How To Properly Use Dressing On Your Vehicle

In my few but valuable years of detailing, I have learned many things that I have been able to use many times. Some things have been learned easily and some things have taken a little more time. There have been many bumps along the road of learning but overall is a rewarding field. Today, I’m going to talk about a small thing I’ve learned but also something that has, in my opinion, helped me have much more confidence in the final product of any detail I was a part of. I will be focusing on the correct way to use interior dressing today. Dressings can be used in a few different ways on different surfaces. I will go over some of the different uses and how to properly apply the dressing to the different materials that it can be used for.

Water Based Dressing Can be Applied to Multiple Surfaces

With the multiple surfaces that the dressing can be applied to, it should be applied differently with each surface. On some surfaces you can spray the dressing directly onto it, others will need the dressing sprayed on a rag then wiped onto the surface, and on other surfaces dressing may be applied with a sponge and small amount applied to it, then the surface. The last application will mostly be for plastic trimmings on the exterior of the vehicle, I will explain more later. 

Applying Dressing on the Exterior of Your Vehicle

I will begin on the exterior of the vehicle. The first and most popular place that a detailer might think of using dressing on the outside of the vehicle is on the tires. You will want to make sure that any surface that is applied with the dressing is thoroughly cleaned. After a good wash and scrubbing of the tires. Be sure to inspect them to make sure they are free of any mud, brake-dust, road debris, and any other contaminants that may have attached itself to the rubber of the wheel. After spraying the dressing to the wheel you can leave it to absorb itself into the tire. A slightly more effective way to make sure that the dressing is more evenly applied to the wheel is to have a soft bristle brush on hand and to run the brush around the tire and to check all the areas of the tire to ensure coverage the tire, it will also allow for quicker absorption.

Another area that dressing can be applied to on the exterior is the plastic trim. Some areas that may have the plastic trim may be found around the bumpers, plastic trim on the wheel wells, if it’s a truck you will most likely see plastic trimming running along the top edges of the truck bed. A good way to apply to these areas is with a sponge or rag. Read our past blog on Restoring Faded Plastic. Instead of spraying directly onto the surface you will apply it to the sponge or rag you are using and then administer to the desired surface. If you have a bottle-top lid, it will make it more easy to control the amount of dressing that you apply to the area.

The final exterior area that I will talk about it the plastic and vinyl areas under the hood on the engine. After a good degreasing and steam clean or pressure washing, spraying dressing on the plastic and vinyl areas will help brighten up and protect the plastic under the hood. You can spray the dressing while the engine compartment is still wet. What I like to do is to spray it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before I go back to do the touch up work with a rag. As you wipe the dressing into the plastic you will notice the plastic look much more healthy and bright.

Applying Dressing to the Interior of Your Vehicle

Now we will move to the inside of the vehicle. There are a couple surfaces that I will be going over that you can apply dressing to. In my experience, it absolutely NEEDS to be applied the correct way to work and look the way it’s intended. Something that helped me realize how I needed to apply and treat the dressing was realizing that dressing has a very similar texture and feel as hand lotion. When you think about how you apply lotion to your hands. You don’t just squirt it into your hand, spread it, and leave it. That can end up being messy and kind of gross. Not just for you but for people you may come in contact with. For the lotion to work the way it needs to, you have to make sure it is applied correctly so that will will moisturize and protect your skin. As it is with applying dressing, you don’t want to just put it on the surface and leave it. For the dressing to do the job that it’s designed to do, it needs to be applied correctly and have the time put into it that it deserves. Rubbing it into the surface will make all the difference. It won’t take very much time but it makes the surface look better and also will add to the protection and quality of the surface.

Hard Vinyl and Plastic Dressing

The first surface I will talk about are the vinyl and plastic surfaces. These surfaces usually consist of the dashboard and door panels. As with the exterior surfaces, you will want to make sure that the surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. To apply the dressing, spray the dressing onto a folded microfiber rag and rub it into the surface. Take the time to make sure all of the areas are reached and have dressing applied evenly. It’s not a bad idea to look over areas that have had dressing applied to to make sure the surface took to the dressing and that all the desired areas have been reached. A good indicator that the dressing has been well applied is after application is running your finger over the surface and if none of it to very very little comes off on your finger then it has been applied appropriately.

Leather Dressing

The second surface is leather seats. You can also use leather treatment if the condition of the seat requires the leather conditioner. You will also want to make sure that the seats are deep cleaned and are also rubbed into the leather properly. Depending on what kind of leather or vinyl seats there are different kinds of dressings and conditioners to use.


