We often indulge in small luxuries for ourselves throughout our daily routines. Ordering the extravagant latte instead of the drip coffee. Swinging in for a quick touch up on those nails. Stopping for a cold one with the guys after work. And many of us would categorize a trip to the car wash, instead of washing it ourselves, among those luxuries. However, cleaning your vehicle at a professional car wash, especially in the wet Thurston County winter, is not only important for protecting your car’s finish, but also for protecting our environment.
Tumwater Auto Spa, located on Capitol Blvd in Tumwater, has been protecting vehicles and the environment since 2005, and is more committed than ever to educating the public on the benefits of a regular car wash service. Adjacent to, and partnered with, Tumwater Automotive, TAS is owned by Brett and Denise Hardcastle, but the Auto Spa is Denise’s baby.
A Priority on Environmentally Friendly Practices Since Day One
When TAS first opened, Denise took charge, naming the business and making a commitment from day one that they would be environmentally friendly, first and foremost.
“We knew that we would be environmentally friendly because we invested the money up front to do a reclaim system. 85% of the water used in washing a car is reclaimed water from our system. We only use 15% fresh water in any given wash,” explains Denise. That fresh water is used only in the final rinsing stages of the wash. A typical car wash at home uses about 150 gallons of water. That water, including any oil, gas, brake dust and soap, runs off into storm drains intended for rain water only and flowing directly into our local waterways. Live in an area without storm drains? This water is soaking directly into your groundwater supply. A wash at Tumwater Auto Spa uses 200 gallons, however only 20 -35 gallons of that water is wasted. The remainder is treated and used again. The water that is wasted is treated by TAS’s reclaim system and is then sent through the local sanitary sewer to be treated again.
Operating as a Green Certified Business as well as a member of the Puget Sound Car Wash Association allows TAS to work with local agencies to help educate the public about the environmental impact of an act as simple as washing your car. We all have wonderful memories of washing the car, and usually soaking ourselves in the process, on a hot day. But the impact to our increasingly fragile environment is now being taken more seriously. Many cities around the country have banned home car washes as well as charity car wash events that you see in parking lots and the Hardcastles feel that similar regulations may come to the South Sound sooner rather than later.
“We feel very confident,” says Denise, “that we are making a real difference because the water we put into the storm system is minimal and very clean.”
A Commitment To Community
Brett Hardcastle grew up in Tumwater and he and Denise have been Tumwater residents for years. They have deep roots in the community and carry them throughout their business. TAS’S employees stem almost entirely from Tumwater and Black Hills High Schools. These employees uniformly love working for the Hardcastles.
TAS manager, Mikel Pizzollo, has been working for Denise since he was in high school, working as a car wash attendant. Since that time, he has worked his way to manager and has become an essential member of the TAS team. “I love working for these great people. They really do care for their community and company. It’s really nice to work for someone that shows they really care for their employees every day.” And the relationship goes both ways. Through the mentoring that Pizzollo has received, he’s become quite an expert in the science behind the car wash system and has found ways to reduce the amount of water used per wash.
TAS is a member of both Tumwater and Thurston County Chambers of Commerce and works with local leaders to give back. They work consistently with local schools on fundraisers, giving a full 50% back as well as donating to school events such as auctions. In a service based business such as a Car Wash, your customer base is all local, and the Hardcastles strive to work with other Thurston County businesses to create relationships that help everyone thrive.
And, if you are a woman, come in on Tuesdays for Ladies Day. All Ladies get $2 off their wash and a free chocolate! A good way to end a lunch break!
TAS’s Tips to Care for your Vehicle
Washing your vehicle on a regular basis does more than make you look great when driving down the road. Rinsing away the road grime can significantly improve the life of your car’s finish. Especially in the winter, the dirt, salt and grease from the road sticks to your car and when you drive, the wind brushes it down the sides making minute scratches in the finish. The best way, aside from regular washing, to combat this wear is using the Rain-X protectant offered at TAS and nowhere else in Tumwater.
“Especially living in Washington, where we drive so much in the rain, the Rain-X clears your windshield in the pouring rain helping with visibility. But it also keeps your vehicle cleaner, longer,” offers Pizzollo. “The water and residue from the road doesn’t sit on the vehicle. It beads up and runs off.” It does cost a bit more, but with the lasting benefits it provides, TAS believes it’s the single best thing you can do for your vehicle’s finish.
Whether you just want a shiny car, are striving to do your part to help our environment ,or both, Tumwater Auto Spa is a business you can feel good about supporting. They will treat you like family and it’s what has kept them successful, and smiling, for the last 8 years.
6040 Capitol Blvd. SE
Tumwater, WA 98501