Early this year, when Craig Boyko ran across the website for Greenshine, a mobile, waterless car-washing franchise, he didn't take the concept seriously. He thought the fact that it sold itself as a premium service, charging more than typical wash, seemed strange.
Boyko, who is vice president of a recycling company near Baltimore that processes 72 million punds of scrap metal per year, was searching for a business that he and his wife could eventually pass on to their children. "We were looking for something low-cost that we could do together", he says. "And cas washes have always interested both of us. But traditional car washes are really expensive to start up."
Despite his doubts, Craig looked deeper into Greenshine. The process was created by Juan Pablo Sagastume, a Miami-based inventor who spent years perfecting an environmentally friendly proprietary cleaning fluid he calls Protect Smart Liquid.
As Boyko learned more about the Greenshine process, he was blown away. "I was completely skeptical [at first]," he says. "I thought, How can you get a car clean without water and by just spraying a solution? How do you do the interior?
Well, there are different solutions for the wheels and for the interior carpet. You spray on the liquid and wipe it off with one rag to collect the dirt and wipe with another to get off the residual solution. All the dirt ends up on the rags. You go through lots of rags, especially if you get your cas as dirty ad my wife does. But the process is a couple steps above a regular car wash."
The demo was enough to convince Boyko to buy into Greenshine in early 2012, and now he's making a go of the business with a territory that covers central Maryland. We checked in with thim to see how the green-clean revolution is catching on. --Jason Daley
We're set up in the parking garage of a mall. The goal is to capture the traffic coming through, and they're going to let us paint the walls green and make a kind of Greenshine garace. The mall has a database of shoppers that we're going to send coupons to and get the word out.
I hired my brother-in-law to manage the business, and my wife helps out. There are three employees who do most of the cleaning we hope when we get busier to double that. We're so new, people stop just to see what we're about. We spray a little solution on their car and show them all the dirt on the rags. They can see that it cleans better than conventional washes.
Our goal is to get a mobile unit and go into other markets. I have a couple of ideas. Downtoen Baltimore is full of high-rise office buildings with parking ramps. I think we can show up every Monday or Tuesday with a van carrying our solutions, a vacuum and other equipment.
I'm very interested in recycling and not leaving the world worse than it is now. At my house we fill four recycling bins each week. I would not get involved in a company that is affecting the environment adversely. But I did not get involved in Greenshine for environmental reasons; I think it's a great concept. And my customers don't seem motivated by the environmen, either. They like the quality of the wash. Being waterless is a bonus for them.
I had my car detailed in the traditional way recently, and it doesn't compare. We're trying to position ourselves as a step above regular detailing. We're definitely a high-end car wash. If you're going to pay good money to get your car detailed, it should darn-well look good.
Do you want to spend $100 for a so-so job or up to $200 to make it look brand-new? There are some scratches and bugs embedded in paint that no one can do anything about, but we aim to make it look as good as the day it left the showroom.