As you’ve seen, dressing will be one of the final steps that are part of the detail. Some areas that you will want to avoid are any areas that the feet touch. It will be tempting but areas that have dressing applied and have a wet shoe touch it becomes very slippery and can make it dangerous for the driver and passengers. Floor mats, running boards on the exterior, and most importantly, the driver pedals. DO NOT apply dressing to the pedals. The steering wheel is another place that can usually be not hit. If you are feeling really ambitious and make sure that the steering wheel is completely dried of any dressing then you may. With as much as the steering wheel is touched, I just try to make sure that the steering wheel is cleaned very well and then feel it out from there as far as the dressing goes.

I hope you learned something about dressing. It is a simple but useful product that can make the vehicle look brand new if used correctly. Safe Travels!!

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Winter Prep Detailing

Getting Ready for Winter

In Utah, the hardest thing we put our vehicles through is the winter. Winter time in Utah causes all kinds of problems for our vehicles. Not only is the cold weather hard on the engine and other mechanical parts but cosmetically our vehicles take a beating during the cold season.

During the Utah winter it is impossible to avoid getting snow, ice and road grime on your vehicle. Now modern vehicles are made to withstand some of “the elements” but they are not invincible to them. The longer we let these things sit on our cars the more potential there is for damage such as scratching, corrosion and cracking. The most common type of damage is scratches in the paint. As snow and ice slide around on the surface of a vehicle with embedded dirt within, it will cause damage. This also occurs as we “brush” snow off our cars. Unfortunately sometimes this type of scratching is inevitable but the more carefully it is done the more chances we have that we are not harming the paint. I have seen instances where people have literally gouged the paint with the ice scraper. Please do not use the ice scraper for paint. It is intended for windows only. It can also help to warm the car before starting to clean off the snow and ice to help melt and loosen up some of the ice and snow.

Vehicle Damage during Winter

The relentless attack on your vehicle from the road salt and chemicals that are used to melt snow and ice will slowly eat away your vehicle’s exterior surfaces, including paint, plastic, rubber and metal. Even interior surfaces will get contaminated with salt and chemicals when you track them in after walking through the winter wonderland that surrounds us. Have you ever noticed that white build up on your interior carpets or mats? That is road salt that has been dissolved in water and reappears as the water evaporates. It left untouched all winter it will build up and slowly caused irreversible damage. This is why winter prep detailing is so important to avoid unnecessary damage.

Protect Your Vehicle

As mentioned above the winter is really hard on your vehicle. This means you should be doing everything you can to protect your vehicle if you want to preserve it and keep it in its best shape. Both interior and exterior surfaces are needing extra care and attention to help them endure the constant attacks from the environment. We offer exterior, waxes, sealants and even ceramic coatings to protect paint all year round but especially during the winter months. Having a ceramic coating installed will help to minimize this issue as these types of coating are much more scratch resistant than vehicle paint. Ceramic coatings also make it harder for things to stick to or sit on the surface which makes it easier to clean. The ultimate protection would be our Opti Coat Pro+ with a 7 year warranty. We also offer Glass Coatings to help with the pesky ice build up on the glass during the winter. We also offer fabric and leather protection for your vehicle interiors.

One thing that is very important before your vehicle can be properly protected is the proper cleaning and detailing. Interior dirt and grime must be removed and everything sanitized. The exterior must be fully decontaminated and properly prepared so the protection can properly attach to and bond with the surfaces. We offer many different levels of full details from the Basic Combo Detail to our Onsite Elite Detail depending on what your vehicle needs and what you want.

Winter Prep Detailing

Winter vehicle preparation detailing is a very important in Utah. When a vehicle is not properly cared for it only shortens the life and resale value of it. Too many people don’t realize how hard winter can be on their car and wait until spring to address the issues. By then the detailing can be significantly more costly. Please give us a call, send us a text (801) 412-9274 or e-mail if we can help with your winter prep detailing needs. Or you can fill out an Appointment Request Form.

by Chris Blaisdell, CD-SV, Onsite Detail

Chris Blaisdell is the owner of Onsite Detail and has been detailing  for 12 + years.
He is a Certified Detailer-Skills Validated detailer through the
International Detailing Association. The industry leader in detailing standards.

Paint Correction vs Paint Perfection

Fixing Vehicle Paint, Paint Correction vs Paint Perfection

There are many different perspectives on paint correction vs paint perfection. There are many misconceptions about “fixing” scratches and defects in vehicle paint. The only truly “correctable” part of vehicle paint is the clear coat. Clear coat is the upper most part or the top layer of vehicle paint and is clear (pigment-less) paint that provides UV protection to the other layers of paint beneath it. It is also responsible for the gloss and shine of the vehicle’s paint. The clear coat in modern paint systems varies in thickness from approximately 1.5 mils to 4 mils. A mil is a standard unit of measurement meaning one thousandth of an inch, or .001 of an inch. In other words, it would take 1000 mils to make an inch. Paint is also measured in microns, which is a metric unit of measure meaning 1 millionth of a meter. There is approximately 25.4 microns in 1 mil.

Clear coat paint is only so thick. This means that if a scratch is deep enough you cannot fully “repair” it or even “hide” it without a re-spray, which means getting it repainted. In many cases though paint can undergo the process of paint correction, which means polishing it or smoothing it out as much as possible.

Is there such a thing as paint perfection?

The simple straightforward answer is no. There is truly no perfect paint in the world. Even a freshly painted vehicle will have some minor paint imperfections or contamination and have the “need” for some paint correction.

The most common types of paint imperfections are below. There are many others that include oxidation (faded paint), clear coat failure (clear coat is gone and exposing color layer), dirt nibs, crow’s feet (small cracks in paint), solvent pop (air bubbles that are trapped in curing clear coat) and more. Some of these problems can be solved with paint decontamination, wet sanding, paint correction or polishing, but unfortunately some cannot. 

Some imperfections are very superficial and can actually be fully removed, others can only be improved and then there are some that are just too deep into the paint.

Too much Paint Correction

If someone goes too hard on paint correction it can cause damage or burn through the clear coat. Even if someone does not burn through the clear coat but cuts it thin then it increase the chances of future clear coat failure. This is the reason we try to save every little bit of clear coat we have and always go with the least aggressive method first.

When we are doing paint correction we are not going for perfect paint. We are simply going for getting the paint to look as best as possible without ruining the clear coat or opening it up too much and risking that the clear coat fails down the road. With most scratches we are not going for complete 100% removal but we smooth them out to decrease the light that reflects off them so they are not seen. 

There is a fine line between getting it to appear perfect and going too deep in the clear coat. In other words it takes proper training and experience to truly get it right.

Protection After Paint Correction

Now, I say there is no perfect paint but there are obvious differences between a well maintained show car and a daily driver that sees all sorts of weather and abuse. There are many different levels of paint correction and each vehicle and budget is different so there options available to everyone.

 After paint is corrected there are many options as far as protection goes. Waxes, sealants and ceramic coatings are different options. Many final polishes have a sealant or wax build in that can be applied as the final polish is being done. These usually fill in the remaining minor scratches as well and make is shiny and glossy. This effect is only temporary though. The fillers, waxes and sealants will wear away and reveal the scratches again at some point.

Ceramic Coatings

For newer and show cars we highly recommend a ceramic coating for the best protection possible. We offer coatings with warranties from 2 to 7 years. Read our previous blogs about coatings to find out more;

What is a ceramic coating?

Why should you get a ceramic coating on your vehicle

Onsite Detail is Certified to install Opti Coat Professional Coatings and Inspiration Ceramic Coating. Our ceramic coating process involves full paint decontamination, paint correction and installation of the coating.

Let Us know if  We can Help

Feel free to reach out to us for any paint correction needs you may have. You can always text us photos at (801) 412-9274 to help us give you a better estimate and get a good idea of what you’re needing. We love taking care of and protecting vehicles for both fleets and personal use. 

by Chris Blaisdell, CD-SV, Onsite Detail

Chris Blaisdell is the owner of Onsite Detail and has been detailing  for 12 + years.
He is a Certified Detailer-Skills Validated detailer through the
International Detailing Association. The industry leader in detailing standards.

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

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:

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

Hard Water Spots On a Vehicle

What is the Cause of Hard Water Spots on a vehicle?

If you have ever thought it was a good idea to have your car parked next to an area that regularly gets hit by sprinklers because you think that it means a free car wash..think again! Utah has some of the worst hard water in the nation and do you know what city in Utah is one of the worst offenders? If you guessed Salt Lake City you are correct. While sprinkler water is not the only culprit, for most the vehicles we see this is the most common hard water spot producer by far.

