How a Hoarder’s Maggot-Infested Car Is Deep Cleaned
- WD Detailing’s Brent Dicesare and RJ Wagner deep cleaned an abandoned car that belonged to a hoarder.
- The car was covered in grease and garbage and infested with bugs and maggots.
- After cleaning the car, their goal was to give it to a family in need.
Following is a transcript of the video.
My name is Brent Dicesare. I’m one half of WD Detailing. And today, we’re going to be cleaning an extremely dirty car that used to belong to a hoarder who’s now in treatment.
When we first got this car, we actually had to leave it outside of our shop for over a week just to let it air out, because it was one of the worst-smelling vehicles that we’ve ever been brought, only because there was so much grime and grease in both the carpets and the seats and there was just a ton of garbage everywhere.
The first thing we did was use the ozone machine. The ozone machine removes air pollutants and odors while also killing bacteria and viruses inside the car, which makes it a lot safer for us to work in there. After taking the seats out, the first thing that we do is take all the trash out and completely vacuum the car. That way we can really see what we’re working with.
So, when you see a car in this condition, it doesn’t always make too much sense to save it, but this car was brought to us by a really, really nice gentleman named Parker. He reached out to us and told us that he wanted to clean the car and give it away to someone who really needed it. That really touched us, so we were instantly in.
As we were vacuuming, we found a pile of dead bugs that were just sitting on the carpet right next to the back seat, and it was mixed in with some hair and just some of the goodies when you’re detailing disaster cars. When people leave food or anything of that sort that starts breaking down, that’s when the maggots start appearing in their cars. They vacuum up pretty easily, as long as they don’t splatter all over the carpet. But even then, you can just extract them.
This garbage was so stuck on, we literally could not get it off with our hands. Even a power washer isn’t good enough to get it off. So we’ll use a flathead screwdriver occasionally. That helps get stuff off of the surface that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
It actually wasn’t sticky or oily. It was kind of like a rough feeling, like Velcro. It’s almost like that rough feeling. That’s how bad this carpet was.
If we didn’t pull the carpet out of this car, there was no possible way we were going to get it completely clean, especially with all the stains on it. You would normally want to replace this carpet, but we were trying to keep the budget as low as possible, as per Parker. That’s what he wanted to do.
So the original color of this car’s carpets, floor mats, seats was a gray. And when we got it, they were almost black. The stains in the carpet came from … I don’t even know, honestly. We were just assuming that it’s, like, grease and dirt and everything mixed together.
We have this carpet brush that will get any hairs out of the carpet, because this carpet also had what seemed like dog hair in it as well, and we got all that out with a vacuum and our brush. We used a degreaser instead of an extractor soap, only because degreaser is a bit stronger. And then we went ahead and drill-brushed it in to start getting it to work into the fibers of the carpet. We ended up having to power wash and extract this carpet four times.
After you spend 20 minutes on the same stain or half an hour and keep working at it and you can tell that it’s not changing color, it’s not coming out anymore, and there’s really not that much more you can do, you know as a detailer it’s kind of time to just call it. I would say 85% of the stains and the dirt were out of the carpet and about 15% that was just complete damage was never going to come out.
We hung it up inside of a closet where there’s a heater. So we actually had to let it dry for two days.
So, dyeing the carpet was actually a last-minute decision that I ended up making myself. The first step is to spray dye on the carpet. We use a brush to brush it into the carpet to make sure it doesn’t just sit, ’cause if it sits, then the carpet will become, like, hard, bristly texture. And then you’ll go back and you’ll spray over it again. And then you just let it sit and dry, and that’s really it. The only things you want to be careful about are inhaling the fumes, so we wore our respirators. And because we’re in a parking garage, we have a really big exhaust fan right next to us, and we had that running the entire time. And we don’t do this on normal carpets, or, honestly, ever, but when we saw that some of the stains weren’t coming out, we wanted to make sure that this is going to really change someone’s life and they’re going to be happy when they receive it.
Embedded in the seats are grease. And there was so much of it, after we did the entire extraction the first time, we let it dry overnight, and we came back the next day, and it was completely covered in grease again. So everything that was farther in the seat came to the surface. So we had to clean them a second time.
So, after we spray our extractor soap, we’ll let the soap sit for about a minute or two, and then we’ll go ahead and use the drill brush to agitate the soap into the fibers, and then we’ll clean it out with the extractor. The extractor has a little nozzle that sprays hot water into the fibers of the seat. And then it also has a vacuum head. So as it’s spraying the water into it, it’s sucking the water out at the same time. That way it can clean it. We have a clear head on it, so we can actually see all of the soap, all of the dirt coming out of the seat. And when that water coming through is completely clear, that’s how you know when the seat is clean.
So, now we’re cleaning the back seat of the car, which was also one of the grossest parts of the car. And the first thing we did was use the Tornador to spray off any of the dirt. And that is simply just an air-compressor tool that shoots out air in a tornado formation. And that’ll get a lot of the dirt out of the deeper fibers of the seat. And then after that, we’ll go on to the extracting process.
The Tornador’s best for getting any kind of microparticles out of the carpet or out of the seats and then dust or dirt or anything that’s on the topical layer as well.
So, at this point, we’re taking apart the center console so we can get it out of the car and pressure wash all of the disgusting grease and mold and everything off of it. Dirt definitely gets behind both the radio or any of the knobs on the center console, because that’s where your hands are touching a lot. So by dissembling those things and cleaning behind them, we know that we’re sanitizing and doing the best job that we possibly can.
Sometimes the Tornador can’t get things that are super stuck on if they’re gooey or anything like that, almost like a glue substance to plastics. The air is not going to do a good enough job, so you have to scrape it off and power wash it.
We wanted to give it a good exterior cleaning, too. It did have a thick layer of dust on the exterior. The engine bay was dirty. The wheels had brake dust all over them.
Surprisingly enough, dirt or dust actually acts as a protectant to paint. So when a car is dusty or covered in a layer of dirt, it protects it from the sun’s UV rays.
So, the first thing that we do is we spray our degreaser all over the paint, ’cause it’s paint-safe, and that’ll just start loosening up any of the dirt on the outside. And then we’ll use our power washer to get the dirt off.
So, after we wash the car, we go ahead and we spray the entire thing down with the ceramic sealant while it’s still wet. And that just gives it a little bit of protection and also a shine after we wash it. And then we’ll go ahead and spray it down again before drying it.
After we were done with it, he actually needed to take it back to his home shop and do some mechanical work on it to make sure it’s safe for the people, whoever owns it next.
We’re really happy with the result of this car, but what meant the most to us is how Parker reacted, because this was something special to him. And the fact that we got to be a part of it is why we did it in the first place. We do all these details absolutely for free. So we took this on because we wanted to make a change and we wanted to help a family that needed it.