Photo by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio
by Ken McEntee
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise if the owner of an automobile isn’t familiar with clay bars and steam extractors. In order to enjoy their ride, they don’t need to know the intricacies of detailing tools any more than they need to know the chemical makeup of a catalytic converter. But when an experienced auto detailer tilts his head like a confused puppy at the sight of a steam cleaner, it causes Ed Awada’s eyebrows to raise.
“Sometimes I hire somebody who worked for another detailing business and they don’t even know what a steam cleaner is,” says Ed, owner of Nip Tuck Auto Detailing, in Medina. “They’re amazed when they see that we stock more than 40 different cleaning products and solutions that are formulated specifically for certain stains and contaminants. They learn very quickly about the right way to detail an automobile.”
Nip Tuck, Ed insists, uses world-class equipment and cleaning products to make sure each vehicle looks as good as, if not better than, it did when it rolled off a new car lot.
“It isn’t only our equipment that makes us stand out,” insists Jessica Myers, manager of the shop. “It is our knowledge. Every vehicle has its own unique marks and scratches and we train all of our detailers how to deal with them.”
Detailing is an easy business to get into if you want to serve the price-shopping end of the market, Ed says.
“All you need is a shop vac, some towels, and some cleaning supplies from Wal-Mart,” he says. “But I have a lot of customers, like the Bentley owner who was in yesterday, who would speed out of here very quickly if they saw a Shop Vac anywhere near their cars.”
Nip Tuck’s steam cleaners, Ed says, use 210-degree water to power clean every last particle of road salt and dirt out of carpeting and upholstery. Even the shop’s microfiber towels are specially made to protect each car’s delicate finish.
“Tiny particles of dirt and other materials accumulate on a car’s surface,” Ed explains. “A regular cotton towel, like most detailers use, can smear the particles across the finish, creating scuffs and scratches. Our microfiber towels are specially made to absorb the particles away from the vehicle’s finish.”
Nip Tuck also uses special nanoskin clay towels as an alternative to traditional clay bars to remove surface contaminants from a vehicle’s exterior.
“Rail Dust, road debris, and other nearly invisible metallic particles will rust and eat through a car’s clear coat if they are not removed, and claying is the only proper way to remove them,” Ed explains. “Our nanoskin speed surface prep clay towel is an ideal alternative to using a clay bar. It removes surface contaminants from your paint to allow wax or sealant to bond more effectively.”
Nip Tuck, Jessica says, averages six to eight hours detailing each vehicle.
“That’s two to three times longer than most shops spend,” Jessica insists. “Most detailing shops pay their employees per car and they have a daily quota. That gives their detailers an incentive to push more cars through instead of spending the time to get the work done properly. We take the time to manage every tiny detail, regardless of how long it takes.”
Nip Tuck, Ed says, wants your car to smell as fresh as it looks. That’s why the shop offers ozone treatment service to eliminate disturbing odors.
“Few odors are as foul as spilled milk,” Jessica says. “People sometimes make it worse by pouring on baking soda to soak up the milk. What happens is that the powder bounces up and flies all over the car every time you hit a bump. It becomes extremely difficult to remove.”
After Junior decides to invert his sippy cup, Jessica advises, you may want to visit Nip Tuck for a spot steam cleaning before the milk dries on the seat or floor.
Nip Tuck Auto Detailing is located at 1484 Medina Road (Rt. 18), in Medina. You can call Nip Tuck at 330-321-1065 or find more details at NipTuckAuto.com.