Car wash facilities and techniques have changed since their beginning until now. Today, car wash, known as car grooming in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia, can not only include washing the exterior of the car but also interior. In some cases, additionally to the fully washing car wash service will include installation of car polish and/or car wax so end result is shiny, glossy car looking like it got out of car fair. History of car wash goes back almost a century ago.
Ancestors of modern car wash facilities dates back to 1946 when first semi-automatic car wash appeared. But, before that people manpower to push or move the cars through stages of the process back in 1914. First semi-automatic car wash from 1946 was in Detroit, Michigan and it used automatic pulley systems and manual brushing. Next set of changes happened in next ten years. Also, it was time when businessman Dan Hanna made his own car wash called Rub-a-Dub and later formed Hanna Enterprises. Eventually, from 1957, Hanna Enterprises reached around 31 car washes in America. Dan Hanna did not stop here and in 1959 operated his wash rack until he made the first mechanized car washing system. This helped him to establish Hanna Enterprises as the main source innovator and manufacturer of car washing equipment and materials by the middle of six decade in 1900. In coming years, Hanna Enterprises made several machines which will be the first to do the main car washing requirements. Some of them include the Wrap-Around Brush, Roller-on-demand Conveyor belt, soft cloth friction washing, several ways to wash the tires and a recirculating water system. I was no surprise Hanna Enterprises became the largest vehicle washing equipment manufacturer. Next decade was a tough one for the car washing industry due to gasoline prices increasing at enormous speed. Though, this did not stop Hanna Enterprises and they produced another two inventions during this rough period. The 1970s were time when the automatic wheel cleaner and the polish’n’wax was born.
Another important thing for history of the car wash are changes of chemicals and materials used, as well as regulations and laws that are have been set. At the beginning, a few hazardous chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, were used. In today’s car washes, only soaps and other non-hazardouscleaning solutions are used to loosen and eliminate dirt and grime. On the other side, mechanized car washes with brushes were once mostly avoided because of the risk of damaging the finish, but since then paint finishes have improved so they more used. They are also used more due to development of car polish and car wax as protection for car’s paint and finish.
Incredible journey of Hanna Enterprises and the car washing industry made division between car wash types. Now, they are divided by how the car washes operated, or by which technology is used and so on. Also, during time of development of the industry, people realized they could use open washes as money raising events