For three decades, Commack Hand Car Wash and Detail Center has broadcast a single mission from its red-and-white awning: 100% Hand Car Wash. Cars roll into tunnels where technicians spray, suds, and wash exteriors, applying tire protectant or wax to maintain the squeakiness for weeks to come. On the inside, vacuums ferret out grime from every upholstered crevice, and dashboards breathe free of dust. Commack's treatment ensures that delicate auto bodies have no physical contact with machines, reducing flashbacks of when they had to sit on Mechagodzilla's knee at Christmas.
Though jets of foam and spinning brushes are effective at removing the majority of grime from cars, it takes the gentle and precise attention of the human hand to render chassis completely clean. Centereach Hand Wash & Detail Center’s technicians lend their dexterous mitts toward each visitor’s auto as they towel dry mirrors, wipe down dashes, and discreetly pick mailboxes out of grills. The shop also offers detailing services, which include such amenities as leather conditioning and chrome polishing. Active for more than 45 years, the center’s recently remodeled home invites drivers in with refreshed facades and an interior viewing area stocked with automotive necessities.
The sounds of scrubbing, buffing, and contented vehicles gossiping about the bedside manner of gas-station attendants echo throughout Babylon Auto Detailing, Inc.'s 2,500-square-foot facility. Any vessel of land, sea, or sky—including motorcycles, boats, and airplanes—lucky enough to discover the shop will quickly find the paint-restoring detail clays, waxes, and carpet shampoo its little mechanical heart desires. Backed by a $2 million insurance policy and their own priceless experience, BAD's technicians gussy up all modes of transport with paint and body repairs, interior Scotchgard protection, and headlight restorations; they also delve into onsite electronics installations, window tinting, and motorcycle storage. So vehicle-friendly and encouraging is the staff that dealership autos, limousine fleets, and cars roughed up by packs of rogue Mardi Gras floats all seek solace at the shop's front door.
In 1981, lifelong Greenwich residents Mark Curtis and Chris Fisher traded in their business suits for sudsy sponges when they purchased Greenwich Car Wash. 13 years later, they renamed their business Splash to coincide with an innovative idea developed by the duo: wash the cars by hand while also using a conveyor to keep them moving rather than trying to coax them forward with candy. That approach was a huge hit, and soon, Splash began spinning off into additional locations.
Today, more than 15 Splash locations are peppered across the East Coast. What started as a humble two-man operation has grown into a franchise that employs more than 500 people and washes more than a million cars per year. At each location, cars receive the ultimate in pampering thanks to a list of services that includes hand washes, express washes, detailings, and oil changes. Despite such impressive growth, though, Splash remains true to its community-driven roots, working with more than 400 charitable organizations on an annual basis.
Outstretched red awnings beckon to dirt-caked automobiles at Bethpage Car Wash, inviting cars to cleanse their exteriors in a recently renovated and upgraded automated wash tunnel. After staff members vacuum and wipe down vehicle interiors, a conveyor lures cars into a gauntlet of blue and yellow arches that erupt with soapy water and Rain-X protectant. Tumbling neoprene brushes scrub away gunk as a computerized system apportions the right amount of soapy solution to each car's body, wheels, and built-in soap dispenser. After passing through blustery jet dryers, a fully stocked accessory section plies materialistic cars with mats, air fresheners, and wiper blades. During the week, Bethpage Car Wash maintains late-night hours until 10 p.m., helping cars clean up after rolling through late-night rendezvous or egging the principal’s RV.
Nominated by Long Island Press as one of the best local car washes of 2011, Cottage Car Wash grooms vehicles with extensive wash and indoor detail packages. During the 15-minute deluxe car wash, an exterior bath precedes a flurry of dirt-defying treatments including hot sealer wax, Black Magic tire shine, an undercarriage wash, Velocity clear-coat protectant, and Rain-X protectant. Technicians will also vacuum the interior and shampoo the front two floor mats. The complete detail package commences indoors with an exterior wash bolstered by a paint-pampering Clay Magic treatment. After applying compound and polish to awaken the paint from weather-beaten sleep, technicians slather on protective Carnauba paste wax fortified with Teflon, smear on a layer of hand glaze, and detail the rims to keep the wheels spinning shinily. On the inside, staffers steam clean carpets and upholstery, detail the dash and console, and treat the leather before sending the car off as clean and polished as an egomaniac's trophy case.