Consumers today are looking for more eco-friendly ways to perform daily tasks, and Southern Palms Car Wash, located at 11453 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach, is working to do just that. The new, state-of-the-art car washing facility opened on Dec. 28 and the operation is in full swing.
“There’s a lot more to a car wash than just spraying water on a car,” owner Dan Woodward explained. “All the controls are computerized. We recycle all of our water. The water goes to underground tanks and through UV and ozone to purify the water. It gets recycled in a loop constantly all day long, so we don’t have to use much fresh water. We use less water for a vehicle than you would washing your car at home in your driveway.”
A mechanical engineer by trade, Woodward spent years working in the factory automation industry for electronics and medical device manufacturing. The new facility features a 150-foot-long automatic tunnel for car washes containing more than a million dollars’ worth of technology and equipment specifically designed for the job. After approximately three minutes in the tunnel, the options to finish detailing your vehicle are waiting at the tunnel’s exit for no extra charge.
“We have 24 parking spaces with vacuums, five automatic mat cleaners, and every one of the vacuums has a compressed air hose so you can blow off your dash or water around your mirror,” Woodward said. “We’ve got five carts out there filled with microfiber towels, window cleaner and fragrances. So, the idea is we do a great job of cleaning the outside of your car, and then you come out and do as little or as much as you want. There are no coin-operated machines.”
The vacuums and other resources are available for free with every wash. Patrons have the options of purchasing a membership or simply coming in for a single wash. The membership, called a FastPass, includes placing a small RFID sticker in the top left corner of the windshield. This gives users the option of driving right up to the tunnel without even rolling down a window.
“You stay in the vehicle, hands off the wheel in neutral, no foot on the break. It actually measures the length of your car and the tires and is customizing the routine to your car. It does different things for small cars than for a truck,” Woodward said.
The tunnel can accommodate five cars at once, making wait times short. Any standard car and pickup truck, including soft tops, are safe to wash in the tunnel. The one exception is dual-wheel pickup trucks, which can’t go through the tunnel.
Technology aside, the base price for a car wash is only $8. But the biggest difference may be the personalized service.
“We love the whole aspect of it being a family business because we, as a family, are very close. We just genuinely care for our customers and want everyone to have a great experience,” said Natalie Saenz, Woodward’s daughter. “My kids love coming to the car wash. They get to come in and fold towels and see the business first hand, and that’s very valuable.”
The staff is constantly walking the grounds, refilling carts, checking the tunnel and making sure customers are receiving good care. One customer returned for a lost gas cover, which was already waiting for them in the office less than 15 minutes after leaving.
Another customer, Jaqueline McCrea, needed an extra boost while there. McCrea had the unexpected experience of a dead car battery, and the owners were quick to grab jumper cables and a vehicle to get the car jump-started and safely back on the road.
“It was fast. It was quick. Everybody was pleasant. I usually don’t go to these types of car washes. It was simple, and following the automatic car wash directions was easy,” first-time customer McCrea said.
With three different wash options, and memberships for each, Southern Palms Car Wash is open seven days a week. From 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., customers can get a solid car wash and have the option to finish with some extra detailing.
From spotless rinse cycles using reverse osmosis water, to sensors that measure the length of a vehicle down to the tires, Southern Palms Car Wash is designed to take care of customers and their vehicles while keeping the environment in mind, too.
For more information, pricing or to purchase a membership, visit www.southernpalmscarwash.com or call (561) 707-1115.