It’s been a nasty January, but we’re almost out of it. For car washes, that’s not necessarily a good thing. When the salt trucks come out, the industry licks its lips, and this week was no exception. Even as Atlanta and, yikes, Tallahassee, Fla., dig out from yesterday’s flurry, we bring you some stories from around the country showing how snow may not be such a bad thing.

  • News12 Brooklyn brings a report about car washes helping clean up the mess in the borough. It’s been frigid there, and the snow hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s been melting, refreezing, adding a little more precipitation and repeat. It’s kept the road crews busy to tame the ice. From the news station:

Car washes are cleaning up across the borough, proving that the wintry weather can be good for some businesses. The salt and grime left behind after a snowstorm have drivers rushing to get their vehicles washed. At the Vegas Auto Spa car wash in Park Slope, an average of nearly 60 cars drive through every hour. The owner says winter is the best time of year.

  • reported about this car wash in Chicago that remained open despite sub-zero temperatures (among many car wash businesses that have, we suspect). According to the owner of Elgin Car Wash, he was able to gain some new customers when their go-to spots closed down.
  • And then there’s this one, our favorite winter car wash story yet, posted in the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette. They tell the story best, but basically the snow helped authorities nab a car was burglar.

The incident began about 5 a.m. Saturday as Laurelville Officer Mitchell Wille was patrolling the village during the storm and noticed a vehicle parked at the corner of Laurel Street and an alley next to a car wash.

“It just wasn’t a vehicle I recognized,” Wille said. “And it was about 5 a.m. in the middle of a blizzard, so that made it even more suspicious.”

Wille said he followed the vehicle a short distance when it pulled away and called in its plate number, but with no cause for a traffic stop, he returned to inspect the area.

There he discovered footprints leading between the vehicle’s original location and the car wash, as well as a large sack hidden in the bushes containing several hundred dollars in quarters.

When the police caught up with the two suspects, they charged them with breaking and entering, safe cracking, criminal trespass, vandalism, possession of criminal tools and possession of stolen property.