Car Smells and Odors

Cars are amazing creations.  We get to surround ourselves with technology designed to move us and protect us from the elements and other hazards.  Unlike our ancestors who had to travel exposed, we can enjoy getting from one place to another with the added protection all while listening to our favorite music and controlling the temperature.  

However, being kept in such a confined space can be a bad thing when there is unwelcome car smells in the car.  It can come from all sorts of things, from a milk spill, to food, to cigarette ash, to some hidden offender you haven’t quite found but certainly know is there.  It can make even a drive down the street unbearable and if you have a passenger it can be embarrassing. Unfortunately we have had people tell us that others don’t even notice how bad their vehicle smells at times.

Interior Detail Before and After

Interior Detail Before and After

Our Interior Detail Service  

Here at Onsite Detail our Interior Detail service has saved many a driver, and passenger, from having to face such an unwanted situation.  Our Interior Detail cleans and sanitizes every surface inside the vehicle, from steam cleaning the cracks and crevasses to shampooing carpet and upholstery.  However, it isn’t just us saying our Interior Detail service is great. Many of our clients have reviewed our services and have reported back satisfaction for helping with car smells.  This blog will look over what people have had to say as well as review our process for helping with bad car smells.

The Cleaning Process

Our Interior Detail is often a recommended first step to rid vehicles of unwanted interior odors.  Car smells that linger come in two forms- something you can throw away easily, and something you have to deep clean or extract.  When the detailers first clean the inside of the car, they clear out any debris and vacuum the car. Our detailers have shared with me that sometimes the bad smell in a car is as simple as food that rolled under the seat and molded, or a piece of trash that got to sit in the car long enough to stink.  These are usually as simple as tossing them in the garbage and making sure there is nothing “odor causing” remaining.Help those air fresheners out

Unfortunately not all bad odors are this easy to remedy.  Some of them get into the carpet, fabric or the leather and won’t come out no matter how nicely you ask them too.  I’ve had clients call in saying they tried to treat it themselves with steam cleaners or soap and water and it still comes back to haunt them.  Some have used so many air fresheners and sprays to try to get rid of it but in reality it’s just a temporary cover up. A lot of smells are so embedded in the car that the client can’t get it on their own, like cigarette smoke or a pet mess.  How do those get worked on?

When our detailers come and clean the inside of the car it helps to determine the different possible places where the smell might come from or what’s causing it the nasty odor.  Our detailers will vacuum, steam, shampoo, and scrub any cloth surface of a car and extract mats to get to deeper layers. For smells like cigarette smoke their steam cleaning can get it out of vents and crevices that might be holding onto it, as well as clean surface layers where the smell might linger.  Surfaces like cup holders, windows, and headliners are also cleaned entirely. If a smell has a risk of sticking around even after our service, we provide Odor Bombs for $25 each, which can be released in the car overnight and help eliminate anything that stays by killing and destroying any odor causing baterias.  

While we cannot guarantee the smell will be eliminated, over 90% of the time we are successful in cleaning out the smells after an Interior Detail and almost 100% with Odor Bombs in the worst cases.  

That’s not a claim we are making up either.  Here is a sample of reviews that address bad smells directly to back us up!

What Our Customers are Saying

Richard was a customer who needed lots of help with his new car.  Here is what he told us when our detailers finished the job!

Just purchased a car from a private seller. Definite heavy “kid stains” and a terrible smell that I thought must have been from a dairy spill. Welington and George from Onsite Detail came, spent over 3 hours on the car and did a fantastic job. They took out the spare tire which is stored in the interior under a floor cover and found the source of the smell!! Kids’ food molded over and other unidentified “stuff”. [I]t was ugly… I’m sure it’s probably standard for them to do that, but I’m sure some companies wouldn’t bother cleaning the spare tire compartment. I honestly wouldn’t have looked to check and would have been dealing with that smell still!”  -Richard

Among our most common bad smells are dairy-related ones.  Two reviewers, both named Dan, shared with us how we helped them with their situations.

I had a kid spill a half cup of milk in my car on the floorboard. I went home that night and scrubbed it good with soapy water. A month later a water bottle leaked in the same spot and brought all those sour smells back. I called Onsite Detail and they came to the rescue. The customer service was really great. Andy was very professional and knowledgeable. He cleaned it and now it smells like roses! I’ll definitely be using them again.” -Dan

 

So my daughter spilled milk in the back of our car and got on a the seat and floorboards. We immediately tried to clean it with a shop vac and wet rag only to find out later it had that horrible sour milk smell. We called Onsite Detail and they were very responsive and came to bail us out. They got the milk and smell out and were very professional to work with. I have used them since and trust them with my vehicles.” -Dan

Even if there isn’t a specific smell, there is a special benefit to having a car smelling nice.  Ashley and Alex show us how happy this makes them in their reviews:

William came to the rescue! My car is exceptionally clean and smelling amazing. He was so sweet and great to work with. I highly recommend Onsite and ask for William! Thanks again” -Ashley

 

My kids make plenty of spills all over our back seats that are fabric. They were able to clean every spill making it look and smell like a new car again. Thanks again Onsite Detail!” -Alex

In summary, keeping your car smelling clean and fresh is an important part of keeping you and your family and friends happier and healthier.  Our service has helped many people achieve cleaning and eliminating even the worst smells, and we are ready to tackle yours too! Get the nasty odors and smells taken care of before the weather heats up and makes them worse! Call or text us or fill out a request form today.  We look forward to serving you and your vehicle!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

New Year’s Resolutions 10 Ways to Help You Keep Your Car Clean

It’s the time of year where we do our best to shed bad habits of the old year and build on the new.  Some people go all out with big goals, like traveling the world or working out like it was a full-time job, while others go for smaller things like keeping their room cleaned more regularly or having one less sweet a day.  In the end we are all ultimately going for the same thing- improving ourselves and accomplishing our goals including better ways to take care of ourselves and our surroundings.

