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Best Car Wash with a Conscience (Editors' Pick)

Eco Detail

We go to Whole Foods to buy “natural” foods and products—so why not get an eco-friendly car wash while we’re shopping? We like to do just that in the Chevy Chase store’s parking garage, where Eco Detail says it uses steam and biodegradable, pet-friendly products to hand-clean cars.

Dimitrios Vergitis, 48, is the man behind the concept. Born in Greece, Vergitis was a philosophy and theology professor who spent years in South Africa, where he was struck by how little water people there consumed (typically 5 gallons a day for an entire family). When he moved to the United States four years ago, he noted that “a typical car wash uses 80 gallons of water [per car] a day,” he says. “I think that’s a sin!”

With seven employees, Eco Detail offers a “basic detail” (steam hand-wash, tire shine, windows, mirrors and vacuum) for $41 to $63, depending on vehicle size. North Bethesda’s Michelle Newberry brought her Tesla Roadster the day we visited. “I bring my cars nowhere else,” she says.

The Shops at Wisconsin Place, Garage P-3 (below Whole Foods and Bloomingdale’s),

5307 Friendship Blvd., Chevy Chase (other Montgomery County locations and mobile service available), 301-502-9619, www.ecodetailmobile.com