot, the soap, detergent, automotive fluids, oil, heavy metals, and roadway dirt that are rinsed from the vehicle goes straight into nearby storm drains. Storm drains convey water to the nearest river or stream without treatment. This contaminated runoff, even runoff containing biodegradable soap, can cause significant harm to aquatic plant life, fish, and other animals.

How do they work?
Car wash kits work by pumping the polluted water, full of soap, grime, and oil, away from the storm drain and through a hose that connects to the sanitary sewer (via sanitary sewer clean out, toilet or sink). The sanitary sewer sends the dirty water to a water treatment plant, where the contaminated water is processed and the pollutants removed from the water. If a connection to the sanitary sewer is not possible, the wash water may be directed to a grassy or vegetated area for absorption into the ground. Using this kit helps to protect the quality of water in our community.

Fundraising Alternatives
Have you considered a charity car wash where you don't get wet, your event is not dependent on the weather, is environmentally friendly and you can sell more than one car wash per donor? Fundraisers can purchase redeemable car wash tickets that cost $1.50 - $2.50 each and can be resold for $5.00-$8.00. The tickets are customized with the name of your organization and are redeemable at various locations throughout the Puget Sound area (including locations in Auburn).

Additional Car Wash Fundraising ideas (PDF) 

For more information contact the Car Wash Kit Coordinator at 253-931-3010.