Eco Car Wash Hopes to Make a Splash in Texas


“People are really waking up to eco in Houston,” says Rex Davis, the co-owner of Eco Suds Hand Car Wash which celebrated its grand opening over the weekend. “We figured if we could make it in Houston, we could make it anywhere.”

Davis and his partner, Mike Winkler, say they couldn’t make it in their former parking garage car wash location due to new EPA guidelines that forced them to reclaim the water used or install grit traps.

That’s when Winkler went looking for something new – something green – and came upon a water-based cleaning solution that is said to be non-hazardous and biodegradable. They spray it on the vehicle and the organic light soap and surfactants dissolve dirt on contact as polymers wrap around remaining particles to protect them from scratching. The dirt residue is wiped off with a micro-fiber cloth and the clean surface is then buffed by hand.

“It has been used in Europe for a decade now and also in Australia and we’re just catching up,” shares Davis, who adds his hometown isn’t known for its mass transit system and progressive environmental lifestyle.

They say response was very good on Saturday and they hope to open more Eco Suds throughout Houston this year, as well as in other markets in the southwestern and southeastern United States. The selling point? Saving water while conditioning the car.

“The process saves between 40 and 100 gallons of water per wash and eliminates waste water run-off,” says Winkler. “It’s better for your car, it’s better for the planet and the finished product looks much better than a traditional car wash.”

His web site shows the proof in before and after shots of an SUV treated with this alternative wash, which the company says cannot scratch a vehicle’s finish during the actual washing process and also conditions the clear coat. Guess Texans like the results so far.

“They really love that shiny finish,” observes Davis.

We can only hope Eco Suds will teach folks in northwest Houston that less is more and that the car wash be shining up more hybrids than gas-guzzling jeeps.

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.