Inside Your Garage

Vehicle Maintenance
  • Service vehicles regularly to help prevent leaks and reduce emissions.
  • Use a professional car wash when possible.
  • When washing cars, use minimal amounts of biodegradable, phosphate free detergent. Keep in mind that biodegradable doesn't mean that the product is entirely pollutant-free. It simply means that it takes a shorter amount of time for that product to break down.
  • Wash cars on grass or gravel in order to allow the materials to filter through the vegetation or soil instead of running off yards, into gutters and down storm drains.
  • Use water efficient devices on garden hoses. Empty the soap bucket into the toilet or sink instead of streets and gutters.
  • Baking soda paste is a non-toxic substance which can be used to clean battery heads, cable clamps, and chrome. Add a mild, biodegradable dish washing soap to the paste to clean wheels and tires. White vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water works well for cleaning windows.
  • To keep air conditioning seals from cracking and leaking freon, run the air conditioner at least once every 2 weeks.
Disposal Practices
  • Never dispose of gasoline, used oil, or other automotive products in the gutters, storm drains, sinks or toilets. Take these products to a facility that recycles hazardous waste. For information about hazardous waste recycling, call Polk County Solid Waste at 863-284-4319.
  • Absorb any spills in the garage with kitty litter, sawdust or corn meal. Dispose of the materials from a small spill by placing them in a plastic bag and throwing them in the trash.
  • When buying a new car battery, take the old one to the retailer. Florida law requires retailers to accept them. Any local hazardous waste collection events will also take them.
  • Car wax and automotive fluids have long shelf lives. Store them in airtight containers and use them completely instead of disposing of them.