Car Detailing Turns Green

Family Talk Magazine:

Barbara Arango’s entrepreneurial life was inspired by her dirty car.

Last year, the Kalamazoo mother of three was looking for an environmentally friendly way to wash her car. She did some Internet research and found a waterless car cleaner made from a blend of organic soaps. Intrigued, she tried it — and loved it.

The idea also appealed to Arango’s professional mind. A computer consultant turned stay-at-home mom, she’d been looking for a part-time opportunity to get back into the business world. Since moving to southwestern Michigan in 2006, she hadn’t been able to find a full-service car wash option short of detailing — much less an eco-friendly one. She decided to offer full-service car washing using the green cleaner.

“It was the perfect combination,” said Arango of her business, Emerald Car Cleaners. “It’s something green, which I really believe in, something where I can use my business background, and something that I can do part time.”

Last summer was Arango’s first year with her business. She offers her service throughout the warm-weather months. Emerald Car Cleaners travels to its customers. Arango sprays on the environmentally friendly cleaner and meticulously wipes it off with microfiber towels that pick up dirt and contaminants — rather than rubbing them into the finish like a sponge.

Prices range from $20 for washing a standard car’s exterior, to $70 for a full interior and exterior cleaning of a large SUV or truck.

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