Valet Detail's staff of professional cleaners cajoles dirt from the exteriors and interiors of autos, motorcycles, aircraft, and marine vessels. Dust-busting techs scour vehicles with environmentally friendly products onsite and even offer on-location mobile services. When they aren't polishing sedans, techs lather up fleets of semi trucks, company SUVs, and horse-drawn shopping carts.
Trusting an auto detailer with your car may be a decision that requires a little research, but what about when Air Force One needs a cleaning? Mike Rafael and Tom Shearer, owners of Mr. Detail Auto Salon, joined a handpicked team of auto professionals chosen to detail the first presidential jet plane, now installed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
When they’re not scouring a piece of American history, they work out of the shop they started together, a joint venture based on their mutual love of cars. Their services range from simple hand washes, wheel polishes, and scuff removal to more involved processes such as paint-less dent removal and fuzzy-dice randomization. Mike and Tom lead a team as they work on cars both in the shop and out of their mobile unit, which is equipped with water and electricity so vehicles can be taken care of anywhere.
For more than 60 years, Elephant Car Wash has resided on the cutting edge of car-wash technology. Archie, Dean, and Eldon Anderson founded the car wash in 1951 when they invented a hands-free machine that could clean cars and never be penalized in soccer. Thirty years later, they sold their shops to Bob Haney, who replaced the car-wash tunnels' plastic bristles with hybrid-blend cloths and high-pressure water nozzles. Nowadays, Elephant Car Wash features computer-operated tunnels that can read pH levels of dirt and—at certain locations—touchless car-wash tunnels that use high-powered water jets and potent detergents only.
Rotating above all of this technological progress is the car wash's signature pink elephant, which doubles as a polestar for drivers who need their vehicles washed, waxed, vacuumed, or shampooed. The trained staff waits outside the full-service car wash with towels and stages a slew of a la carte services including trunk vacuuming and leather conditioning. Elephant Car Wash works with the Puget Sound Car Wash Association and the Charity Car Wash Program, two organizations that strive to keep pollution out of waterways and inside the coffee mugs of Darth Vader.
Mark Wagner has been working under the hood of international automobiles since 1972. After securing a master's degree in mechanical engineering in Germany, Wagner ferried both his family and his familiarity with foreign cars to America, where, today, he teams up with the ASE-certified techs in his repair shop. The factory-trained mechanics dole out everything from tune-ups to engine, brake, and transmission repairs. And all of their work is backed by a 15-month, 15,000-mile warranty that prevents cars from worrying about waking up and seeing their name in the classified pages.
Of all the tools at Mark’s Auto Detail, the staff probably relies on the water heater most. That’s because hot water is used during each of the detail shop’s hand washes—the foundation for several different tiered details that feature top-notch car-cleaning tools such as Aquapel, premium carnauba wax, and clay bars. Equipped with these resources, the staff tidies up cars, boats, and RVs. They also offer window tinting to keep out the sun’s rays, heat, and bad driving directions.