Maintaining a ceramic coating for your car is very straightforward when you know the basics. This guide on how to maintain a ceramic coating will cover everything you need to know in terms of coating maintenance.
Start with the essentials: the three-bucket method and pH-neutral car wash shampoo for a gentle yet effective wash. Only use microfiber towels to wash and dry so you don’t leave swirl marks. To truly get the most from your coating, consider using a ceramic coating maintenance product or hydrophobic booster to keep your coating as fresh as day one. Finally, for best results, schedule a maintenance wash with your local detailer. With the tips found in this guide, your ceramic coating will continue to protect your paint for quite a long time.
The Basics of Ceramic Coatings
What Are Ceramic Coatings?
So, what exactly are ceramic coatings, and why are they highly regarded among car enthusiasts? Think of them as an invisible shield for your car’s paint. These coatings are transparent, liquid polymers that bond chemically with your car’s paint, forming a protective layer.
Benefits of Coating Your Car
Luxury car owners opt for ceramic coatings because they offer a multitude of benefits, such as:
- Paint Protection: Ceramic coatings provide a durable shield against environmental contaminants like bird droppings, tree sap, and UV rays that can harm your car’s paint.
- Hydrophobic Properties: Ceramic coatings repel water with ease, making it easier to wash your car and reducing the chance of water spots forming.
- Enhanced Gloss: The glossy finish achieved with ceramic coatings adds depth and shine to your car’s paint that’s simply unparalleled.
One of the most appealing aspects of ceramic coatings is their longevity. When applied correctly with a paint correction, they can last for several years, offering enduring protection and a showroom-quality appearance.
How to Maintain Your Ceramic Coating
Proper Car Washes
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of maintaining your ceramic coating. Most of your focus here will be on how to wash your car.
Use the Three-Bucket Method
When you wash your car, use the three-bucket method. Your first bucket will be exclusively for your wheels. Generally, wheels have tons of brake dust and other debris and you wouldn’t want that to scratch your paint by getting into your wash mitt.
Then, fill one bucket with soapy water and the other with clean water. Dip your wash mitt or sponge in the soapy water, wash a section of your car, then rinse it in the clean water bucket. This prevents dirt and grit from getting trapped in your mitt and scratching the paint.
Opt for pH Neutral Car Wash Shampoo
Choose a pH-neutral car wash shampoo. Harsh chemicals can deteriorate your ceramic coating over time, so using a gentle, pH-balanced formula ensures your coating stays intact. A wash soap like Gyeon Q2M Bathe is the perfect, pH-balanced wash soap for coatings. Some wash soaps like Gyeon Q2M Bathe+ even have hydrophobic boosting properties (we’ll touch on this later). There are a variety of wash soaps on the market, so we recommend you do your own research and decide which wash soap is the best choice for you.
Microfiber Towels Are Your Best Friends
Another way to protect your coating is by investing in high-quality microfiber towels and wash mitts to prevent swirl marks. Other towels such as terry cloth towels or regular bath towels are harsher than microfiber and can lead to scratches or swirls.
Consider a Ceramic Coating Maintenance Product
To enhance the longevity and hydrophobic properties of your ceramic coating, consider using a ceramic coating maintenance product or hydrophobic boosters such as Gyeon Q2M WetCoat. These products are specifically designed to replenish the coating’s hydrophobic properties, making water bead and roll off effortlessly. Simply apply the maintenance product as directed by the manufacturer. It’s an excellent way to maintain that “just applied” look and extend the life of your ceramic coating.
By incorporating a ceramic coating maintenance product or hydrophobic booster into your car care routine, you’ll not only maintain the hydrophobic properties but also prolong the life of your ceramic coating while keeping your luxury car looking its best.
Choose the Best: Book a Maintenance Wash With Your Detailer
Following the standard practices listed above will generally keep your coating and paint very safe, if you’re looking for the absolute best way to maintain your coating, booking a Maintenance Wash with your detailer will always provide the best results. Detailing studios like ours are seasoned professionals who know exactly what to do to keep your coating performing its best for years to come.
What to Avoid with Ceramic Coating
Let’s address the elephant in the room: things you should avoid when you have a ceramic coating.
Abrasive Materials and Polishing
As mentioned earlier, steer clear of abrasive materials, towels, brushes or wash mitts. They can damage your coating and diminish its protective qualities. Additionally, any kind of polishing or paint correction will destroy your coating, so unless you’re planning on re-applying a coating, avoid any kind of polish.
Automatic Car Washes
Avoid automatic car washes with stiff brushes that can scratch your coating. These brushes are dangerous on their own, but they also hold the dirt and debris from other cars, which will damage your paint even more. In a pinch, touchless car washes are safer, but we still don’t recommend doing them too often. Always opt for hand washing to ensure your coating’s longevity.
What exactly is dry dusting? Essentially, it’s the practice of wiping your car with just a bare towel or even a quick detailer when your car is dirty. When you’re washing your car, you have water and your car shampoo as a lubricant which minimizes scratching, but when you wipe your car without those lubricants, you’re risking damage to your coating and your paint.
Common Concerns and Questions
Can You Still Get Swirl Marks After Ceramic Coating?
Yes, you can. Coatings do not protect against scratches and swirls. With that said, the risk is significantly reduced when you follow proper washing and drying techniques. Using the three-bucket method and microfiber towels goes a long way in preventing swirl marks. As mentioned above, scheduling a maintenance wash with Denver Auto Shield is always a surefire way to reduce the risk of scratches and swirls.
Is It Okay to Pressure Wash a Coated Car?
Indeed, it’s safe to pressure wash a ceramic-coated car. Coatings are designed to make washing your car easier, so they are formulated to be safe with a pressure washer. Just follow standard practices when you’re washing and your coating will be just fine.
How Long Does Ceramic Coating Stay Glossy?
Ceramic coatings are known for their durability. With proper care and maintenance, your coating can keep your car looking glossy for several years.
Other Expert Recommendations
Professional Grade Coatings
We always recommend considering a professional-grade coating like an XPEL or Gyeon Ceramic Coatings. These coatings are often of higher quality and offer better protection than DIY ceramic coatings.
Paint Protection Film (PPF)
Pairing a ceramic coating with paint protection film (PPF) can be a game-changer. PPF adds an extra layer of protection against rock chips and scratches, complementing your ceramic coating’s benefits.
Maintaining your ceramic coating isn’t rocket science, but it does require some tender loving care. By following the expert tips and best practices outlined in this guide, you’ll ensure that your luxury car remains a shining testament to your impeccable taste. Regular car care, the right products, and a little attention to detail will keep your ceramic-coated vehicle looking as good as the day it rolled off the showroom floor. So go ahead, hit the road, and drive your car without worrying about paint damage!