GRANITE FALLS - Mike and Tamie Martin have brought the latest in car wash technology to Granite Falls.
The Martins of Wood Lake recently opened Squeaky Clean Car Wash in Granite Falls, which also includes a new site for Tamie Martin's pet grooming business, Happy Tails.
"Tamie and I are service-oriented people and we just saw the need," Mike Martin said. "We're very hands-on people."
Photos by Cindy Votruba
Tamie and Mike Martin, far right, pose for a photo with their children, Wyatt and Tessa, outside their businesses, Squeaky Clean Car Wash and Happy Tails Pet Grooming.
The Martins have a self-storage business in Wood Lake, and Tamie Martin has her Happy Tails Pet Grooming at two locations in Wood Lake and Marshall.
It had been a couple of years since Granite Falls had a car wash, but Mike Martin said his plan to start a state-of-the-art car wash business was already in motion.
"We've been working on this for a while," Mike Martin said. "I just seen a need for a better car wash. Then it got to the need for a car wash."
Mike Martin had researched all that was necessary to start a state-of-the-art car wash, from the walls, to the glass to the concrete itself. He said he wanted to make the best options available to the Granite Falls residents.
"When it was time to build, I had pretty much everything ready," Mike Martin said.
The Martins even traveled to the Reliable Plus factory that makes car wash machines in Denver, Colo. to see how the equipment was made. Then they found a location on the intersection of Minnesota Highway 212 and Sixth Street.
"We demolished the old bank building here mid-May, we were open by June 17," Mike Martin said. "I just surrounded myself with good people."
Tamie Martin said Squeaky Clean has two self-service bays, and customers have 10 different options to choose from when hand-washing their vehicle.
"We put in every available option in the car wash industry," Tamie Martin said of the hand-wash bay. Some of the options include a tire cleaner and bug remover.
Customers can also hand-dry their vehicle in the self-service bay, Tamie Martin said.
"Motorcyclists really like it," Tamie Martin said of the hand-dry option. "It's able to get in all the nooks and crannies."
The automatic car wash machine doesn't use brushes, Tamie Martin said.
"It's a closed foam," Tamie Martin said. "It works like a shammy on your vehicle."
Tamie Martin said Squeaky Clean is one of the few places that has such a product, since it is brand-new. It is also equipped with electric eyes that sense such things as luggage racks.
An additional feature of the automatic car washing machine are brushes that specifically clean the tires, Tamie Martin said.
"They spin one direction and then another to get your rims really clean," Tamie Martin said.
Sometimes customers can be a little intimidated by the automatic car wash machine, Tamie Martin said.
"We're here to drive them through," Tamie Martin said, adding that she or a member of her family will walk customers through the automatic wash process.
After a customer leaves the wash bay, the Martins will squeegee the floor, getting it ready for the next person.
"We try to keep it clean when someone comes through," Tamie Martin said.
Besides her pet grooming area, Tamie Martin also has a public self-service pet washing room. She said it's like the self-service bay with the car wash. There's a selection dial if customers want to use flea and tick remover or a pet deodorizer.
Tamie Martin said her pet grooming area will open later this month and will take the place of her Wood Lake site.
The Martins said they've gotten good feedback from customers.
"People are pretty excited to have a car wash here," Tamie Martin said.
"The word's getting out there that we're open," Mike Martin said. "The community has been great through this whole building process."