Car wash

Hertz and Enterprise are both cutting back on the water used to wash their rental fleets. (Sam Craft / Paris (Texas) News / April 8, 2009)

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Hertz and Enterprise, two of the world’s largest car rental companies, have both tried to win the hearts of environmentalists by offering customers all-electric vehicles.

Now both companies are going even greener by launching car-washing systems that use less water to keep their rentals looking new.

Hertz has begun to use a biodegradable spray solution that is wiped off with microfiber towels at 220 locations across the country. Next year, Hertz hopes to expand the program to all 3,700 locations in the U.S. and Europe, which it says will more than 130 million gallons of water annually.

Not to be outdone, Enterprise is expanding to its rental outlets in Hawaii and California a nontoxic washing system that is now only used in some New York and Boston locations. The system uses a highly concentrated cleaning solution that is also sprayed on the cars, reducing its carbon footprint by 95%, compared to traditional car-washing methods, according to the manufacturer.

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