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.
A pair of husband and wife teams preside over Texas Splish Splash Hand Car Wash's original Webster and brand new Pearland locations. At the base of a comprehensive service menu, lamb's mitts buff out scratch-free shines and lull restless cars to sleep. By-hand detailing services ranging from window cleaning and carnauba wax to paint restoration and tar removal help customers thwart the damaging swirls of machine-wash procedures. Rain-X products and air fresheners cap off services to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and RVs, and the Pearland location's stocked snack area caps off satisfied customers with coffee, sodas, and empty cups with toupee tape.
Over the last 20 years, Classy Chassis Car Wash's clientele has morphed from '92 Mustangs to 2012 hybrids. But no matter the make, model, or year of the vehicles that roll onto the lot, Chassis's staff of technicians and detailers stick to a consistent formula of washing, waxing, and shampooing cars in order to keep them pristine. A slate of wash packages incorporates rinses, tunnel waxes, and tire shines in the pursuit of that perfect gleaming finish. On the detailing end, technicians coax a blinding shine from the exterior with high-speed buffers, gild the newly minted colors in paint sealants, and soak the upholstery in shampoos. Even engines can join in on the fun as they get a wash and shine to impress mechanics and inspire pistons to incorporate graceful dance moves into their mechanical repertoire.
Bubbles Express Wash swiftly gussies up sullied buggies with the three-minute Supreme Combo Express wash. The fully automated process begins with a wash, rinse, and dry, before your buggy's formerly spotted pelt is refeathered with tri-color polish, clear-coat wax, and a fast-drying agent. Wheels receive a tread-tickling scrub and high-gloss shine, and the auto's underbelly is showered and bolstered with a rust- and gremlin-repelling shield. Lastly, Rain Protection Plus is lovingly lacquered onto your ride, bringing a gleam to newly cleaned carriages while silently protesting Mother Nature's refusal to comply with "say it don't spray it" ordinances.