Penn State Student Gets Creative with ‘Waterless’ Car Wash Business


A student at Penn State recently got creative with an idea for a waterless car wash business.

Taylor Mitcham, a senior at the university was used to this concept after having spent most of her life in Los Angeles where the concept was a common practice. One day she was washing her car with the spray formula that is used in a waterless car wash, when an idea hit her. She wondered why there wasn’t a business on campus providing this service for busy students without the time to wash their own cars.

Soon Mitcham saw the business potential behind being armed with a biodegradeable car wash solution and a microfiber cloth. She theorized that this new business could be something akin to delivery restaurant, allowing student costumers the ability to request a washing by giving their car’s location for an employee to then find and clean. She felt that a business idea of this nature could be quite perfect when you factor in the limited materials and space needed along with the appeal of using eco-friendly products.

In March, Mitcham presented her idea of what she dubbed the “Simple Car Wash” over to Penn State’s Small Business Development Center in the hopes of receiving some feedback and possibly assistance getting it off the ground. ClearWater Conservancy jumped at the chance to partner with Mitcham as they agreed to donate one dollar in return for every hundred gallons of water that were spared by using the waterless car washing system. Thus the 1 for 100 initiative was started.

“I created Operation 1 for 100 because I wanted to become more a part of the Centre County community, not just as a business, but also as a citizen,” Mitcham said. “It’s good to give back.”

She is now working closely with Happy Valley Communications and Smeal College of Business as a means of getting her new business venture promoted among her peers. There are future plans to team up with some local community members for fundraising events as well.

Monday marked the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State. Mitcham has plans to share her business idea with a panel of students during a session in the Carnegie Building Auditorium.

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