Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is washing my car at a commercial car wash better FOR the environment?

A. Definitely! In commercial car washes, chemicals are filtered and sent to a water treatment center for cleaning. Conversely, a driveway car wash sends untreated waste water (including soap, oil and sludge) directly into the environment via storm sewers that lead into our rivers, lakes and streams. A driveway wash uses up to many, many, more times the water than washing at a commercial car wash.


A. That depends! First off all, as you probably know, water spots are a nasty problem usually brought on by unsuspectingly parking next to a sprinkler. Here in the Coachella Valley we live by many golf courses and beautiful green lawns that have MANY sprinklers and the water coming out of them end up damaging our cars. That's because sprinklers have hard water with minerals in them that erode the paint, especially if the water pools in the same area each time it gets hit with the sprinkler or when it rains. 

Usually they are Type I water spots and can be easily washed and wiped off with a hand dry. That's because they are a topical defect and not a sub-surface or below surface defect.

If you have Type II water spots on the other hand, we'll have to use the least aggressive product to get the job done or a polish to level the paint surface in order to remove the spots, apply a coat of wax or paint sealant, and buff your car to the shine it was meant to have. All of that takes a bit more elbow grease and care so a regular wash unfortunately won't be enough. 

Our advice is to try to avoid parking near sprinklers when their placement is known. We have seen instances of sprinkler water spots that have etched round craters into clear coat paint and that's one of the worst things for your car's surface! 

Q. How do I know my car is safe?

A. For your security the ENTIRE lot is under 24 hour surveillance using the latest in camera technology. Color video optics and monitoring of your vehicle from the moment you come on our lot. You and your property are in safe hands to ensure you and your vehicles safety from theft, vandalism, or damage.

Q. What does it mean to be 'sustainable'?

A. Products, processes or developments that are sustainable mean they meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. From the factory to the final rinse, the Blue Coral® Beyond Green products used in our car wash along with our water reclaiming support our commitment to respect the environment every step of the way. Even your trash water bottles and soda cans are recycled at the Elephant Car Wash here in Rancho Mirage!

Q. How long have you been in business?

A. The Elephant Car Wash has been proudly serving the Coachella Valley since 1966.  In fact, we were among the first in southern California to use the tunnel conveyor car wash system.

Q. How do you get cars so shiny?

A. The “showroom shine” on the cars that come out of our tunnel has made us famous. People often ask us how we get cars so shiny. The “secret” really involves a number of different things.  We start with the best soft cloth we can find, position it just the right way on our equipment and keep it in top condition through a very rigorous maintenance program. We also use the highest quality wax available and apply it to your car under very high pressure. The end result is a shiny car that reflects well on you and us!!

Q. Is it possible to wash vehicles using chemical-free solutions?

A. Never! Water is a chemical. All living things, including you, are made of chemicals. However we do use environmentally friendly products. We proudly feature Blue Coral® Beyond Green products in our wash that minimize the impact on our environment.