October 2012

Island Car Wash: Feng Shui for Your Car

Author: Debbie Szpanka | Photographer: Photography by Anne


Whether you are a mud-spattered, raised-in-the country boy, with a gun rack in the back of your truck or a starchy-pressed corporate raider with a BMW, you know the feeling of driving around when your car or truck is clean. Whether you know it or not, that’s called “Feng Shui” the Chinese art of arranging your belongings in an organized, clean, fashion so your energy flows better.

Add in the Island Car Wash team of motivated, efficient and non-stop personnel, and you will feel like they gave your car a bubble bath and also gave you a hug as they sent you on your way. Weirdly enough, “feng-shui” literally translated to English means, “wind-water,” and isn’t that the essence of a great car wash? The woo-woo types use feng-shui in order to receive positive “qi” (pronounced “chee”) or energy—and whether or not you knew you were using an ancient Chinese modality, don’t you feel the positive energy embrace you as drive off in your clean, organized, good-smelling car?

No wonder there’s positive qi during and after a car wash. Have you seen those employees attack your car with a vacuum the second you step out of it? Most look like the young, energetic employees you expect at a car wash. Then, there’s “Ms. Marilyn.” a slender, 70-year-old woman who keeps those cars moving like a drill sergeant on the two days she works a week. Don’t get in her way—she has a turbo-suction-powered vacuum hose in her hand. Bob Devinney, manager of Island Car Wash, describes her as the “Energizing Bunny.” However, Ms. Marilyn confesses that when there’s a break between the hundreds of cars they service a day, she sneaks in a few paragraphs of a Danielle Steele novel. Nothing like a little romance or naughty excerpts from the Toxic Bachelor to keep her motivated while attacking hundreds of floorboards.

After Ms. Marilyn and her vacuum-attendant colleagues plow through the orphaned Cheerios, petrified French fries and miscellaneous, unknown substances left on your car’s floor, your vehicle enters the Pipeline of Extreme Cleaning. That’s not the official name of the carwash tunnel, but it seems fitting. Devinney said Mother Nature is one of the business’ best supporters, because when it’s pollen or lovebug season, it’s also a choreographed car-zoo at Island Car Wash to rid one of your favorite manmade creations of Mother Nature’s offspring.

The basics to the works
As your car enters either the Hilton Head Island or Bluffton car wash (both named Island Car Wash), you have the choice to give your car a quick bath or a car Calgon. On Hilton Head Island, huge canopies give your car protection from the elements as attendants give it a pre-wash and interior cleaning or a complete detailing—your choice. The 100-foot long wash tunnel, equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, uses Neotox Foam, which does not retain water, thus does not transfer dirt or debris so it gives each car a separate bath.

New on the menu is Carnauba wax, touted as the “queen of waxes.” It comes straight from the leaves of the palm, only grown in the northeastern Brazilian states of Piaui, Ceara, and Rio Grande do Norte. This wax gives cars a glossy finish.
The Island Car Wash uses orbital waxing brushes so the Carnauba wax is applied in a circular fashion. That’s how Island Car Wash rolls, or in this case, orbits, finding and using the best products from the remote corners of the world to clean your car even if it has be to harvested from the leaves of a palm tree.

For those customers who opt for the tunnel car wash, the process isn’t over until your car goes through another service canopy to wipe down your car and assure the mechanical attendant didn’t miss any spots. Island Car Wash also offers detailing services, ranging from $90 to $200, depending on the type of vehicle.

While your car is being pampered, so are you. The large indoor waiting lounge includes comfortable chairs, two plasma televisions, Internet terminals and Wi-Fi access (in both the indoor and outdoor waiting areas.). Gourmet coffee and snacks are available as well as many carousels of greeting cards and a complete line of automotive accessories to peruse and purchase.

Then, there are Wednesdays at Island Car Wash. The magical day in the middle of the week, when we all need to be refreshed and Island Car Wash lays out its welcome mat. Every Wednesday, chop off $6 for the Gold Wash and $5 off the Speed Wax, making those services, $18.95 and $34.95 respectively.

Besides Mother Nature’s curses for cars, such as pollen and lovebugs, Wednesdays are always a popular day at Island Car Wash. It’s a non-stop stream of cars from 200 to upwards of 400 on any Wednesday.

One added component to visiting the Bluffton location for your wash is a wide variety of additional services provided by the Quik Lube Center. It’s one stop shopping for a wash, oil change, new tires and new brakes.

With all the details the Island Car Wash gives your car, it also offers you the accoutrements to transform an obligatory errand to an enjoyable experience. It’s all so you can have positive qi during and after your visit. A clean car is positive energy and the Island Car Wash wants to you to feel positive about everything they do to give you that good feeling.

Island Car Wash is located at 1008 B William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head and at 1008 Fording Island Rd. in Bluffton (Inside Kitties Crossing). For more information, visit islandcarwash.com or call (843) 785-8944 on Hilton Head or (843) 815-2440 in Bluffton.

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