Business: Very Clean Auto Detailing

Owner: Casper Parlapiano, 46, of Mays Landing

Location: 224 White Horse Pike, Egg Harbor City, at Checkers Auto Appearance

Started: 2002

Employees: Owner operated

Phone: 609-965-1941

Very Clean Auto Detailing does detailing, which is washing, waxing, windows, interior cleaning and compounding if needed.

If someone has a car 5 or 10 years old and never cleaned it, our restorative detailing can make it look new again.

We do wet sanding, water spot removal and interior restoration. That might involve replacing the seats or the plastic panels.

We also offer headlight restoration. That’s needed sometimes because the plastic headlight lenses turn foggy and that inhibits the light passing through it.

Sometimes headlights need a wet sanding and a compounding. The lenses can be very expensive. I priced ones for an Infiniti Q45 yesterday and it was $450 for one light.

A full detail — which includes windows, vacuuming, wiping down the plastic, wash-dry-and-wax, wheels and tires, and the door jams — that starts at $150 plus tax, for cars.

Headlight restoration costs $50 to $75 for each side. Once we refinish it, we can also clear coat the lens to provide UV protection to help keep it clear, for a total of $100.

About three years ago, people started taking better care of their cars instead of buying new ones. Business picked up because people are holding onto their cars longer. The business is still a bit of a roller coaster, like all retail.

I like making things look new again when they seem to have one foot in the grave, so to speak.

The challenge is the restorative detailing for black vehicles. They’re very sensitive to showing swirl marks from buffing, and also water spots that have accumulated. I have a steady flow of vehicles taking advantage of our water spot removal service.

Entry: I’ve been doing this since I was 11. One day, about 10 years ago, I left a job I had for 11 years to do this full time.

The business took off immediately. I was very fortunate. I was in Mays Landing until the end of last year, when I moved here.

Winters are difficult. If there’s any chance of snow, some people wait until spring. But that’s when vehicles need the protection the most.

Business Editor Kevin Post