Clean car, dry feet

Mike’s Auto Wash is scheduled to open in Cranbrook, B.C., in December 2014


The future home of Mike’s Auto Wash at 300 Van Horne Street in Cranbrook, B.C., is a busy place these days as landscapers and construction crew members work to get the project completed in time for a December 2014 opening.

The business is owned by two couples: Lanna and Mike van der Velden and Phyllis and Mike Ortynski. Construction is being done by Leiman Custom Homes of Cranbrook, and the landscaping is the responsibility of Groundworx Landscaping.

High tech, clean and comfortable

Mike’s Auto Wash will have two interior bays. One will provide a touchless automatic wash, and the other will provide a soft-cloth automatic wash. There will also be an external wand wash for RVs, boats and oversized vehicles.

Mike van der Velden loves cars, and he wanted to make sure he offered car owners an option for removing road grime that may not get removed in the touchless system. His research showed that people like the soft-cloth method for that reason. Additional features at Mike’s Auto Wash will be an undercarriage wash and a specialized wheel-cleaning system.

“You’ll just pull into a bay, select the wash you want and turn off your car,” said Lanna. “You won’t have to do anything else. The wash and dry mechanisms move around your vehicle. Mike figures this is a sure-fire way to get me to wash my car more often, because I can do it without getting my feet wet.”

Mike Ortynski said that a lot of research has gone into the selection of the high-tech brushes and cloths that the car wash will use; they will eliminate the problem of scratch-producing grit adhering to the cleaning surfaces. Ortynski and van der Velden have also investigated the qualities of Cranbrook’s water and have chosen cleaning products that are compatible, effective and will produce a spot-free finish.

“We want our customers to get the best results possible,” Ortynski said. “I watched a guy take his shiny black Mercedes Benz through a soft-cloth wash—he said he takes his baby through that wash once a week and has only positive things to say about the process.”

Convenient, too

Mike’s Auto Wash will have reloadable corporate and individual customer value cards available to make it convenient to pull in and go through the wash.

“The system will be quite automated,” Lanna said. “You’ll just plug your loaded card into the reader and it will deduct the cost of the wash from the balance. There will be a change kiosk on-site as well, for if you’re paying cash. The cards make great gifts, by the way, and they’re a good option for fleets. We’ll also provide receipts for tax purposes.”

Lanna said that both Mikes have high standards for shop cleanliness, organization and efficiency, and they are looking forward to offering this new service to the public.

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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