Is It Illegal To Wash Your Car In California 2022?

One morning, you could wake up and be disgusted at the sight of your car. The dust that sits pretty on it clearly pisses you off but you’re not ready to take the car to the carwash yet because there’s just no convenient time for it or for you to add it to your schedule.

Then, a bright idea pops in your head to wash your car by yourself in your garage. While residents of other states in the US can casually do that, you should remember that you’re in California. Hence, there might be local laws that either prohibits or restricts you from washing your car.Is It Illegal To Wash Your Car In California

To avoid getting into trouble with the authorities, it would help to discover what the local laws say about DIY washing your car yourself. Curious to find out? Let’s dive in.

Is it illegal to wash your car in California 2022?

The fact that California has faced drought a few times, this might quickly make you wonder if it’s against the law to wash your car by yourself in California .

After all, every law that’ll be enacted would be fueled towards preventing water wastage. So, if you’ll water your yard, you had to be mindful of how much water you use. It can make you wonder if DIY washing your car in your garage is legal and that’s fine, we’ve got you covered.

So, is it illegal to wash your car in California ? The short answer is it depends and here’s why. Following the recurring drought in the whole of California, there’s been ban or restriction on residents washing their car at home.

The reason is, the Government of California devised water saving rules to help the country out of its drought season.

Depending on the state or city, the water saving rules varied. In places like San Jose, the government completely banned residents from washing their cars at home during period of draughts. But generally, residents were allowed to wash their cars at home but they had to use shutoff nozzles to manage water.

Nevertheless, when the country isn’t in the drought season, there’s usually no restriction on car washing. So, you won’t get into trouble with the law.

Can you get fined for washing your Car in California?

During the recurring drought, the Water Resources Control Board in California put certain water saving rules in place. However, they understood the fact that not all citizens of California are law abiding.

As a result, they devised a way to force residents into obeying the water saving rules set up by the Water Resources Control Board in California.

This rule imposed a fine of $500 in 2014. So, if you were caught watering your sidewalk or washing your car without the shut-off nozzle to manage water, you won’t be arrested, but you’ll be made to pay a fine of $500 to the state. Although it might seem cruel, but it was simply a measure to drastically reduce water wastage in California.

It was the government’s response to the citizen’s defiance to obey the water saving rule. After an audit, the government discovered that their plan to cut water use by 20% failed as citizens’ water consumption increased at an alarming rate, despite the drought.

However, since the drought ended, the fine is no longer valid. So, you most likely won’t get a fine if you’re caught washing your car in California.

Is it okay to wash your car in your driveway?

According to environmentalist, washing your car at the driveway is not ideal for two major reasons. The first one is, it is not ideal for the state’s water quality and it terrible affects wildlife in the river. Here’s what I mean. When you wash your car in your driveway, you wash off the soap, chemicals, gasoline, exhaust residue, etc.

As these factors begin to accumulate and find its way to the water ways, it pollutes local water, making it unhealthy for use. As it flows into the waterways, it doesn’t only affect you, it affects wildlife in the ocean.

It becomes toxic to life in the ocean. For starters, it affects their breathing, leading to their early death. It also exposes them to infection.

To save wildlife in the ocean, and reduce your negative impact on the environment, it’s best to take your car to an ecofriendly carwash that collects the water expelled in car washing, treats and reuses it.

Can you wash your car on a Public Road?

While you can decide to wash your car on public road, it’s best to ensure you don’t get caught by the police. If you do, you would be fined with fine fee ranging from $100 to $500.

For many reasons, washing your car on a Public road is bad. The dangers that tail this act is similar to washing your car on your driveway.

You’d wash off car residue that’s heavy with toxins and other harmful substances. When these residues are washed off, they flow to the local waterways, polluting the water in the process. You might think that doing it can’t negatively impact the waterways.

However, you should remember that there are others like you who do not have a problem washing their cars on public roads. Combine all the residues together and you’ll get enough toxins to pollute the waterways and make it unsafe for consumption.

More so, it would affect life in the ocean. It’s best to wash your car at the carwash where the water would be treated and reused.

Can you wash your car on your lawn?

Yes you can, and you should because your lawn/ grass is a permeable surface. Here’s what I mean- your grass will extract the pollutant from the water you wash your car with while allowing the rest of the water (that’s safe) flow into the waterways.

So, it’s perfectly fine to wash your car on your lawn. However, you should look out for the type of soap you use. The reason is, if you use the wrong type of soap, it could be harmful for your lawn, especially when the water disposed becomes too much.

So, if you’ll wash your car on the grass, ensure you do not use dish soap but soap that’s specifically designed for car washing. The reason is, these kind of soap weren’t produced with abrasive chemicals that could be harmful to your lawn,

unlike with dish washing soaps. So, it’s safe to wash your car on your lawn, but with car washing soap. It would protect your lawn and prevent the waterways from getting contaminated.

Is it bad to wash your car at home?

It is not entirely safe for you to wash your car at home- unless you know what you’re doing. The reason is, so many things could go wrong while you’re washing your car at home.

For starters, you could deploy dishwashing soap or detergent in washing your car. The impact of washing your car with the wrong soap includes peeling off the car wax and leaving terrible residues on the car. More so, you might wash your car under direct sunlight which is harmful for the car’s paint.

Do you need planning permission for Carwash?

If you want to start a carwash in California, you would need to get permission in the form of license. To get licensed, you’ll need to present some requirement.


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