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Article: How to maintain Paint Protection Film

How to maintain Paint Protection Film

How to maintain Paint Protection Film

Maintain your PPF like a pro!  

Posted on Febuary 13, 2024 by Colby Stevens

So you purchased your new ride, picked the perfect shop to have paint protection film, paint correction and ceramic coating done. You're ready to hit the road! Ultimately that shinning new ride is going to get dirty and then what do you do? A very commonly asked question now  is “how do I maintain paint protection film?”. Maintaining the film is the easy part, with a little investment in products and time you can keep your PPF looking great for its life span of about 10 years!

What not to do when your vehicle has PPF

  • NO Carnauba Waxes or Sealants. These types of waxes or sealants will yellow the PPF over time, they will also cover the ceramic coating which will inhibit the hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties of the coating. ONLY use SiO2 based detail sprays/sealants when maintaining your wrapped and coated vehicle.
  • DO NOT let bird bombs, tree saps or other foreign specimens sit on PPF or paint, for days at a time. PPF is warranted from staining however, it is very simple to keep a bottle of Eco Shine Waterless Wash in the car and wipe contaminants off when they occur.
  • NEVER use automatic car washes, although the PPF is swirl resistant, automatic car washes will put deep defects into the paint and PPF that cannot self heal. The automatic car washes are also very rough on the edges of the film.


Everything you need to wash your wrapped/coated vehicle

Shift Pure Vehicle Shampoo

Using just any soap to wash your wrapped & ceramic coated vehicle is not the healthiest thing to do for your coating. Ceramic coating is extremely hydrophobic therefore it does not need a heavy cleaning soap, it needs a delicate PH-neutral soap with just the right amount of cleaning ability to preserve the life of the coating. Shift is just that, this high foaming soap is made with the highest quality ingredients to ensure there is nothing harming the coating while you are washing.

Bug Off & Bug Scrubber Pad

Hitting bugs when driving is inevitable, and it is extremely important to get them off properly to ensure the acid in their guts does not stain your wrap or coating. Bug Off is safe to use on both PPF and ceramic coating, the bug scrubber pad is perfect for scrubbing the bugs off while being delicate on your paint.

Flat Out Wash Pads

These double-sided wash pads are made with 700 GSM high quality microfiber material, allowing for safe washing, and preventing swirls from being out into the surface. Coming in a 4-pack, you have 4 double-sided pads that you can use for each panel of the vehicle, preventing any grime and debris from one panel, to be scrubbed into the next panel.

Block Party Wash Block

The dirtiest part of your vehicle is the lower sections of the car, therefore you never want to use your Wash Pads on the lower section and scrub that heavy grime into the upper sections of your vehicle. That is why we created Block Party, this wash block is the perfect size to safely scrub the lower sections of your vehicle, while leaving the upper sections for your Flat-Out wash pads.

Proper Drying Towel

Having a proper drying towel is very important, having a soft, delicate, yet absorbing towel is what you want to make sure no swirling occurs when drying. With the Shine Supply Supply Drying Towel you will get the drying power you need while being extremely safe on your vehicle.


Having two buckets when washing is crucial to prevent scratching and marring from occurring. Having two buckets allows one to rinse out the debris picked up from scrubbing the car prior to putting it back onto the car. This allows for a clean wash pad each time it is used to scrub the vehicle.

Other Recommended Essentials

DI-Water System  

Hard water can be one of the worst things for your wrapped/coated vehicle, due to the fact that if the water dries on your vehicle, the minerals in the water etch the surface. When the water spots etch they can only be removed by compounding and polishing. What the DI-Water System does is removes all of the minerals in the water so you do not have to worry about any water damaging your vehicle when washing.

Air Blower

An air blower is not 100% needed however, it is extremely handy to have and will make drying your vehicle a LOT easier. Because PPF and ceramic coatings are extremely hydrophobic, you can essentially use the blower to dry the entire vehicle because the water beads right off. It is also extremely handy to remove water out of all the cracks and crevices!

Step by Step: How to properly wash your wrapped vehicle  

Step 1:  Always clean your wheels and tires first, be sure to check out our blog on how to properly clean your wheels and tires.

Step 2: Pre-rinse your vehicle with your hose to remove any loose debris from the surface. Pro Tip: If using a pressure washer make sure to be a safe distance away from the vehicle when rinsing to ensure the water pressure does not lift the edges of the wrap.  

Step 3: Soap the vehicle with Shift Pure Vehicle Shampoo using a foam gun. Pro Tip: If your vehicle has heavy bug guts, spray Bug Off directly onto the affected areas right before you soap the vehicle

Step 4: Using the Flat Out Wash Pads, glide the pad over upper portions of the paint in straight passes. Flip the pad to a clean side after scrubbing a section. Once both sides have been used, put it in your Rinse bucket and grab a new pad out of your Wash bucket.

Step 5: Grab the Block Party Wash Block, and scrub the lower sections of the vehicle. Use the Bug Scrubber Pad and scrub the areas in which have heavy bug gut buildup.

Step 6: Rinse the soap off of the vehicle.

Step 7: Grab your proper Drying Towel, and dry the vehicle. If you have an air blower, blow off the majority of the water along with the cracks and crevices, then use your drying towel to dry off excess water left over.  

Step 8: Once everything is all dry, use Ignition High Speed Detailer  and a Cosmo Plush Towel to wipe down the entire vehicle. This will not only remove any water streaking from the wash process, but it will add a light layer of ceramic and leave the paint streakless, slick, and extremely glossy.

Step 9: Enjoy your freshly cleaned and shiny ride! 

Visual Proper Washing Chart!

Waterless/Rinseless Washing your wrapped/coated vehicle

Say you went on a drive and your car got dusty, there isn’t mud and it’s not overly filthy from weeks of sitting outside. It just has a fine layer of normal road dust on it. If investing 2+ hours to get the car wet with water may not be in your time frame but you want it clean, Eco Shine Waterless/Rinseless will be your product! This product is completely safe on your PPF and ceramic coating; here's how to properly waterless wash:

Step 1: Work panel by panel. Spray a generous amount of Eco Shine (6+ full trigger sprays per body panel)

Step 2: Grab a Cosmo PlushTowel and fold the towel into quarters to maximize the surface area of the towel. Use straight passes to lift the dust and debris from the surface. Fold the towel to a clean side as it collects debris to prevent any light scratches from occurring.

Pro Tip: Use a separate Taddy Towel for the lower sections of the vehicle where there is heavy grime build-up to prevent any of that getting into your nice Hyper Soft Towel and scratch the upper sections of the vehicle.

Step 3: Once the vehicle has been cleaned with Eco Shine, use Ignition High Speed Detailer and a Cosmo Plush Towel to wipe down the entire vehicle. This will remove any streaking from the washing step and boost the surface with ceramic, while leaving the paint slick, streakless, and extremely glossy!

Where can I get more information on getting my vehicle wrapped in Paint Protection Film?

American Wrap Co. has been installing XPEL Paint Protection Film for 15+ years and is one of the best in the business. If you are local to Southern California and interested in Paint Protection Film, visit their website at or give them a call at 805-870-8004!

Further Product Questions!

If you have any further questions regarding our Shine Supply products, please email us at or give us a call at 80-535-4332. All products are available at


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