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The De Wagen Wasserij started out in the summer of 1977 as a question. “Do you want to buy a car wash?” Kind of a strange question you might think, and I thought it was! It was asked by a fellow motorcycle buddy after a day of dirt biking. How do you respond to such a request? Well, you’d think about it for an appropriate amount of time, (about 10 min) in my case, and say “why not!” Little did I know that simple decision by a long haired, impulsive, 22 year old biker would result in a lifelong carrier.


That initial $5000 dollar purchase by two car wash neophytes was the seed that propelled myself and later with my wife Ida into the car wash business.

1980 was a big year! After the original partnership dissolved, Ida and I decided to lease a new location and double the car wash size and add all of the “state of the art” additions, at least for 1980.

After washing cars in that location for 13 years, we lost our lease on the property so that necessitated a search for a new site which culminated in the purchase of our own dirt at 119 Grover St., our current location.


So, what do you do? Build a entirely new facility or move the one you got? Being of the thrifty Dutch blood we decided to relocate the old structure saving us not only money but time. We took something old and made it new reflecting the Dutch heritage architectural theme adopted by the Lynden community.


That brings us to 2007. More equipment changes and upgrades but the biggest change was the handing of the car wash wand to our most capable son in law and daughter, Mike and Jamie Schaeffer. They have proven themselves to be equally, or maybe even better, I’ll have to admit, at the car wash business than we were! They have now brought our family business the De Wagen Wasserij, with new equipment and technology, into the 21st century!

Written by Larry Van Andel
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