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Common Vehicle Hand-Washing Mistakes to Avoid, Part 1

vehicle hand-washing mistakes avoid

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service, we’re proud to provide quality car detailing that comes to you at your convenience. Sparing you the hassle of driving to and from your appointment while providing you with the best possible services, we’ve been assisting clients around Salt Lake City for years.

While we recommend our services for any major detailing needs, we’re thrilled to deal with clients who also hand-wash their vehicles on their own periodically. However, there are several mistakes you want to avoid while hand-washing your vehicle, and we’re happy to offer expertise here as well. This two-part blog will go over several errors to avoid while hand-washing your vehicle.

Going in the Wrong Order or Pattern

Like many other simple cleaning processes, the order you go in while washing a car is important to pay attention to. If you hit the wrong areas first, or fail to protect certain areas, you could be creating more work for yourself or even making certain sections dirtier.

For starters, we recommend applying a brake dust remover first and foremost. This will stop wheel grime from getting all over the rims and wall ledges, and you can begin with the vehicle’s tires so said grime is contained to one area. Once this is done, you can begin cleaning the exterior body, then move to the windows and any moldings.

One final tip: Start from the top and move down so you aren’t moving dirt and grime to the same areas you’ve just cleaned.

Lack of Vehicle Understanding

Vehicle bodies can be made of several different materials, and which yours is made of may dictate which cleaners or treatments you choose. This is especially true when it comes to a new paint job, or when you’re dealing with darker plastics or glass windows.

In addition, know that certain interior materials like leather are sensitive to improper cleaning products. Cloth also requires a non-abrasive cleaner.

Choosing the Wrong Treatments

Down similar lines, you need to buy the right cleaning products for both the interior and exterior. Don’t ever use household dish soap or cleaning chemicals, which will oxidize your paint job and dull the way your paint looks. Instead, choose only car-wash approved products, ideally those that are eco-friendly.

Washing in the Sun

If at all possible, avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. Not only can this cause cleaning products to dry before they’ve been rinsed off, damaging your paint job, the sun may also cause you to waste more water. If you absolutely must perform the wash in the sun, go panel-by-panel to ensure no chemicals dry into your paint job.

For more on how to hand-wash your car at home, or to learn about any of our mobile detailing or window tinting services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service today.

Comparing Window Tinting Savings to Window Replacement

comparing window tinting savings replacement

In today’s modern age, more and more people are prioritizing energy efficiency in any area they can. Both for cost savings and environmental purposes, this is an area that holds several specific benefits and can be utilized across several walks of life.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service, we’re here to tell you about one specific area that relates directly to energy savings: Window tinting. Many homeowners are realizing that their windows play a big role in their home’s energy efficiency, but many choose to simply replace windows when a far more cost-effective option is available in home window tinting. Let’s go over some of the standard costs and savings of replacing windows compared to window tinting, plus why the latter is often the far more economical choice for you.

Window Replacement Energy and Cost Savings

Using general estimates, let’s take a look at the energy and cost savings you can experience from replacing windows in your home. Let’s say you’re looking to replace all 20 of your home’s windows with more energy-efficient materials. If you’re doing this manually, the average cost for such a job, including parts and labor, will be between $550 and $925 or so. Using some basic multiplication, we can see that this means your cost of replacing these windows could run you between $10,000 and $18,500.

Now, the cost itself isn’t the only important factor. You also have to consider how quickly you will recoup those costs based on energy savings. The US Department of Energy estimates energy savings on window replacement at between $25 and $450 per year (depending on the number of panes and other factors) – even using the higher range of this estimate, it will take you literal decades to entirely recoup your costs just based on energy savings.

Window Tinting as an Alternative

Luckily, window tinting is an available alternative here that offers far improved savings. They don’t require anywhere near the same cost as replacing windows, for starters, and window films can reduce energy consumption by as much as 30% in many cases. This film reduces solar heat gain and your carbon footprint, allowing you to enjoy natural light without harmful UV exposure or significant energy usage.

This means that instead of replacing windows and waiting a decade or more for their value to be recouped in your energy savings, this process will take just a few months in many cases. The money you spend on window tinting will come back to you within a very short period of time based on a cost that’s almost 1,000% lower than replacing your windows.

