What Your Vehicle Type Says About You

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

Four-Wheel Drive and Off-Road Cars

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

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

Small Cars

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

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

Cars With Three Or More Rows of Seats

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

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

RVs, Motorhomes, and Boats

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

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

Business Vehicles

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

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

Our Return Customers

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

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

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

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

Restoring Foggy Headlights

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

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

Headlight Restoration Prep Work

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

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

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

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

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

The Headlight Restoration Process

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

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

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

The Finishing Step

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

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

What Sets Our Detailers Apart

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

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

  1. They are experienced and professional

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

  1. They are IDA certified

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

  1. They love a job well done

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

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

  1. They communicate with clients

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

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

  1. They work all year

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

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

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

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

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 https://onsitedetail.net/windshield-and-glass-coatings/.

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

Interior Boat Detailing

Boat detailing is one of those tasks that makes many people wonder… “Why did I buy this boat?” Proper care and detailing your boat is not for the faint of heart. Caring for boats is no small task. They take so much abuse while they are sacrificing themselves for our entertainment and pleasure.

The interior of a boat does take quite the beating. It gets climbed all over, it gets sand in all the cracks and crevices. Its gets scuffs and scratches from loading and unloading water skis, wakeboards, rope, fishing equipment, etc. Food and drinks are spilled and the worst part is that wet life jackets, towels and other things can get left in the storage areas and start to grow mold and mildew. Boat interiors spend  a lot of time exposed to the sun as well.

Keep in mind there are many different types of boats and situations for different steps to be taken in the process of a boat interior detail. Different types of boats are used for different purposes and have different types of interior materials. There can be different types of messes to clean up. For the purposes of this blog we’ll discuss the most common type of boats we detail. The average speed boat.

Avoiding Problems with Boat Interiors

Moldy Boat Interior

There are a few things that can be done to avoid problems with the interior of your boat. After a day out on the lake or a day out fishing it is super important to clean out the garbage, food and anything wet that is not attached to the boat. Let that wet stuff dry outside the boat and leave any compartments or storage areas open to dry as well. 

One of the biggest and most important things that your boat needs is interior boat detailing. This consists of proper cleaning and protecting of the interior parts and surfaces. If proper prevention steps are taken the regular detailing will be a lot easier and less time consuming.

Interior Boat Detail Prep

Before any actual detailing can take place we’ll need to determine the level of detailing that is needed. I’ll go through some of the basic steps we take as we detail the boat’s interior. We’ll assume that the boat is in average condition but we may discuss some other situations as we move through the boat. 

Proceed with the Interior Boat Detail

Boat interior detailed.

Boat interior detailed.

First and foremost we need to clear out the boat. We remove anything that may get in the way of the actual cleaning and detailing. Obvious things such as garbage and equipment go first. But other things such as built in coolers, seat covers, snap on carpets or other boat interior accessories will be removed as well and cleaned separately.

As with vehicle interiors, boat interiors can and will collect dirt, sand and debris. Not to mention food crumbs and other small bits of garbage from wrapping or packaging. I prefer to start with the vacuuming process. Removing all the loose dirt and debris allows for the rest of the surfaces to be deep cleaned and protected. While vacuuming we go into the storage areas, cup holders and all the pockets and drawers. Depending on the severity or the dirtiness we can also bring out the steamer to work in tandem with the vacuum to help loosen up and blow out stuck on dirt and sticky stuff. After the first vacuum is complete we analyze the rest of the interior surfaces. Any extra dirty or soiled areas we can hit with an all purpose cleaner and the steamer. At this point we would address cleaning up any mold or mildew if found.

All the cracks, crevasses and seams are cleaned out thoroughly. The vinyl surfaces are then steamed cleaned and gently scrubbed as needed to get completely clean. Next step is to get the carpets cleaned. Depending on boat carpet type and how dirty it is we can use steam only with carpet scrubbing attachments, steam extraction or hot water extraction. We pretreat stains and soiled areas with a carpet cleaning chemical and then let it dwell before agitating it. After agitating we add a second chemical that works to help lift and remove soil and stains. We then hit the carpet with our method of choice to fully remove the dirt. Keep in mind at this point most boat carpets are pulled out and separate from the boat so they can dry while the rest is finished.

Boat Utah Onsite Detail

Boat Utah Onsite Detail

Next we are going to do a full wipe down and cleaning of all interior surfaces. We generally will use an all purpose cleaner of very mild quick detailer to wipe everything down in prep for any potential polishing or protection that is needed. At this point you can also clean the windows and make sure there are no hard water spots that need to be removed.

Now it’s time to dress and condition the interior boat plastics and vinyls. This is especially important for the vinyl boat seats as they can easily take the brunt of the beating from use and the hot sun. Without proper cleaning and conditioning they can dry out and crack. The conditioner will help protect and prevent these damages.

This is also a good time to protect the gel coat surfaces that extend on top from the exterior of the boat. If the exterior of the boat has yet to be touched it is probably a good idea to wait until it is done to polish and protect it all at once.

Double Check Everything

Last step is just to double check everything and make sure there is no touch up needed.

Now that you know a little bit more about what we can do for your boat’s interior and what we’d recommend to help you keep your boat interior detailed and protected feel free to contact us to have us put your boat detail on the schedule. Call, text or email us. (801) 412-9274 clean@onsitedetail.net

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.

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.

Best way to remove melted crayon and candy from your car

The Pinnacle of all Detailing…

This blog may or may not be the pinnacle of all detailing… removing melted crayon and candy from a car. I can’t count the amount of interior detail jobs I’ve done when either a melted crayon or melted gummy candy had softened, melted, and somehow hardened it’s way into the carpet, cracks and crevasses of a vehicle. Unfortunately this might be the way you have described the interior of your vehicle to a friend… you may have said things like, “there’s melted crayon in the back cup holder” or “there’s a melted gummy bear on the car mat on the passenger side”. If you’ve never said those words you’ve at least thought them or have heard someone say it. If you’ve never heard anyone say anything like that I promise you know someone who has. The thing I’m trying to get at is that melted substances in vehicles happens to the best of us in one way or another. It’s a fact (that I may or may not have made up for the support of my writings today). 

List of melted sticky things we’ve found in cars;

  • crayons
  • candy and chocolate
  • wax (candles, etc.)
  • deodorant
  • spilled sticky food
  • lipstick/chap-stick
  • makeup
  • fruit
  • donuts/pastries
  • unrecognizable gunk…

Crayons, gummy candy and chap-stick are very different… although young children will try to eat all of them. There are many methods and techniques that you may hear that you can use and that are effective in removing melted crayon and candy from a car and off of vehicle carpet and out of vehicle cup holders.

My experiences with removing melted crayon and candy from a car, out of vehicle carpets and off vehicle interior surfaces has been trial by error, always starting with the least aggressive method first if you are not sure what it needs. In many cases the process in getting them out of the carpets or cup holders will be the same. I will mention a few chemicals and/or techniques that will work for removing the sticky and hardened substances in your vehicle.

Loosening up the sticky stuff

The first thing you want to do before you can actually be removing melted crayon and candy from a car safely is to soften or loosen it up. I usually test the area with some all purpose cleaner (apc) or a light duty degreaser. You will want to let the apc/degreaser sit on the area for a minute or two to let it soften the crayon or gummy. If you have a putty knife you can use that to separate the substance from the carpet or fabric, but be extremely careful that you do not damage the surface that you are working on. In some cases it could also be on a leather seat. It may be slightly easier to remove from leather but the care that need to be taken is even greater with vinyl or leather. The damage to leather can be irreversible so be sure to be extremely careful or it would need to be repaired. We will come back to leather in a little bit. After letting the apc/degreaser or a solvent based chemical (do not use on the leather, vinyl or sensitive materials) soften the crayon or gummy candy, continue analyzing, loosening and scraping.

The Power of Steam

One of the most effective ways to loosen and remove these substances from the carpets and fabrics and using a steamer. The steamer will do an excellent job at loosening and separating the crayons and gummy candy, etc. from the fabric and carpet fibers. With the steamer you will want to make sure to extract it fairly quickly. With the heat of the steam softening the crayon or gummy enough to get it off the carpet, you will want to make sure you get it extracted as fast as possible for the best results. Letting it sit too long could give the substance time to either harden or with it being softer, it could seep into the fibers even deeper. A great tool for extracting after being softened is a hot water extractor. Keeping the wax from the crayon or the gummy candy soft and warm will enable you to extract the substance from the carpet much more doable. Before using the steamer or extractor, you will want to attempt getting off as much of the substance as you can. The more crayon or candy that is on the fabric when you start steaming, the bigger the possibility of all that getting pushed further into the fabrics thus making it much more tough to remove. Especially if it hardens again.

Something you will notice with the crayon almost immediately is that it will leave it’s color behind. If this happens, don’t worry. This is common and normal. The sad truth is that the color from the crayon will most likely dye the carpet. The paraffin wax and color pigment, when heated, will create an oil like substance that you will want to make sure you remove as soon as possible. That is another reason you will want to try to gently remove as much of the crayon as you can before heating to avoid dying an even larger portion of the carpet. When done successfully the carpet will be clean but might have a dyed portion. Know that it’s clean but may be permanently colored. When it comes to the gummy candy, you shouldn’t have the worry of dying the carpet but will still want to make sure it is removed with the same quickness and method as the crayon.

Careful with the Leather

When it comes to the leather, it may be a little easier but will take a little more care to clean effectively. Again, you will want to make sure that you remove as much of the crayon or candy as possible. If it is possible to do a deep clean on the leather without applying the heat do that. Keep the spot moistened with apc/degreaser to keep the substance from adhering back onto the leather. With the last resort being hitting the spot with the steamer. Try to avoid using straight steam on the spot for an extended period of time. It could damage the leather. Some steamers will come equipped with a brush that you can attach to the end. After attaching the brush, wrap a rag or cloth around the brush. I would recommend a microfiber rag. This will disperse the steam enough to not damage the leather but will still get it hot enough to separate the crayon and gummy from the leather. Spray the area with some properly diluted degreaser and start gently steam cleaning the area. You will want to closely monitor the area you are working on to make sure the leather is still in good shape. Once clean make sure to recondition the leather as we do with our Interior Detail.

I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something. The auto detailing world is continually growing and progressing. There may be other methods for removing melted crayon and candy from a car out there that would be more effective in your specific situations and I would encourage you to search them out to find something that works for you or feel free to reach out to us and we can help you out. Contact via phone or text at (801) 412-9274 or you can request an appointment on our website! Safe Travels!

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

 

RV Detailing – RV Exterior Wax

We’ve been on quite the journey the last couple months with detailing an RV. A few weeks ago we spent some time on the inside of the RV talking about the interior detail. Today I’m going to talk about the final step of the RV detail, the RV exterior wax. There are a few different ways that you can wax an RV. They can range from a spray wax or sealant that is applied by hand with a spray bottle and microfiber rag to a wax or sealant that is applied by a buffer or a palm polisher.

The RV Exterior Wax Pre-Check and Prep

Before applying any RV exterior wax, you will want to double/triple check to make sure all of the bugs and debris have been removed from all surfaces that will be waxed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that much time will be spent working on the upper half of the RV. In most cases that will require climbing a ladder, working, moving ladder, and repeating. Be prepared with extra rags, extension cords (if needed), sunglasses, etc. Being prepared and having all that you need will make this big job go a lot smoother.

Spray RV Exterior Wax or Sealant

First, I will talk about the spray RV exterior wax that is applied by spraying and applying by hand with a microfiber towel. The process of applying the spray wax will be an easier and more convenient work load for someone with minimal time or limited budget. As I mentioned though, the longest part of the application will be the process of moving up and down the ladder and moving the ladder. An obvious, but a very important thing to remember is to make sure that the ladder is stable before you climb and work. While working on the top half of the RV exterior, you will spend much time on the ladder so be sure to make sure the ladder is properly placed. The way I prefer to start is at any corner of the RV. As you work and move along the RV, pay close attention to the areas that you are waxing. While you are on the ladder, it is fairly easy to lose track of the areas that you can reach and can’t reach while you are working. An easy method is to pick out something that you can keep track of such as an edge of a painted area, decal section, a window, a vent, a storage compartment. Without this method it can be easy to lose track of areas that have and have not been waxed. It may sound funny but it’s important to stay focused when you are waxing an RV.

Another thing to remember is that you are going to want to make sure that you have plenty of microfiber towels on hand. One towel will be able to do anywhere from 4 to 6 feet of the RV. Depending on how well the surface is prepped and how much wax you spray will be factors as well. If you start noticing the wax not adhering to the paint as well or start noticing streaking it will be time to switch rags. Using spray wax will also give you the opportunity to do more than one coat in a short amount of time. Many spray waxes will still take time to adhere to the paint and fully cure even after the application process. This step can be very customizable with so many quality spray waxes and sealants to choose from. It will allow you to do more coats if desired. More coats or layers will not only protect the surface of your RV for longer but will lengthen the time between now and when you have to wax it again.

Spray RV Exterior Wax or Sealant

Another method to waxing an RV exterior is using a higher quality wax that is applied with a buffer or what we like to call in the detail biz, a “palm-polisher”. The process for this type of application will take even more focus and attention to detail. It will also take a significant time longer than the spray wax. The reason being after being applied to the surface. The wax (or sealant) used will take a little bit of time to cure. It should only take about 30 seconds to a minute before you should wipe it off, but his can vary greatly depending on the type of wax/sealant you are using and the conditions in which you are working. This method of waxing will take much more time than the spray wax for just that reason. This type of wax will still adhere to the paint after the “wax-off” step and this will also allow you to go back and do another coat if desired. As I said, this method will take a significant time longer than the spray wax but will last much longer in most cases. On average, doing a 30” RV could take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, depending on your determination and caffeine intake. Be sure to keep an eye on the pad you are using as well. It will most likely need to be changed a couple times while applying the wax. If you only have one pad, rinsing it out extremely well with hot water will work. You will know when the pad is ready to be switched or washed when the wax starts collecting on the pad. The quality of the work will continue to be more and more diminished the longer you continue to work with an oversaturated polish pad. The wax will not attach itself to the surface as well and you will actually need to use more and more wax as you go. It may also cause it to not look evenly waxed and will look patchy.

Mixing and Matching RV Exterior Wax

I’m going to give away a little secret right now to make the whole waxing process hopefully more easy for someone. When you think about the area of the RV that takes the most damage and has more exposure to the elements you will most likely think about the front of the RV. Something that has always been an easy sell for me for people that want to take care of their RV but not spend an arm and a leg is doing a buffer/machine RV exterior wax on only the front section of the RV and spray waxing the rest of it. Pretty brilliant stroke of genius isn’t it? The higher quality wax will protect the front for an extended period of time while the spray wax on the sides will still be protecting but you will not need as much protection for the sides and back because they obviously will not take as much damage but will remain protected. This is a really good method for 5th wheels especially.

 

Well there you have it. Over the course of the last couple months we have gone over the cleaning and detailing of an RV. I hope you have learned something that is beneficial and can help you in the future. Have a fun safe summer! Safe Travels!

by Andy Stallings, CD, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

RV Detailing – Washing The Roof

If you’ve ever had to change a light bulb on a high ceiling, you know how scary it can be, especially if heights are not your friend and/or if you consider yourself uncoordinated. Standing on a ladder and putting all your attention on a ceiling can be risky and a little nerve racking. Well, washing an RV roof is nothing like that but it may be somewhat relatable because most people will probably have more experience changing light bulbs than washing the roof of an RV. There are areas where the washing process can feel a little like that changing out a hard to reach, awkwardly located light bulb. Just like changing a light bulb can be, washing the roof can be a little nerve racking when you are unsure and unprepared to do so.

Washing the Roof of Your RV

Put yourself in this situation..if you will – Standing on a wet surface, 12-15 feet up, using a pressure washer (which can screw with your balance if you’re not careful), trying to find a way to make sure the pressure washer gun stays on top of the RV while you scrub the roof (can be more tricky than it sounds). All while making sure you have sure footing and watching where you step. As with washing other vehicles, it is best to wash from top to bottom so starting on the roof will be the best place to start. Overtime, the tops of RVs and trailers can get really dirty and even collect dirt and leaves and other contaminants. You can wash an RV without washing the roof but with that comes a disclaimer. The disclaimer is – without cleaning the roof, every time it rains, it will basically just spread whatever is on the roof to the rest of the RV. You will want to make sure all of the air vents and any other openings on the roof are closed. Otherwise, you will be “washing” parts of the RV you were not intending to wash. So going back to my first approach to washing RVs. The roof washing is a vital, but risky (if you are familiar with the proper procedures), part of the RV wash. Possibly even more risky than changing a light bulb…you see what I did there? I compared it to changing a light bulb. Although you could also compare it to hanging out on your roof while it rains. People probably don’t make a habit out of doing something like that. Unless you’re a crazy person, like the kind of crazy person that gets on top of RVs to wash them. It can be a dangerous and a little scary on a windy day but it is definitely worth it and pays off in the long run. However, if you don’t have the proper training and equipment I would say not to do it and call someone who’s crazy enough. But who? Who’s crazy enough? I’ll tell you who..WE ARE!!     

Different RV Roofs

There are different kinds of roofs on RVs (and trailers).  A pretty common material found on many roofs is rubber. Ask your detailer about using a rubber cleaner/protectant when cleaning your roof. A rubber cleaner/protectant will work kinda like a “wax” for your roof. It will protect it from UV rays and other weather elements that damage the integrity of the roof. Another is just a painted or unpainted panel of aluminum or fiberglass with maybe some extra grit for grip in certain areas. This surface can be waxed, sealed or ceramic coated just as any other painted or metal surface. It is very important that proper cleaning chemicals and processes are used to ensure that there is no damage or irreparable mistakes happen and that optimal results are achieved. Another extremely important thing is proper detailing and washing equipment, tools and safety equipment. Which reminds of an interesting story.

Short story. I knew a guy that went to clean a huge RV. When I say huge, I mean as tall as an RV can get, you’re looking at about 13 and a half feet tall. He looked up at the monstrous vehicle and wondered if his ladder was any match to this Goliath of a vehicle. Not only was his ladder too short to get to the top but there was also no ladder on the RV to climb to the top. So what did he do? He solved the problem by doing the only reasonable thing he could think of. The van he had driven wasn’t in the right spot though. It had to be moved. But where? He got in the van and pulled it within inches of the house on wheels. He got out and looked at what was in front of him and knew what he had to do, the decision had been made and his mind was made up. He climbed on top of the van with the ladder, all while continually telling himself that he would be able to live through this and go to sleep in his bed that night and not at a hospital. He had to set aside his doubts and fears. As with much assurance and confidence as he could, he began to set up the ladder on top of the van. Oddly enough, the further along he got with the progress of his plan, the more comfortable he got with it. Realizing more and more that sometimes the best idea may not be the safest one but onward he pressed. Making sure the legs of the ladder would fit into the grooves of the top of the van he began he ascension to the top of the ladder. Checking the stability of the ladder with every step he eventually got to the top of the ladder and was able to carefully work his way onto the RV. He hadn’t really noticed how high he was yet but immediately noticed the gloriousness of world around him. He had a sense of pride rush through him and thought that he could stay up there forever. Which was an intriguing thought considering the amount of effort and time it had taken to get to the top. Now it was time to get to work. He went to grab the pressure washer to start. But where was it? If you’re thinking, “he wouldn’t have made that long, dangerous journey without bringing the things he needed”, you’re on the right track. He had completely forgotten everything he needed. He made the long, careful voyage back to earth and grabbed all the things he needed and looked back up at RV Everest and proceeded to do the job he had come to do. Good news, he made it home that night to fall asleep in his bed unscathed.

 

If you’re wondering how I knew the details of this story so well, how I knew what he was feeling and what was going through. Full disclosure, it was me. I’m sure you figured that out but wanted you to see the amount of crazy that we are willing to go through to make sure that the job we are hired to do is accomplished.

 

This story is an example of why I would not recommend doing it on your own. We love making people happy and would love to help you get your RV ready for the year ahead. Stay tuned for more on properly washing the other parts of your RV. Safe travels.

by Andy Stallings, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Foods Inside Your Car

At Onsite Detail we have handled many different kinds of messes in all different kinds of vehicles.  Hard water spotting, tree sap, vomit, and pet messes are among the many kinds we have dealt with. But arguably one of our most common types of spills and stains come from a simple, yet common culprit- food! Our Interior Detail is the solution!

As pristine as we try to keep our vehicles, we are only human, and humans need to eat and drink.  Sometimes our need for sustenance comes when we are on the road, and something as simple as a bump in the road can make a mess of things.  So in this article, we will be going over some of our favorite snacks and cuisines to clean up with our interior detail service!

Drinks

How about some beverages to start?  It turns out having water is a cheap option in more ways than one!  A common call we get is for interior details to focus on a drink gone wrong.

Warm drinks like coffee and hot chocolate are especially common in the wintertime, since they are treats that warm us up and can get us ready for the day.  However, it only takes one bump in the road or a drink carrier to collapse to make a treat a disaster. Both stain pretty easily as is, but it’s even less fun when it has creamer or any other dairy products.  Dairy can smell bad when not chilled because it cultivates bacteria, and now that we’re (hopefully) reaching warmer weather, that’s going to be a more immediate effect. And let’s not forget our other dairy disasters like chocolate milk or baby formula!

If coffee isn’t your drink of choice, we have also taken care of soda spills.  The syrup and coloring in these drinks love to try and stain carpets and upholstery, and if it can’t stain, it’ll make things sticky and sugary, which is attractive to ants and other bugs.  Dark sodas especially like to cause problems as their syrup discolors whatever they spill on, though clear sodas love to mislead by looking clean when they’re actually not! Be especially careful with canned sodas with the changing temperatures as they love to explode if left unopened and unattended in your vehicle.  

While this is not one of our common ones, some people have a fancier taste in beverages.  Of course we mean wine or other alcoholic drinks. This last holiday season we got a call from a nice gentleman who had bought an expensive bottle of red wine which spilled all over the back of his car, leaving a bad stain and strong odor.  Thankfully he had called quickly and we got to do our interior detail on it right away, which saved his seats and carpets from red wine stains and nasty odor!

Main Course

Of course, drinks are not the only spills we manage.  At Onsite Detail we have seen our fair share of food as well when we do our interior detail service!

Fast food is a popular one we handle, for a variety of reasons.  Whether you’re a fast food connoisseur or only indulge when you have five minutes of lunch break left, we know how it can affect our rides.  Foods like tacos and burgers can cause spills from condiments of toppings like lettuce, and fries love to drop from our fingers into the crevices between and under the seats,   never to be seen again. (At least, until we take care of them.)  Not only that, but it’s easy to stuff the wrappers into the bags and promptly forget to remove them, which can leave a fast food smell in the car and make it look trashy.

Thankfully our guys are experienced in cleaning all kinds of food, and we are professionals at cleaning fast food mess!  But our expertise does not stop there. Recently we got to clean a vehicle where someone had accidentally spilled rice all over the back of the car, and over the holidays someone called asking if we could clean a spill from a pot roast that had tipped in the trunk of the car.  We may not be able to recover the loss of good food, but we can help the grieving process by cleaning the mess after!

Dessert

Still have room for dessert?  Great!

As mentioned before, dairy is a bane for vehicles in hot weather.  However, this doesn’t stop us from indulging in ice cream from time to time!  Popsicle sticks, cone wraps, and sticky napkins join in the fun as well when it comes to our favorite summertime dessert.  But what about sweets we can enjoy all year round? Candy and chocolate are especially fun for us to find, especially in vehicles where kids rule the car.  We have gotten all kinds of candy, generic and brand names alike. Don’t be shy if you’re calling for some cleanup after a sugary incident, we are happy to take care of the details!

Of course, not all desserts are sugar confections.  One of our detailers a few years ago had a job to take care of a watermelon to enjoy in the summertime, but it was forgotten about… for a few weeks.  It turns out the vehicle simply hadn’t been used, so after being allowed to sit in the heat of the trunk, it made for a terrible, moldy, stinking surprise!  Thankfully he was experienced in detailing and managed to clean the car back to normal, despite the awful stench it had provided before.

We know messes can come from all sorts of sources, including our need to eat and drink.  That’s why Onsite Detail’s Interior Detail is so popular for spills, stains, smells and sticky situations.  Give us a call today or fill out a Request Form to take care of your mess now!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail