What Your Vehicle Type Says About You

As detailers we service all kinds of vehicle types, and therefore meet all kinds of people.   While pondering this the other day, it struck me how there are some similarities between the kinds of vehicles people have and the kinds of people they are.  Many people share hobbies or lifestyles that can lead to why we are detailing their vehicle. So while this blog is less than scientific and is in fact made mostly of one receptionist’s observations, I thought it might be amusing to match the kind of person to the kind of vehicle they have us detail.  Are you one of these people? Let us know in the comments! In the meantime, enjoy this light-hearted blog. We also found this fun online survey “What Your Car Says About You Quiz” for you to try out.

Four-Wheel Drive and Off-Road Cars

Whether it’s a Jeep or Subaru, when people call in wanting these detailed, we often are working with people who love to explore the parts of Utah that are not easy to reach!  Many times they need help cleaning the dirt and mud from the outside, or taking care of scratches from low-hanging tree branches. These are the kind of people who like to be prepared for anything, and many of them commute long distances in the dusty Utah highways and gravel roads.  It’s no wonder those kinds of cars are popular, and we love taking care of them for you!

Our Recommendation: Consider our Basic Exterior Detail for your car.  It will help not only remove damage and dirt, but help protect your vehicle for years to come!  And do not forget to winterize with our Wash & Wax!

Small Cars

Smart cars and sedans and coupes, oh my!  Typically the people who have these work in the city or other busy areas where smaller cars are ideal for parking and efficiency.  That doesn’t mean they’re all business types, however. Items in these vehicles show that their drivers live colorful lives of all professions and family sizes, from teachers whose trunks are full of projects to grandmothers who keep child car seats in the back for their grandkids.  These drivers are on the go almost all of the time!

Our Recommendation: On-the-go means not having tons of time, so why not treat yourself to our Express Inside & Out?  In less than an hour we can have your car back to cleaned without risking the damage and swirl marks of a car wash!

Cars With Three Or More Rows of Seats

These drivers are often caregivers of some kind, whether they drive a classic large-family minivan or a 14-Passenger van for a special commuter service.  We are often meeting them at their homes or workplaces so they can keep dealing with the wonderful chaos their profession brings (or take a well-earned break from their heavy workloads).  Some of these even include cargo vans, such as a recent catering service wanting their vans cleaned, and we are more than happy to keep your on-the-go vehicles clean and healthy for you and your crew!  

Our Recommendation: You’re carrying a lot of people constantly, and people by nature are messy!  Our Interior Detail service can take care of the worst messes, from food spills to accidents. We can take care of those details!

RVs, Motorhomes, and Boats

Half of the time these people are not from Utah, and the other half are Utah natives who know the best spots to go on vacation.  These people know the value of traveling and breaking away from the everyday, and they invest in it- usually with big toys like their boats and RVs.  When we’re called in, we are often cleaning after a long adventure or while someone is en route to their next destination. We also help prepare vehicles for storage, preventing long-term expensive damage like rust!

Our Recommendation: Constant travel means constant hazards hitting your windows, so why not reduce the strains of cleaning them by having us install Glassparency to it?  It improves visuals, makes things like bugs and hard water easy to clean, and comes with a 3-Year Warranty!

Business Vehicles

From up-and-coming Lyft & Uber drivers to businesses with work trucks, these workers are expected to keep their vehicles clean for customer satisfaction.  But working means you don’t always have time to do it yourself, and some messes are consistent because of the work they do. An example of ours is working for companies that work construction but need the extra cleaning to keep up both appearances and vehicle health.  Thankfully our mobile services can help us go to you, and we work with fleets all the time! Don’t wait to give us a call and sort out how we can best work with your situation.

Our Recommendation: For the one-time Lyft driver or repeat fleet service, we recommend our Full Combo Detail.  Not only does it cover the inside and outside well, it also comes with a bonus Engine Detail!  

Our Return Customers

These are people who support our business because of their preference for clean and detailed vehicles, and we are thankful for them.  From those who request us once a year to our biweekly friends with annual packages, these people come from all walks of life and have different needs.  They add all kinds of interesting requests to our roster, and we hope we do them proud by giving the best work we can do.  

No real recommendations for these folks, only our heartfelt gratitude for their trust and requests for our services!  You support a small business in choosing us!

Did you relate to any of these descriptions?  I would love to hear how accurate I was, and what your ride says about you if I was not!  Leave a comment below, and if you would like to use our services you can fill out a Request Form!  We look forward to meeting you and servicing your vehicle. Thank you for reading!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

Restoring Foggy Headlights

Picture yourself in this scenario…if you will. You’re driving at dusk as the sun is going down and you turn your headlights on. You’re needing to squint and possibly lean forward because you don’t feel like you can see that well. There are two possible reasons for this. Either your eyes are bad and you should get contacts or glasses for driving or you need to get your foggy headlights restored. If you can drive down the road with your brights on and you’re not offending anyone, then you need to think about restoring foggy headlights. When I say restoring, I don’t mean that you need to buy new ones. Having foggy headlights rarely means that you need to replace them. Prices to restore them can vary but are usually reasonable. More commonly than not though, it is extremely worth it when you discover the difference it makes. Both with how well they look and how much better you will be able to see at night.

I have been taught a few different methods of restoring foggy headlights and there are many ways to successfully bring back the clarity of your headlights. I will go over the method that I have discovered works best for us here at Onsite Detail and that produce the results that I have been most pleased with.

Headlight Restoration Prep Work

Before restoring foggy headlights, you will want to make sure that the headlights are free of any bugs, dirt, bird poop, etc. It’s important but not vital because those contaminants will usually be the first and easiest things to come off but personally I don’t want those things to contaminate the sanding and/or buffing pads that I will be using on the headlights. That’s why I will clean them off and decontaminate them before I begin the headlight clarification process.

In most instances and depending on your experience and also what products will be used, you will want to tape off around the edges of the headlight, especially in areas where rubber trim or paint sits close. You will want to apply the tape to the paint and you will want to make sure you are using masking or painters tape as to not cause potential damage to those areas from overly sticky adhesives. You will want to do this for a couple reasons. The first and most important reason is you will want to protect the paint of the areas that are surrounding the headlight. If you are wet sanding the headlights, you will not want to have a slip of hand (or buffer) and get the paint. In most cases if this happens it is correctable but having the headlight taped off will decrease the chances of hitting the paint and damaging it dramatically. The other reason is just to isolate the area you are working on.

The other product you will want to have on hand is a showroom shine or something to keep the headlight wet and lubricated. If you’re going to be wet sanding the headlight, you will want to make sure that you keep the headlight wet. This will keep the sanding pad from getting too hot and also soften the contaminants on the headlight to make them easier to remove. Sidenote: If you have someone else there have them spray the headlight while you are wet sanding to make it a little easier. If someone else isn’t there, be sure to stop periodically to re-spray the headlight.

There are a couple different sizes of pads you can use and you will want to make sure you have the proper backing plates. If you have foam backing plates those will help to conform to the curves and edges of the headlight.

Each step will take 3 to 5 mins on each headlight. The pads for wet sanding you will want to have on hand is a 1500 grit, either a 3000 or 5000 grit, and a finishing foam pad. You will want to make sure that the pads are safe for wet sanding.

The Headlight Restoration Process

To begin, spray a generous amount of showroom shine onto the headlight and begin with the 1500 pad. If I were to describe the amount of pressure to apply to cooking steak I would say that the amount of pressure would be medium to medium-well. You can laugh at that analogy but when you really think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. That and I kind of want steak, but I digress.

As I said before, you will want to make sure that you keep the headlight wet. Without wiping off the headlight, spray more of the showroom shine and continue making sure to evenly wet sand every area of the headlight. When finished with this step, you will want to wipe off the headlight with a clean microfiber rag. There is a good chance that the headlight will have a foggy look to it. Do not panic, this is normal. This is where the next step happens.

You will replace the 1500 grit pad with the 3000 or 5000 grit wet sanding pad. Sometimes depending how bad the headlights were to begin with. If they were really bad, you can add a step by attaching the 5000 grit pad and going through the same process that I just explained. Remembering once again, to keep spraying the headlight with the showroom shine. Of course going through the same process with the 3000 grit pad. After wiping off the showroom shine from headlight after this step you will notice that the headlight will be very close to what many would describe as “crystal clear”.

The Finishing Step

The final step that you will want to do is to put on the finishing pad and grab some sort of a polish that is infused with a wax or sealant. This will insure that the headlight clearness will last longer and preserve what you just worked so hard to accomplish. For the polish, you do not need to keep the headlight wet but it is a smart idea to give the finishing pad a spray or two of the showroom shine. You will not need a lot of product on the pad. You don’t need to do this step twice but I like to do it for good measure. With a clean dry rag, wipe off the excess and you will discover the brand new headlight that you will be excited to see the difference at night with. Sounds like something weird to be excited about but I promise you will be. If you want go ahead and do an exterior detail as well to get the whole car up to par with the newly restored headlights. I hope you learned something about restoring foggy headlights. It doesn’t cost much and you will be that much safer driving in the dark. Safe Travels!

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

The Details of the RV Detail

We get many phone calls every week of people wanting to know the details of the RV detail. Today I’m going to go over some of the things to keep in mind and to hopefully help you understand a few of the processes of detailing an RV. A few months ago I wrote a few blogs about the whole entire RV detail. These blogs included everything included with the RV detail; from the roof cleaning to exterior washing to the exterior waxing and interior detail.

How we price our RV Detailing Services

I am going to go over RV pricing (for our company specifically), oxidation removal, different waxing methods, and some things in between.

For RV detailing, we charge $75 per man hour. That may sound scary if you don’t understand our reasoning, but don’t let it keep you up at night. We have found through our years of experience that the hourly rate allows to provide the right service that each client wants as well as not charge overcharge for RVs in great condition and undercharge for the neglected ones. We charge hourly because we want to make sure that we keep the job as customized as possible. We want to make sure that we are doing what you want done. We don’t want to be doing stuff that you don’t want done or are not really concerned about and then charging you for it. This means if you want and its needed we can spend lots of time polishing the wheels to perfection and not worry so much about the roof or vice versa. Some customers want the interior spotless and smelling fresh while others prefer we spend our time and energy polishing away ugly oxidation on the exterior. This allows us to serve you better and help you stay within a budget (if you have one). 

On occasion, there may be more than one detailer sent out on an RV detail job. If this is the case then yes, you will be paying $150 per hour. This means you will be paying the same amount to detail your RV at the rate of $75 per hour that you will at $150 per hour. At $150 an hour, you will have 2 workers on the job and will be able to get it done twice as fast.

If you have any questions regarding pricing or need an estimate give us a call or send us a text.

Oxidation Removal

RV oxidation removal can be an extensive project but well worth endeavor. Oxidation is the white chalky substance that builds up on the exterior of the RV, typically on the gel coat or the painted areas. The bad news is that it can be quite difficult to remove but the good news it that it can be done in most cases. The sad reality with oxidation is that washing the RV will not remove much of it, even with strong cleaners and soaps. It will remove some of it (the very loose stuff) as you will be able to see the washed away oxidation on the ground. Oxidation will also be weakened after a good wash but will not be completely eliminated. This is what makes the complete removal of oxidation such an extensive process. More times than not, to completely remove oxidation, you will need to have it done with a buffer or polisher and the proper polish pad and compound or polish.

Although it will take more time to remove oxidation, it is something you DO want to keep an eye on and will pay off in the long run. If you let oxidation get the better of your RV or trailer, believe it or not, it will actually diminish the quality of the gel coat or paint. Areas that are in the sun a lot will be most affected. Areas that have a lot of exposure to weather and the elements are also subject to oxidation. If that happens it will not only make your RV look ugly and gross it will hurt the resale value of your RV as well. We don’t want that to happen so be sure to keep it a priority to protect the RV and keep up on it.

Protecting the RV

I will now go over a few different methods of protecting the RV. After a good wash and cleaning it is highly recommended to get a wax, sealant or ceramic coating put on. There are a few different ways of protecting that are effective and, in my opinion, will work the best with various situations and on various budgets.

The first method is a spray sealant. This is the quickest application and will take the least amount of time to accomplish. It does not involve a “wax-off” step which will cut down the amount of waxing time that it could take by a pretty significant amount. Under ideal conditions, this type of sealant can and should last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. In extreme weather conditions this wax may only last about 2 months. This is ideal for RVs in already in good condition that are kept up and taken care of regularly.

Another method of protection is the wax or sealant that will be applied with a buffer or polisher. This is the protection method that does involve the “wax-on, wax-off” technique. This wax or sealant will most likely come in a paste or liquid paste form and will need to be applied with a foam or micro-fiber pad. This type of protection will easily add hours to the amount of time it takes to apply it. Under normal conditions this type of wax or sealant should last anywhere from 4 to 8 months. Typically this method is recommended once a year with an optional spray sealant in between services to make sure the paint or gel coat of the RV or trailer is being protected. This method of protecting will be more expensive but will also be better for the exterior and will also help hold up the value of the RV.

The top of the line or best protection for any RV surface will be a ceramic coating. This is not something that we would recommend to everyone. This is best for RVs that are new or have full exterior detailing done before installation. A ceramic coating is a durable clear protection that is resistant to heat, chemicals, UV Damage/oxidation and corrosion. It creates a solid barrier that is hydrophobic and will help make maintenance easier and protect the RV for years. Proper care is needed to maintain the coating but its protective qualities cannot be matched. The cost for having this installed is going to be significantly more than a wax or sealant but the protection it provides is way more valuable.

Now for my favorite method of protection. This is the one that I’ve recommended to many customers and involves a more efficient method of allowing for the best method of protection and not have to break the bank to make sure the areas that need more protection get the protection. It does involve two methods of protecting. We will start with the machine waxing/sealing that involves the paste wax and the buffer. The ONLY area that will be done with this method is the front of the RV or the nose unless otherwise desired. This area of the RV is the area that takes the majority of the beating from the weather and travel. Now that leaves the rest of the RV. The rest of the RV is done with the spray sealant. This method of protection is my favorite to recommend to those on a specific budget or as a maintenance service.

