Former South Euclid Walgreen’s now home of modern CLEan Express Auto Wash

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — If one didn’t already know, it would be hard to believe that what was at the beginning of the year a vacant former Walgreen’s drug store is the same building that now houses the ultra-modern CLEan Express Auto Wash.


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That car wash, at 4365 Mayfield Road, is now hopping as, after its grand opening Thursday (Sept. 10), it is operating at full capacity because of its opening promotion.

“We’d like everyone to try us and now’s a good time,” said Express Wash Concepts CEO John Roush. “We’re offering a free car wash to everyone who comes in — our best, $18 CLEanest car wash.” The offer extends through Sept. 20 and, Roush said, all that is asked is that customers consider a donation to Cleveland nonprofit The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning.

Roush, through the three brands that make up Express Wash Concepts, seeks to make getting a car wash a fun experience. For example, in the Columbus area, its car washes are named Moo Moo Express, and they come shaped as barns. In the Dayton/Cincinnati area, in honor of that region’s history in shaping flight, it’s called Flying Ace, and the buildings are made in the style of 1940s/50s airplane hangars.

In the Cleveland area — the South Euclid business is the second to open in the area after the already established Carnegie Avenue site in Cleveland — the theme is simply “clean.” And, within the word clean, of course, is CLE.

“We’ve gone with a clean, very simple modern look for our Cleveland locations,” said Roush, who founded Express Wash Concepts in 2009, and has since opened 27 locations in Ohio.

No matter the location, Roush does intend for customers to have a fun experience. In South Euclid, one will notice colored soaps falling upon their cars. Youngsters visiting with parents will get a sucker, and dogs a treat. Vacuums to clean car’s interiors are located outside and, for those who prefer, inside. If vacuuming inside, customers will clean to the sounds of cool jazz music.

The remodeling of the former Walgreen’s was the first time Roush’s business had taken on such a re-purposing project, as it usually builds from scratch. All told, $3 million was spent converting the former drug store into a modern car wash and adding new euqipment.

“The city of South Euclid was interested in re-purposing the building into something modern,” Roush said. “The city was great to work with throughout. We had a very good relationship.”

CLEan Express Car Wash offers three levels of cleaning. There’s CLEan (an “envirosoft” wash and dry), at $7; CLEaner (including underbody protection and paint conditioner), at $12; and CLEanest (including a foam super bath, shine hot wax, tire gloss and super dry), for $18. Again, the free car wash offer through Sept. 20, offers the CLEanest wash.

“Our washes are the most green washes out there,” Roush said of the company’s concern for the environment. “With all our washes, we reclaim our water, so we only use about 20 gallons of fresh water per car, where if you washed in your driveway or at a gas station or other washes, you may be using up to 120-150 gallons. We’re very efficient on the water usage.

“And then, all of our soaps are biodegradable, so they’re safe on the environment and the sanitary sewer system. And, we use a power-saving way to run all the equipment. It’s called a variable frequency drive, VFD, and that helps save a ton on surge on power.

“All these things we do because we want to be good environmentally, but we also want to have an efficient wash so we can keep our pricing and our cost down. We are the best priced wash in all of the Cleveland market.”

Roush, based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, east of Columbus, is planning to open new CLEan Express Car Wash locations this year in Middleburg Heights and Parma, with another opening coming soon after on S.O.M. Center and Aurora roads in Solon.

The business offers an Unlimited Wash Club program in which customers can pay monthly $20 for a CLEan wash, $28 for CLEaner wash, and $36 for the signature CLEanest wash, and get their cars washed an unlimited number of times during that month. At the end of each month, participation is automatically renewed, but customers can cancel at any time by visiting the website

Customers who sign up for any Unlimited Wash Club membership at the new South Euclid Clean Express Auto Wash will receive their first month for just one dollar.

CLEan Express Auto Wash, which always has staff on the premises, is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

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