News & Politics

Best of Washington: Best Car Washes

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Who can make your car sparkle? We asked local car-club members, car-wash associations, and car-care magazines to tell us the places they trust to make their rides shine. Here are the favorites:

Flagship Carwash is known in the industry for keeping abreast of technology—from high-tech drying systems to eco-friendly chemicals. The family-owned firm has locations in DC, Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Germantown, but its largest, in North Bethesda, features two automated wash tunnels plus detailing. Washes start at $8. Open daily.

Prefer a wash done by hand? Head to Auto Advantage. Redskins defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, former offensive tackle Jon Jansen, and other team members take their cars to this small father/son shop that specializes in classic cars, all-terrain vehicles, scooters, and pocket bikes. A hand wash starts at $10. Open Monday through Saturday.

One of the area’s oldest car washes and detailers, Mr. Wash Car Wash has four full-service and four express locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Express locations have tunnel washes with blower systems; full-service locations provide a wipe-down by hand. An exterior wash starts at $8, interior at $14. Open daily.

Dirty cars from across the area flock to Station Auto Wash in Leesburg. The 14,000-square-foot facility has won architecture awards—it’s built to resemble a Victorian train station, complete with murals of Leesburg at the turn of the 20th century. The automated car wash uses environmentally friendly chemicals, and it filters and reuses its water. A basic wash starts at $9. (The car wash recently had a fire and will reopen in the fall.)

This article first appeared in the July 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.    

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.