In 1951, the first fully automatic car wash system became a reality in Seattle, WA. Opened by three brothers, Archie, Dean and Eldon Anderson, it revolutionized the way people washed their vehicles and created incredible investment opportunities for many entrepreneurs. There's something so magical about the standard modern car wash with its twinkling colored lights and thick, luxurious foam. Changing car models, heights and exterior additions, such as ventilation grilles on the top of vans, stimulated such adaptations.
Car washes can also be events where people pay for volunteers to wash their cars, often using less specialized equipment, as a method of raising money for some purpose. The professional car wash industry has made progress in reducing its environmental footprint, a trend that will continue to accelerate due to regulation and consumer demand. With a variety of car wash prices and options, the automatic car wash industry is customer driven down to the last detail. Until the first semi-automatic car wash made its debut in the United States in 1946, the entire wash was done by hand.
Dan Hanna, encouraged by car washers in Detroit, did his own car wash in 1955 called the Rub-a-Dub in Oregon. Fazio recalls that when he started in the industry in the early 80s, his father made him visit most of the country's car washes making more than 200,000 cars a year. So for the average car wash user, this all sounds pretty standard and car wash technologies haven't made any big strides. In the past, he says, an operator who had a slow day could have run every car through the wash slowly, while on a crowded day, he could have justified taking less time in each car because he was busy.
Some car washes even caused drivers to speed around a racetrack to remove any loose dirt that could shake off. These innovations, along with the car's top sprinkler system and pulley system, left the vehicles that visited them absolutely clean with no human effort involved. As it worked at Automated Laundry in 1914, a three-man team was pushing their vehicle through a tunnel making three stops. Like soft-touch car washes, contactless car washes are automated, and the vehicle goes through a tunnel where it is cleaned.