Bradford Autowax: Downtown Boston’s High-End Car Detailer

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Posted December 3, 2013 by Heather Kapplow in Downtown Boston
car detailer

It’s a perfect Friday. The sun is shining, I got a promotion at work, and I’m heading home to get ready for a first date with someone that I’ve been interested in for months. My favorite song just came on the radio. I reach over to turn it up and a forgotten coffee stashed in my cup holder does a dance that is completely out of rhythm with the song, not to mention my day.

Goodbye, clean car carpet. Goodbye, dry passenger seat that my date was going to sit on. Hello, wet, syrupy-smelling dashboard!

Luckily, a car dealer I know can get my passenger seat clean and dry, my carpet spotless, and my dashboard unsticky in time for my (hopefully) hot date tonight. I’m just not sure what they can do about that spilled-coffee smell. It’s decidedly unsexy.

The Basics

The car detailer I’m thinking of is Bradford Autowax. These guys are boutique quality. They’ve got private, on-site branches at most of Boston’s finest hotels and two Downtown Boston locations open to the public. With Bradford, the simple one-step interior detail treatment that I’ll need today will run me just under $100 and includes hand washing the seats, dashboard, and windows, as well as a quick carpet shampoo and a wash, and polish of my tire rims (which I don’t even need.)

Package Deals

If I were smart, since I spill things pretty regularly, I’d sign up for one of their maintenance programs. For $90 every 30 days, I could have this same treatment and an exterior hand wash done monthly. The basic package also includes a much more comprehensive detail treatment inside and out every four months.

This is pretty much the bottom-end of their offerings.

Luxury Treatments

At the top end of the spectrum is their $230 two-step complete detail treatment. This includes a hand wash with meticulous removal of road tar and bugs, the aforementioned cleaning and polishing of rims (but now wheels and doorjambs get cleaned and polished as well). You’ll also receive a spot clay treatment, a polish and wax of every painted exterior surface of your vehicle, and a cleaning and conditioning of all of your rubber trim.

And that’s just the outside of your car. Inside, the white-glove detailing means that your leather, vinyl, or upholstered seats will be cleaned and have preservative treatments applied to them. Your carpet will be vacuumed and shampooed. And of course every window will be cleaned.

For an additional $100 you can add a comprehensive “clay and high gloss” treatment. Bradford claims that their clay treatment removes contaminants on your car’s paint surface that can’t be removed by regular detailing. Then they apply their “custom-made polish and waxes” to give your car “the ultimate shine.”

Above and Beyond

Bradford also provides a few special services (paintless dent removal and major paint restoration with wet sand and compound) that border on being auto body work. Imagine getting your car’s exterior restored without having to go anywhere greasy and you’re imagining Bradford Autowax.

If you just don’t have time to take your car in to have any of this done, even though you desperately need to, guess what? This car detailer will come to you while you are at work or taking a Saturday afternoon nap. They’ll whisk your car away, cleanse it thoroughly inside and out, and drop it back off for only $5 to $10 more than the base rate for the detailing service you’ve chosen.

Then There’s the Smell…

But what I really want to know is whether Bradford Autowax can do anything to clear the air and carpet of that spilled coffee smell. According to one of their detailers, Alberto, the answer is “absolutely.” But when I ask exactly what they do to get rid of undesirable smells, I get a rather elusive response. “Oh, we have something special for that. It always works.”

Sounds good to me. I’d much rather think about what I’m going to wear tonight than about smells I’m not going to smell anymore. But knowing that even the invisible stuff is being attended to is a relief.

With Bradford, it’s all in the details.

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