Hard Water Spots on Car from Sprinklers

Hard water comes from water having high levels of calcium and magnesium. The white build-up that can be seen on the end of your shower or faucet head is a good indication that you have hard water. That is the calcium that, overtime, will build up and can cause build-up damage. The areas of the hard water that become visible once it dries is the calcium. The calcium doesn’t become visible until the water dries. ‘Hard water spots’ is the common term used for those areas that become visible. If ignored or not taken care of, those areas will become harder and harder to eliminate. Especially if they are exposed to the sun for a long period of time. If it is continued to be ignored, the calcium in the water can actually etch into the paint causing possible permanent damage. If you haven’t picked it up by now, you don’t want hard water spots on your car so you will want to stop parking by the sprinklers as soon as possible. It’s not washing your car, you’re adding to the work that it will take to really wash and detail your car.

If you’re just learning that it’s bad for your clear coat/paint, you either just went and moved your car to a different spot or won’t park where sprinklers hit anymore. The water that goes through your home absorbs the calcium and magnesium minerals from the ground and then makes its way through the pipes and faucets of your home. This can especially be proven when it rains. You will notice that when it rains, the rain water will not leave severe water spots on your vehicle, unless the air is dirty or there is dust in the air while it rains.

How do you remove Hard Water Spots from a vehicle?

Now that I have taught you most of what I know about hard water and how water becomes “hard”. Now we are going to get into the removing of these stubborn hard water spots. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to compromise the integrity of the clear coat/paint. So you want to avoid using cleaning agents that aren’t safe for car paint or don’t have the proper PH balanced soap. The sad news is that it will take much more than car soap to remove hard water spots. In most hard water cases it will take using an acid cleaner. Many of the acids that are most effective will need to be handled with care. Believe it or not there actually is a hard water removal acid. When properly diluted and correctly used, it can produce some amazing results. I will give a rundown of how I most effectively use acid to remove hard water spots.

The first thing I do is spray the area with some water. Sounds redundant because water is how we got in this mess in the first place but I digress.

The second thing I do it to spray the acid on the affected area. It is wise to dilute the acid. The less the dilution, the smaller the area you should work on at a time. You DO NOT want to put yourself in a situation where you are trying to rush to get the acid off of a large area. If the acid is left on the car it can cause severe damage to the clear coat of your vehicle.

The third step is what i call the agitation step. To agitate, I do an extremely quick spray of water. Not to spray the acid off but to, what I call, activate it. 

I then quickly grab the scrub brush or wash mitt and scrub the target area. If the area is really bad I will even spray some acid on the brush or mitt to assist with the hard water removal. 

After you have given the area a good scrubbing. Give it a good water rinse. You will have to dry the area to really see how much and how well the hard water spotting was removed. You will really be able to tell if you caught it early enough if the hard water is most to all of the way gone.

If you were successful in eliminating the hard water spots, you will want to prevent it from happening again. My first piece of advice for preventing it would be to not let your car get hit by sprinklers again BUT if that’s inevitable then I would say to keep a good wax or sealant applied to the paint at all times. Many waxes won’t completely stop from hard water spots appearing but they should make any new water spots that appear much more easy to remove. Even without needing to use acid. Depending on the consistency of your vehicle getting hit and/or the severity of the calcium in the water you will want to make sure that you apply multiple coats or use a high quality wax or sealant to protect the clear coat.

How do you remove severe Hard Water Spots from a vehicle?

Hard Water Spot Etching in Paint

If you are not successful in eliminating the water spots with a water spot remover chemical it is safe to say that you weakened them enough to proceed with paint correction steps. Any of the steps in the paint correction process may contribute to removing the hard water spots. Starting with spraying hard water removing acid on the surface and giving the vehicle a good clay bar treatment. A clay bar treatment is a procedure that removes surface contaminants from the paint. Be sure to keep the work areas small, lubricated and to rinse with water regularly and dry.

If that does not work then you could be looking at paint that has actually been etched from the hard water. It is also possible that the “water spots” you see still were actually caused by acid rain or other chemicals that splashed or found their way onto your vehicle’s paint. To fix this you could be looking at a process that could involve wet sanding, compound buffing, polishing, etc. Word of advice…don’t have to get to that point. Deep hard water removal can be expensive and cause damage to the clear coat and paint. I will close with a sonet. ‘Hard water break-ith the spirit of thy automobile’. That is all my friends. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a detail service, request one here, or give us a call or text (801) 412-9274, or email. Safe Travels! 

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Most popular detailing services this Summer

The most popular detailing services this Summer we’re probably some of the following;

  • RV Details
  • Boat Details
  • Hard Water Removal
  • Interior Details
  • Overspray Removal
  • Buffing & Polishing

Summertime is a special time of year.  It’s the time when we travel, join friends and family outdoors for festivities, and when fresh fruits like watermelon are ripe and juicy.  The sun sets later, the air is hot, and campgrounds open after slumbering all winter long. As our kids’ summer vacations prepare to make way for the Back to School sales, we know it will still be a few months before we start to feel the chill of fall.  

This time of year brings special kinds of messes to us here at Onsite Detail.  As we come close to Labor Day and the end of summer vacations, we want to share with you some of our most popular detailing services done this Summer 2019!

RV and Boat Details

It’s no surprise that when it gets warm, the big toys come out!  Lakes fill up from winter snow and campgrounds light up with fire pits and families.  Starting around late May we started to see a steady growth in requests to clean RVs, Boats, Motorhomes, and other big vehicles.  

We have done just about everything there is to do with big vehicles.  Our detailers have spent many hot days removing oxidation and rust from vehicles, cleaning dirt and grime from the exteriors, took care of sun damage, and added protective sealants all around.  We have even gone in and cleaned the inside of a few, including some particularly nasty vehicles. In June we cleared one RV’s refrigerator of maggots, and just this month we deep cleaned a rat-feces infested motorhome.  Now we prepare to detail a few more for the Labor Day weekend and winter storage, and have even scheduled some for their return from Burning Man!

Sprinkler Hard Water Removal

Our hand washes have made hundreds of cars shine in the sun!  However, some have come in needing a little extra elbow grease- and hardwater stain removal.  Now that sprinklers have been on all summer, we have seen multiple cars come in with hardwater spots dotting the paint and windows of a car.  Thankfully we have been able to take care of many a stain.

In addition to removing hardwater, we have also been selling Glassparency to help water and debris fall off the windshields and vehicle glass!  This not only helps keep glass clear; it also helps rain and snow from sticking to it, which adds life to the windshield wipers.  You may want to consider it as we go into more rainy months. Check out more here

Interior DetailsInterior Car Detail Utah

We have done hundreds and hundreds of interior details this summer!  Whether on their own or as part of a package deal, we have cleaned just about every kind of mess inside of a vehicle.  While our customers work hard in their businesses or are taking care of things in the home, we have helped make their lives easier and healthier by cleaning the interiors of their vehicles.  

We have taken care of everything from pet hair and food spills to vomit and deep stains.  Our vacuums and steamers have worked overtime, and we have used gallons of shampoo on all different types of carpets and seats.  We love sharing photos among ourselves of a job well done and have been told by customers that their interiors look as good as new.  You have been busy this summer, so we are glad we could help take away some of the work!

Overspray Removal

Summer means fun in the sun… and construction.  Lots and lots of construction. I’ve received so many calls in need of overspray removal this summer, some even from reputable companies who just had an accidental spill that caught a car.  Between paint from the streets, debris that falls from buildings, and tar on the roads, we have fixed it all.  

Among our more extreme situations was a case where concrete had been kicked up on the front of a car, and another was where five or six cars had paint splattered all over, including the roof!  We have certainly mastered our overspray techniques this summer. And if it’s not overspray we are taking care of, it might be…

Buffing & Polishingpaint correction utah

Utah is notorious for its gravel and sandy roads.  When not getting the car dirty and forcing people to use car washes that leave swirl marks, rocks kick up and scratch our cars.  Damage like this makes our vehicles unsightly and can lead to future problems like rust or oxidation if not taken care of.

Thankfully our Buffing & Polishing service has prevented a lot of this damage from this summer alone.  We have had many cases of cars, vans, RVs, and even boats receiving some buffing and polish to smooth them out and keep them healthy, per se.  Among our more interesting cases were a front door of a car that a dog always ran up to and scratched upon seeing the owner, leaving minor but annoying scratches. Another was a car that had gone through a car wash that went awry, using mostly plastic items that left markings everywhere.  One final strange case was a car door that had swiped a pole in an apartment complex, leaving white paint over surface level scratching that covered the entire passenger door. With some claybar, buffing and polishing, and a bit of elbow grease, the only sign the door had any problems was a dent made significantly less noticeable!  

After reviewing the most popular detailing services this summer, its sad to say but summer may be coming to a close, but our shop certainly is not.  If you would like to have service done we are open year round, and we would love to see what kinds of services we do the most this Fall and Winter.  We hope to hear from you through our Request Form or phone number, 801-412-9274, and enjoy your remaining summer break!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

Benefits of a Deep Odor Removal Service

What is a Deep Odor Removal Service? Well, have you ever gotten inside of a vehicle that stunk really bad? Spoiler alert: EVERYONE has been inside a car that stinks! If you don’t think you have ever been in a stinky vehicle, there’s a very good possibility that your vehicle is the smelly one… just saying!

The most common vehicle odors we deal with are;

  • wet dog smell
  • pet potty oopsies
  • body odor
  • spoiled food
  • spilled drinks (especially stinky are the dairy based beverages)
  • rotting fruit and/or veggies
  • mold and mildew
  • musty stench
  • kid stink (unidentified combinations of spills and crumbs)
  • the granddaddy odor of them all…cigarette/cigar smoke odor

If I’ve missed any, just fill in the blank. Check out our previous blog on the Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Odor Removal from Your Vehicle.

Benefits of a Deep Odor Removal Service

There are many benefits to having a deep odor removal service done on your vehicle. Especially if you’re getting ready to sell your current vehicle or just bought a new (to you) one. It is wise to get an interior detail with deep odor removal before selling and after buying. One thing I’ve heard many customers say when they just bought a used vehicle is that the vehicle is clean but they still wanted to get it detailed. I have heard more than once that people wanted the dirty to be “their dirty”. Even if the car was mostly clean when they got it but maybe had an odor that wasn’t “their odor”. Which sounds weird at first but thinking about it for a few seconds makes a lot of sense. Having a deep odor removal service will not only remove deep odors but in many cases will have a good detail done on it before the deep odor removal process. While you are looking for deep odor removal services, be sure to choose a service that has a detail with the deep odor removal. A good detail will be a big part of the odor removing process. A proper detail will be able to penetrate many surfaces and materials and will also prep the surfaces for the deep odor removal treatment.

You may be wondering at this point, “what is done to do a deep odor removal service?”. In many cases a good deep clean and thorough detail will remove many odors. But, as I mentioned before, there are smells and odors that a deep clean will not remove. The deep stench of tobacco will take much more strategic combating than just a detail.

Chlorine Dioxide Odor Removal

One method of a deep odor removal involves a little chlorine tablet that is in a little canister. After some water is added the chlorine tablet dissolves and releases an odor eliminating gas that spreads to the entirety of the vehicle to all the cracks and crevasses. The process for this will usually take a few hours and it is usually wise to leave it overnight to let the odor eliminating happen. Upon checking on it the next morning, you will notice right away that your car may smell like a swimming pool. Know that this is normal and that you will want to open all the doors to let it air out for 30 minutes or so. The chlorine smell will continue to fade quickly but when all is said and done, you will have a more fresh smelling vehicle. The cautions with this deep odor removal method are that the gasses created that kill odor causing bacteria, etc can also cause potential problems to people if the proper PPE and steps are not taken. Also the water level is too low in the canister the reaction of the tablets can cause “splashing” to occur and it has the potential to bleach. These reasons are enough alone to always follow the instructions exactly as the manufacturer has written them.

Ozone Machine Odor Removal

Another method of a deep odor removal is an ozone machine. Basically the way an ozone machine works is that it charges the air that passes through it with an electrical current which then separates the oxygen molecules in the air. The odor eliminating will happen when those oxygen molecules that have odors attached to them go through the ozone process. With those molecules being separated those odors will not be able to survive the ozone process. If those odor molecules that have been separated continue to go through the machine then they will continue to be separated and the odors will continue to be eliminated. You will want to be cautious using an ozone machine. The “air” that is created by the ozone machine is not safe to breathe. It can cause slight chest pain, lung irritation, shortness of breath and coughing. It can be especially dangerous for someone who has any lung diseases such as asthma. But going back to the positives of ozone machine. It can kill living mold spores that create mold and mildew. It can also kill airborne viruses. It will also do an exceptional job with cigarette smoke. Anywhere that air can penetrate can be areas that the ozone machine will help with. 

Between the full interior detail with a deep odor removal service, you will be able to eliminate the odors that you are trying to get rid of.

Penetration is an important aspect to consider when looking at the different methods and how each of them work. I have experience with both methods and they are both effective and work very well.

Replace the Filter

One important thing to remember when dealing with eliminating odors, especially cigarette smoke is that you will want to get the cabin filter to your vehicle replaced as soon as possible. Stay seated and I will explain. Overtime, as the air is circulated through the air vents and as the smoker smokes inside that vehicle, the smoke odor particles will be pulled into the air vents and get pulled through the cabin filter. The smoke odor will absorb itself into the filter. So after the smoker has moved on from that part of life or has sold the vehicle to someone who does not smoke. The odor will remain. Even with the best detail in the world and all the odor eliminating methods you could think of. That odor will live on the filter. As soon as the AC gets turned on on that hot summer day. You will end up with a full cavalry charge of smoke smell coming out of those vents and recycling it’s way back into the areas of your vehicle that you just spent so much money and time getting the smell of cigarette smoke out of.

