Start-up Dropless wants to wash your vehicle without using water. Absolutely….
Have you ever wondered how harmful it is to the environment to wash your car?
Neither do I, yet.
The business that makes me think about it is called Dropless, which wants to wash your vehicle without using water. Absolutely.
It’s dry cleaning for your car, and they come to you to do it (you book through an app, of course).
Some statistics: The average car wash uses about 150 liters of water, which once cleaned leaves behind a lot of toxic chemical waste. It usually drains, and then into the Thames (there are other polluted rivers available).
Based on a study conducted with Oxford University, Dropless believes that washing a car, aside from water, produces 1 kg of CO2 emissions.
With Dropless, two friends get on an electric moped without water and use nano solution on a cloth to clean.
How does this work? Nano solution is sprayed on the vehicle to break up the dirt. They remove dirt with a microfiber towel; which leaves a carnauba wax which they then quench.
There’s standard problem with vacuum cleaners mounted on the back of a moped, but it doesn’t even require water.
Can they revive the car that has seen better days?
The vehicle in question is a stylish, if outdated, BMW 3 Series soft top convertible coupe. It currently sits outside WB Yates, an establishment near Finsbury Park, which seems to be where it resides.
Beamer used to be mine, but I gave this block from the pub. It’s a long story.
Dropless began in 2018 when co-founders Christian Duncan and Mike Grindy wanted to wash a car in a hurry for a wedding. Why could no one come to him, he thought.
Duncan, 30, and Grindy, 36, are also keen to improve the workforce that cleans cars. His mixed bag of employees, former warehouse workers and delivery drivers all have a fair job, they note. This seems like a strong point.
Car cleaning garages are everywhere and work great, but there’s always a slight smell when you drive away from Eaux De Exploited Ukranian. It’s not a very good feeling.
A typical cleaning inside and out with Dropless costs £33, more expensive than a standard car wash, but well worth it for some.
Duncan says: “Our demographics will pay more for convenience, customer care and consistency.”
He says customers are typically in their late 20s to 50s with high disposable incomes. With the time involved and how hard the cleaners put in, it doesn’t seem like it will provide a huge profit margin, but the company says it works.
Dropless is owned by the founding duo and 10 angel investors who were on the opening door.
Venture capital trust Pembroke VCT also invested £1.75 million a while back.
Duncan adds: “We are in the process of raising another round of investment. We are in talks with Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s and are looking at overseas expansion.
Germany, which has banned roadside vehicle washing on environmental grounds, has an obvious place for them to expand.
In the UK, Dropless includes Bath, Bristol, Greater London, Cardiff and Manchester.
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the business claims a growth rate of 400% during 2020.
During the year, Dropless worked with the NHS to apply its technology to disinfect and sterilize vehicles used to transport patients, a service it is now rolling out to all customers .
The boy is almost done and we stand back to admire his work.
BMW is looking amazing.
Two things are clear. You should make it a point to take your car to the dry cleaners from time to time.
And I want my wheels back.