With that in mind, how many of us consider taking care of our cars as part of our New Year’s Resolution?  I don’t just mean keeping up with regular oil chances and adjusting tire pressure- I mean taking care of your car, keeping it clean and protected.  Our cars do a lot of work for us, getting us to jobs, visits, errands, and vacations. Yet not many of us take a lot of time to keep it clean as a form of maintenance and prevention.  This may seem trivial, but taking care of your car can lead to benefits you may not have considered, from keeping your car healthy to taking care of yourself. Among these ten ways to help keep your car clean, you will also find reasons this Resolution will help you in our new 2019.  Thankfully all of these ideas are absolutely possible with help from Onsite Detail, even for those who don’t have the time, energy, or ability to do them (because let’s be real, the majority of us are busy people)! Without further ado, here are ten ways to keep your vehicle clean for your New Year’s Resolution!

Mercedes Engine Detailed Utah Onsite Detail

Mercedes Engine Detailed by Onsite Detail

  1. Engine Cleaning

Our vehicle engines do a lot of work for us, and deserve to be treated well so they function better and last longer. Aside from necessary mechanical maintenance, cleaning out engine areas and detailing it does more than make it look new- it can help the engine run better and more smoothly removing all the caked on dust, dirt and debris. It can also potentially help reveal any potential mishaps coming your way.  One client had an engine detail service done by us to help maintenance workers find a leak later that day. Others just find peace of mind knowing they can open a hood and be able to tell the difference between dirt and damage. Doing this a few times a year is an optional but effective way to keep your engine in check!

  1. Hand Washes

Who likes a dirty vehicle? Well, maybe those off-roading guys wear the dirt caked on their vehicle with pride but most of us would rather be driving a fresh shiny car or truck down the road. Not only does it feel and look great but it is also better for the vehicle itself. Leaving dirt and grime on a vehicle for long periods of time can damage the paint, plastic and other parts of the vehicle, sometimes to the point of no return.

Sometimes people call me and ask why a hand wash is preferred over an automatic car wash.  And to that I have quite a few answers! For starters, car washes can cause swirl marks and micro scratches to appear in the paint with overly aggressive methods and dirty brushes. In the long run that will cost more to correct and repair.  For another, hand washes can be more thorough and detailed, and our hand washes include all the details most automatic car washes are not equipped to get including under door handles, door jambs, mirrors, wheels, wheel wells, and rims. Even if we are not doing the hand wash for you, hand washing your car can feel empowering, as well as help you notice any nicks and dings you may have missed before that need repair from a body shop!

Paint Sealant Application

  1. Protection

Paint sealants and waxes are more than just making your car shiny, though that is a benefit!  Protecting a car’s paint and other surfaces can help prevent oxidation and other damage to the clear coat, plastic and metals. Some waxes can hide blemishes if applied properly as well.  Doing this every 2 to 6 months means it’ll be easy to keep to your resolution while also preventing long-term damage that will cost big bucks to repair if ignored.

  1. That One Odd Spot

Sometimes life happens and you end up with tree sap, tar, scratches or some other kind of unwanted blemish on your vehicle.  While some are willing to shrug and live with it, it can still will be bothersome whenever you see it. You paid a lot for your car, so why let something like that demoralize you?  Taking the time to remove the blemish is much like taking care of those rock chips on your windshield- not only does it feel good to take care of, it can prevent potential long term issues later. Take care of these small issues as they happen and before they before a big problem for you. If you don’t have the time or the knowledge of what to do we are happy to help you out!

  1. Child Seats

This obviously does not apply to everyone, but those with child seats in their car know that the children who sit in them, no matter how precious, can and will make messes. You may be tempted to “not worry about it” because it’s just going to get dirty again, but a child’s car seat left uncleaned can be a breeding ground for germs, molds and bacteria. Not only is it nice to not put your child in a sticky gooey car seat but it will also keep them safe from those nasty illness causing things. We at Onsite Detail can take care of that with our thorough Child Seat Cleaning service, so you can keep your kid’s areas sanitized, neat and tidy!  This doesn’t mean just vacuuming them either, we go as far as steam cleaning and shampooing the car seats to take care of stains and grime.

  1. Vacuum and Wipe Down

Keeping the inside of the car clean is important for personal well-being.  Dust and dirt can easily get on the headliner and in our seats, and being surrounded by uncleanliness can make us feel down on ourselves.  Taking the time to dust, vacuum, and wipe down the inside of your vehicle not only gives you a sense of control over the car, but also takes initiative on helping ourselves feel better.  Taking even twenty to thirty minutes every few weeks makes this a worthwhile endeavor!

Auto Detailing Utah Carpet Shampoo

Interior Carpet Shampoo

  1. Interior Detailing

Some of us lose track of time and our cars’ interiors take the toll to the point that vacuuming and wiping down the inside won’t be enough to get the job done.  Maybe there was a spill or accident that has begun to leave a smell or the basic cleaning can’t take care of the finer details or get much dirt or grime out of carpets or seats.  Taking a day to do a full Interior Detail might be the way to go. Not only does it take care of long-term grime, it gets in the parts of a car you may not even think about like pockets, crevices, and under seats and the mats.  Not sure you have the time? At Onsite Detail, we offer an Interior Detail service that takes about two hours on average, and with us going to you, that’s almost no time at all! It makes it easy for you to get the interior detail done and still get everything else done you need to.

  1. Clay Bar Treatment

Clay bar treatment is a process that detailers use to remove contaminants from the vehicle’s paint and smooth it out.  In short, it takes care of many things a regular hand wash cannot! Not only will your car’s exterior look better, it will feel better too.  Why not take the extra step to ensure all the contaminants are removed from your car’s paint? Your car will look and feel great. You will feel great as well.

  1. Pet Hair Removal

Many of us have furry family members that we bring everywhere with us.  However, that can lead to lots of pet hair being left behind in your vehicle!  Pet hair is not only unsightly, it can cause people with allergies to struggle.  Taking care of pet hair can be satisfying since you can see the results of the work quickly!  It also helps pave the way for putting down covers to keep pet hair off at a later time. You and your pet will be happier for it!

  1. Annual Packages at Onsite Detail

As was said early on, many of us are super busy.  We may not have the time or resources to take care of our cars to great lengths, or even to consistent ones.  However, to make your Resolution happen we have a special service: annual packages. Setting these flexible services up means paying up front but taking 20% off the the services you want done for your vehicle for at least a year, as well as consistent appointments to have us come and take care of your car.  Call our office for more information, we would love to set one up to make your New Year’s Resolutions happen!

