How To Maintain Ceramic Coating on a Car: Tips and Tricks for a Long-Lasting Shine
You’ve budgeted, saved, and now you finally own your dream car. You’ve even applied a ceramic coating so it can stay shiny and fresh.
You’re looking for the best way to maintain the ceramic coating but are overwhelmed with all the information you’re finding. Sprays. Cleaners. Soaps. Which method should you try?
Keep reading because, in this article, we will discuss how to maintain a ceramic-coated car.
Table of Contents
- Does Ceramic Coating Need To Be Maintained?
- What Can Happen if I Don’t Maintain My Ceramic Coating?
- How Can I Make My Ceramic Coating Last Longer?
- What’s the Best Way To Wash Ceramic Coating?
- 7 Tips for Maintaining Ceramic Coating on a Car
- Loupe Detailing: Your One-Stop Shop for Professional Application and Maintenance of Ceramic Coatings in Buffalo, NY
Does Ceramic Coating Need To Be Maintained?
It’s a common misconception that if you apply a ceramic coating, you won’t have to wash your car anymore since it’s “self-cleaning.” This is not true. The coated surface is still susceptible to contamination.
Over time, more and more small particles will adhere to the coating, causing the vehicle to become dirty. For this reason, maintaining the ceramic coating is essential.
What Can Happen if I Don’t Maintain My Ceramic Coating?
The ceramic coating on your vehicle will wear out if you do not:
- Wash it properly
- Apply maintenance boosters; and
- Follow other maintenance tips
Lack of proper maintenance will lead to the following:
- Loss of shine — Ceramic coatings give cars a beautiful shine and if maintained, this shine lasts for a long time. In the absence of proper maintenance, however, the ceramic coaching wears out, and your car loses its shine.
- Reduced hydrophobicity — Ceramic-coated cars have a low surface energy, or hydrophobicity, which makes contaminants like mud and dirt easy to remove. Ceramic coatings lose their hydrophobicity when not properly maintained through regular washing and protection from UV rays and other harmful elements.
- Paint wear and damage — Ceramic coatings gradually wear off over time. If you don’t maintain your vehicle properly, this wear can happen at a faster rate.
Need help maintaining the ceramic coating on your car? The team at Loupe Detailing can help.
Contact us today to talk and book an appointment.
How Can I Make My Ceramic Coating Last Longer?
For your coating to shine and last as long as it should, it needs to be washed properly and maintained with the correct products.
Since ceramic is highly hydrophobic, it does not require a heavy cleaning soap to wash it, so it is critical to use a soap or cleaner intended specifically for ceramic-coated vehicles.
What’s the Best Way To Wash Ceramic Coating?
Do It Yourself
Is your car ready for a wash? Don’t just grab a bucket and a bottle of soap without learning the best way to wash your ceramic-coated car.
Keep the following DIY washing tips in mind:
- Every one to two weeks, wash your car — When you drive, dirt and pebbles can get embedded into the ceramic coating. Over time, these materials can chip away at your coating. To ensure your coating remains in excellent condition, wash it every one to two weeks.
- Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight — The possibility of water spots and streaks forming on your car is high if you wash it in direct sunlight. Maintain the integrity of your ceramic coating by washing it in the shade or in a garage to help prevent hard water from etching into the coating.
- Use pH balanced car wash products — Most household cleaning products contain corrosive ingredients, but car soaps do not. Due to their pH neutrality, they are ideal for washing ceramic-coated cars.
- Use two buckets — One bucket will be used for washing, the other for rinsing. The wash bucket should have a solution of water and wash product; the other is clean water. When washing your car, the wash mitt is dipped into the wash bucket and used to clean specific areas. The mitt is then dipped into the pure water to rinse.
- From top to bottom, wash the car one section at a time — The top of your car should be washed first. Rinse the wash mitt before reimmersing it in the washing solution to prevent cross-contamination, then continue cleaning each part separately.
- Wheels should be cleaned with different buckets and mitts — As the dirtiest part of the car, the wheels contain brake dust, which is made up of small metallic fragments. Ceramic-coated paint can be damaged if you use the same mitts or water to clean both the wheels and ceramic-coated paint.
- Air drying your car is not recommended — Leaving your car to air dry will leave water spots that can stain it. To dry your ceramic-coated surface, use a microfiber towel. Pro tip: you can even use a leaf blower to quickly dry your car without spots or streaking!
