Gettin’ the Car Washed

At the car wash

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

One of the things I grew to depend on was the frequent rainstorms in the late summer and early fall, but with a drought in progress, it’s hard to get the grime off without hitting the carwash and either paying something like $15 to get it done nicely, or paying $5 for a creaky gas station carwash, where things may go awry.

There seems to be little middle ground in terms of a good wash that doesn’t cost a ton of money. I know some of the downtown area parking garages offer detailing service, but how do you know which ones to trust? I felt good doing it at my office in Columbia Square, but not so much the office on Thomas Circle. While I’m sure Wayan would rather the only Cars we dealt with be the work of front man Ric Ocasik (whom I recently learned married Paulina Poriskova! How the hell did THAT happen?!), the rest of us who can’t rely on mass transit need a place to wash up.

Where are you getting your car washed?

16 Comments so far

  1. Danielle (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

    I know that it is quite a hike, but I get my car washed (external wash only) at Mr. Wash on Van Dorn Street ( The cost is only $11, and the last time I went, I got a coupon to get the Ultimate Wash for $8. When I redeemed that coupon, I got another one for the same deal. Just don’t go on a Saturday morning. It’s hell.

  2. Max (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

    Great question! I miss the DIY carwashes that they have on the west coast (very hard to find around here). I go through the car wash gas station in Reston where I work sometimes 4 times a week – gotta love bird shite and tree sap.

  3. dcres (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    I live in DC, but I go out to a place in Rockville where you can actually spray wash your own car. You toss a few thousand quarters in the machine and spray away. Good times. Even willing to deal with the devils highway (aka rockville pike) to get there.

  4. Oregonian (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

    You shouldn’t even be thinking of washing it during this drought! Just let it be a little dirty for a while!

  5. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    Given that it’d be dirty for literally 3 months, I felt a cleaning was in order, Oregonian. As a native Californian, I understand drought.

  6. MHB (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    Since you’re in Thomas Circle, I highly recommend the Mr Wash on 14th St bt N & O. Keep an eye open for a coupon in the Metro section of the Post for a good deal & a good wash

  7. Mary De Luca (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

    There are Mr. Wash(es?) on Glebe in Arlington near ballston & Mt. Vernon ave in Alex/Del Ray.

    The BP station on 4 mile run & walter reed in S. Arlington has a little DIY machine

  8. Jesse Kaye aka DA (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 8:06 am

    I do it myself for $5 bucks at Rhode island ave and 11th NW. Easy, cheap, quick (not like the women). What do you think of your VW? I have the Touareg and couldn’t be happier after years of problems with an Audi.

  9. Jesse Kaye aka DA (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    BTW when i hit submit on the first two posts above the page went to the dreaded *page not found* twice and then lost my text.

    sorry about the extra posts.

  10. Max (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:07 am

    11th & Rhode Island? Do tell more. Is it a DIY car wash or what? $5? That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

  11. Don (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:27 am

    If you really like the DIY, Max, there’s one in Sterling that you could get to from your office in Reston without TOO much of a hike. It’s right on S Sterling Blvd and Davis Drive.

  12. Max (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    That’s good to know about, Don, but it’s in the opposite direction for me going to/from work. Since I get paid by the hour I rarely go on any excursions at work.

  13. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:07 am

    I wash my car only after my lovely wife complains about how filthy it is for the thirtieth time and then I do it myself in the driveway. If I weren’t renting I would do it on the lawn so the grass could benefit but as it is I think my landlord might get upset.

    One rinse, fill the bucket with suds-n-water, scrub-a-dub all over and hose it off. I use relatively little water doing this.

  14. Don (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    I was assuming you’d go after work. It’s the wrong way but everything in life is a trade-off, innit?

  15. Tom (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

    I’ve also been looking for a decent DIY place in NoVA for years. Most of the drive thru places don’t really get your car clean and doing it yourself without a driveway is pretty difficult.

    Any suggestions, besides Sterling?

    In NC, there are tons of those high pressure sprayer places that don’t use a ton of water and allow you to really clean off your car.

  16. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    Tom, Mary pointed out the one on 4 Mile Run in Arlington, and I think there’s one at the Shell (formerly Crown) on Route 7 in Bailey’s…

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