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  • Tips For Hosting a Car Wash Fundraiser

Hosting a car wash is a great way to raise funds. Plus, a car wash is a great way for members of your organization to get to know each other and have fun. A car wash fund raiser is particularly suited to teen school groups and organizations.

To host a car wash, you’ll need just a few items:


You’ll need access to hoses and a good water supply. This should preferably be in a concrete or asphalt parking lot, to minimize problems caused from the volume of water you’ll have. A parking lot on a street with a lot of traffic is the best location (perhaps a car dealer’s empty lot?), because it helps you to generate business. If you want to provide inside car cleaning, you’ll need electrical access for vacuum cleaners. Be sure to get appropriate permits if necessary.

Also – and you might find this surprising – there are many car wash facilities that are happy to loan out their facility on their off day to organizations that need to raise funds for a worthy cause. Check out several local car washes to see if they’re willing to work with you and what supplies or facilities they would actually make available to you.


You’ll also need car washing soap, rags, sponges, tire cleaner and window cleaner. All of these items can be purchased in bulk from your local warehouse store at a very reasonable price. Items like vacuum cleaners and hoses can be borrowed from organization members.

It's a car wash!


Advertise one or two weeks in advance and have a ‘Plan B’ for bad weather. Consider posting an ad in the local paper and the school paper if a school organization is hosting the event. You’ll also need signs for the day of the event, to attract passersby into your car wash. Tip: Selling ‘car wash vouchers’ ahead of the event is a very effective way to boost your fundraiser income.

You could also put an ‘environmentally friendly’ spin on your car wash fundraiser, by promising to use only environmentally friendly soaps and supplies.


Members of your organization can be on hand for the actual washing, rinsing and drying of cars. You’ll also need a few volunteers for collecting payment. Don’t forget to get change before the event, as lots of people will pay in cash.

Though some organizations offer a few different car wash options at different price ranges, it’s wise to have one price for one set of services. For example, for $10, your car is washed and rinsed, windows and tires are cleaned and the car is dried with a soft cloth. If you want an add on as a profit booster, charge another $5 for vacuuming the inside, if you have access to vacuum cleaners that can easily be moved around and that are OK around water, such as shop vacs.

A car wash fundraiser is a great spring project, and doesn’t require a lot of advance planning. Springtime is the perfect time of year, since the weather is nice and people are anxious to get their cars cleaned, particularly if you live in areas with high pollen. You’ll be amazed at how this fundraiser brings in profits and makes certain that your organization members have some good clean fun!

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