The Evolution of the Carwash

Once upon a time if you wanted your car washed, you had to do it yourself. Early automobile owners took pride in maintaining their vehicles, but without professional carwashes they were left with the time-consuming task of regular vehicle upkeep. Then 1914 rolled around and everything changed.

The Evolution of the Carwash

  • carwash equipmentIn 1914 two Detroit entrepreneurs saw a need for a professional carwashing service. The first carwash was a three man operation: the car wash pushed through an assembly line where one attendant would soap the car, the next would rinse it, and the third would dry it. It may not sound like much, but it paved the way for carwashes as you know them.
  • The first conveyor carwashes used a hook system to pull cars through the tunnel, making each carwash faster and more effective. By 1951 carwashes were fully automated. These hands-free washes used machines to soap, scrub, rinse, and dry automobiles as they moved through the tunnel.
  • The 1960’s saw major changes to the carwash industry. Among the innovations were soft cloth friction washing, wraparound brushes, recirculating water systems, and roller on demand conveyor belts. The 60’s and 70’s also started the self-service carwash movement, which (thanks to better equipment and water capture systems) makes washing your own car more effective than a home carwash.
  • After the mechanics of the carwash were in place, professional automobile cleaners could focus on improving services. The quick wash quickly gained popularity because of the low cost and high reward for customers. With the rise of the quick wash, professional carwash services began offering individualized menu options, including interior washes, exterior washes, waxing, hand drying, and full auto detailing.

We’ve learned a lot about washing cars over the last century. Take advantage of our expertise by scheduling a carwash at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

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