Archives - Dry-Wash at Express Car Wash
September 2002
Seen Around Town: Dry-Wash at Express Car Wash
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Since Saturday morning, the Express Car Wash has gone to dry-wash only.

Henry Weinschenk

According to Henry Weinschenk, the dry-wash concept that they have developed is based on a product that they have used -- all along -- for about 12 years to do final touch up work. It is called "Spotless" and is manufactured by ZEP, one of the largest institutional and commercial cleaning supplies manufacturer in the U.S.

They get the product in concentrated form and dilute it in a a 30 to 1 ratio with bottled water. The actual amount of this solution that is applied to the average car is about three quarts of a gallon. They dispense it as a mist out of air pressurized tanks and follow up by towel drying the car. The whole process is very labor intensive; but they just moved out some of our equipment in the wash tunnel to make room for our people to work there, this should make it a little bit easier to handle. (Henry Weinschenk, electronic mail, September 21, 2002)

Their revised list of services looks like this:

* Dry-Wash - Vacuum Floors - Clean Windows

THE WORKS $25.95
* Dry-Wash - Vacuum Floors - Clean Windows
* Custom Vacuuming: Trunks, Consoles, Seats, Back of SUV's & Vans, Etc.

* Dry-Wash - Vacuum Floors - Clean Windows
* Custom Vacuuming: Trunks, Consoles, Seats, Etc.
* ARMOR ALL Vinyl & Rubber Protectant: Inside and Out

* Dry-Wash

Trucks, Vans, Jeeps $2.50 additional

Hours of operation, for the time being, are Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 6PM.

Dry-Wash at Express Car Wash

And, for the first time since they opened 19 years ago today, Express Car Wash is closing on Sunday's to illustrate Henry's proposal to City Council -- which was flatly rejected -- of instituting "Blue Sundays" during the water emergency. Maybe it will catch on.

"Car washes were supposed to stop using water Tuesday, but Weinschenk ignored the ban until he received a warning from the city Friday.

"It's called civil disobedience," Weinschenk said.

Express is the only Charlottesville business that has been issued a warning for violating water restrictions, according to city spokesman Maurice Jones.

Weinschenk says that car washes have been made scapegoats. He argues that the businesses use only one-third of 1 percent of the water supply in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

"Chili's uses 75 percent of what we use. The Golden Corral uses 125 percent of what we use," Weinschenk said. "You do the math. How many restaurants do we have in this town, and how many car washes?"

Express was the only car wash actually washing cars in Charlottesville on Monday, according to Weinschenk. Other places continue to offer services such as vacuuming.

"On a rational basis it's hard to believe that this is the U.S. and city government can try to put you out of business," he said.

Jones said shutting down car washes is certainly not the city's intent.

"Our intent was not to close down the car washes, but to preserve our water system," Jones said. "If there are car washes out there that are coming up with innovative ways to stay open without taxing our water system, then we applaud them and their efforts." " (Claudia Pinto, The Daily Progress, September 24, 2002)

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