Car Wash - Spring 2015 - (Page 83)
wash that car
BY PERRY POWELL
HOST OF WASHIDEAS.COM
Okay, it took digging for a while to find
the scoop on this one. I heard the rumor
that someone had actually attempted to
wash cars using...Saw Dust! That's right,
don't clean your glasses...Saw Dust!
It had been mentioned several times
in interviews on washideas.com's legends
page, but no one had the dirt, or dust, on
the topic. Then in late January, while interviewing Martin Geller, of Vehicle Wash
Systems, it happened.
Geller's parents had been one of those
families that purchased and installed the
sawdust car washing system. Now we have
a front row seat to the scoop from a direct
The following is extracted from Martin's
Perry: You have to tell me the sawdust
Martin: I remember that very candidly. There were two owners to the site
in Boston. One of those guys was my father.
We built a new building.
A guy named Garret Mackintosh was
the Inventor. My father and my uncle
went out to see him. They were convinced
they wanted to do something different in
the industry. They bought this unit and
I remember as a little kid watching this
thing come in.
One tank was so big that when it went
in the back room, it looked like a brewery
back there. That tank was so big that it
had to come in on the railroad. A company named Rex made it. It contained
a big auger. There were other tanks and
the pump station looked like the City of
Boston's water treatment pumping station.
There were seven or eight huge Allis
Chalmers pumps in a basement that sucked
the water, separated the sawdust and sent
it up to the other tanks and the control
panel. It looked like a real sophisticated
operation for its day.
It did a beautiful job and it shined the car
when it was done. The problem with the
sawdust was that you just could not keep it
out of the vehicle. It would get behind the
headlights, in the air cleaner, between the
doorjambs. We tried everything to make it
work. We even tried using sponge to make
I also remember that, in the first six
months, it got so aggressive that it was eating out the pipes, wherever there was an
elbow. It was like sandblasting the pipes
internally and they would start leaking.
We would have to cut them out and weld
a new pipe in there.
It was very interesting, but as far as clean,
it did a beautiful job.
Perry: You have described one of the
issues that had been mentioned about the
sawdust system. You could not get the sawdust out of the car. Let me ask the other
questions on my mind.
SPRING 2015 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2015
Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Trends in car wash design
Creativity & innovation: the myth of the lightning bolt
Better by design
Revamping the retail experience
The importance of purpose in pursuit of extraordinary outcomes
Efficient offices for car wash owners/ managers
Risk vs. Reward
Marketing with a purpose
Building a legacy
2014 Consumer Study
2014 Annual Report
Dealing with bad online reviews
Wash ideas with Perry Powell
How can you take your social media to the next level?
Building strong work teams helps your bottom line
The Apple way
Making better business decisions: the critical thinking advantage
Do you know your perfect customer?
10 tips for D.I.Y. recruiting
Businesses victimized by cyber crime: the loss may be theirs
Take a Tour
Unsung (car wash) hero
Blast from the Past
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Members
Car Wash - Spring 2015