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.    

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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.