Steam clean car wash is earth and car friendly

Vapor Car Wash brings new technology to the car owner with a steam system

Staff writerJune 18, 2014 

Scott Nemmers of Vapor Car Wash shows off the techniques of the new machine.


Donna and Scott Nemmers went looking for an affordable, green and safe way to wash the interior and exterior of cars.

That’s how they found the Optima Steamer, made in South Korea. Now, the couple is launching Vapor Car Wash, a mobile car wash and detailing service that is powered by steam.

The system uses less water than a traditional car wash and also cuts out chemical cleaners. Donna Nemmers used a steam gun to clean out the air conditioning system in a BMW. The steam ran in and out the other vents, bringing out dirt and buildup.

The pair ran Black Magic Detailing and, at first, weren’t so sure about the new technology. Now, they have a business based around it.

“It’s a very remarkable machine and we’re very pleased to bring it to Gig Harbor,” Donna said of the Optima Steamer.

Because it runs on steam, it can draw a crowd when the Vapor Car Wash van pulls up for an assignment, Donna said. Clouds of steam billow out of the car’s interior and off the hood as Donna and Scott work the steam guns. It looks like a big cloud — and that’s what draws onlookers.

“It’s so new that people are like ‘What is that?’ ” Donna said.

Mobile steam washing is seen as an alternative to the regular car wash, but it hasn’t really made its way to the United States. Overseas, however, it’s a popular option. It also has a strong celebrity following at home, most notably Jay Leno, a known car buff. The Nemmers compare the wash to a spa treatment for a car.

Scott Nemmers says it doesn’t damage the car and or leave water spots. Best of all, in a changing climate, it uses far less water than any other car wash option.

Vapor Car Wash will go right to clients’ homes or workplaces.

The Nemmers appreciate the low environmental impact of the process. The steam method uses between one and five gallons of water. That’s why they chose a green leaf for the business logo.

“(Vapor Car Wash) is all about the convenience,” Scott Nemmers said. “And helping our planet to boot.”

For information on pricing and to see a video of the Optima in action, the Nemmers maintain a website at

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 Twitter: @Gateway_Karen

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