These are just a good handful of ways to keep your car clean this year, with benefits to yourself to keep in mind when moving forward.  We at Onsite Detail wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to detailing your vehicles all through 2019 and beyond!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

How To Clean Vehicle Carpet

Vehicle Carpet Takes the Most Abuse

Out of any part of your vehicle’s interior the area(s) that take the most abuse and get the dirtiest are the floors. There are some, mostly commercial vehicles that have vinyl flooring. Most cars have carpet. This is due to the fact our shoes and other things drag in dirt, water, snow, road salt, small rocks, and even sticky things like gum or tree sap. Not mention all the stuff we spill and drop on the floor that if not cleaned up in a timely matter can get ground into the carpet. The question then arises, “How do I clean vehicle carpet?”.

There are actually a myriad of ways to clean vehicle carpet, depending of what type, how dirty, one’s budget and what color the carpet is. We will go over some DIYer techniques and work our way to the most effective, safe, and professional way to clean your vehicle’s carpet.

How do you clean other things?

How do you most effectively clean your tile or hardwood floor in your home? What steps do you go though? If you want it done right, you probably have a certain order in which you do it in, right? Hopefully you don’t go right into mopping. Hopefully you de-clutter and maybe you take out the rugs, shake them, wash them (if needed). Maybe you move furniture to get those areas that never see the light of day but where dust and dirt go to take cover. Bottom line is that you want to do the best job possible. Even professional floor cleaners have a certain order in which they do things. Basically what I’m getting at is that when cleaning properly there are certain steps to follow. There is an order that you do things in. For example: the usual order for a proper tile or hardwood floor cleaning would be first sweeping and then mopping. After of course removing rugs and moving furniture as needed.

Cleaning the Vehicle’s Carpet and FabricDIY Vacuum out car

Carpet and/or fabric cleaning has a similar order, especially in vehicles. Vacuuming and shampooing (cleansing, rinsing and extracting). The first step before turning on a vacuum or extractor is taking out any and all floor mats. Some vehicles may have plastic or rubber mats that you will want to take out to clean separately. We will come back to those in a little bit. The next thing you want to do is decide where you are wanting to start. I personally prefer to start at one of the front seats, driver or passenger. After you decide where you are starting. Make sure the seat is moved appropriately. If you are starting in the front move the seat as far back as it will go. Make sure any trash and/or junk is cleared out, especially under the seat before you clean vehicle carpet. You will notice some of the most dirty areas are also areas that are more difficult to get to, especially for vacuuming purposes. A couple of those areas will include under the seat and the floor area between the seat and center console. If you have a long skinny vacuum attachment (a crevice tool) for your vacuum, it will help you do a better job in those hard to reach areas. Another area that can be forgotten or overlooked is the area in the back of the seat just under the backrest. To see what I’m talking about, move the backrest of the seat all the way back and you will see an area where much of the dirt, crumbs, and other debris has collected in that space.

When you are finished or have vacuumed to your satisfaction, move the seat all the way forward and continue vacuuming behind the front seat. Continue vacuuming around the car. Be sure to get under the seats and in the crevices of the seats and where the seat belt connectors are. If you desire to move beyond the cab of the car; the trunk is an area that can collect dirt and debris.

After you have vacuumed the car you come to the “mopping” or shampooing section and is probably the part where you will realize you may want to call a professional detailer to clean vehicle carpet. If you do not have the time or budget to have it professionally done, it will take some supplies and a little bit of elbow grease but you may be able to achieve some acceptable results. The supplies you’ll need are a spray bottle, a stiff bristled (not a wire brush), hand held scrub brush, and a shop vac with the capabilities to suck up water (most wet/dry shop vacs are strong enough to do this). You will want to get a carpet cleaning chemical or all purpose cleaner that is safe for use on carpets and fabrics and dilute it in the spray bottle (if it’s not in a ready to use form). A good amount is usually 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 depending on the chemical. This can be altered depending on the severity of the soiling and stains. You don’t want to go more than 2 to 1.

Note to self before beginning: This is for a pretty basic shampoo job. Again, I would recommend that you get this done professionally just because of experience and the use of proper equipment and chemicals will produce far better results. But if you really want to DIY, this will be a pretty basic shampoo.

You will begin by spraying the diluted degreaser on the desired area. To do the best job possible, you will want limit the size of the areas to work on. Starting in the front drivers seat is the best place to start because you’ll want to allow it as much time to dry as possible. After spraying, take the hand brush and scrub the area(s) you sprayed. If you need more moisture feel free to spray more as needed (depending on the severity of dirt and stains in the given area). After you have scrubbed the area thoroughly, you will take the shop vac and suck out as much cleaning product, dirt and moisture as possible in the area that you have been scrubbing. You will want to be sure to vacuum to the point of the carpet or fabric being as dry as you can get it. After that take a rag and scrub and press down on the same area to help wick out any moisture that you can.

You will repeat this throughout the rest of the car. When you are finished, you will want to check the carpet and make sure it’s as dry as possible. You will most likely need to leave all the doors open in a warm environment to allow the carpet to dry all the way. Check areas where moisture or the degreaser could’ve collected to make sure that it is as absorbed as possible.

How does it look after?Utah auto carpets all clean Onsite Detail

Hopefully after all this effort you’ve gone through, your clean vehicle carpet will be to your satisfaction. If you didn’t do any of that or aren’t happy with the way that it looks, CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL DETAILER!! You can’t say I didn’t warn you. If you’re brave enough to give it a shot, good luck, and I hope this helps. If not, give us a call and we’ll be happy to do that for you.

In the professional detailer steps the idea is the same although more effective tools and chemicals will be used. Depending on how dirty the carpet is there are additional methods that would be used. For example if gum is stuck in the carpet or if something like tar is embedded in the carpet. Professionals have heated extractors and or steamers that improve the cleaning power and effectiveness of the chemicals. The suction from a professional extractor is more powerful and has the proper attachments to be most efficient and effective to clean vehicle carpet.

