Eco-friendly car wash becoming a success in Seychelles
Jacquelin Hertel offers an eco-friendly and traditional car wash. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A green car wash business is becoming a community success in Seychelles with its safe, eco-friendly and traditional way of cleaning cars.
Located at Bel Eau, on the outskirt of Victoria, the capital, Jackies Car Wash is the brainchild of Jaquelin Hertel.
Hertel told SNA that the idea of having a car wash in the area has been on the cards for some time following demands by those who are trying to keep up with a busy schedule.
“I will like to retain the traditional model of doing things, but in the long run, I will also like to expand and make the business more profitable – as I have a bigger ambition to match,” Hertel told SNA.
|Hertel is retaining the old way of washing cars at Bel Eau. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Hertel, who struggled at school in his teen years, said he was not an academic student, but that didn’t stop him from acquiring his life’s goal. After he had dropped out of school, Hertel worked for the privately owned company STAR, which deals with waste management in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“I used my experience in cleaning to set up the business, and now I find myself giving work to other people on the street, even the drug addicts, who finds it hard to make a living. Every so often, I also pay them to keep the river clean where I source my water,” Hertel said.
The car wash is located alongside a river bank on a concrete parking lawn and does not boast heavy machinery, foam guns, ceiling booms or any energy powered air systems such as vacuum to clean the cars.
|The car wash can take 15 to 20 minutes and cost less than $10. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
“Everything is handwork and eco-friendly to keep your vehicle radiant on the road. In the entire process, water is carried out in a bucket from the river, and a little amount of paint-agreeable liquid and biodegradable detergents such as Eco Touch is applied. After that, fresh clean pieces of clothes are used to dry the car,” Hertel explained.
The car wash can take up 15 to 20 minutes for a general wash and can handle an average of 30 cars per day. It cost a little less than $10 (125 Seychelles Rupees) to clean each car.
Hertel says his clients vary and that they include "car hire companies, taxi drivers, and private vehicle owners. They come here in great volume. Somehow they prefer the attention to detail service that we provide” Hertel added.
|Next, Hertel is planning to build a shelter for his waiting clients. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA spoke to clients whose vehicle was being cleaned.
Elijah Nancy said the car wash is the best in Seychelles and, “Since I am a taxi driver, time is a crucial factor. Therefore, I prefer to come to a place that provides reliable and fast clean up service.”
Nancy added that: “They always give my car a burnish and brand new feeling as the day I first drove it off the lot. It is, therefore, encouraging to see a car wash business which goes green in its entire operation.”
Steven Anacoura, aged 23, said that with the “dusty and dry atmosphere on the island, a hand washing service is much more ideal to help deal with the situation.”
Looking ahead, Hertel is awaiting the permission of the local planning authority to build a shelter for his client to relax while waiting for their cars to be cleaned.