Ceramic coating is a great way to protect your paint job and give it that good-looking shine. Protecting the paint takes a lot of products and effort, ceramic coating does that for you. You added a ceramic coat to your car but you are wondering: How to maintain ceramic coating on a car? Great questions, smart of you to find out more on this topic, here’s a step-by-step guide.
- Wash once every two weeks.
- Don’t add wax or other coatings.
- Don’t wash in direct sunlight.
- Use a mild car wash shampoo.
These are the 4 golden rules, but there’s more to it. I bet you want to find out more, stick around.
Cleaning A Car With Ceramic Coating
If you paid service to a ceramic coating company, they certainly told you that you can’t wash the car like you usually did. Some bought a ceramic coating product and did the procedure themselves. Either way, you should be well-informed about cleaning the car after ceramic coating.
- Wash your car once every two weeks.
I can’t stress this enough. Some people keep their car in the garage and don’t drive that much. So, they think the regular wash is not necessary. However, the dust appears even if you don’t drive. This can be dangerous for the paint because it can get under the coating. It’s the same with car covers, dust forms under the cover.
- Clean the car yourself.
Now, this is sort of a touchy subject, whether to take the car to a car wash? The thing is, with standard home washing, you control what you are using. With ceramic coating, it’s best if you have full control of the wash process. This way, you can regulate how you are washing the car and what solution you are using. I know that some of you don’t have a place for cleaning. In that case, avoid places with big washing brushes, ask for the basic car shampoo, tell them to not use wax or anything else.
- Choose a good car wash shampoo.
The soap you will be using is really important in all of this. I know that some people recommend going with the dish wash soap. I don’t think that’s the smart choice here. I recommend using automotive care products here. The basic car wash shampoo should do. You want to avoid aggressive products here, abrasives will ruin the coating. You can also consider making your own car wash soap here.
- Wash in the morning or in the late evening.
You should never wash a car with ceramic coating in direct sunlight. The heat will cause all sorts of problems. This is why I say, do not go to a car wash, they will dry the car in sunlight. Wash your car in the garage, or in a shade. If this isn’t an option, wash in the morning or during the evening.
- Use quality wash mitts.
Quality microfiber towels are the best way to go here. An abrasive towel will just make things a lot worse. Also, I put an emphasis on a clean microfiber towel here. Even if you have a quality towel here, the dirt will act as an abrasive. So, make sure the wash mitts are clean. Also, have a couple on hand here. If you can switch through multiple clean mitts while washing, you will make sure no damage occurs.
- Have a separate bucket of water for cleaning the mitts and for soaking.
I see a lot of people soaking and cleaning the wash mitt in the same bucket. You are not actually using a clean towel if you are soaking it in dirty water. All that dirt will be reapplied to the car. Also, you will leave swirl marks and water spots.
- Rinse with clean cold water, do not use high pressure.
Here, things are a bit tricky. Some people do not recommend rinsing with a hose at all, even at low pressure. They are kind of right, rinsing with a hose will leave water spots on the car. It goes without saying, rinsing at high pressure like car wash places do is a no. So, decide for yourself, either rinse with a water hose or rinse with a soft microfiber cloth slightly soaked in clean water.
Ceramic Coating Maintenance Tips
- Wash the least dirty spots first.
If you start with the dirtiest spots, you contaminate the rest of the car. You want to avoid this on coated vehicles, so start with the least dirty spots. Preferably, start with the roof and work your way down to avoid surface contamination.
- Don’t dry the vehicle in direct sunlight, this causes water spotting.
I highly recommend dying with specific drying towels. Or, you can use an air blower.
- Use the right water mixture specified on the care product.
Most car wash soaps have instructions on how to mix with water. Follow those instructions to the letter. While you may deviate from this on a car without coating, with ceramic coating this is a must.
- Don’t add a care maintenance product to the coated surfaces.
- Don’t add other paint coating products like spray wax.
- Don’t add products to restore the hydrophobic surface.
This is really important. If the coating has lost these properties, just contact the service that did the coating. Or, contact the ceramic coating manufacturers for instructions.
- Use the 2 bucket washing method.
We already mentioned this. Have a soaking bucket and a rinse bucket. Do not use one bucket both for cleaning and for soaking.
- CarPro Reset Shampoo is a recommended product.
This is a mild shampoo without abrasive properties, both I and many others have great experiences with this product.
Why Should I Maintain Ceramic Coating
Ceramic coating is a chemical solution that protects the paint from damage. So, it keeps the paint job healthy. But that does not mean that you don’t need to take care of your car’s exterior.
Exposure to sun, dirt, grime, bird droppings eats away the coating. All of its protective qualities will be gone if you don’t regularly clean your car. You added the coating to protect your paint, so if you don’t maintain it, you are no longer protecting your paint job. It’s as simple as that. Besides that, you will also notice water spotting.
To sum up, not keeping proper maintenance of the ceramic coating will lead to the coat wearing out.
Signs Of Ceramic Coating Wear
- Not as shiny as before.
You can recognize a car with ceramic coating from that specific shiny look. That shine lasts as long as you take care of the coat. A neglected coat will start losing the shine. You may not notice it at first, but after some time, it will be obvious.
- Water spotting.
Due to the hydrophobic properties of the coat, your car is quite resistant to water spots. So, while the coat lasts you will not see any water spotting. But if you neglect it, you will soon notice water spots on your paint. This means that the hydrophobic feature has worn out.
- Paint damage.
Lastly, if you let the coat get worse and worse, it will lose all of its protective properties. The protective layer will not be effective anymore, so your paint is exposed. Soon enough, the paint will get damaged. This all depends on how long you wait before you treat the coat.
How Long Does Ceramic Coating Last
Well, all of this begs the question: How long do ceramic paint coatings last? As I said, it depends on how you maintained it. Also, it depends on the quality of the product. The low-quality coating will wear out on its own, even if you take care of it. But I know people that still hold their coating, 10+ years after the procedure was done.
On average, a properly maintained ceramic coating will last up to 5 years. A neglected coating will not last longer than 2 years. The quality coating will last more than 10 years.
If you notice any loss in the protective abilities of the coating, make sure to take your car to service. Or call the product manufacturer. As soon as you catch it, the more it will last.
Which Is Better Clear Bra Or Ceramic Coating
Experts will either recommend a clear bra or ceramic coating. But they are divided between the two. If you were asking for recommendations, they may have confused you. So, let’s set things straight.
First of all, there is no straightforward answer. Clear bra is good at things that ceramic coating is not, and vice versa.
Clear bra is thicker and more immune to scratches. Ceramic coating is better at keeping dirt away, it gives a better shine, and is more immune to water spotting.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
What Should You Not Do After Ceramic Coating
Do not touch your car immediately after the coating, this will leave marks and swirls. Do not wash your car 1 week after ceramic coating. Doing any of these things will ruin the coating and its properties.
Can You Mess Up Ceramic Coating
Improper application of ceramic coating won’t damage the paint job but it will ruin the coating. It can also leave swirls, bad reflections, and some high spots. After you complete the curing process, you can’t go back.
Is Ceramic Coating Really Worth It
Yes, ceramic coating is worth it as long as you want to keep your paint safe. If you are not the one to regularly wash your car, ceramic coating is a waste of money.
How Much Does Ceramic Coating Cost
It depends on whether you are doing this by yourself or you are paying a professional. A professional procedure costs around 300$. The DIY method includes only the cost of buying the product.