All in the Details

No-H2O Is Changing the Way Automobiles Get Washed

Writer / Julie Yates
Photographer / Whitney Moore

No doubt about it – cars get dirty. Whatever the weather, grime and gunk find their way onto any vehicle’s shiny exterior and gleaming wheels. No-H2O offers an alternative solution to the customary chore of washing with water and soap.No-H2O

In addition to cleaning outside surfaces, the innovative business also details the insides of typical sedans as well as extra-large SUVs and full-sized trucks. The Indianapolis-area location of No-H20 is in Carmel, but it also caters to its customers by offering convenient pop-up locations.

It’s hard to imagine cleaning an auto without streaming water from a hose. No-H2O uses handheld, low-impact spray bottles filled with a polymer that emulsifies all the dirt and dust. Then, special cloths are used to remove the muddy grime. The whole process is scratch-free, and leaves behind a shiny and protective finish.

Typically, 32 gallons of water are used to wash an average car. The runoff down a driveway or from a carwash makes its way into the environment through storm sewers, and eventually into waterways such as nearby streams, lakes and rivers. That wastewater not only contains harmful chemicals from car-wash products, but also the oils, fuels and other chemicals that cling to the outside of vehicles. Wildlife such as fish, birds and other small animals are exposed to these compounds.

The company was started in 2007 by former professional race-car driver Emmet O’Brien and his father. The pair were not only interested in clean cars, but also concerned about conserving water. Initially located in Ireland, No-H2O started franchising in the United States, beginning with Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today it boasts over 60 sites throughout the world including major cities such as Boston, Chicago, Knoxville, Houston and San Francisco.

“Emmet O’Brien realized he loved detailing his own vehicles,” says Owner-Operator Bennet Ackerman. “He thought finding a way to do it without using water was a great option. Eventually he met the people who formulated the chemicals for his company. I have had 11 other businesses during my career. I was always looking for something new and fun. I was ready to semi-retire when I came across No-H2O. I was blown away by this disruptive and unique venture.”

Besides the brick-and-mortar site, mobile locations are set up at places such as apartment complexes, business parks and even country clubs. By going to the company’s website, customers can see where sites are on any given day. In addition, No-H2O travels, so services can also be done at a private home or business. Whatever option is chosen, it’s best to book an appointment online to ensure a speedy turnaround time. Customers can also download the No-H2O app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

“We set up giant 10’x20’ canopy tents,” Ackerman says. “The applications are endless, from auto dealerships to business owners who wish to give employees a weekly perk. It’s such a high-quality product that it can’t scratch the paint, or do damage to cars and trucks with decals or wraparounds. It’s perfect for fleets of vehicles with company logos and advertising on their sides. We opened in February and already we have over 30 accounts.”

“There is more than 160 years of collective detailing experience on our team,” Ackerman adds. “One person who has 27 years’ experience told me he couldn’t believe how well our system works. Another worked on a vehicle that had more dog hair in it that he had ever seen in his 40 years of experience. When the owner came to pick it up, he thought the floor mats had been replaced and were new, but they were the original ones.”

No-H2O has a full range of exterior and interior services, labeled General, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. A General Premium Exterior Hand Wash and Polish, which includes the wheels, takes 30 minutes and is $49. In the middle of the menu of options is a Silver Wash and Detail for $199. The highest level is Platinum at $409. This service takes three hours and 30 minutes, and makes every inch of a vehicle, inside and out, sparkle, including the engine. Subscription packages and gift cards are also available.

“We have done roadsters, high-end sports cars, a 25-year-old pickup truck, plus a giant, 36-person passenger bus,” Ackerman says. “It’s a great service for Sprinters with wheelchair lifts and other vehicles equipped with handicapped modifications. It’s for anyone who loves a clean car. The proof of the concept is how well it works. People can’t believe it. It’s such a fun company to No-H2Oown.”

No-H2O is located at 1015 3rd Avenue Southwest in Carmel. Appointments can be booked from the No-H2O mobile app, and for more information and to book online, visit Also call 317-804-4131.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });