High-powered blowers at the end of the car wash eliminate the need for much towel action. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

My car has already been washed twice and it’s not even 2 months old. For those who saw the Jeep in its later years, you would probably think I didn’t know what a car wash was. It got to where I could probably count on one hand the number of times it was washed in a year.

Truth is, the Jeep got washed fairly regularly at the get-go. I cared about the undercarriage being clean with all the gunk from the roads in Tahoe. I waxed her every year. She got vacuumed regularly. The soft vinyl top got special treatment. So did the interior.

And, then, well, she became a Tahoe mobile—dings, exterior black that faded to gray, paint on the hood that started to looked cracked. She became my vehicle to haul wood. The back seat soon was always out.

I cared about the Jeep. But, well, it didn’t always show.

Being a soft top it was not allowed to go through a car wash, so it was usually the do it yourself places I would go.

Getting car washes in Todos Santos, Mexico, were the best (and no, Jill, not just because of Ernesto!). It’s that the people doing the handwashing were so meticulous. The Jeep looked its best—in and out—after a washing in Baja. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long because I lived on a dirt road—and so many of the roads in town are dirt.

When I bought the new ride (I’ve never named a vehicle, but on Bluetooth it’s known as the Kae Mobile) the salesperson suggested I get a monthly car wash plan. This was after I asked how I was ever going to keep a black vehicle clean. And I have leather seats. And my mom sets a high bar for a clean car and she is my main passenger.

All of this responsibility and pressure!

So, I went through Surf Thru Express Car Wash after the red dirt of Paradise had covered her when I was up there giving a massage. I was disappointed I still had to dry a few places. Car wash personnel don’t do anything to the interior. There are vacuums and they give you a special wipe for the interior.

I mentioned to my mom where I went. Come to find out she goes to the same place, averaging about once a month. We contemplated sharing a monthly plan, but figured we were better off doing our own thing.

I went to the car wash for a second time on a Sunday. Oh, it was so sparkly clean. I drove it in the rain two days later. The following day I was headed out of town. I didn’t want to show up with a brand new car and have it be dirty, but I had to because it was raining when I left. Because it got dirty driving to Santa Rosa and back it’s going to have a third wash this week. I guess the monthly plan is going to pay for itself—and I don’t even live on a dirt road.

Yes, I care about all this water being used. Fortunately, the car wash place reclaims the water and many locations are powered by solar. My plan allows me use these car washes wherever one is located. So maybe with my new found desire to have a clean car my prerequisite for a road trip will be whether there is Surf Thru Express Car Wash.

Pin It on Pinterest