For more on why window tinting is often a preferable option to window replacement for energy savings, or to learn about any of our mobile detailing or tint services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service today.

Factors to Prioritize When Choosing a Car Detailer

factors choosing car detailer

If you’re considering car detailing for the first time, choosing the right detailer for the job is an important task. Like any other personal service industry, there are a wide range of quality levels out there for vehicle detailing.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services, we welcome and even recommend comparisons of our vehicle detailing services to our competitors in the area. This is the proper approach for any diligent customer, and we’re extremely confident our services and reputation will stack up well against other comparable companies. Here are several of the top areas you should be prioritizing when it comes to choosing a car detailer, plus how we stand apart from the competition in several of these areas.

Location

One of the immediate ways we stand out from many of our competitors: We don’t have a single set location, instead using mobile services to bring the highest-quality detailing solutions directly to you at your convenience. This means you don’t have to worry about items like gas or taking the time to make the trip.

As you consider other possible detailers, be wary of strange location types. A detailer located in a home garage, for instance, isn’t a great sign of the professionalism you’ll find. This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker on its own, but it’s certainly a potential red flag to keep an eye on.

Reviews and Customer Satisfaction

Any detailer, no matter their location, should put the customer first. At the same time, it’s important to be at least slightly wary of a detailer who guarantees they can fix any imperfection or issue with your vehicle before even inspecting it – this is because there are certain issues that simply might be permanent in a vehicle, such as major odors or significant scratches. Someone claiming they can fix literally anything might be a snake oil salesman.

A better way of getting to the heart of how customers feel about a given detailer: Check their reviews, both on Google and in other locations. Don’t expect absolute perfection, but a higher-rated company is generally a good route to go.

Cost

Another possible red flag to look out for: A detailer with prices that are far lower than other comparable options in the area. They say you get what you pay for, and this is often the case here – someone offering a crazy discount is usually doing so because the services they provide aren’t that great.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t shop for a good deal. Simply ensure you request a price quote based on an in-person inspection, not simply a phone call or an online estimate.

Timing Considerations

One final potential sign of a less-than-reputable car detailer: Someone who claims they can complete the entire job in an hour while every other estimate you receive says 4-5 hours at minimum. Detailing is just that – a detailed process that often takes significant time depending on your needs. While it’s good to search for pros who can get the job done relatively quickly, those who will rush it and skip important steps are not what you want.

For more on the factors you should be prioritizing when choosing a car detailer, or to learn about any of our detailing or window tinting services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services today.

Value of Auto Window Tinting for UV Ray Protection

auto window tinting UV protection

While many who look into auto window tinting services are doing so for aesthetic reasons, it’s important to recognize that such services also come with practical benefits. They help keep your vehicle cooler during the hot summer, for instance, and they’re also valuable for the protection they provide from potentially harmful UV rays.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services, we offer high-quality auto tinting services at your convenience – and at the location of your choosing. Many people don’t realize just how valuable a window tint is when it comes to UV protection – let’s go over the general UV exposure risk you face while driving, the limited protection your stock windows offer and how tinting benefits you. 

UV Ray Exposure Risks

In the short-term, prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to sunburns and related discomfort. In the long-term, however, the risks are more severe, including skin cancer – the most common form of cancer in the entire United States. Per the Skin Cancer Foundation, some basic facts on skin cancer and its relationship to UV exposure:

  • One in five people in the US will develop skin cancer before age 70, with men twice as likely as women to be diagnosed.
  • Diagnoses of skin cancer has increased by 77% over the last two decades and change.
  • Over 90% of all skin cancer cases are due to exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

Cumulative Damage

It’s important to note that UV damage doesn’t simply reset when you leave the sun – it’s a cumulative thing, one that’s involved with speeding up the aging process and bringing wrinkles or other skin marks. And as we just noted above, UVA rays are responsible for a huge percentage of skin cancer cases.

When it comes to sitting in a car, most people don’t realize the impact of this long-term exposure. According to AAA, the average American spends 290 hours on the road each year, many of which are in sunlight.

Windows Provide Limited Protection

Now, you might be thinking, don’t my windows protect me from UV rays? They do, but only partially. Window glass will block UVB rays, which cause burns and blisters, but they will allow UVA rays – the cancer-causing type – through. Meanwhile, windshields are generally treated to block UVA and UVB rays, but this means window areas remain a risk.

How Window Tinting Helps

Luckily, window tinting is a fast and affordable solution to this concern. High-performance window tinting offers constant protection, blocking out up to 99% of all UV rays. Window films filter out these rays through absorption, serving as a highly effective deterrent to skin cancer and other risks of UV exposure.

For more on the ways window tinting helps protect you from UV exposure, or to learn about any of its other benefits or our mobile car detailing services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services today.

Preventing and Removing Hard Water Stains Using Detailing

preventing hard water stains detailing

There are a variety of visual concerns that might arise with a given vehicle over time, and one such concern is hard water spots. Hard water refers to water that contains a higher quantity of minerals and sediment within it, elements that can damage paint surfaces and bring unsightly spots to a vehicle’s exterior.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services, our mobile auto detailing solutions include helping you assess the presence of hard water spots and remove them – plus helping you prevent them from appearing again in the future. Let’s go over everything you might need to know about limiting and removing hard water spots from your car. 

Causes of Hard Water Spots

So what are hard water spots, really. Essentially, they’re the remaining solids found in evaporated hard water droplets. They can come from a variety of sources: Parking near a sprinkler or kids with squirt guns, driving through a puddle of hard water, improper drying after washing the vehicle, or even a simple rainstorm in some cases.

When water contacts the car, any particles present in it – smoke, dirt, carbon dioxide, chemicals or others – will also come into contact. When the water evaporates, you’ll find crusty spots made of salt, minerals or various other debris. If there are chemicals in the water, particularly any caustic chemicals, these may begin slowly eating away at your paint. They may also leave craters and pit the surface, allowing future water to pool up and create worsening issues.

How We’ll Help You Remove Hard Water Spots

In cases where hard water spots have already formed on your vehicle’s surface, the primary tools we’ll use to help you get rid of them are microfiber cloths, detailing spray and a dedicated hard water spot and scale remover. We’ll apply the hard water spot remover to the cloth, then work in sections to remove each individual spot from the surface of your car.

Once the remover is used, the detailing spray will be applied afterward. When we’ve finished each individual spot, we will then wash, dry and wax the vehicle to seal in the new protective coating and remove any additional chemicals still on the surface.

Preventing Hard Water Spots

Now, there are steps you can take to prevent hard water spots from ever forming in the first place. The first involves proper washing and drying – don’t allow any water to remain on your surface after any car wash, whether professional or self-applied. In addition, talk to our team about waxing services, which will prevent water and chemicals from interacting directly with your paint in the future and will limit the risk of damage from hard water.

For more on limiting and removing hard water spots from your vehicle’s exterior, or to learn about any of our mobile vehicle detailing or window tinting services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services today.

Primer on Wax, Sealant and Coatings for Vehicle Detailing, Part 2

wax sealant coatings vehicle detailing

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics of waxes, sealants and coatings as protective materials for your vehicle’s paint and exterior. Also responsible for bringing that desirable shine to your car’s appearance, these materials are all similar in some ways – but also have some important differences in what they bring to your vehicle.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services, our mobile detailing solutions include an array of protective elements, including each of these products as needed – and we come to you to apply them, saving you time and money. In today’s part two, we’ll go over sealants and coatings in detail, plus offer you information on a couple related alternatives.

Sealant Basics and Types

Sealants are liquid compounds meant to bond to the car’s paint and keep it protected. They’re usually synthetic and appear in liquid or cream format. One note with sealants: Before they’re applied, it’s important to ensure all waxes have been removed and the paint has been cleaned with an alcohol wipe – this is to ensure a quality bond is created between the sealant and the paint.

There are two broad sealant types available:

  • Synthetic sealant: Similar in some ways to carnauba wax, which we detailed in part one, synthetic sealant contains related compounds that bring a fantastic shine and longer-lasting performance. Sealants will range in price from about $15 to $60.
  • Cleaning sealants: These are similar products, but containing additional micro abrasives that are meant to get rid of annoying swirl marks on the paint. However, cleaning sealants are often applied by hand and may not be strong enough to remove all your scratches, so we generally recommend synthetic sealant.

Coating Information

Generally speaking, the term “coating” refers to nano coatings, which are similar in purpose to glass coatings or ceramic coatings. All of these create a thin layer of glass around the paint, providing excellent protection and shine. These options are considered permanent because they are directly attached to the car’s paint surface, though they can be removed using a buffer or DA polisher. Nano coatings often last up to five years, protecting the surface from not only scratches but also bird droppings, UV rays and bug splatters.

Additional Alternatives

There are a couple popular products available today that provide some of the same qualities as waxes, sealants and coatings:

  • Clear bra: This is a transparent film used over the top of a vehicle’s paint, generally made from urethane. It protects the car from heavy scratch and rock chip risks. However, clear bra is extremely expensive and can still be damaged by sap or acid, plus might not be as visually appealing as other protective types. It’s always available, however.
  • Vinyl wraps: A popular choice today is using a vinyl wrap, which provides a similar purpose to clear bra but with thinner, more versatile options. Vinyl wraps are often used to change the color of a vehicle without repainting it, though in these cases it won’t provide the same level of protection as clear bra. Vinyl wraps can be costly as well.

For more on waxes, sealants and coatings, or to learn about any of our mobile car detailing or window tinting services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Services today.

Primer on Wax, Sealant and Coatings for Vehicle Detailing, Part 1

wax sealant coatings vehicle detailing

There are several aspects of auto detailing that bring protective qualities to the vehicle being detailed, and a great example here are elements like waxes, sealants and coatings. Used to protect the paint and exterior of the vehicle, these materials accomplish this task while also bringing a glossy shine that makes the car look brand new.

At Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service, we’re proud to offer a full array of protective materials as part of our mobile detailing services. We come to you to provide these services, saving you gas, time and hassle in the process. For those new to the detailing process, terms like wax, sealant and coating may all sound like the same thing – but in reality, they’re related-but-different materials that perform differing functions. This two-part blog will dig into the basics on each of these and what they do for your vehicle.

Basic Definitions

Here are the simple ways of defining what each of these materials is:

  • Wax: Vehicle wax is available in several formats and styles, offered in both liquid or paste form. The primary ingredient will be synthetic wax, which will be blended to some degree with other substances depending on the precise product. Wax is meant to protect paint and increase the exterior shine of the vehicle. Of the three products listed here, wax lasts for the shortest period of time.
  • Sealant: The next tier up from wax is sealant, which is made from man-made polymers, resins and various synthetic ingredients. Sealant’s purpose is to increase both durability and shine on the paint surface, and will last longer than wax.
  • Coating: The most permanent of these materials, however, is coating, which bonds directly to paint to create a durable protective barrier. Many coating products will last several years at a time without any need for replacement.

Wax Information

There are several types of wax and lots of information out there about it. As we noted, it creates a barrier between the paint’s clear coat and the elements, plus smooths out the paint’s surface by filling in lighter scratches. It also reduces friction between outside elements and your paint, making scratches less likely to begin with.

There are a few distinct wax types out there:

  • Spray wax: The cheapest and shortest-lasting type, spray wax is applied during the drying process and needs to be re-applied often.
  • Carnauba wax: This is a versatile wax type applied using a pad, bringing great protection and shine. The price of this type ranges widely based on its quality, which will also speak to how long it lasts.
  • Synthetic wax: This is a product similar to carnauba wax, but one that lasts a bit longer due to polymers involved in its makeup. Carnauba wax, however, is known to bring a bit more depth and shine.
  • Cleaner wax: This is a product that not only protects the surface, but also polishes and cleans it in the same stroke. It’s made of a blend of chemical and mechanical cleaners. It should only generally be used for dirty or poorly-conditioned vehicles – brand new vehicles should choose another option.

For more on waxes, sealants and coatings, or to learn about any of our mobile detailing or window tinting services, speak to the staff at Kram’s Mobile Detailing Service today.

Importance of Auto Detailing

car interior detail

The aspect of a car is very important, especially if you are going to car shows or you just want to showcase your ride to your friends. The increased amount of care for cleaning, waxing and polishing an automobile has created the art of auto detailing, with more and more people interested in this each and every day.

The most important aspect of auto detailing is that this process will take care both of the inside and outside of a vehicle, which is great, and provides you with a great interior and exterior look that preserves the resale value of the car. This is what gains the attention of more and more car owners out there, since all cars have a lower resale value as they get older.

A good auto detail needs to handle both the interior and exterior of a car. If you can handle the cost, there are also many services regarding engine detailing as well. Be advised though that engine detailing is not damaging your engine’s capacity and power, so it’s safe to do.

When it comes to auto detail, the most important thing is getting rid of all the dirt and grime accumulated in the car and giving it that shiny new look. The biggest challenge is to find a shop that includes as many processes as possible in the auto detail.

For example, the most important service is surely the paint care. Be careful though, as paint is very delicate, so you need someone that has a lot of experience in dealing with it, so they won’t destroy the paint.

Once the paint is dealt with, another important part are the wheels and the chassis. It’s important that the car is also clean underneath, as well as near the wheels. This is where most of the dirt accumulates, so it’s very important to keep it clean. After doing this, you can head on to the taillights, headlights and the exterior. This will require a good amount of detailed cleaning, especially the chrome, as this will always stand out.

The interior detailing is also very important. What matters here is carpet and seat cleaning, as these can be seen instantly when you enter the car.

As we stated earlier, engine detailing is also important. Here it’s recommended to use a degreaser, as there is a lot of grease accumulating while the engine is active.

On top of that, there are many service units that allow you to buy additional auto detailing services such as dent removal, which is very important if you want your car to look top notch.

These are the most important auto detailing services that you need to perform on your car. The idea is to make sure that you find the right shop to perform these at. Make a lot of online research or ask your friends. Also, check the pricing, as that might differ quite a lot from shop to shop. If you want your car to look great though, make no expense, as auto detailing will also keep the resale value of your car as high as possible, and this is surely something that any car owner wants.

How Does Tinting Your Windows Keep Your Car Cool

window tint

Tinting your windows can provide you with a good and cheap way of making your car stand out, but it will also reduce the heat, thus keeping your car cool. The whole process is quite simple and very easy to do, this is why more and more people and choosing to tint the windows of their cars instead of looking for more ways of cooling their car.

Tinting reduces the heat in a very simple way, just by reducing the number of thermal rays that enter your car. This basically means that less heat is entering your car, so it will be a lot cooler inside it. In detail, the whole process of blocking the wavelengths acts as a filter which actually prevents interior heating without the need to block the illuminating feature of the sun rays. So you will basically enjoy the sun rays without increasing the temperature in your car.

The amount of heat blocked by the tint relies on the type of tint you apply. The car can get 40%, and up to 70% cooler just by applying a window tint. So, as you can see, the benefits of tinting go far beyond the aspect.

In order to make sure that your tinting is done professionally, it’s very important to choose the right shop that takes care of the tinting process. Yes, tinting your car windows can make your car a lot cooler, but this is only valid when tinting is made correctly. For this you will have to remove the whole door and the window, so you can easily apply the tint film to it, thus performing tinting the right way. Only by doing this you will avoid problems like tint bubbles and badly applied tint.

The fact that window tinting actually filters the sunlight is very useful, since the overall temperature will be lower in your car. That’s what makes the whole tint process worthwhile, and, even more than that, an investment in your car. You won’t probably get your money back after such an investment, but on the other hand, it will allow you to feel a lot better while driving, since it filters most negative ultraviolet rays that can damage your eyes.

On top of that, there are some types of tint that will actually prevent heat loss during colder months, so it will actually benefit your car even during the winter.

As you can see, tinting your car’s window is something that you should really consider doing. It allows you to reduce the overall temperature in your car during the summer, but it also makes it stand out as a wonderful investment in the appearance of your car. We really recommend you perform this investment in your vehicle, as it’s not that expensive and it does provide a wide range of benefits that will surely make the money you spent worthwhile.