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GPP13 - Vehicle washing and cleaning

This guidance is for businesses that wash vehicles, and for anyone who washes vehicles as part of a business activity. It does not apply to householders washing their own cars. 

This guidance covers vehicle washing and cleaning by all methods, including:

  • automatic wash systems
  • washing by hand
  • using high pressure or steam cleaners

at all sites including:

  • retail premises
  • business and industrial premises
  • public and private car parks
  • former petrol filling stations

This guidance also applies to washing and cleaning plant, machinery, equipment and boats as the principles are generally the same.

Section 3.6 Pollution Incident Response Plan states:

" train staff in how to deal with a spill or other incident on site."

You should keep a spill kit with suitable materials close to where a risk of pollution exists. Make sure the absorbent materials are appropriate for the liquids other substances that could be spilled, such as detergents or other cleaning chemicals.

Section 3.7 Vehicle maintenance areas and body shops states:

Spills should be mopped up with absorbents if possible to reduce the contamination of any runoff. Oil soaked rags or absorbents must be disposed of as hazardous/special waste.

Section 5 Chemical Storage states:

Keep spill kits close to your storage areas with absorbent materials that are appropriate to the materials stored. Make sure your staff know how to use them.


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