The Straits Times: No water wasted – with local start-up’s green car wash
Griener Solutions launched their Grienwash waterless car wash service at 313@Somerset over the weekend.
The Straits Times reports.
No water wasted – with local start-up’s green car wash
The label ‘greenwash’ is a dirty word that strikes fear in many firms and invites scepticism from consumers.
It is used to describe marketing spin that makes false claims about a product’s green credentials.
But a local start-up has launched a service that it wants customers to know as precisely that – a green wash. It is a waterless car wash that saves tonnes of water using eco-friendly cleaning products. It does not leave behind foam, water or dirt on the floor.
Griener Solutions managing director Firdaus Iqbal named his car-washing service Grienwash because he wanted to ‘put a spin’ on the word for branding purposes.
‘If not, everyone will associate the company with greenwashing, when the opposite is true,’ he said.
Mr Iqbal, 29, started Griener a year ago after he developed an interest in environmental issues from reading about water shortages and droughts in different parts of the world.
He was flabbergasted to learn of communities where young children would have to walk for miles to get a drop of water. ‘I have a two-year-old son, and I realised how fortunate he is to have ready access to water and how scarce this resource is,’ he said.
Many research hours later, he stumbled on a waterless car-washing technology from the United States and decided that he could bring it here and help Singaporeans save water, while running a green business.
Grienwash was launched at eco-friendly mall 313@Somerset in Orchard Road on Saturday, after a week-long trial helped the firm gain more than 70 customers.
Mr Iqbal said more than 15 people were drawn to the service on its launch even though the rain had dampened crowd volumes.
Griener and its crew have a booth at the mall’s carpark where car owners can sign up for the service. Mr Iqbal, who had quit his job as an air steward to start the business, said his staff would explain the concept before cleaning the cars.
Customers will also learn that the average person wastes more than 400 litres of water while cleaning his car on his own, while the conventional car wash at petrol stations uses more than 120 litres per car.
The staff use a combination of products – made from natural ingredients that give it a smell similar to orange juice – to clean the car, using spray guns to cover surfaces with a mist that attacks the dirt, before wiping it off with an eco-friendly microfibre cloth.
The product is so effective it can also tackle difficult stains such as bird droppings, said Mr Iqbal.
It costs $15 for a standard sedan car, more if the vehicle is bigger. Green cars such as hybrid vehicles and those powered by compressed natural gas get a discount. While some customers think it is a reasonable price, there are others who say it is expensive as a conventional car wash costs only $6 said Mr Iqbal.
Griener Solutions is now in talks to roll out the same service at another eco-friendly mall, City Square Mall in Serangoon, and at other buildings such as hospitals.