Coming soon: Pitstop Carwash

Starting next month, you can have a clean car exterior in less than 4 minutes.  And alll you have to do is sit behind the wheel as your car moves along a conveyor, through a tunnel with computer controlled all soft-cloth cleaning equipment. The car comes out clean on the other side, and you can vacuum the interior for free. (Even if you don’t get a car wash.)

Pitstop Carwash is being built on U.S. 90 in Waveland, right next to the Fire Station and across from Taco Bell. Co-owner Steve Schmidt expects the business to be open in early May, joining Pitstop express car washes in Gulfport, Slidell and Franklinton, La.. Another is under construction in Fairhope, Ala.

Schmidt and Brian Hill started Pitstop in 2005, putting their retail experience to work in the car wash business. The goal was to have “the best equipment and customer friendly technology, along with quality soaps and waxes, attentive employees, clean, wide-open, well-lit facilities, fair prices and no gimmicks.”

Getting your car washed couldn’t be easier, says Schmidt. Choose from four cleaning packages (basic, good, better and best) and pay at one of two automated stations with a credit/debit card or insert cash. Drive your car onto the conveyor and sit back. The conveyor brings the car through the tunnel as a series of all soft-cloth mitters and wraps move back and forth to clean the exterior.  “Our slogan is ‘A Clean Car Fast’. We want to get you in and out in less than five minutes,” he said.

Prices start at $6 and go up to $15. The tunnel can handle up to 100 cars an hour. “We’re based on volume so we wash a lot of cars to keep prices low,” Schmidt said.

He said the cleaning process is environmentally efficient compared to washing your car  in your driveway where the water may end up the Bay or Sound. The multimillion dollar facility’s conveyor system is specially engineered and angled to collect sediment in three underground tanks. The water is recycled and is filtered before it is discharged into the sanitary sewer system. Pitstop is even “certified green” by an international association of car washes, Schmidt said.

Pitstop will be open seven days a week except Christmas and Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will be staffed by three full-time employees and a few part-time workers.

Pitstop Carwash, 445 Highway 90, Waveland. No phone yet; check the website ( and Facebook page.