MONROE, N.C. — If you have ever driven on Highway 74 through Monroe you have likely seen the solar flower that runs Solar Shine Express Car Wash.
This is a one-of-a-kind, family-run-and-operated car wash that is also the greenest car wash in the area. Here's what all makes that green power possible:
The Solar Flower:
When the sun rises, the flower opens and tracks the sun through the day like a sunflower and then closes at dusk. Some of the locals will even park in the neighboring parking lot to the west and watch the flower close for the evening.
Of course, it's not a real flower; it's a group of solar panels shaped and arranged to look like flower petals. But the arrangement and sun-tracking feature are a boon for both flower-watchers and the car wash.
“And it allows us to get about 40% more energy than solar panels,” said co-owner Elisabeth Watts.
There's another added bonus with the flower: this icon in Monroe will even collect energy even on a cloudy day.
Car Wash Excitement:
It is not often you will consider a car wash fun or exciting, but it is at Solar Shine. There are multiple LED lights and different colored soaps that make this an above-average experience.
“We try and make it fun in the tunnel so you know you’re not bored, you can turn up your radio,” said Watts.
Another core value at Solar Shine is water conservation.
“We want to make sure we are not being wasteful and we want to make sure we are returning water back to the environment as clean as possible,” said Watts.
Underneath the wash is a 4-step filtration process to properly purify the water, and what can’t be reused goes back into the sanitation system.
If you become a Solar Shine member, you can become a part of the towel program. To further their green footprint, the car wash uses plant-derived products with natural essential oils that are put onto a towel for you to clean the inside and wipe the outside of your car. These are all-natural, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and they smell great. And once you are done, they also have free vacuums to make sure the car is clean inside and out.
Solar Shine is a car wash with a bright idea and a growing future.
Is a drive to Monroe a bit out of the way for you? If you live in Charlotte a second location is set to open at the end of the summer off Independence Blvd.
When you wash your car at home you use an average range of 100 to 150 gallons of water, and those pollutants runoff into our storm drains and eventually into streams. But you use less than 50 gallons using this car wash.