Touchless Laser Car Wash
Touchless car washes may not slap your vehicle with spinning and swirling rags, but they are far from gentle on paint.
This type of automatic car wash can harm the coating on your car through the use of heavy-duty:
- Degreasers; and
In addition, since the machine doesn’t physically touch your vehicle, its water pressure must be drastically increased, which can damage your ceramic coating.
Professional Detail Shop
Investing in ceramic coating your car requires:
- Research; and
- Hard-earned money
A professional auto detail shop will have trained professionals and professional-grade materials.
Additionally, a warranty package is usually included with professional-grade ceramic coatings. Detail shops can inspect the coating and maintain the warranty if you’re concerned about your car’s condition.
By using a professional shop, you can rest assured that your car is in the best hands. When looking for ceramic coating installation, Loupe Detailing Service can help.
Detail-oriented and customer-focused, we strive to provide the best service possible. Find out more by contacting us today.
7 Tips for Maintaining Ceramic Coating on a Car
#1: Avoid Tunnel Car Washes
Tunnel car washes are not a friend of ceramic-coated vehicles.
When a car drives through a tunnel car wash, rags, which rub up against your car, will drag whatever came off of the previous car onto your vehicle.
In addition to this type of damage, water spots are a concern. Water spotting occurs even at car wash facilities with super air dryers.
Most facilities use city industrial water, which is not filtered and contains high levels of calcium. Those deposits will form quickly as the water dries on the surface, leaving hard-to-remove mineral deposits.
#2: Use pH Neutral Soap
Washing your ceramic-coated vehicle with just any soap is not a good idea.
Due to the ceramic coating’s hydrophobic properties, it doesn’t require a heavy cleaning soap, but rather a gentle, PH-neutral soap with just the right amount of cleaning ability. Too high or too low a pH level can leave nasty swirl marks and scratches on your vehicle’s surface. As a result, your car could look worse than it did when you first started washing it.
Avoid using any car wash soaps that contain waxes or sealants. Even though using these products may sound like a good idea, these solutions have the potential to damage the ceramic coating.
#3: Only Apply Approved Toppers
After washing your vehicle using a pH-neutral soap, apply a coating topper to preserve the coating and make it nice and glossy. Using a quality topper is crucial to the protection and longevity of your finish.
Many different toppers are available on the market which will help prolong and enhance the performance of your ceramic coating. Some are polymer or Teflon-based, while others are ceramic coating sprays.
It is essential to follow the recommended guidelines before using any topper.
#4: Use Clean Washing Supplies
Anytime you wash or dry a coated vehicle, avoiding cross-contamination is essential.
Ensure any towel or mitt you use is completely clean and free of other cleaners or debris. In addition, before filling your buckets with water, make sure they are free of residue or dirt left over from previous use.
When using fresh supplies, you reduce the chance of dirt being introduced to the paint and minimize the risk of scratches and swirl marks.
#5: Wash in Low Light
You should always wash your vehicle when there is minimal sunlight; too much heat can cause exterior damage to your car.
Some of the best times to wash and dry your vehicle would be early in the morning or close to sunset.
In addition, since sunlight quickly dries soap on top of the coating, it can cause water spots and streaks which can be damaging to your vehicle.
#6: Park in the Garage
When your vehicle is not in use, park it in a garage to protect it from the elements.
Ceramic coatings offer protection but think of the garage as a “sunscreen” for your car. Think of your body. Although we can go outside without sunscreen, and our skin offers some protection, sunscreen provides the ultimate barrier.
#7: Get Regular Maintenance
Don’t forget to provide regular maintenance on your car.
Decontamination by washing with a fallout remover every three months is a good rule of thumb. Metals, such as brake dust, react with this product. Loosening the debris will allow it to come off quickly and prevent it from getting embedded in the ceramic coating.
The best way to maintain your ceramic coating is to hire a professional. They can check the coating during the wash to see if any areas need to be touched up.
Loupe Detailing: Your One-Stop Shop for Professional Application and Maintenance of Ceramic Coatings in Buffalo, NY
The team at Loupe Detailing offers high-quality car detailing and maintenance services. You can rely on us for flawless ceramic coating installation and maintenance.
We currently use American-made Jade Ceramic Coatings. This coating is fresher and made in smaller batches, so you receive ceramic coatings that are:
- Efficient; and
Once your car is coated with ceramic, not only can you can count on us to keep it in perfect condition with regular detailing, but we will also give you tips and tricks on how to maintain your ceramic coating.
Contact us and book an appointment today!