How to maintain a ceramic coating!
Ceramic Coating Maintenance
Posted on December 15, 2022 by Colby Stevens
A huge misconception has been spread about ceramic coating regarding how long a coating can really last, and the maintenance of a ceramic coating has not been talked about enough. A ceramic coating is not indestructible, and an analogy that we try to explain to our customers is a ceramic coating is like a plant, it needs water and the sun to survive, it needs certain things to survive. Yes, a plant can live on its own for a certain amount of time, however if you want the plant to flourish and have a long life it needs to be watered and exposed to the sun. This is the same for your ceramic coating, in order for your coating to flourish and last as long as it should, it needs to be maintained with the correct products and washed properly. In this blog we will discuss how that is achieved and how to get the most out of your ceramic coating.
Can I use any products to wash my ceramic coated vehicle?
The chemicals you or your detailer use to clean your ceramic coated vehicle matter, it is important to use SiO2 fortified products on your vehicle because that is what the main ingredient in ceramic is. Using the correct soap and detail sprays are crucial when cleaning your ceramic coated vehicle to ensure that the coating is being boosted each time it is washed. Using heavy cleaning soaps or cleaners on your coating will slowly break down the coating, because ceramic is extremely hydrophobic it does not need a heavy cleaning soap to wash it, therefore is it a must to use a soap or cleaner that is specific for ceramic coated vehicles.
What products will I need to maintain my ceramic coating?
Shift Pure vehicle Shampoo
Using just any soap to wash your 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.
Ignition High Speed Detailer
There are so many different detail sprays out there and some companies make it extremely difficult to understand which one you actually need we made it easy with Ignition. This is an all one one type of detail spray, it cleans, shines, and protect all in one easy step. This product is infused with SiO2 therefore as you are wiping down your paint, it is boosting the coating with SiO2. Ignition is loaded with emulsifiers to lift any light dust or grime, all while leaving the surface extremely slick, glossy, and without streaks.
Punch-It Ceramic Detailer
Aside from your final and daily wipe-downs, your coating will need a maintenance product that will load up the coating with SiO2. Punch-It does just that, this product can be used as a drying aid, final wipe-down detail spray, or a simple spray on rinse off product to quickly reload your ceramic coating. This product can be used monthly or every other wash to maintain your ceramic coating.
Suggested Wash Pads
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 what 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.
Can I still scratch my vehicle even if it is ceramic coated?
Yes, a ceramic coating can still be scratched, think of a layer of ceramic coating like adding another layer of clear coat that can break down over time. It can still be scratched just like a clear coat however you are scratching the coating rather than your actual paint. Once a coating is scratched you can perform a light polish using a ceramic infused polish like our Slick Back, however any deeper defects than that polish cannot remove can’t be polished out of the coating without breaking it down.
How can I prevent putting swirls into my ceramic coating?
Proper washing is the key to keeping your ceramic coating from getting swirls or scratches. If any debris or grime is trapped in the wash mitt you are using, it will result in swirling and scratching your coating. Having multiple microfiber wash mitts like Flat Out wash pads and a designated mitt for the lower sections like Block Party wash block, you will drastically decrease the amount of swirls or scratching occurring in the washing process. The drying process is also very important, using a low-grade microfiber towel to dry the vehicle will result in swirls and scratches, you want to have a thick plush drying towel that will absorb any left-over dust and grime rather than drag it across the surface. An air blower is also highly recommended, you can dry your entire ceramic coated vehicle by simply blowing the water off, this will eliminate the possibility of scratching while drying with a towel.
How to properly wash your ceramic coated vehicle
Here is a very helpful visual document that will help you properly wash your vehicle without putting in swirls or defects!
Can I just wash my ceramic coated vehicle and it will be fine?
It’s not that easy. Washing your ceramic coated vehicle is highly recommended from time to time, however, overtime your ceramic coating will begin to get contaminants on it. Contaminants come from the outside elements, fallout, brake dust components, etc. Although you will not be able to see these contaminants, you can feel them making your coating rough. These contaminants will begin to cover your ceramic coating and start to hide its hydrophobic properties. Once a year, doing a liquid decontamination with Smooth Move Paint Decontamination Spray, followed by a White Clay Bar and Shine Mist Clay Lube, is highly recommended to ensure these contaminants do not eat away at your ceramic coating. You will also want to do a ceramic booster at this time to boost the properties of the coating, applying Clutch Ceramic Spray Sealant or for best results Relock Express Ceramic Coating, will be a quick and easy way to reload your ceramic coating.
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