Hopefully you have learned more about odor eliminating. Regular details will help keep up with odor control and believe it or not, will help with keeping the value of your car high. Your vehicle will also run better. Don’t ask. It’s science. I don’t know how that works but it’s fact! Don’t look it’s true! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a detail service, request one here, or give us a call, text, or email.  Safe Travels and until next time!


by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

What is a waterless car wash?

Have you heard of a “waterless car wash”? So often when we mention a waterless option to a customer we get a confused and/or intrigued reaction. Most people outside of the car wash and detailing world don’t know or don’t understand what a waterless car wash is. Truth be told, a “waterless” wash is not 100% waterless. It should really be called a “less water wash”.

What is a waterless car wash?

A waterless wash is a wash that is done without the aid of a hose, pressure washer or buckets of water. Most of the time a waterless wash is done with no more than a waterless wash solution or chemical in a spray bottle or pressurized sprayer and clean microfiber rags.

Why would you want a waterless car wash?

The point of a waterless car wash is not to avoid using water altogether but to dramatically reduce the amount of water used when cleaning the exterior of a vehicle. The waterless idea comes from the amount of water left over to dry and the amount of water that gets on the ground. With a traditional hand car wash the actual water amount of water used can be as much as 100 gallons without proper knowledge and techniques.  The water left over after the wash process, before drying, can be quite a bit and the run off of soap and chemicals in said water can potentially have a negative impact on the environment.

The federal EPA laws actually prohibit any run off waste water from car washing going down storm drains. It is up to each local jurisdiction to enforce these laws and requirements can vary from state to state and city to city. A waterless car wash is a sure way to not cause any negative environmental harm.

How to use a waterless car wash?

Depending on how dirty the vehicle is and where it is being washed the techniques and procedures can vary. The biggest concern most people have is that a waterless wash does not have the same amount of lubrication as a normal wash would so it has the potential to scratch and scuff the paint. If done improperly the dirt the rag picks up can potentially rub back on the surface of the paint. Although this is not a problem exclusive to waterless car washing. If done properly, each part of the rag only touches the car once or a very limited amount of times. This will just depend on the dirtiness of the car. 

In my many experiences with different waterless wash solutions and chemicals I have learned the two most important things are getting the proper amount of lubrication and making sure to constantly replace dirty microfiber rags with clean ones. This will vary depending on if the car is just slightly dusty or has “caked on” dirt. If the car is on the dirtier side of the scale you’ll need to use a greater amount of the waterless wash solution or chemical to safely remove the dirt. Another factor in the quantity of the product needed will be the temperature of the surface and if it is being done in direct sunlight or not. 

This brings up another point. Depending on the conditions in which the vehicle is being washed will determine how much product it will take and how many rags you may need to use. It will also change the workable area on the surface that you can do at the same time. Also be aware that many waterless wash products come with a wax as well so it may streak if not under ideal conditions. 

Right solution in the right situation

Waterless washes are amazing time, money and environment savers in the right situations. Waterless washes are great for quick maintenance in between more thorough washes and details. Waterless wsahes are great for dusty indoor projects and vehicles in storage. They are even great on gel coats and fiberglass finishes such as boats and RVs. Waterless washes are a great way to maintain ceramic coatings and show vehicles.

Future of waterless car washes

I do believe waterless washes play a huge role in the current state of the detailing industry and they play an even bigger role in the future of detailing industry. The technology continues to improve and the processes and techniques continue to be refined. I do not believe waterless washes can fully replace other methods of washing, at least not yet. There are many situations and things a waterless wash alone can not take care so for now traditional washing methods such as hoses, pressure washers and bucket washes are needed. Sometimes combinations of the methods can be used to increase efficiency and results.

by Chris Blaisdell, CD-SV, Onsite Detail

Chris Blaisdell is the owner of Onsite Detail and has been detailing  for 12 + years.
He is a Certified Detailer-Skills Validated detailer through the
International Detailing Association. The industry leader in detailing standards.

10 Unique Detailing Services You Didn’t Know We Could Do

When I receive requests from people about detailing services, they usually say the same things.  “I want a detail,” “I’d like a wash and detail,” and “Just a detail” are all common, though when I ask what kind of detail they would like, most respond with “I don’t know, what do you do?

While our Interior Details and Full Combo Details are our most popular detailing services, they are not the only kinds of detailing we do.  In fact, our detailing services go far beyond vacuuming and washing the car- heck, it even goes beyond waxing and shampooing! To get a better idea, here is a list of ten detailing services we can do (that you maybe didn’t know even existed).

