Car Washing Tips

  • Hosting a car wash? 

    Request a free fish-friendly car wash kit and receive a $25 contribution to your school or club. Protect local streams by keeping grease and detergents out of storm drains. 

    Fish-friendly car washing brochure

    Fish-friendly kit and instructions

    • Kits are free for loan from Gresham City Hall at 1333 NW Eastman Parkway.
    • To reserve your kit, call 503-618-2522 at least five days in advance.

      When you call, ask how to get a $25 contribution to your school or nonprofit. The kit must be used at one of these approved sites. Groups are responsible for getting permission and reserving a date with the manager of the business.
    • Jack in the Box, 25678 SE Stark; 503-674-8107
    • Les Schwab, 390 NE Burnside Road; 503-666-9496
    • Firestone, 2105 NE Burnside Road; 503-666-3609
    • Gresham City Hall, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway; 503-618-2657

    Car wash tips

    • At home
    • At a commercial car wash
    At home
    • “Only Rain in the Drain”: Keep wash water out of the street and away from storm drains. Even biodegradable cleaners are harmful to fish and streams.
    • Wash your car over the lawn with biodegradable, ammonia-free soap. The soil will help filter soap and grease.
    • Empty dirty car wash water onto the lawn or into a sink or tub.
    • Avoid harsh chemical products such as chrome cleaners and degreasers (visit commercial car wash for detailing work).
    • Sweep the driveway instead of hosing it off to help keep dirt and pollutants from being washed into creeks.

      At a commercial car wash
      • A commercial car wash uses water efficiently and captures and treats wash water.
      • Be sure the soap is non-caustic and formulated for cars.
      • Tire treatment services effectively remove heavy grease and baked on brake dust. Paying for tire service prevents toxic chemicals from entering drains that go to a wastewater treatment plant.   
      • Look for brushless systems that will not scratch your paint.
      • Find an EcoBiz certified car wash in Gresham and surrounding areas.  These businesses exceed industry best practices, using less toxic cleaning cleaning products.