The car wash industry is one sector of society that has become dominated by the four
aspects of McDonaldization. In many cases, these four aspects are easier to point out in
the car washing industry than they are in the fast-food industry that George Ritzer
explored. Nearly all areas of society seem to be in some way affected by the different
principles of McDonaldization.
According to George Ritzer, efficiency is the quickest and easiest way to reaching
an end (40). The car wash industry is a good example of an aspect of our society that is
dominated by this principle of McDonaldization. Perhaps the most obvious example of
efficiency in the car washing industry is the use of the conveyorized car wash. Both the
car wash I formally worked at and the two car washes described in the articles use a
conveyorized system of washing cars, in which cars are placed on a moving belt that goes
through spraying water and moving bristles. This is a much more efficient method of
cleaning cars than acutally hand washing the cars at home. It takes much less time and
effort. Another example of efficiency, according to the article on the Scrubadub Auto
Wash, is the use of recycled water. This helps to preserve tons of gallons of water
A final example of the calculability of carwashes is in the names of the products they sale (Ritzer 64). Creating predictable products is a way of achieving predictability(Ritzer 94). Less than five minutes was considered to be thedesireable time to have a car finished after pulling them out of the wash at the Autospa. This is also true for the Autospa, Autobell,and Scrubadub Auto Wash. Car washes also have a high costassociated with them, which is another aspect that Ritzer mentions (126). The mostinexpensive washes at these places are about 5. Customers mustpull there cars up to the vaccum pumps, quickly select the type of wash that they wantfrom a limited menu, pay for the wash, then leave with very little time to inspect the car. Ritzer mentions that McDonald"tms employees have very strictstandards in which they must abide by (92). Dueto the limited number of work stations, there is a large amount of pressure to quicklyfinish the final touches to cars before others are pulled out of the wash. The Carolina Springs Autospa has a small coffeeshop inside in order to make customers use the wash. This is very similar to the automatic cut off for drink dispensers infast-food restaurants (Ritzer 106). As Geoge Ritzer says, McDonaldization can be a dehumanizing process. The car wash industry certainly fits the same model that the fast-food industryfits. As these products are appliedto the car, they automatically cut off after a few seconds of use, so to suggest the amountthat should be used. This puts an incredible amount ofpressure on the employee, and will often cause them to leave things off or cut corners inorder to finish with a respectable time.