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.
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.
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.
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 staff at Cascade Auto Glass fits car frames with a meticulous process perfected during more than 750,000 windshield replacements, all adhering to Auto Glass Safety Council standards. Cascade's choice of top-quality urethane adhesives allows drivers to get back on the road sooner without sacrificing a reliable grip, and OEM-quality glass shares an identical structure, density, and love of parking-permit stickers as cars' factory-installed glass. A nationwide warranty stands behind the quality materials and workmanship of each service, and Cascade deals directly with insurance companies.