Congratulations! You have made the decision to treat your vehicle to ceramic coating and are now wondering how to proceed. Should you just wash your car the way you did before? Not exactly.
Ceramic coating creates a bond with your car’s paint, which results in a sacrificial protective layer that will help prevent the surface of your car from being damaged by environmental, chemical, and UV exposures, among other things that can damage your paint. This will give your car a new and shiny look, but you should be aware that your car washing routine will have to change up a bit.
Many people tend to think that a ceramic coating means the end of maintenance, and they see their car as basically self-cleaning afterward. This is, of course, not true. The ceramic coating has water-repellent properties so it will look clean and shiny for longer. Because the surface is now less porous, dirt and grime slide off more easily. For the coating to provide optimal protection, it must be maintained and cleaned regularly. Ideally, bring it back to Pro Auto Spas for a professional service wash and check-up on a regular basis—about every 4 – 6 months. Once you know how to correctly care for your ceramic-coated vehicle, you will be able to preserve the shine and your vehicle will look as good as new for years to come.
Washing a new ceramic coating
When the ceramic coating has been freshly applied, we recommend you not wash your vehicle for at least 7 days. Don’t be alarmed if your car gets rained on or splashed—the exterior of the coating has cured at least 24 hours before we release your vehicle back to you. The ceramic coating must further bond with the paint and fully harden, which takes about a week. Don’t forget wheels. They are the nastiest part of your car. Keep in mind that ceramic coating your wheels protects them from road grime, grit, and all the normal contaminants and will make them just as easy to keep sparkly as the rest of your car.
Pro Auto Spas recommends washing your car a minimum of twice a month. Even though the coating makes the car appear clean, this does not mean that chemical and natural contaminants cannot build up. It still needs to be properly washed to keep your ceramic in tip-top shape. Aside from these DIY washes, you should bring your car to the shop about every 4 to 6 months for a professional service wash and so the ceramic coating can be inspected and touched up, if necessary.
Keep in Mind
There are some ways in which car washing will change for you when your car has a ceramic coating. First use the right microfiber wash mitt. It is important that you do not scrub the surface—it won’t be necessary. Don’t worry, the shine will be restored without polishing or waxing. Choosing the right soap also becomes more important. Always use a pH-neutral professional car wash soap (Adam’s Polishes has a couple of wonderful options for Ceramic Coated cars) and keep in mind that strong degreasers can damage the coating. I say CAN because Adam’s Polishes has a Graphene Shampoo that combines a good degreaser with plenty of foam to make it safe to go after serious contaminants without harming your coating. Normally you should leave the iron removers to the professionals. An Si02-infused surface prep spray or finishing spray can help prolong the protective qualities of the coating—Adam’s Surface Prep and CS3 are both Si02 infused and are available to the public.
Even with paint correction and ceramic coating, there is still a risk for washing to result in scratches or swirls on the surface of your car, so you need to be extra careful. Simple things like the right wash mitt and a grit guard in your water buckets can go a long way. Avoid automated car washes. The brushes are abrasive and could damage the coating. Additionally, they can also contain abrasive contaminants from previous washes. Even in so-called “touchless” car washes, you still don’t know exactly what kinds of chemicals are used, so better to clean it at home or bring it to the professionals at Pro Auto Spas. We know how to properly clean a ceramic-coated vehicle, and we can help you with the proper products and equipment to do it yourself.
Washing Your Car
- two buckets (one with clean water, one with water mixed with Adams soap, each should have a grit guard)
- a soft microfiber wash mitt
- a microfiber towel—Adam’s Motherfluffer is the best we have found. Some people recommend using compressed air to dry your car without touching it, but the right towels are extra good for picking up particles that may make tiny scratches on your paint.
- a foam cannon can replace your soapy water bucket. Use this with pre-wash or snow foam to cover your vehicle’s surface before the washing starts to further protect your paint
Try to never wash your car when the surface is hot or in direct sunlight. After you’ve prepared your utensils, start by rinsing your car top to bottom. Next, either use a foam cannon or your soapy water bucket, get the paint soapy. The point is to lubricate the surface to prevent causing scratches while you wash. After you have rinsed your vehicle top to bottom gently wipe it with the microfiber mitt using soapy water. Always wash just a small area at a time and then clean your mitt in the bucket with clean water before proceeding to the next area. Always work from the top down and wash the wheels – likely the dirtiest part of your car – last.
When you are done, dry your car with a gentle microfiber towel. While washing and drying, notice how the water beads up on your paint’s surface – this is due to the coating’s water-repellent properties. When there are parts where the water does not bead, this may mean that you should give us a call since the ceramic coating may need a refresher. Make sure to dry your car as quickly as possible after you have cleaned it, Leaving water sitting on your car increases the possibility of water spots. While a ceramic coating may help minimize water spots, that does not mean it is completely spot-proof. Leaving water on your car for too long can therefore still result in spots, especially when the sun is shining on it and/or the water in your region has a high calcium content.
If your keep these things in mind, your car will keep the “just out of the detail shop” look for a long time and the ceramic coating will stay protective! For making sure that the coating is still efficient, it is important to regularly bring it to Pro Auto Spas so that it can be checked and maintained. When combining DIY washes, Adam’s products, and professional service washes, your coating will give you maximum shine and performance.