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.
As a member of WaterSavers, a program that recognizes and celebrates car washes that follow eco-friendly practices, Quick Quack Car Wash upholds its pledge to the environment by using only 8 gallons of water, biodegradable shampoos, and acid-free, non-corrosive cleaning products for each wash. Cars can typically traverse the brushless wash in 5–15 minutes, leaving ample time to revel in the attention of soft cloths, undercarriage flushes, and Rain-X treatments that repel moisture accumulation and championship-worthy Gatorade bombings. Quick Quack's 48-hour rain check promises cars a free wash if it rains within 48 hours of their last visit. It also opens its services to community fundraising events.
BlueWave Express' car-wash system delicately transforms automobiles from dingy to dazzling through meticulous cleansings. During the Ultimate Wave road warriors get a soapy wash with a soft cloth, a spot-free rinse, and a moisture-zapping dry. A double-bond sealant with teflon protects paint for up to 30 days, and a tire dressing makes wheels more appealing to picky eaters. A coat of Simoniz triple polish leaves car exoskeletons shinier than a penny fresh from the Abe Lincoln face-shrinking factory. Guests can rid car interiors of dirt and dust free of charge with BlueWave Express’s powerful vacuums.
The car crusaders at Barker Cypress Car Wash carefully scrub dirty roadsters, preparing them to grace highways with a clean presence and cleaner skid marks. During the Bronze wash, exteriors are marinated in a sudsy triple-foam wax, conditioner, and rust protector, and an underbody wash rids the buggy's belly of roadside residue and little white lies. The washers then towel dry the car’s chassis, and the interior is vacuumed and upgraded with an air freshener, which blocks unpleasant odors emanating from the auto’s musk tank and other naturally odiferous areas. After the pampering, your car will emerge glowing, refreshed, and ready to race down whichever proverbial road looks the most promising.
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.