From a necessity to anything good-to-have, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship have evolved through the years, and has been here for years before the word became rad. The first step is to learn how to really do something better and then automate it (if possible). Entrepreneurship will continue to thrive as long as we feel the drive to do something better than it is now.

Let’s have a look at how car washing has evolved over years, continues to thrive and has seen considerable growth over the last decade.

Americans have always loved their cars. I mean the birth of the automotive industry began here. Even today, the percentage of the number of Americans owning cars the highest it has ever been. Ever since the first cars ever produced, people have been obsessed with keeping their pride and joy clean. That love lead to the growth of lots of car-related industries, one of them being the car wash industry.

Car washes have come a long way since their humble origins, and with that growth has come a considerable advancement in technology used to keep our transport gleaming. These advancements include things like the ways cars are washed or the creation of new car wash accounting software, which allows companies to keep track of their businesses.


The first “automated” car wash

During the early 20th century, the first automatic car washes were born. These car washes employed a treadmill style system that pulled a car through a group of hand washers almost like an assembly line. Although this was not fully automated, these were the beginnings of the fully automatic car wash lots of us use today.

From 1920-1960 these car washes went through technological advances, which allowed them to become fully automated. With tunnel wash systems operating since the early 1940’s. Other technology brought in during that period included roller brushes, engine-powered blowers for drying, and soap sprayers.


Industry Growth

In the late 1950s, a group of quickly growing car wash owners got together to form a group called the Automatic Car Wash Association. This alliance of the most forward-thinking members of the car wash world was what really began to drive the industry.

Due to their efforts, car washes across the country began to become more uniform, with most car washes adopting the same technology and business plans.

With the combined efforts of this association, more groundbreaking technology was invented. A lot of the equipment used today was invented during this time. Machines that control water reclamation, roller brushes, and soft friction cleaning with clothes all came from this period of growth.


Today’s Car Washes

In the last decade, car washes have begun to go through more industry change and innovation, then there has been since the boom in the 1930-60s. Recently car washes have started to change and adapt to a new way of thinking. Things like small automatic wash bays and self-serve stations where people can use high-end equipment on their own.


With people being able to afford their own pressure washers and equipment at home, the industry is making strides to keep their customers. The selling point of the car wash in today’s times has changed. Now, people take their car to a car wash to get a professional wash that takes their vehicles back to the factory look. Keeping car washes quick and straightforward, while maintaining quality and low cost, is the challenge car wash owners face. We cannot wait to see what they do to adapt.