I bet you can guess what I’m gonna say for really bad stains or soiled carpets. If you haven’t guessed “call Onsite Detail” yet, keep guessing. It will take more then what I have told you to get out tough stains. Some stains, if left for a long time may not come out at all. I’m not even going to try and tell you how to attempt it because in many cases, that could make it worse if the stain and dirt get pushed deeper into the carpet. That’s when having the right equipment, effective chemicals, and proper training come into play. Most of which cannot be obtained by reading a blog. As much as I’d love the ability to perfectly train someone over a blog, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t think I’ve been blogging long enough to be able to do that quite yet…I’ll work on that though. We wish you success in any DIY efforts but if you want help or find yourself in a hard place please contact us and get your vehicle on our schedule for your detail.

 

by Andy Stallings, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Fix exterior faded plastic oxidation

Exterior Vehicle Plastic

Today’s exterior vehicle parts and trim are largely made of plastic that if exposed can lead to faded plastic oxidation. These plastics are used to add efficiency in production, to reduce overall weight and to create decorative pieces for a vehicle’s exterior. Many different types of plastics are used in manufacturing exterior plastic. Nylons, polystyrene, poly carbonates, weather-able ASA-AES, PVC, polypropylene, polyesters, and urethanes are the most commonly used plastics in these applications. All non-painted exterior plastics on every vehicle are susceptible to plastic fading or oxidation.

Some of the most notorious vehicles for exposed exterior plastic are the Chevy Avalanche and the Jeep Wrangler. These both have above average amounts of plastic and so they are among the hardest to maintain and most noticeable when the plastic fades and oxidizes. If the plastic is not cared for it makes these vehicles look pretty bad. When you see one of these that has properly cleaned and protected plastic, it looks great.

The fading of the plastics is a constant battle that most vehicle owners end up losing because they can’t find a solution that keeps for more than a week or two and they deem it not worth it or don’t have the time to keep up with the required maintenance.

What causes exterior car plastic to fade?

Most vehicles have at least a small amount of exterior black or grey plastic. They both fade, but it is much more noticeable on black plastic.

The sun, heat and other elements are almost constantly beating down on the plastic. This causes the already somewhat porous plastics to degrade or oxidize. The result is a faded or lightened color from the original plastic which does not look good but is actually not good for the plastic either. Most vehicles have various plastic parts that are not necessarily made by the same manufacturer. This means that some plastics are not as well made and can potentially degrade faster than other parts. It takes time but it can get the point of plastics actually completely breaking down, becoming brittle and falling apart. Depending on where that plastic is on the vehicle, it can actually become a safety hazard if the plastic deteriorates to that point of falling apart.

Many have claimed to have the perfect solution to fixing plastic fading and oxidation but few live up to the claims.

DIY dont’s

I have seen many mistakes because of bad ideas or bad advice (usually found online under “life hack” articles) that claim to have miracle fixes to this problem that most of us face with our exterior plastics on our vehicles.

Please DO NOT attempt the following;    

  • Rubbing peanut butter into the plastic
  • Spray it with WD-40
  • Spray painting the plastic
  • Applying used engine oil to the plastic
  • Sanding the plastic
  • Buffing or compounding the plastic
  • Applying cooking oils
  • Applying heat to burn/melt the plastic
  • Coloring the plastic with permanent marker
  • Applying some type of solvent

These are some of the things I’ve seen people try and at first might produce a satisfactory result but over time the mistake of trying one of these will show. Many of the articles claiming these things will help neglect to state why they help or how long they will last. Most don’t understand how plastic is actually made and that these things will actually damage the integrity of the plastic to only progress the deterioration of the plastic quicker.

Hiding plastic oxidation

There are so many products out the that claim to fix or restore the faded plastics on vehicle exteriors. Most of them actually look great when first applied. But many of them fall short and begin to lose their darkening effect rather quickly, some within minutes of application. Some do last a week or two but then seem to dry out the plastic and make the oxidation worse than is was before, prompting most people to re-apply the same product again.

Many products produce a high shine, greasy and wet look. While some people like this, it is not the natural or original look of new plastic. New plastic has more of a matte look and does not feel greasy to the touch. A lot of these products can actually cause damage over time and dry out plastics to cause faded plastic oxidation.

Make sure before using any product that you read the labels and instructions completely to understand the proper application process and what kind of results to expect.

True plastic restoration

In my years as a detailer and detailing business owner I have always jumped from product to product trying to find the best plastic restorer but have almost always been disappointed. In our plastic restoration service we use an actual plastic restoration product. It is the only one I’ve used that actually lives up to what it claims to do. The product is called Solution Finish. The exterior plastics, once faded and ugly, will look better than new. Once wiped off properly they are clean to the touch and do not feel greasy or look shiny. The real test is the longevity. In my own experience on my personal vehicle, after a month went by, it looked freshly applied. It took a full 6 or 7 months of Utah weather to show any signs of fading again.

The beauty of this product is that it actually restores the plastic and is not just a greasy filler that covers up the fading. It actually restores and reverses the oxidation that has occurred. This is a professional grade product and service that is truly worth paying for.

Fixing faded vehicle plastic

Whatever product or service you end up going with to restore your faded exterior vehicle plastic make sure you know how to and/or understand what the results will be.

 

by Chris Blaisdell, CD, Onsite Detail

What is paint oxidation and clear coat failure?

What is paint oxidation?paint oxidation red car paint 50/50

We’ve all seen instances where a vehicle’s paint has been neglected to the point the paint is no longer shining like when it rolled off the showroom floor. In fact that is the case for most vehicles we see on the road today. I would dare to say that most daily driver vehicles have a bit of paint oxidation going on. Unless you’ve had a ceramic coating installed or you have religiously waxed and/or sealed the paint on your car you’ve probably got some oxidation going on as well.

Oxidation, on vehicle paint, is when the sun, heat and the other elements wear down the surface of the clear coat (on a 2 stage paint job) and make it look faded or cloudy. In extreme cases it can become chalky and rough to the touch. In many instances this can be referred to as “clear coat failure”, which we’ll explain a bit later.

Gel Coat Oxidationoxidation boat gel coat

Oxidation is especially prevalent on gel coat surfaces like boats and RVs. This is due the fact that gel coat is more porous than vehicle clear coat paint. It is very important to keep a gel coat protected to avoid the back breaking (not to mention shoulders and arms) labor required to bring a very oxidized gel coat back to life.

