Next-Gen Car Washer Conquers YouTube

Next-Gen Car Washer Conquers YouTube

Lifelong car wash enthusiast grows to more than 12,000 subscribers, plans to one day build a mega wash of his own.
2 minute Read

By Lilly Chapa

When Ryan Cadle was four years old, he faced a rite of passage that many people experience early in life: a ride through a car wash tunnel. Most kids experience fear, awe or some combination of the two during their first time in a wash tunnel, but the trip sparked in Cadle an intense, lifelong fascination that has grown into a YouTube channel dedicated to Florida’s express car washes with a following of more than 12,000 people. 

“When I was very young, I started to build these little car washes underneath my mom’s coffee table,” Cadle said. “I would use a little cardboard box and some string, and I used her little feather duster as the makeshift brush and I would put my sister’s little toy car through and pretended it was a car wash.” 

When he was 12, Cadle picked up 3D modeling as a hobby and started designing car washes on the software, and at 14 he started working at a local self-serve car wash in his free time. Around this time he also discovered an online community that shared videos of different kinds of car washes from around the country. Cadle, who lives near Tampa, Fla., noticed a lack of coverage in his own state and was inspired to share some footage of a nearby wash.

“It was just a very welcoming community, so I filmed my first video, and it just kind of progressed from there,” Cadle said.

In the six years since Cadle started the Florida’s Express Car Washes YouTube channel, he’s posted more than 90 videos of tunnel tours and exhibit floors, which have amassed almost 13 million total views. Many of the videos feature washes in the Tampa area, but he’s traveled all around the state, including Miami and Pensacola. 

It may have started as a hobby, but Cadle’s many tours have given him unique insight into the trends and technology of the industry.

“I want to learn how these different car washes operate, because no two washes are the same,” Cadle said.

After a cursory walkthrough of the exhibit hall floor in Nashville, he had already identified some emerging trends he’s seen in Florida.

“I’ve seen this big push towards the light shows,” Cadle said. “I’ve seen some of the new washes here and in Florida that are really, really pushing for the maximum customer experience. They put hundreds of lights in their wash bay, including on the equipment, which is painted black to show the light better — same with the walls and ceiling. It does really provide a different experience when you’re inside the car.”

Cadle recently graduated high school, and he plans to continue to explore his lifelong interest in car washes.

“The big plan is to take all of this knowledge and make a name for myself in the industry, and I want to build these mega sites with multiple different types of washes. From my YouTube channel, the idea has become figuring out how these car washes operate and then taking that knowledge and putting it towards my own car wash to make it the best of the best.”

Cadle envisions building something that doesn’t currently exist in the Florida market so that he can stand out: a site with a variety of wash technology and capabilities, so customers can wash everything from cars to big rigs and RVs.

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