Some customers are willing to drive farther and spend more money on services and on companies with similar interests, such as water conservation and protecting the environment. Waterless car care, for instance, is a service that traditional carwashes and new investors can utilize to serve this target audience.
In this Q&A, Group Assistant Editor Maria Woodie reached out to Chad Zani, CEO of ENVi, to understand the trends pushing the waterless car care movement to the forefront and for a closer look at the convenience and flexibility these services offer today’s owners and their customers.
MW: Can you please share with our readers your background?
CZ: My background is that I love cars; I always have and always will. For the last 20 years, I have been truly worried about our environment, especially water pollution; and this is a real concern for me as an avid surfer. I moved from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles, California, to launch ENVi.
We started the company to prove that you can clean and wax cars, without water and without scratching; and if you take care and attention, using the right systems and processes, the results are superior without negative environmental impacts. Our company is on a mission to change the world, one detail at a time.
MW: As water shortages and environmental concerns increase, waterless carwashing is rising in popularity. In your experience, what should new investors keep in mind when deciding whether to offer their own waterless carwash service?
CZ: My advice is to make sure you are working with the best cleaning solutions and accessories.
There are more products entering the market, however many of them are very basic in their chemical composition and rely more on the cleaning cloths used than the effectiveness of the actual cleaning solution. Also many contain harmful petrochemicals which should be avoided at all costs.
We have programs to help existing water-based operators switch to our systems at no cost to the owner. We believe that the green consumer is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy, and water shortages will continue to mount pressure on water-based washing.
MW: What are the pitfalls or mishaps waterless carwashers can make, and how can these mistakes be avoided?
CZ: Not all solutions are the same — just as not all microfiber towels are the same. Cheaper is not better when it comes to cleaning cars without damaging them. We are aware of some companies allowing their people to enter the marketplace with little to no training, which creates a problem with poor customer experiences.
Cleaning a car without water and without scratching takes time and training but, once mastered, can be more time effective than traditional mobile cleaning.
MW: What are some of the biggest myths and misconceptions about operating a waterless carwash?
CZ: The biggest myth is, “It will scratch my car,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. Cars get scratched through clumsy systems and processes where number of cars cleaned per hour is more important than the quality of the service provided.
Our process takes one person, one hour per car. But the car is actually cleaned and waxed during this process, and the consumer gets a far superior finished product than what would normally be provided, without wasting his or her time or any water.