When it comes to auto detailing, many car owners often seek to have a ceramic coating as an additional hydrophobic layer of protection. For the uninitiated, ceramic is a chemical polymer solution applied to the exterior of a vehicle to protect it from external paint damage. Many benefits come with this treatment, such as added hardness for extended paint, shielded for reduced scratching, protected from the outdoor elements, enhanced gloss, and reduced oxidation.
If you’ve already applied car ceramic coating on your vehicle, here are five practical tips in maintaining it for the long term:
- Wash your vehicle in low sunlight
Avoid washing a vehicle in direct sunlight, as this tends to encourage the formation of hard water spots and dried soap residue.
When washing your car, it’s best to do so during a cloudy day, early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. This is primarily because extreme sunlight can impact your ceramic coating. When washing, it will easily and quickly dry the soap on top of your coating, which can lead to water spots, eventually resulting in streaks.
If you’ve ceramic coated your daily beater with Armor Shield IX, you should be adhering to a bi-weekly car wash routine. This will help remove any contamination that does not get kicked to the curb by the ceramic coating’s hydrophobic properties, and will keep things like water spots from forming.
To ensure that your hard work returns optimum results, and prevent the formation of water spots, always scrub your vehicle beneath a covered structure, or in a heavily shaded outdoor area.
- Use a pH neutral shampoo
Ceramic products serve to strengthen the quartz of your treated vehicle. Unfortunately, some of those aren’t capable of this strength. It’s best to choose a shampoo with a pH-neutral property for your car as it will leave a very flat or hydrophobic surface once hardened. As a result, there will be fewer contaminants stuck on the surface, and it will be much easier to get rid of debris on the top layer of your car’s paint.
Just like there’s a reason why automotive-specific soaps exist, so too is there a reason behind the invention of ceramic coating specific car shampoos. Even many of the highly-rated car wash shampoos can contain abrasive chemical agents and punishing pH levels that will cause a silica-based ceramic coating to turn into a hot mess.
Always use a ceramic coating friendly car shampoo, as it will not only safely clean all those coated surfaces, but also add shine and rejuvenating properties to the coating.
- Apply the same spray coating
When it comes to car products, consistency is the key that applies to spray coating as well. As much as possible, look for the right ceramic boost or maintenance spray and use the same one consistently. The problem with using various spray products is that they may have compatibility issues with your car’s needs. For this reason, be sure to check online reviews, ask for recommendations, or consult with your manufacturer about the best product for your vehicle and stick to it moving forward.
- Use uncontaminated cleaning supplies
Apart from the cleaning solutions, you should also be wary of your cleaning tools. The chances are that they can get contaminated with other cleaners, degreasers, or debris that can impact your car washing and ceramic coating. Whether it’s the microfiber towel, wash mitt, or bucket, be sure that they are completely clean so that you can avoid cross-contamination of these supplies.
Scrubbing your vehicle’s wheels and tires first will help keep cross-contamination to a minimum.
Tires and wheels collect brake dust, road grime, deicing salt, and other forms of filth far faster than any other part on a vehicle, all due to their location. Brake dust in particular is super nasty stuff, as it consists of millions of microscopic shards of metal shavings and pulverized, sand-like substances.
- Never go for an automated car wash
It’s easy to head off to the nearest car wash, and have your car washed by an automated machine. Before you do so, however, you might want to rethink your decision first! These machines can easily and quickly destroy your ceramic coating, given the harsh brushes and mop-type cleaning rags. The same is true for the cleaning products or industrial detergents they’re using. This is why it’s best to take the utmost responsibility by cleaning your car at home using the right cleaning tools and solutions.
At this point, you now know how to clean and maintain your ceramic coated car so that it will last you many years to come. As discussed above, wash your vehicle in low sunlight, use a pH neutral shampoo, apply the same spray coating, use uncontaminated cleaning supplies, and never go for an automated car wash. Ultimately, applying a ceramic coating to your daily driver, show ride, or even race car is a wise and proactive idea.