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.
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.
The littlest things can make all the difference, especially in the world of auto detailing. Harsh soaps and shampoos, even the wrong type of towel or brush, can destroy a car’s paint, strip it of its wax, or create unsightly swirls and chalky crime-scene outlines of dead bugs. Since 1978, Jim’s Detail Shop has given customers peace of mind by using the safest wash products and accessories available during its detailing packages. And the team doesn’t just hand wash, wax, and dress exteriors; they also sweep insides with vacuum cleaners and carpet shampooers, and thwart UV rays with window tinting, backed by a lifetime warranty.
Mutual Detail has spruced up Seattle rides since 1998. An array of interior and exterior wash and detail packages treat cars to hand washes, chamois drying, vacuums, and luxe add-ons such as waxes, tire dressing, and polish, which, depending on cars’ paint color, is applied by hand, machine, or telekinesis. In addition to its detailing packages, Mutual Detail also offers a la carte services such as wheel polishing, engine steam cleaning, and leather conditioning. They also use Optima Steam Clean Technology: an eco-friendly system that eschews chemicals and only needs 1.5–2.5 gallons of water to clean, sanitize, and deodorize cars.
The auto technicians at Derek's Auto Detail & Hand Car Wash revitalize vehicles with full-service scrubbings both inside and out. They clean cars from roof to tire with myriad services, all of which include hand washes. The team thoroughly scours interiors with vacuums, and treats exteriors to wax and window cleanings that make panes as transparent as a toddler with truth-serum-spiked juice. Additionally, the auto aestheticians at Derek's offer specialized services such as enzyme-and-odor treatment and conditioning for leather seats and trim.