How to fix paint oxidation

In most cases paint oxidation can be corrected. The process varies on a case by case basis but basically involves first, cleansing the paint of any contaminants and then possibly wet sanding the paint and finally compounding and/or polishing the paint with a rotary buffer or dual-action polisher or a combination of the two machines with varying compounds and pads.

The process of paint correction uses a machine and a variety of gritty to not so gritty compounds and polishes to smooth out the damaged clear coat to remove damaged clear and bring back the shine and gloss.

There are many different levels of correction as well. Everything from using a glaze that has fillers and oils to hide the damage but not actually fully removing it to a full paint correction that will leave a deep shine and gloss that will take away almost all imperfections in the paint.

What is clear coat failure?clear coat failure car paint

A vehicle that has never been waxed will most likely get to the point of oxidation and then clear coat failure. Clear coat failure is when the clear coat has been completely worn away or it has oxidized so bad that it starts to fall off, bubble and peel. Depending on the conditions a vehicle sees on a day to day basis, the quality of the paint job and how the vehicle is cared for clear coat failure can happen rather quickly or take many many years to appear.

Can clear coat failure be fixed?

Clear coat failure is not something can can be remedied with a detailing paint correction service. In some cases it can be made to look better and will temporarily hide it but it will reappear. The only true way to repair clear coat failure is to have the panel repainted at a professional auto body shop.

How to avoid oxidation and clear coat failure

One of best ways to avoid clear coat failure is to protect your vehicle’s paint with regular wax or sealant applications. The best way to avoid it is to get a ceramic coating professionally installed and maintain it properly. These will protect the paint and keep it from taking all the abuse that it would without it.

by Chris Blaisdell, CD, Onsite Detail

5 Reasons to Keep Your Car Clean and Detailed

What are the Top 5 Reasons to Keep Your Car Clean?

REASON #1: SANITATION

According to a study done by the Harvard Health Watch, the average American spends 101 minutes per day driving. That means that in a lifetime, an average Joe spends a whopping 37,935 hours driving a car (assuming that s/he starts driving at 17 and drives until 78.7 years old). That is nearly 2 hours a day spent in a vehicle for the average American. If you’re driving around in a germ infested vehicle, it could be harmful to not only you but also people you care about. Getting your vehicle professionally detailed and keeping up with regular cleanings will drastically reduce the harmful germs that could be getting comfortable in your vehicle. If you want to clean it yourself that is definitely an option. I would suggest getting a carefully sought out professional detail. With the healthy and productive mix of proper training, effective but safe chemicals, and high-powered and hard-hitting equipment, most harmful germs will be eliminated. Not just covered up, but removed from the car completely.

REASON #2: APPEARANCE

This is probably the main reason people want to get their car detailed. It’s always been my belief that a clean car runs better. I’m not going to tell you whether that’s completely true or not. You have the information now so do with it what you must. Having a nice and clean looking car does a lot for piece of mind and confidence. It’s like all those studies that tell you how successful people make their beds everyday. Having a car that you take care of and clean will not just be beneficial to the car but to you personally. It will also eliminate embarrassment. If you’ve ever been criticized or self-conscience about how dirty your car is you know what I’m talking about, you know who you are. I think everyone at one time or another has had to deal with that.

REASON #3: SMELL

I don’t know what would be worse… an dirty appearance or an unpleasant odor. Appearances can be changed but odors and smells can be a little tougher to eliminate. Especially the longer you wait to try and take care of them. A story about a bad car smell that happened to me personally, er…I mean, a friend of mine… My friend had bought a gallon of chocolate milk for a get-together at a friend’s house and had taken everything into the house except the chocolate milk, which had been locked in the trunk. Weeks went by and a smell started to become worse as the days went by. Keep in mind this is the middle of the summer. 3 to 4 weeks later my friend opened his trunk and was met with the harsh reality of his brief stupidity. By that time, rotting milk had expanded and soaked the carpet of the trunk and the smell had nearly been absorbed into all the fabric of the car. Some good things came from this experience. One of them is that my friend hasn’t done anything that dumb since then but also learned that a good detail job can eliminate smells. Smells (or the bacteria causing the odors) can be extracted from fabrics and carpet if smells haven’t had much time settle into the material. There are other odor removal products such as Odor Bombs or ozone machines as well that help get into every crack and crevice of the vehicle to kill and eliminate the cause of the odor as opposed to just masking it with a fragrance. Smokers cars are the toughest but it CAN BE DONE. In some cases it can be a 3 to 4 days process but it can be done through a combination of the mentioned processes.

REASON #4: RE-SALE VALUE

If you talk to any good realtor, they will tell you that a house and yard that have been taken care of, flipped, or updated, has a much better chance of selling at a good price than a house that hasn’t been. They will also tell you that putting a couple thousand into the landscaping, yard, or a renovating/flipping project inside the house will increase the value by a few thousand more. In some cases can increase the value by tens of thousands. Putting effort into taking care of things and places that are a big part of your life will pay off in the long run. Namely your house and your car. Although you’ll also need to keep up with oil changes and many mechanical issues that may arise with your vehicle. Keeping it clean will add the appeal and also tell people that if you’ve taken care of the cleanliness of your car, you’ve most likely taken care of the mechanical things that aren’t as visual. Keeping up with the smell and appearance will make selling your vehicle a piece of cake when that time comes.

REASON #5: KEEPING THE SPOUSE HAPPY

This one speaks for itself. It can be difficult to find the time and money to detail and maintain cleanliness with your vehicle. Especially if it’s a family vehicle. Family vehicles will usually be bigger and be more expensive to detail. Minivans, SUVs, mid-sized SUVs, large trucks, etc. My wife and I have a small SUV that is her car but it is our road trip car. Also the car that we run errands in. My wife also uses it for work daily driving anywhere from 1 to 3 hours a day. We also have a newborn and a dog that minimally sheds. It’s not as much of a challenge for us as it will be eventually but that’s the vehicle we really try to keep up on with mechanical and detailing. As much of a challenge as that can be, it is extremely rewarding to have the vehicle that we spend all of our time on the road together in, is clean and runs well.

