Sharon is an Asian-American content creator based in Austin.


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Master Car Washing

Some of us pay others to cook our own food, some of us pay others to bathe our own dogs, and some of us even pay others for pieces to assemble our own furniture, so why not pay others to wash our own cars?

Time to time I go to a small, humble place called the University Car Wash, where for the price of three to five dollars in a season that is hot, I get both a clean car and a small workout.

It was at this special place this past Friday that I realized that washing your own car here is really just a game, where the degree to which you win is inversely proportional to both the time that you spent winning and the dollars with which you won. The result of the challenge is, essentially, a monetary reflection of your ability to hustle.

How does one undertake a hustle of this nature, though? Go ahead and bookmark this, because this is how you maximize your time at University Car Wash:


1. Pull up to the University Car Wash, and park in a spot.

2. Familiarize yourself with all of the wash options on the board, so that you can note that you don't have time for all of them. Pick your top three or four.

3. Set your arrow to your first choice (Pre-Wash).


4. Take your credit card out of your wallet, and swipe up. You will notice that a ticker begins to count upward.

Do not be confused: this is simply the number of seconds that begin to pass during which you are supposed to be washing your car, which will determine the total cost charged to your card. In the time that you were deciding what to make of the numbers and trying to read the coarsely-pixeled scrolling welcome, the Pre-Wash will have already started spilling out of the gun all over the floor.


5. Pick up the spray gun, and perceive its weight. Pull the trigger, preparing for recoil, and blast your car. Take care to navigate the hose, suspended from the top, around your car while avoiding standing downwind of said gun.

6. Switch to the next step (Soap) a hair earlier than you expect to. The resulting 10-or-so second delay to get the soap all the way through the tube fills this buffer of time. Soap your car.

7. Out of curiosity, and because you have been driving through some gravely roads, switch to Foam Brush. But what is that? For a few moments, the water will turn off and there will be no sound. Peek around your car and spot a rod sitting on the floor, with an end submerged in a pile of foam. You may not have thought that brush was connected to anything, but that is the gurgling, generously abundant foam brush.

8. Pick up the brush and scrub the sides of your car, including the spots where the birds poop on because of that dang tree you park under sometimes. You have permission to daydream wistfully of a foamy, winter wonderland or a childhood bubble bath, whether you choose to do so or not.

9. Switch to the high-pressure rinse, and blast off all the impurities from your car. By this time, your hand may begin to get tired because you realize you have been gripping a trigger for almost the entirety of over five straight minutes. Hang in there.

10. If you're fairly low maintenance and have no desire to wax, you're done! Press the flashing green button to finish the charge, and watch as your minutes are calculated into a surprisingly fewer number of dollars.


Because your car wash will hopefully only break a measly four dollars, you will get to celebrate the amount that you anticipated spending on an automatic wash but saved instead, and put it toward something dear and special.

Perhaps you decide to drive to Juiceland, where celebration tastes like a ginger peach smoothie. Perhaps you give yourself a high-five for saving up for your next trip. You may decide, however, that your saved dollars will actually go toward a future automatic car wash, and that's ok.

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