Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
On the corner of Washington Avenue and Heights Boulevard in the Heights, there’s a big blue building with a covered carport and a lot full of cars with all their doors open, this is Keep It Clean Carwash. Since 2004, Houstonians have been getting their cars hand-buffed by Keep It Clean team members. There are no big machines or drive-through sprayers here, it’s hand washing and detailing all the way. Customers can expect a wait on the weekends, when it seems like half of Houston is getting waxed and shampooed here, but they’re open every day except major holidays and during severe weather. Services range from a basic wash to show room detailing with leather treatments, rug shampooing and interior and exterior protectants.
Shannon's Auto Cleaning has been in the buff-and-wax business since 1980, and its technicians have left a decades-long parade of shiny cars behind them. To this day they continue to make cars look like new with full detailing services for both interiors and exteriors. Besides washing dirt and grime off the car's body, they can condition leather, spruce up seats, and shampoo carpets, leaving the vehicle looking as good as it did when it suckled its very first gas pump. And, for its customers convenience, Shannon's Auto Cleaning also offers pick-up and delivery services.
Regal Mobile Detailing's technicians wash, wax, and shampoo your car at your own home or office. As a mobile detailing company, they go wherever their clients are and show up with all the cleaning supplies and tools they need to remove dirt from car interiors and exteriors. Their detailing packages include washing, vacuuming, shampooing, and leather cleaning, plus Zamol waxing to give paint a glossy finish.
The staff of Red Tub Car Wash dislikes robots. With dystopian technology-filled futures in mind, they manually clean the nooks and crannies of vehicles. They wield air freshener, Wheel Brite, tire dressing, and hand mitts, grinning as gleaming rides roll away from the massive enclosed bay. In the waiting area, patrons use free WiFi to check work emails and post reviews of popular street signs.
It's not an illusion that the light looks much brighter at the end of BlueWave Express' tunnel. After all, a lot of dirt and grime has been removed from the windshield by the time the car and its driver emerge from the three-minute automated cleaning system, which aims to return vehicles to as close to showroom-quality appearance as possible. It takes 125 feet of conveyer belt and high-tech apparatus to achieve that goal. Cleaning foams, waxes, and ultra-soft cloths all work in tandem to remove debris, before purified water and powerful dryers leave cars with a spot-free shine.
The entire process should leave car owners with warm feelings in their own?carburetors?and not just because of their autos' fresh new gleam. BlueWave Express has a strong commitment to the environment as a certified water saver. The company uses eco-friendly products in addition to conserving water through a reclamation system.