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A Penn State Student’s Waterless Car Wash

A waterless car wash. To most people, that sounds like some made up oxymoron, but to senior Taylor Mitcham, it’s a business.

After living in Los Angeles for most of her life, Mitcham was familiar with waterless car washes. The idea of washing your car with a spray of formula rather than water is not new, but Mitcham thought that it would fit well at Penn State. As a busy college student without a hose or even towels to clean the outside of her car, Mitcham bought wash solution and started cleaning when an idea hit her. Shouldn’t there be someone to do this for her?

She soon realized that by using a biodegradable carwash solution and microfiber cloth, she could create a business equivalent to a delivery restaurant. Customers could simply tell the company their car’s location and then an employee could find the car to clean. The limited materials, eco-friendliness, and space needed for the cleaning made this the perfect idea.

Last March, Mitcham took her idea for what would soon be Simple Car Wash to Penn State’s Small Business Development Center to get help and feedback on the idea. The team was able to set up a partnership between Mitcham and ClearWater Conservancy, which agreed to donate one dollar for every hundred gallons of water saved by the waterless car wash in a 1 for 100 initiative. 

I created Operation 1 for 100 because I wanted to become more a part of the Centre County community, not just as a business, but also as a citizen,” Mitcham said. “It’s good to give back.”

Right now, Mitcham is working with Happy Valley Communications and a marketing class in the Smeal College of Business to promote her services to students and plans to partner with more community members for fundraising events.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week, Mitcham will share her story at a student discussion panel at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17 in the Carnegie Building Auditorium.

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About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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