How to maintain your ceramic coating
So you’ve just had your ceramic coating applied and now you want to make sure your vehicle stays pristine for years to come. You’ve spent all this money correcting your paint and preserving the finish; it would be counterproductive to ruin that with improper care. Believe it or not, most swirls and minor scratches are a result of improper wash techniques. In this post, we’re going to cover the do’s and don’ts when it comes to caring for your ceramic coating.
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Do you still have to wash your car?
Yes, of course you still need to wash your car. It will however be much easier to wash. We recommend washing it once a week through a touchless wash or by hand. Using a touch wash is a sure fire way to scratch your paint even with a ceramic coating. A touch wash is extremely abrasive and aggressive. Not only are all of the bristles beating on your vehicle’s paint, but they’re also dirty. The bristles can be full of sand from a truck that was full of mud right before you. Going to a touch wash is like using a dirty broom to wash your car.
A touchless wash on the other hand, will use aggressive soaps as opposed to abrasion to clean your car. Aggressive soaps will dry out un-coated plastic surfaces on your vehicle but these soaps are no match for your coating. Ceramic Pro products are chemical resistant, so aggressive soaps will not fade your plastics.
If you don’t regularly wash your vehicle, you’ll notice your coating will not perform properly. Once you properly wash it, the gloss and hydrophobic effect will be very evident.
Tools needed: (click to see our preferred tools)
- 3 buckets
- Grit guard
- Wash mitt
- Car soap
- Bug sponge
- Wheel woolies
- Non abrasive sponge
- Wheel cleaner
- Foam cannon
- Power washer
2 Bucket Method
Touchless washes are a great way to maintain your vehicle but a hand wash is the best way to ensure your vehicle is spotless. The 2 bucket method is the safest way to wash your car; this method reduces the risk of scratching or swirling your car.
The process starts with the wheels. Spray your wheel cleaner to get an even coverage on the face and barrels. Take one of your buckets and fill it with fresh water and a bit of soap (we’ll refer to this as the wheel bucket). Once the wheel cleaner sits for a minute we dip a delicate sponge in our wheel bucket and agitate the brake dust on the face. Do the same with a wheel wooly to clean the barrels. If your wheels are coated, they will be extremely easy to clean. We recommend doing one wheel at a time. Spray the wheel cleaner, clean the wheel and rinse it off before you move on to the next wheel.
Next we use a foam cannon; the soap from the foam cannon will begin to break down the dirt on your vehicle’s paint. This is much more effective than just rinsing the car off with water. We put 3 caps of soap and fill the rest up with water. Click here to use our soap. Seal the lid, give it a shake and you’re ready to use it. Once your car is foamed, you can rinse it off; we’re still going to go with our mitt and wash it by hand. When washing your car, always start at the top and work your way to the bottom.
You can get the exact foam cannon we use here
Now that you’ve cleaned your wheels, foamed and rinsed your car, we can implement our 2 bucket method. We fill one bucket up with water (our rinse bucket) and the other with car soap and water (our soap bucket) Dip your clean wash mitt into the soapy water, wash a panel and dip it in the rinse bucket using the grit guard to knock off any dirt, dip your mitt back into the soap and wash the next panel. (Repeat this process for each panel) Follow best practice by dipping your mitt into the rinse water after every panel.
If you’re washing your own car by hand, avoid washing the car in direct sun as the soap will dry.
Why do we use 2 buckets?
The 2 bucket method ensures any dirt and debris the wash mitt picks up will be left in your rinse bucket, leaving your soap bucket uncontaminated. Without the 2 bucket method, you’re rubbing the dirt into the paint, which causes swirls and sometimes deeper scratches.
Your ceramic coating also makes drying a lot easier. If you’re washing your own car by hand in your driveway you can simply blow dry it with a leaf blower or air compressor. Drying your car with air enables you to remove the water without touching the surface. This will reduce the possibility of scratching or swirling your paint. If you don’t have a leaf blower or air compressor, you can use an automotive drying towel. Click here to use our preferred drying towel.
There is a chance that you can scratch your car with a drying towel but to minimize the chances of that happening, ensure you thoroughly wash the vehicle and regularly wash your drying towel. If you’re dragging dirt around with your towel, there is a good chance you will swirl the paint. Just as when we wash a car, dry it from top to bottom so water doesn’t drip down to the areas you’ve already dried.
At Ceramic Pro Vaughan, all of our Ceramic Pro packages include the first wash for free, as well as a yearly maintenance application for the lifetime of your warranty. We always schedule a follow up appointment 2 weeks after your coating is applied for us to wash the vehicle by hand. This is so we can ensure everything is performing as it should. Do not wash your car for a minimum of 2 weeks while the coating is curing. Your coating is cured enough that it can get wet or dirty but not enough to wash.
Each year, we recommend booking an annual maintenance appointment. Similarly to the first wash we will wash your vehicle by hand and apply a top up to your coating. Take advantage of our free annual maintenance washes to get the most out of your coating for the entire warranty period.
It is so important to maintain your ceramic coating. After-all, you’ve invested a lot of money correcting and protecting your vehicle. An unmaintained coating will not perform as well as a properly maintained coating.
Getting the most out of your coating
-Don’t wash the vehicle for a minimum of 2 weeks while the coating is curing.
-Take advantage of our free first wash
-Use touchless washes or wash by hand using the 2 bucket method
-Blow dry your vehicle if you can
-Visit us yearly for your maintenance application
If you have any questions about maintaining your ceramic coating, feel free to contact us.