“But I found that living in a city apartment without a hose at my disposal made that difficult,” he says. “It was hard to keep my baby clean.”
That’s when it dawned on him that the car washing business was ready for a disruptor, an internet-based service that would essentially deliver a car washing service the way ride-hailing apps deliver rides.
Fishman and partner Dinko Badic launched WashMyCar, LLC, last summer. Car owners schedule their washes via a superbly friction-less web-based application or an old-fashioned phone call an hour or two before they want the service.
Car washes start at $22 for an exterior hand wash.
“We spend a minimum of 50 minutes on a hand wash,” Fishman says. “But we’ll spend up to three hours if a customer orders a full slate of the services we offer.”
That includes tire shines ($8), interior cleaning ($45) and hand waxing ($32). Customers may also sign up for a subscription for scheduling the service at regular intervals.
“We describe our service as somewhere between a machine wash–which isn’t as safe as hand washing–and a full-on detailing service, but we’re far less expensive,” he said.
WashMyCar is not the usual service you get from the soap splashing teens raising money for their high school bands at the gas station. Fishman and Badic are serious about providing a quality service that earns high praise. “We have 100 percent positive customer feedback, and we want to keep it that way,” Fishman says.
Which is why they bring their own high-quality, proprietary equipment and cleansers and a better-than-average knowledge of factory-applied clear coat, base coat and primer and what works best when cleaning them.
Like Fishman when he was inspired to start WashMyCar, any Arlington residents live in dwellings that do not make outdoor hoses available for washing cars and trucks. Fishman and Badic solved that problem with what he calls “a two-bucket method” of washing.
“We use two to three gallons of water, which is very low water consumption for a car wash,” he says. “So it’s eco-friendly, which was important to us. There’s virtually no water run-off. And we don’t need a hose. It takes a little longer than if we used a hose, but it’s worth it.”
The car doesn’t have to be outdoors, even: WashMyCar can wash your car in a garage. And the vehicle owner does not need to be present at the time of the wash, unless they want interior cleaning, and even then if arrangements are made for opening the car, they don’t have to be there for that.
The preceding was a sponsored business profile written by Buzz McClain.
According to the county’s Department of Environmental Services, APS was issued its first stormwater permit by the state last month, after more stringent stormwater regulations were passed by the Virginia General Assembly in July 2013. The permit disallows all charity car washes on school property.
Washington-Lee, Yorktown and Wakefield High Schools notified their teams and clubs this week that they were no longer allowed to conduct such fundraisers.
“There is an important underlying reason why most types of car washing are not allowed under state and federal stormwater regulations,” said DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. “The chlorinated water, detergents, petroleum products, and other pollutants that get washed into the storm drain system are carried into our local streams, the Potomac River and ultimately, to the Chesapeake Bay. As a result, there are educational and environmental benefits that come with finding new and environmentally friendly ways to raise money for extracurricular activities.”
However, some coaches are concerned that, particularly for the more expensive sports, the ban could have negative repercussions for the athletes.
“This could have a large impact on fundraising by sports teams/boosters/school clubs in need of dollars to support the school programs,” one Washington-Lee coach, who preferred to remain anonymous, told ARLnow.com. “I am not sure how many teams are affected by this new rule. I know that my team will be, since every little bit helps deal with the expense of our sport as we try to support the kids.”
A few years ago, the ban may have had a greater impact. But Wakefield Activities Director Noel Deskins said none of the schools teams or clubs have held car wash fundraisers there for years. Instead, they opt for bake sales, pizza sales and other money-raising endeavors.
“I think it’ll be a little easier here adjusting to the new policy,” she said.
The new regulations passed by the state last year prohibit smaller public entities, like APS, from conducting car washes, according to DES Watershed Programs Manager Jason Papacosma. All car washes that aren’t for personal use require a specific permit or written determination from the state, even charity car washes held on private property.
“Working with APS, we plan to continue educate entities looking to hold such events about the rules and environmental impacts,” Papacosma said, “and work to suggest alternatives that can raise funds and also protect the environment and comply with the environmental protection rules we are both required to follow.”
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
As The Weather Channel and anyone with seasonal allergies can tell you, the pollen level in the D.C. area right now is very high.
It’s something of an annual spring rite of passage — tree pollen levels rise as temperatures get warmer, allergy sufferers start suffering, and everything gets covered with a fine, lime green layer of a tree’s reproductive cells.
In particular, cars — especially cars parked under trees — are prone to becoming covered. Perhaps that’s why, at 2:30 p.m., there are long lines at the Mr. Wash car wash at 101 N. Glebe Road.