The spring, summer and fall are the most popular times of year that we see RVs. Constantly checking the exterior of your RV will help you to keep up with the regular cleanings and ensure any major problems can be avoided or corrected. The longer you let it go without taking proper care the more expensive it can get to return it to the nice glossy finish.

Hopefully you have learned a little more about RV detailing today. Until next time! Safe Travels!

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

What Sets Our Detailers Apart

There are some questions I receive regularly when helping schedule our detailing services.  Things like how long a service takes, how much it costs, and where we are located pop up daily, if not hourly.  One question has begun to arise, however, and that is how good our detailers are.  

I personally can say firsthand I know how good our detailers do, as I have seen the fruits of their labor on many vehicles, including the cars of my family!  However, our detailers are more than that. They are skilled, hardworking, and care about the job they perform. So today, I’m going to take the opportunity to put our detailers in the spotlight and share what makes them amazing!

  1. They are experienced and professional

Every so often I get a question about our detailers, namely if they actually know what they are doing or if they are some high school summer hire.  Each of our detailers has been doing this job for a long while, and whenever we hire someone new they are trained thoroughly and given time to learn our processes fully, having another detailer work with them until they are deemed ready to work solo.  This helps perpetuate the work ethic and tone of the company, and allows the new person many chances to learn a variety of tasks. We are continually doing trainings to refresh our knowledge and to stay up to date with the most efficient and effective ways to complete details. Since we are a small company, we also get to know each other more personally, allowing us to explore strengths and weaknesses to help raise each other up.  They love a chance to show how professional they are, something we are always glad for! 

  1. They are IDA certified

The International Detailing Association, or IDA, states on their website that “leading industry association for professional detailing operators, suppliers, and consultants to the industry. The association is dedicated to promoting the value of professional detailing services, the recognition of professional detailing as a trade, and empowering detailing industry professionals at each stage in their career.”  Part of our being involved with this association is that our detailers undergo a special certification which includes a ten-part exam and a practical test of their ability. When presented with this opportunity, many of our detailers have risen to the challenge, and all who have risen to it succeeded! When our detailers arrive on the job, you can rest assured they know what they’re doing- the IDA has declared it so.  

  1. They love a job well done

Our detailers come from all different backgrounds and can be very different from one another.  But if there is one thing they all have in common, it is knowing they’ve done a job very well.  

We have given them all kinds of seemingly impossible tasks, and they have stepped up time and time again.  Recently, we had given one of our detailers a minivan that had been neglected for so long it had maggots and pests in it.  He worked for hours in the hot sun, not once complaining, and made it like new on the inside. Our detailers love sharing their before and after photos with each other, and are not quick to give up on a tough job.  Another example was when a detailer got a boat that was huge and needed oxidation removal all over. Not only did he work all day on it, another detailer came to help when he had finished his own work. This got the job done in good time and made it shine!  After customers leave from in-shop jobs they often come up to me and ask if the customer was happy, which shows how important it is to them.

  1. They communicate with clients

Some companies train their workers to try and sell the most expensive products or sneak in services to charge later.  Our company does not care for this method, and to support that image, our detailers take great care in talking to their customers and clients about the work they are doing and making recommendations on what is best for each situation.

Our detailers talk to you through multiple steps of the process if needed – they will call upon arrival or when on the way if you request it, and they will contact you if they feel your vehicle needs a little extra work.  If you are doing a service like boat or RV detailing, which is hourly, they will discuss how long they believe it will be and tell you about any changes before going through with them. This allows you to say yes or no to a service, and prevents surprise or otherwise unwanted charges.  Our goal is to do our best based on what you want, and if you become a regular customer, you can request the same detailer to come again.  

  1. They work all year

Some people believe we are only open when the weather is good, but this is not entirely true.  Our detailers are prepared to work in all kinds of weather conditions, which allows us to stay open during the winter.  You may be thinking, why would I want to get a detail in the wintertime? We answer that in this blog: https://onsitedetail.net/blog/top-10-reasons-why-its-more-important-to-detail-your-car-during-the-winter/

When hot weather strikes, our detailers know to stay hydrated and keep cool.  In rainy weather, they call ahead to confirm if you still want your detail done and help find ways to make it work.  Snowy weather doesn’t deter them either, especially since we have garage areas in-shop that they can work out of if you don’t have a garage or other coverage!  Our detailers don’t just appear for a few months to work, they stick with us all year, and are more than happy to come out and work in any situation. Even if the weather isn’t great, call in!  They’ll be eager to make it work and get the job done for you.

We at Onsite Detail could go on forever about our detailers and the good work they do.  Our company would not be possible without them! If you want to thank your detailer for the hard work they do, give them a compliment, leave them a good review on Google or any of our social media, or give them a tip for a job well done- even a small one will get the message across.  Let us know you’re looking for a detail through a call or our Request Form, and we will take care of the details!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail