Car washes enjoying break in the weather |

Car washes enjoying break in the weather

Sarah Gonser

While a fair share of South Shore cars will remain shrouded in a film of mud for the duration of the winter, a brief warm spell is prompting hundreds of courageous souls to hose off the grime before the next snowfall.

As a result, area carwashes are turning into highway meccas with endless cars lining up for a scrub, buff and polish.

“Since Monday we’ve cleaned about 600 cars,” said George Libbon, a clerk at Lake Tahoe Gas & Wash. “This morning alone we cleaned 100 vehicles. Usually, when we’re open in the winter, we do about 75 cars a day.”

Libbon noted that a break in the weather was clearly the reason for the massive numbers. Most people were just getting the exterior of their cars washed despite the fact that they might have to do it again in a week.

Forecasts calling for a change in the weather didn’t deter some customers from lining up for 15 to 20 minutes for a wash. South Lake Tahoe resident Julia Garver, patiently waiting behind four cars at the Car Wash at 2281 Lake Tahoe Blvd., said she plans to keep her car clean by leaving town for a few days.

“Hopefully, I’ll get out of here before the snow,” Garver said. “Of course it’ll just get dirty again when I come back but at least it won’t be as filthy as it is right now. Look at it. It’s disgusting.”

Fran Dorn, who said she usually washes her car about eight times each winter, said washing her car has become a necessity to prevent damage.

“I’m not a clean freak, I just think all the dirt is bad for the car and the paint job,” Dorn said. “My car is just four years old but the windshield is pitted from the winters out here.”

Customers like Dorn, and hundreds of others anxious to see the paint under the mud, made business for people like Amanda Llewellyn, office manager at Ducks on the Lake Carwash, so overwhelmingly strong that she had to turn cars away Tuesday at closing time.

“There’s been a line all day, usually six to seven cars at a time,” Llewellyn said. “We’ve had to open a little late and close early because the equipment freezes when the temperatures drop, but when we closed last night at 6:30, there were still cars lined up. We’ve just been slammed.”

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