By Shannon Magsam, nwaMotherlode
I was never going to eat in it.
That new car smell would be preserved for months. Years! The pristine mats would never be stained and disgusting. The gear shift would never be covered in goo.
That was the first week I had my new car (a Toyota RAV4, like the one pictured above). During week two, my daughter and I were hustling to an activity where we wouldn’t be able to eat for a while and I caved.
Fast food was eaten in the car and all bets were off after The First Time.
That was a few years ago and, as a mom, I know you know what it looks like now. To celebrate the fact that I will pay the car off this month (actually TODAY! TODAY!) I called NWA Mobile Detailing about turning back the clock on my nasty vehicle.
Owner Zack Roller agreed to let me review his services as trade for a deep interior clean. I’ve never had a car detailed, so I thought it would be an interesting experience. Zack is pretty new to the business and has never had his services reviewed by a blogger, so he thought it would be an interesting experience.
The first step? I needed to shovel out the car. I knew Zack wouldn’t be able to clean the upholstery and floor mats if they were covered in STUFF when he arrived.
I tossed the trash and put everything else in plastic bags to go through later. I was astonished at the things I found in my vehicle:
- Books (so that’s where that overdue library book was hiding!)
- A tennis ball lodged underneath my daughter’s seat
- CDs. So many CDs.
- Sonic straws. Sonic straws with paper on. Sonic straws without paper. Sonic paper with no straws inside.
- Hair accessories from 3rd grade on.
- Years-old receipts.
- Years-old to-do lists.
- A Christmas gift list from 2010.
- Something sticky in the driver’s side pocket.
After I picked everything up, the dirt underneath was even easier to see:
Zack worked for about two hours on my dirty RAV4, then called me outside to check out the improvements:
Don’t you just love before/after pictures? Click here to see more of Zack’s before and after shots on his Facebook page. Pretty impressive! Not only were my mats awful, my seats were covered in stains and greasy smears (mostly in the back seat, of course, where the kids hang out).
♦ Zack showed up on time in my driveway on the appointed day (we’d had to initially reschedule several times because of rain, but that wasn’t his fault). He was courteous and kind, introduced me to his girlfriend Stephanie (who often helps out) and they got straight to work.
♦ He came to ME. I stayed inside and worked at my desk while he and Stephanie worked outside. I didn’t hear a peep until he rang the doorbell to tell me he was finished (although I did walk out once to see if they wanted something to drink. I’m Southern, after all).
♦ He steam cleaned the upholstery and carpets, cleaned the dashboard and other surfaces (windows included) and used pressurized air to blow all the gunk out.
♦ I made the mistake of keeping all the doors and windows closed after Zack left and it smelled musty the first time I got in. I kept the windows down for a while, put in a carton of baking soda and now it smells good.
♦ There were still a few stains here and there (but I don’t blame him — they were no doubt completely ground in).
The rest of the story: The first time I got into my car after the Big Deep Clean, I just sat there for a while, basking in the loveliness.
I remembered that I had a Kind bar in my purse.
And then I looked down at my clean carpets and the lack of crumbs in the gear shift and decided I could wait to eat when I was OUTSIDE my car.
But by the next exit, I had gingerly opened the Kind bar packaging. I ate it very, very slowly, not dropping a single crumb.
I’m going to need to call Zack again in a few months, right?