Some surveys suggest that a clean car makes us feel happier and three out of four drivers say a spotless car makes them feel better about themselves. If this is true then why would you not want those you care about to have a freshly detailed car as often as possible?

THE PERFECT GIFT

For those of you that struggle buying gifts or have someone that is tough to buy gifts for, we sell gift certificates. Anyone will appreciate a clean vehicle as a gift. Whether you want to pay for a whole service or a portion of a service, we can help you out. We sell them year round and the holidays are always a good time of year to buy them. Let us know how we can help you.

by Andy Stallings, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Top 5 Reasons People Get Their Car Detailed

Why Do Most People Get Their Car Detailed

As the main scheduler, I get to communicate with a variety of people who want to schedule a detail service with Onsite Detail.  I get everything from someone wanting the most basic of services to people who need the entire day to get their cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles, and/or airplanes cleaned and protected down to the smallest detail.  It’s not just the services that are so diverse, but also the reasons behind those services. From personal experience, here are the top five reasons people call to get on our schedule to get their car detailed!

1. They’re Selling the Car

A common reason we receive calls is someone is simply looking to sell their vehicle.  A detailed car will not only increase the value of the vehicle but it will help it sell much faster too. Anyone who has bought or sold a car knows it’s a long process with paperwork, scheduling visits, and talking to banks.  Why add to the stress of it when you can have someone else do the detailing?

Our services can deep clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle and make it almost like great, even if it hasn’t been the most well-maintained.  We can also help clean engines so they shine for the buyer and buff out those scratches and oxidation on the paint to make it shine again. Whatever you need cleaned before you sell, we can almost certainly do the job!

2. They Just Don’t Have the Time

We live in a busy age.  It’s uncommon to see someone who has all the time in the world anymore.  So when I make an appointment for someone who says they just don’t have the time, we totally understand!  One of my personal favorites from this is a call I got where someone needed their vehicle cleaned for their friend’s wedding the very next day.  Talk about rushed!

When I say they don’t have the time, I mean all sorts of things.  I mean people whose jobs have them working overnights, to parents with four kids, to people with conditions that make it so they cannot work on their vehicle as they’d like.  Our two or three hour job would be an entire day or more for them. We are more than happy to come to you and detail your car and help keep it clean and protected, even if it’s just because you don’t feel like doing it.  It’s a unique way of treating yourself. Speaking of treating…

3. It Makes A Great Gift

Car Detailing Gift Certificate - Onsite Detail in Sandy, Utah

Detailing a car has lots of uses.  It can help prevent long-term wear and tear like rust, deal with scratches or oxidation, and make the car owner feel like a champion.  It makes me smile when someone explains they want a car detailed that belongs to their spouse, kid, parent, or friend. Some people are hard to buy for, but if they have a car, then you have a gift idea!

My own grandparents, who are hard to find gifts for because they simply don’t need much in terms of material items, were ecstatic when I got their car detailed for them.  It was by no means filthy, but it hadn’t been deep-cleaned in months due to their old age and busy schedules. Other family members were even a little envious because they wanted their cars cleaned too!  So I can tell you from personal experience that scheduling a car detail from the pros is a great gift idea, and at Onsite Detail we even sell gift cards to make that even more fun! Keep it in mind, the holiday season is coming up very soon.

4. They Need a Professional Detailer

Some detailing jobs are too complicated for the average car owner to deal with on their own.  For example, swirl marks, over spray, hard water spots, oxidizing paint, ceramic coatings, or sticky substances like tar and tree sap need an expert to get it cleaned up properly.

When these people call in, I’m always eager to get them on the schedule right away.  Our detailers are trained to take care of the tougher jobs and use the best techniques, products and equipment around to do so. We love seeing a car in rough shape be cleared of its “ailments” and don’t shy away from the harder jobs.  Instead of risking time, money, and potentially making things worse trying to “DIY” it, you can call us to have some peace of mind while we take care of your vehicle.  We even do the big ones like RVs and boats!

Our pricing for some of these are based on how long it takes, such as our Buffing and Polishing being $75 per man hour.  If you want to figure out how long it’ll be, you can send photos of the vehicle to our phone number or email so we can give a better estimate!

5. It’s Personal

Every so often I get a call that part way through throws me off guard for a second.  One such call was because their car had been stolen and recently returned, but the trauma of it made it uncomfortable to drive until it’d been thoroughly cleaned.  Another was someone had been diagnosed with a condition that would need treatment that would kill their immune system, so they needed the car cleaned thoroughly to make sure they wouldn’t risk their health.  They were willing to share this with me, despite not knowing who I was beyond “the schedule person,” and so I was able to communicate more thoroughly what they needed so we did the right job.

These are probably the most rare cases I get, but I treat them just the same as anyone else.  Some people don’t share the reason for getting their car detailed, which I certainly don’t need in order to schedule them.  However, that doesn’t mean the reason for it isn’t deeper than a simple “I want it looking nice.” Part of why I love working at Onsite Detail is because we are a small business so we can treat each person like a person instead of a number, and I keep that in mind whenever I get a new call, email, or text.  

Whatever your reason for getting your car detailed, we at Onsite Detail are more than happy to help!  From simple to complicated jobs, personal to business reasons, we can be there. Click here to schedule an appointment today!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

Removing Tar, Sap and Bugs Before Winter Hits

How to Properly Remove Tar, Sap and Bugs from Your Car

Winter Prep

It’s getting to be cooler in Utah, which means getting your car ready for winter.  Snow tires, antifreeze, and battery checks are important parts of this process, but here at Onsite Detail we want to suggest getting other things taken care of that you might not have thought of before.

Tree Sap on Car Paint

Tree Sap on Car Paint

Tree sap, bugs, and tar are a pain to deal with when it gets on your car.  In the short term, it’s unsightly, sticky, and obnoxious. In the long run, it can solidify and do damage to paint, finish, and clear coats. If we allow these contaminants to remain on our vehicle’s surfaces throughout the winter we may find the damage they have caused is irreparable.  Most of us can try to prevent getting sap on our cars simply by avoiding trees, but Utah’s nature and our tendency to park in the shade can make this tricky to avoid.  Warmer weather brings bugs that hit and over time damage your car, and tar can be kicked up from construction or an unlucky encounter with a construction vehicle.  No matter how careful we are, there’s always a chance you will encounter these particular messes.

Removing the Contaminants

You might be thinking to yourself, “wow, I have one of those on my car now, I should get it off.”  That is a good way of thinking, especially since the chances of damage or staining goes up the longer it is there.  A simple Google search can lead you to all sorts of how-to’s for getting rid of these substances yourself. It may seem easy, but if you’re not a hundred percent sure you know what to do, you can potentially cause more severe damage than the contaminant itself could.  Getting the right chemicals, finding the time, and gaining the knowledge exactly what to do without doing damage yourself is a big hassle with a good-sized risk. Paint damage is expensive to get repaired properly and it makes you feel worse when you did the damage yourself.

Tar on Car Paint Before

Tar on Car Paint Before

Clean Car Paint After

Clean Car Paint After

We, at Onsite Detail, try to make this process easier for you.  While the majority of our auto detailing services have a fixed cost, removing sap and tar comes at a separate cost of $75 per man hour.  While we can’t give a perfect estimate, you can send photos of the contaminants to our email clean@onsitedetail.net or text them to us at 801-412-9274.  You can also talk to the detailer in advance, as they can tell you how long they think it will take and discuss your needs/budget with you.  Rather than sink more money into chemical products you may never use again and risk an expensive paint repair job, you can leave it to us to help you with these hazards!

That’s all well and good, but what about bugs?  Glad you asked! Whenever you schedule an Exterior DetailOnsite VIP Detail or any service that comes with a full exterior hand wash it includes taking care of any bugs on the car.  We utilize products that help with that specifically so you get the care your car deserves. We can make sure they’re cleared off, unlike running it through a car wash that may or may not get the tough bugs off.

DIYers Beware

If you are really into the idea of doing the job yourself, more power to you!  Just remember to take time and make sure you’re using the right stuff to minimize the damage.  We will provide a small list of things to not use, based on what we have seen others that have tried and failed and called Onsite Detail to the rescue.  Please do not use the following to try and remove tar, sap, hardwater spots, overspray, bugs or any other contaminant from your vehicle’s surface:

Scratches from Brillo Pad

Scratches from Brillo Pad

  • Brillo pads
  • Magic Erasers (especially the heavy duty ones)
  • Razor blades of any kind
  • Steel Wool
  • Stiff bristled brushes
  • Hair dryers or heat guns
  • Brushes not made for auto detailing
  • Any harsh chemicals not designed for auto detailing (read your labels!)

Take Care of Your Vehicle

We encourage you to take care of your vehicles, because they do a lot of work for you. Whether this means taking its care into your own hands or getting in touch with professionals, it’s always a good idea to keep up on even the small and sticky annoyances because they can quickly become bigger issues.

Contact us, here at Onsite Detail for your vehicle detailing needs before winter really hits!  It will not only make your car look better, but will prevent long-term damage and staining. No matter what, you’ll be glad you did it!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

5 Myths About Detailing

The Top 5 Detailing Myths You Need to Know

Myth #1 A Shiny Car Is A Clean Car

This myths about detailing is an easy one to debunk. You can check this yourself after washing your car. By running your hand or fingers over the paint you may still be able to feel small imperfections and contaminants that have embedded themselves into the clear coat of your car. No need to panic as this is rather common, especially with vehicles that are driven regularly. To get rid of those small imperfections and particles we prefer a clay bar treatment. Contrary to another myth, you do not have to be a professional detailer to use a clay bar, although you do need to educate yourself before attempting the process. A very important thing to remember is to keep the paint lubricated for the clay bar to avoid marring of the paint. There are many different types of lubricants that can be used. We use a showroom gloss water-less wash to keep the surface wet long enough to keep the clay bar moving along the surface of the paint while picking up contaminants. Be sure to rinse off the clay bar between every use and store in an airtight zip-lock bag or container.

Quick tip: Performing a clay bar treatment before paint correction will help produce amazing results.

Myth #2 Old T-Shirts, Diapers, or Flannel Cloths Are Best for Detailing

If you’re cleaning your car regularly, good for you! If you’re using old t-shirts or diapers, shame on you! You’re not in trouble but it’s time to make a change. Investing in some quality microfiber rags is the best option for most interior and exterior tasks in detailing. Diaper and shirt “cloths” most commonly have cotton in the material that can scratch and cause swirls in the clear coat of your car. These “cloths” also do not lift dirt very well from the surface of the paint but rather push and or drag the dirt across the clear coat that can cause micro-scratches and swirls as well. The same is true on the interior, they will just spread the grease and dirt around and not really lift and/or absorb all that gunk you want removed. Microfiber rags will absorb and clean best with any type of detailing job you need done. At Onsite Detail, we don’t use anything but microfiber cloths. We also care for them properly and wash them correctly after every use.

Quick tip: Make sure to check rags well and make sure there is nothing stuck in the fibers of the cloth that could potentially scratch before each use.

Myth #3 Dish Soap Is the Best for Washing Cars

So I have good news and bad news! I’ll give you the good news first. Sorry if you wanted the bad first but for the sake of my argument I need to give you the good news first. Washing with dish soap does get  your vehicle clean but it will strip most waxes and sealants off the paint’s surface. Now you need to re-wax your vehicle. I guess if that was your goal all along it would work but if you wash your car weekly you would be removing the wax or sealant long before it would wear off, essentially wasting money and defeating the effectiveness of the wax or sealant. Most waxes will last for 2 to 3 months. Most sealants will last 2 to 6 months. Dish soaps are designed to remove oils, grease, and many substances which include chemicals that are found in wax, polymers, and silicone. This means some dish soaps can prematurely dry out exterior plastics and rubbers and cause premature oxidation. The best option for car wash soap is a soap that is pH balanced and has glossing conditioners and specially formulated for vehicle washing. So a good car wash soap will clean your car and not take off the finishing protection that may have taken hours of work to apply.

Quick tip: If you have ceramic coated vehicle avoid using car wash soaps that have a wax or sealant additive.

Myth #4 Waxing Is All You Need To Do To Remove Swirl Marks

How nice would this be? Unfortunately it takes much more to correct the swirls and scratches than a layer of wax. Sometimes a wax or glaze can temporarily hide small imperfections but is does not correct the problem. Paint correction is one of the things that you need to have done professionally. To completely or mostly eliminate swirls and minor scratches can be a 3 to 4 step process. With deeper scratches and scuff marks, this process can start with wet sanding. Wet sanding requires a proper sand pad with very small grit made for working on automotive paint. It also requires keeping the surface lubricated to avoid being too aggressive and causing irreparable damage. I would recommend the same surface gloss that I mentioned previously with using the clay bar. Having a well lit shop or garage with LED lights will help the imperfections be more visible than they would be outside or in bad lighting. Depending on the severity of the scuffs we can determine the correct pad and the appropriate amount of pressure to apply or not to certain areas. This is why when it comes to doing this, you would want to make sure you know what you’re doing or  who does. Wet sanding does not always need to be done and rarely needs to be done to the whole car. The most common areas for wet sanding will be the hood, roof, and trunk area.

When wet sanding is complete, you will notice a lighter complexion to your paint but an extremely smooth surface that you’ll be able to feel the difference in before you wet sanded. Next step is to bring back the glossy, mirror-like shine. Many of the swirls and minor scratches will be eliminated but this may still only be the first step of 4. Your vehicle is now ready for buffing, polishing and waxing. Yes, they are all separate and require different products with less and less grit as you go. Finally finishing with a wax or sealant to protect your newly buffed and polished paint/clear coat. Again I reiterate please have this done professionally! This is something you don’t want to get into and figure out the hard way that you’re in over your head.

Quick tip: The best way to keep your car scratch and swirl mark free is to not get them in the first place. Make sure you use the correct techniques and procedures when caring for you car, especially washing.

Myth #5 Electric Machines Are Damaging To Your Vehicle’s Paint

This myth is could potentially be true… or partly true. In the wrong hands someone could probably do more damage than good with a rotary buffer or DA polisher but with the right machine and proper training someone can correct a lot of damage that has been done to the clear coat. Car paint is made to survive some pretty harsh conditions: rain, windstorms, sun, and other elements but those things among others will slowly and continually “beat up” the clear coat. To correct the paint imperfections when possible you need a machine. I prefer an oscillating or DA polisher machine. Although it’s an easy machine to learn (for most detailers), experience, skill and technique still play a vital role in being able to successfully eliminate swirls and scratches.

Quick tip: A professional detailer will be able to help determine what type of correction (if any) your vehicle needs according to what results you are looking for. At Onsite Detail you can text or email photos in and get recommendations on what course of action should be taken.

Final Thoughts

There are many myths, rumors and misconceptions that go around about detailing, many of which are/were marketing gone wrong or old techniques people did before they knew better. If there are any questions or concerns feel free to contact us and we can do our best to help you out and get your questions answered.

by Andy Stallings, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Detailer?

Why Hire a Professional?

This is a question that drives me insane. Not just in detailing but in other industries as well. Why hire a professional roofer or plumber? Why would you hire a professional web designer for your business? Why hire a professional lawyer? Why hire a professional photographer for your wedding? …and the list goes on.

Years ago, I had a customer call us and he was requesting a full detail for his $85,000+ boat. He asked some questions regarding the services we offer. I asked some questions back to clarify exactly what he was wanting done. Then he brought up pricing. As soon as I gave him a ballpark cost he acted shocked. There was a bit of an awkward pause and then he asked me, “What’s the difference between you guys and the kid down the street I can have do it for $8 an hour?”. Ugh… I wanted to hang up on him… I politely explained that we were professional detailers.

Advantages of  Hiring Professional Detailers

As professional detailers, we…

Why Hire a Professional Detailer? - Boat Detailing Picture - Onsite Detail in Sandy Utah

  • Have all the proper licensing and insurance.
  • Are in compliance with all regulations and laws.
  • Have the proper training and skill level.
  • Have the knowledge of the why’s and how to’s of detailing.
  • Use professional grade products and equipment.
  • Have the knowledge of the proper use of each chemical.
  • Have experience with many different kinds of boats.
  • Do this to make a living. We support our families via detailing.
  • Are serious about what we are doing and we won’t cut corners.
  • Are members of the International Detailing Association.
  • Follow a code of ethics

We could provide him with a great experience and he would be rest assured his boat would be taken care of and detailed with the proper chemicals and equipment and not have any issues down the road. Also if an injury were to occur on the job, he would not be liable.

With “a kid down the street” as he put it he would not be guaranteed anything and he would not know what kind of products this kid used on his boat. He may have used dish soap and furniture polish which would surely cause damage in the long term. He for sure would not have the proper tools to clean and protect the boat. He could potentially expose himself to a lawsuit if the “kid” was injured or exposed to a chemical.

The Hamburger Analogy

I can’t recall where I heard this from but it is very simple in terms of “you get what you pay for.”

If you go to a fast food chain and order a hamburger you can pay as little as one dollar. When you get a burger and pay one dollar you can’t expect much but you know what you’re paying for and you know what you’ll get. You are not getting the most fresh ingredients. You are not getting the healthiest ingredients. The meat is not the most pure. The the flavor will be plain. These kind of restaurants cannot provide a better burger because they do not have the right ingredients or equipment to make something of more value.

Let’s contrast that to a gourmet burger from a high end restaurant. You will pay much more but you will also get much more. The smell, flavor and even the service you receive will be absolutely better. The burger will be exactly how you ordered it. A mouth watering, extremely satisfying experience. These restaurants have invested in the proper ingredients, equipment and training of their employees, as well as hired the best chefs to give you this experience.

You really can’t compare the two kinds of burgers. Now I realize there are many kinds of burgers that vary between the two, but you get the point.

Hiring a pro is like paying for a better burger while hiring the cheap guy from down the street is like picking off a very limited dollar menu.

The True Value of Hiring a Professional Detailer

The bottom line is we hire professionals for services because they have the training, certification(s), licensing, insurance, experience and know how to give you what you want. A professional also makes a living doing what they do and more than not they enjoy what they do and take pride in their work. Next time you consider the true value in hiring a professional detailer, remember these things and ask the right questions when looking to hire someone who claims to be a professional.

by Chris Blasidell, CD, Onsite Detail