It’s intriguing to follow small businesses adapt to life in post-COVID America. Autobell Car Wash — a chain with operations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia — is repositioning itself as a provider of one-stop disinfecting services.
“We are no longer primarily a car wash,” said Carl Howard, Autobell’s Chief Operating Officer; “we are a cleaning and disinfectant company helping slow the spread of coronavirus, serving everyone from police departments to postal workers to medical personnel.”
Autobell uses portable misting machine utilizing hospital-grade disinfectant to treat vehicle interiors. According to its press release, “the disinfectant is applied using a fogging technique after people and pets exit the vehicle. This is followed by a one-minute activation period with car doors and windows closed.”
The virus can live for many hours on plastic, steel, and other non-porous surfaces commonly used in automobile interiors, and while there is no data documenting in-vehicle transmission of COVID, ensuring that vehicles are virus-free is a common-sense prophylactic. Upgrading some portion of America’s network of 80,000 car washes to provide effective localized disinfecting services could supply a new weapon against COVID, plus give some psychological relief to citizens wary of getting into vehicles because of the fear of infection.
Most Americans rely on private vehicles to get around, and many would likely be willing to pay a little extra (and wait a little longer) to know that their vehicles are COVID-free, but Autobell presently isn’t charging extra for its services, which it’s providing gratis for health workers and first responders in regions served by the chain.
You can read Autobell’s press release here: