The History of the Car Wash

The History of the Car Wash

As it’s still summer here in Nashville, plenty of people are still enjoying the spiffy look of a clean car as often as possible. Driving past any car wash on a beautiful day and the lines will tell you just how much people love to keep their vehicle spotless.

When world’s first automobiles began rolling off the assembly lines over 100 years ago, Nashville Car Washpeople quickly began to trade in their horse drawn carriages for combustible engines that could go further and faster than ever before. Inevitably, the invention of a system to keep these new vehicles clean, shortly followed suit. We’ve come a long way since those times and much like the vehicles of yesteryear, we have made amazing strides in car wash technology.

From sheer manpower to touchless, here is a little history lesson on car washes.

Seeing a need for a more efficient method to wash automobiles, two Detroit men opened the nation’s first car wash business back in 1914. Essentially, attendants would manually push cars through an assembly line-like tunnel, soap, rinse and dry the car as it we through and that was that. As you can imagine this method was tiresome and a few years later, the first “automatic” car was born.

Rather than pushing the cars through, this particular conveyor wash consisted of winch systems that hooked to the car’s bumper and pulled the car through a tunnel full of attendants who, again, soaped, rinsed, and dried the vehicle.

It was only a matter of time before the attendants were replaced with machines and the pull system was replaced with a conveyor belt system that brought the car through a tunnel with overhead sprinklers, soap dispensers, big scrub brushes and blow dryers. The idea quickly took off.

By the 1960’s fully automated car washing establishments were being built all over the country. With the surge of car wash popularity, came updated technology that included recirculation water systems, soft cloth friction washing, and wraparound brushes.

By the time the 80’s rolled around, both automobile purchases and car wash development was at an all time high. As cars began to become smaller and more varied in size, technology was developed to accommodate assorted sizes of vehicles as they came through the bays. As the 90’s approached, car washes could be found connected to in travel centers and convenience stores, making a quick run through the car wash more accessible than ever before.

We’ve come a long way from the car washes of a century ago. We can now clean all five sides of almost any sized vehicle in an economic and in a more environmentally friendly manner. And as car washes are now the preferred method of vehicle washing
and, they are an excellent way to take steps towards maintaining the value of your car over time. For further insight regarding your vehicle, be sure to talk to your Nashville car wash specialist for the best ways to maintain a clean and good-looking automobile.

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