Business booming as motorists look to clean off salt, sand
by Wes Mayer
Although Coweta County has experienced a few rain showers in the last few weeks, it hasn’t been enough to wash all the salt and sand off the roads.
After Coweta County was covered in ice and snow two different times in a matter of weeks, the county’s and area cities’ public works employees worked tirelessly to spread salt and sand on the roads. This worked wonders and had Coweta County residents back on the roads after a few days. But now, the leftover salt and sand is flying into the air and sticking to the sides of vehicles — over time, the salt can be corrosive.
“You want to get it off there,” said Mark Parker, manager of the Riptide Car Wash on Baynard Park in Newnan. “All that salt and sand and grit can really hurt your paint.”
At Riptide’s drive-through car wash, a degreaser is sprayed on and water is blasted underneath the car that helps remove the salt and sand, Parker said. Riptide also provides waxing, carpet and interior cleaning and full detailing by appointment. The only service the car wash does not do is buffing.
“We’re regulars here,” said Newnan resident Jamar Joiner while waiting for his car at Riptide on Wednesday. “I think they do a really good job.”
“[The salt and sand] was definitely caked up there, and it needed to get washed,” Joiner said. “With the weather, you don’t know if you should go ahead and get it washed or put it off. But if you don’t get all that salt off, it damages your car.”
Parker said even though his car wash has been busy since day one, the business has been increasing. William Wainwright, who manages the interior and exterior detailing at Riptide, said business really picked up after the snow melted.
“After the snow, we were definitely hit bigger than if it didn’t snow,” Wainwright said. “We had some records broken — we had 544 in one day.”
The Shine ‘N Drive car wash on Bullsboro Drive shared similar numbers.
“We did 440 cars two Saturdays ago,” said Wes Greer, a manager at Shine ‘N Drive. “Probably most people wanting to get the salt off.”
Greer said the Shine ‘N Drive offers a number of services. The express wash costs between $6 and $12, but the car wash also offers a buff and shine service that costs $59. He recommends car owners get a buffing service two or three times a year, and the service is good for fighting the salt that’s trying to eat away at a vehicle’s paint.
The Shine ‘N Drive also offers an interior seat and carpet shampoo deal along with the buff and shine for $99.
For those not interested in a drive-through car wash and want something more hands-on, there is the Herring and Sons car wash at the corner of Jackson Street and Madison Street in downtown Newnan.
“There is a difference between washing a car and cleaning a car,” said Stan Herring. “I believe in doing it right, from top to bottom.”
The Herrings operate the car wash as a family and have been in business since February 2013. Mary Herring owns the business, and her two children, Antwan and Caressa, are now working there.
They provide interior and exterior cleaning, waxing and detailing, and they also provide mobile detailing — they do not provide buffing services, though. They have different rates for all of their services, and will clean a car however the owner wishes, Mary Herring said. The Herrings suggest car owners have their car hand waxed twice a year.
They also don’t believe in drive-through car washes. Stan Herring said when you sit down and think about all the dirty cars that go through the drive-throughs, a lot of dirt and grit is left behind on the machines. This dirt then scratches up the next car that drives through, he said.
“I would never take a new car through a car wash,” Mary Herring said. “You can really tell the difference and see those scratch marks.”
The Herrings said business, which greatly depends on the weather, has been picking up. They said they were backed up on Friday and Saturday after the ice storm hit Coweta, and they suggest hand washing is the best thing to get the salt and sand off.