We have a confession to make. Due to lack of time and the fear of fines, we get our cars cleaned by “the guy” under our place. It’s a perfectly fine solution if you don’t care about swirl marks that are only visible from a foot away. The problem is the interior never gets cleaned. We’ve kept the cabin generally clean by not driving with the windows down and disallowing eating in the car, but it had still collected dark stains on the leather touchpoints and the kids kicking the seat-backs. So when Cafu offered to demo their steam mobile car-wash service, we jumped at the chance.
Available only in Dubai for now, there are a few things you should consider before summoning the steam wash van to your location using the Cafu app. You have to make sure the place where you parked has enough space for their van to park as well, and that it is allowed to have your car washed in that parking space. It’s also better if there is space around the car for them to work. We were parked in a public RTA lot and it was fine.
Once the van came at the appointed time, one person steam-washed our humongous Nissan Patrol inside and out. It took one and a half hours to finish, so it’s definitely not a quick job, but we appreciated the effort.
As advertised, the exterior and interior are cleared of your belongings and steam-cleaned to remove “oils, grease and dirt from exterior surfaces. Includes interior upholstery, surfaces and carpet cleaning, eliminating odours and bacteria.”
The cost is Dhs 99, and we have to say, it’s worth it. The beige leather interior feels brand new again, and they got almost all the stains out, save for a dark patch on the headliner that is easily missed. To be fair, they asked us to point out any stains that needed extra work, and we didn’t notice either. They don’t shampoo the floor carpets (which are also beige in our car), but it’s still fairly cleaner than before. And the exterior is clean as well, down to the wheels. We didn’t take before and after shots because it won’t be hugely obvious in photos, but it’s very visible in person.
The steam wash was like getting our car quick-detailed at a far lower cost. It won’t perform miracles if you treat your car shabbily in the first place, but if it is in one piece, the steam wash will clean up half-a-decade of hand grease and dirt very well, and cheap enough to get it done a couple of times a year if you have a light-coloured interior.