Though your dog may not like going through the car wash, your kids likely squeal with excitement when they get the opportunity take a sudsy ride through an automatic wash. (You know, after they pass that scary part where the black clothes slap the windows, but from there, it’s all good.) The best part? You get a clean car and your kids get a few minutes of free entertainment—it’s a win-win for everyone!

photo: Brown Bear Car Wash

Brown Bear Car Wash
Victor Odermat opened the first Brown Bear Car on 15th Ave. W. in 1957 which is still in operation today. Today, the chain has 22 “tunnel” locations and boasts of protecting local water and marine life. Brown Bear offers excellent service, is highly ranked for “best car washes” in Seattle, only uses gentle, environmentally friendly cleaning detergents and supports many local charities. But your kids won’t care about that. They’ll appreciate watching the animated bear welcome you to the car wash on the screen where you pay for your wash, the added lights inside the car wash (which doesn’t improve the car wash itself, but does make it more exciting) and the happy bear waving “goodbye” to you as you leave the wash.

814 Auburn Way S.
Auburn, Wa 98002

3724 Factoria Blvd. S.E.
Bellevue, Wa 98006

22706 Marine View Dr. S.
Des Moines, Wa 98198

3523 Broadway
Everett, Wa 98201

34007 Hoyt Rd. S.W.
Federal Way, Wa 98023

22121 S.E. 56th St.
Issaquah, WA 98027

1202 W. Meeker St.
Kent, Wa 98032

10913 Bridgeport Way S.W.
Lakewood, Wa 98499

photo: Kristina Moy

4412 S Meridian
Puyallup, Wa 98373

17809 Redmond Way
Redmond, Wa 98052

15248 Bel-Red Rd.
Redmond, Wa 98052

800 S. Grady Way
Renton, Wa 98057

77 Rainier Ave. S.
Renton, WA 98057

621 Rainier Ave. S.
Renton, Wa 98057

3050 228th Ave. S.E.
Sammamish, Wa 98075

5111 15th Ave. N.W.
Seattle, Wa 98107

14312 Lake City Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98125

1800 15th Ave. W.
Seattle, Wa 98119

16032 Aurora Ave. N.
Shoreline, Wa 98133

3002 S. 38th St.
Tacoma, Wa 98409

5950 6th Ave.
Tacoma, Wa 98406

13204 Pacific Ave. S.
Tacoma, Wa 98444


photo: Eamon D. via Yelp

Elephant Car Wash
Elephant Car Wash is probably the oldest car wash franchise in Western Washington. The first location opened on 4th Ave. and Lander St. in Seattle in 1951, but it’s the company’s second location that gets all the attention. Located on Battery St. in downtown Seattle, this location is a Seattle landmark with its rotating pink neon elephant sign which beckons children to annoy their parents into seeing what excitement abounds within the mysterious car wash. Elephant Car Wash also has a great reputation for giving a good car wash while also being safe for your car’s finish as well. They have 14 locations, but purists prefer the Battery St. location.

616 Battery St.
Seattle, Wa 98121

2763 4th S.
Seattle, Wa 98134

4300 A St. S.E.
Auburn, Wa 98002

12900 N.E. Bell-Red Rd.
Bellevue, Wa 98005

19211 Washington 410
Bonney Lake, Wa 99391

13855 1st S.
Burien, Wa 98168

27240 168th Pl. S.E.
Covington, Wa 98042

photo: Matt H. via Yelp

31458 Pacific Hwy. S.
Federal Way, Wa 98003

27018 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd. S.E.
Maple Valley, Wa 98038

27607 Pacific Hwy. S.
Federal Wa 98003

15525 Main St. E.
Sumner, Wa 98390

2501 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, Wa 98402

601 E. Main St.
Puyallup, Wa 98372

715 39th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, Wa 98373


photo: Nami N. via Yelp

Costco Car Wash
The car wash is just the latest of invention of the Costco universe, but currently it can only be found at the 4th Ave. South location. For just $7.99 (before taxes) your car will get super clean through the extra-long tunnel, which also means an extra-long fun time for you know who. And the best part? If you are not satisfied with the cleanliness of the wash, you can go back in for a second run through at no extra charge.

4401 4th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98134

photo: C.H. via Yelp

General Brushless Car Wash
Located in Everett, the General Car Wash has been perfecting the art of washing cars for 36 years now and takes a little more attention to each car compared to some other car washes, namely the finishing touch of the soft cloth buff on your way out. Using state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly methods, every care comes out clean and dry. Both you and the kids will appreciate the spraying station, the pre-soaking, the high pressure wash and rinse followed by the low pressure rinse and quality waxing. The car wash is brushless too, so cars come out scratch free and squeaky clean!

6101 Evergreen Way
Everett, Wa 98203

photo: Wendy T. via Yelp

Rose Hill Car Wash
While the kids will enjoy a general car wash through the tunnel at the Rose Hill Car Wash, parents can really get excited about the other services this full car care center provides. A simple car wash costs $8.95 where you’ll be in and out in no time, but if you have time to spare (and the rare occasion that the kids are not with you) take advantage of the add-on services like carpet and cushion cleaning, indoor and outdoor protective coatings, detail services, windshield repair and more. They also offer a relaxing waiting area (with a view of cars going through the wash) with their own coffee bar and gift shop, too!

12633 N.E. 85th
Kirkland, Wa 98033

Note: Before going through any of these automatic car washes with tots in tow, be sure that all of your windows are rolled up (and locked!) or this won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone!

Did we miss your family’s favorite car wash? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Jeffrey Totey