  1. Claybar Treatment

This was a detailing service I didn’t even know existed until I started working at Onsite Detail!  Claybars are clay-like bars (as the name suggests) that pull contaminants from vehicle surfaces.  Vehicles have multiple layers of paint and clear coat, and things get embedded into them that we cannot always see.  If you run your hand over your freshly washed car and feel a rough surface, you likely need a Claybar. This extracts contaminants and keeps paint and clear coats from oxidation and other potentially expensive repairs!  If you want to know more, I recommend a blog dedicated entirely to Claybars written by our own Operations Manager: 

  1. Deep Odor Removal

A step up from our classic Interior Detail + Odor Bomb, this new detailing service gets smells other detailing services just can’t get!  Long-term smells like smoke and mildew like to embed themselves in cars and could return even after deep cleaning.  

Our Deep Odor Removal service aims to tackle those persistent smells once and for all.  Done after an Interior Detail and spending a night in our shop, it can remove smells many thought would be permanent.  Say goodbye to cigarette smells for good!

  1. Ceramic Coating

Traditionally people protect their vehicle exteriors through wax or paint sealants, which are viable ways of keeping it shiny and safe!  However, what if there was a solution that allows your vehicle to have that gloss with even more protection? This is where our Ceramic Coatings come in.

Ceramic Coatings create a strong protective layer over most of the exterior surface of the car, even bonding with existing clear coats to be more durable.  This layering keeps the vehicle safe from contaminants and comes with an extra special process from our company. Our Ceramic Coating installation includes a decontamination of the paint, which utilizes our lovely Claybar, and Paint Correction, which restores paint imperfections such as swirl marks and water spots.  These extra steps help make your vehicle glossy and give it a longer-lasting “just waxed” shine that can, with good maintenance, last for years!

  1. Child Seat Detailing Service

Our Child Seat Cleaning is one of our detailing services that is often overlooked by customers, but can be a big lifesaver.  Many of us here at Onsite Detail have children of our own, and we know firsthand that all our love and attention can’t prevent every mess a child makes!  Rather than just quickly vacuum out the seat, we go as far as to deep clean it, including steam cleaning and shampooing to fully clean and sanitize it. It’s a great service to pair with an Interior Detail!

  1. Glassparency

Glassparency, or Glass Protection, is a detailing service we now provide for windshields and all glass surfaces, including sun roofs!  This hydrophobic application gives special advantages to your glass surfaces, the most noticeable being that rain, mud, and similar hazards will fall right off!  (Some have even reported that their wipers last longer since they do not need to use them as often.) it also reduces glare, makes windows easier to clean, and protects glass from mineral buildup.  

  1. Plastic Restoration

Plastic and rubber are not what one usually thinks of when thinking of cars.  However, they are not immune to the elements and other hazards! Over time these fade and become oxidized.  

We carry a solution to this in our Plastic Restoration detailing service!  We use a special solution that is absorbed into the plastic and rubber, restoring its color, repairing oxidation, and even giving it further protection from the elements.  We even make sure to apply this by hand so it is done evenly and thoroughly.  

  1. Hard water/Sap/Tar Removal

Summertime brings more hazards than sunburn and heat stroke.  Hard water from sprinklers, tree sap from camping, and tar from construction love to appear and make life difficult!  Thankfully our year-round services includes taking care of hard water spots, sap, tar, and any other sticky situations you may have.  

  1. Engine Detailing Service

Engines need love too!  Engine Details include degreasing your engine, shining the metal, and dressing the plastic and rubber bits.  This not only makes it look car-show ready, it also has helped some people sell their vehicles and in one case helped find a leak that would have cost tons in repairs later on!  They come for free with our Full Combo Details or can be added to any service.  

  1. Headlight Restoration

A simple but important service is our Headlight Restoration.  Headlights like to fog up over time, and this haziness can make a car look old and its lights more dim.  We simply go in and polish the headlights to remove that haziness, leaving them clear as the day it was made!

  1. Over Spray Removal

Has your vehicle been sprayed by a truck that was painting the roads?  Did industrial fallout land on your car and refuse to come off easy? These are things we have experience in handling!  Our detailers are trained in removing difficult over spray, and as construction increases in warmer months, you may want to keep us in mind in case any accidents like these happen to you!


All of these services are done by professionally trained detailers who love restoring vehicles of all kinds.  In fact, many of these can be done to vehicles like RVs, boats, motorhomes, motorcycles, and more! If you have a special need for your car, give us a call!  We likely have a solution for you.

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail