- This Buick Reatta found in a barn had been covered in mold for 22 years and the interior smelled terrible.
- Brent Dicesare of WD Detailing walks us through the thick mold removal process.
- He uses a variety of tools, including a pressure washer, foam cannon, vacuum cleaner, brushes, and a steamer.
Here is a transcript of the video.
Brent Dicesare: Hello, my name is Brent Dicesare, I am half of WD retailer. Today we’re going to be cleaning out a really moldy Buick Reatta that’s been sitting outside for over 22 years.
The owner took me to his backyard and said he had a ton of cars and as soon as I saw this particular one I knew we had to.
When we opened the doors the first thing we found was a ton of mold and what looks like a mouse nest was starting to form. Overall this car smelled absolutely awful and it was just disgusting. When a car is outside that long without being touched and not washed, that’s what happens after 22 years.
The first thing we do is work on the engine bay and that means getting rid of all the leaves and anything that has accumulated over the years in the bay post. After that we went ahead and used the pressure washer and degreaser on it.
Usually when pressure washing an engine bay you don’t have to worry about anything getting damaged as long as you keep a good distance from all components and disconnect the battery. There wouldn’t be any electric current in this car anytime soon, so that wasn’t a problem at all.
And after finishing the engine compartment, we moved on to the wheels. When cleaning the wheels the first thing we’ll do is pressure wash them just to get a cleaner surface and then we’ll spray our wheel and tire cleaner on them and use a few different brushes to get into the crevices of the wheels and on the face of the rim, then behind the rim, and into the barrel. And after that we will spray while leaving a really clean wheel.
Now we are preparing to pressure wash and clean the exterior of the car. We wanted to use our paint safe degreaser first to loosen all the mold and dirt before we put a pressure washer on the surface and then we started the pressure washing which is by far the hardest part satisfactory from every detail we do. So our process with pressure washing, we always like to try to work from top to bottom. So the first thing we did was the roof. We went to the hood after that, then the sides, then the rear. Watching the pressure washer go in straight lines removing those years of grime feels so good on the inside, I can’t even explain it.
Then, after washing all that pressure, we’ll go ahead and spray the whole car with our foam cannon. So here we are using the foam cannon and the reason is that after the car has been pressure washed there is still some grime and dirt left on the paint surface and the foam cannon really helps to adding more soap to the paint then putting soap in a bucket would. And when you wash the car with microfiber gloves, it makes the job easier and faster.
After washing it, we spray on the ceramic spray just to give it some protection before moving inside.
The door jambs on cars like this are really gross and you can’t get everything off just using a towel so using the pressure washer can get into places the towel and some sprays won’t .
So when we first vacuumed, we knew this car was really bad, so we weren’t going to get it all, so we knew we were going to have to use the drill brush and extractor later.
This area looks like mice made a nest and they both left their droppings behind and also brought food or different materials from inside the car that they could find. We were able to vacuum that up and get it pretty clean.
When we’re working on leather or vinyl doors or something like that, we pretty much use the same process, especially when they’re covered in mold. The first thing we are going to do is use Triclean which is a cleanser that kills 99.9% of bacteria. We’ll spray it all over the leather, then we’ll use soft bristle brushes and sometimes a remote sprayer just to kill the bacteria and kill the mildew, then we’ll wipe it down. We’ll spend a decent amount of time on each section of the car to make sure we get it really clean before moving on to the next one. We repeat the process with the steamer and Triclean throughout the interior, including the steering wheel which was covered in a very thick layer of mold worse than any steering wheel we have ever seen.
So what we’re using is the Tornador, and it’s pressurized air and it’s used to dry it out and also blow out any product that might be in the cracks or anything like that.
Older leather can definitely be harder to work with because if the mold stays on it for a long time it can damage it, it can strip the dye, and you also have to be very careful with the steamer because if you go through too much time in an area or getting too close to it can definitely damage it.
When you clean interior components like buttons and anything that has electric current that will eventually go there these cars are not going to run for quite a while they need a lot of work so it’s OK if a bit of the cleanser penetrates into them. And as long as you use the Tornador to blow off any excess cleanser, you should be fine.
And after cleaning the interior components, we will continue and focus on the carpets. The first thing we will do is spray our extractor soap into the carpet and wet it. Then we’ll use the drill brush to agitate it into the fibers of the carpet to help remove any stains or dirt that’s on there, and then we’ll use the extractor to suck it all up.
And after completely cleaning the interior with the leather and vinyl, we will go ahead and use a leather conditioner so that it can bring back the softness and suppleness. It also leaves it with a nice shine.
And then some of the last things we do to the car is clean the windows. We add a tire shine to give the car those finishing touches so that when the owner actually sees it, it gives that wow factor.
All of these details probably took us about 12 hours over the course of a day. And just looking at the end result of the car, we couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. Although there was some damage to the exterior with the paint, everything else was absolutely fantastic.
My favorite thing about making these videos is the satisfying content, many people find it helps their OCD, anxiety or depression. And that’s the most important thing for me because I struggle with anxiety myself. So if I can help others by posting this content, that’s the biggest win for me.