Ceramic coating is an oft sought-after coating for cars. It is superior to wax because of its ability to reduce elemental damage to a vehicle, and because it is long-lasting when cared for properly.
For those who want to get ceramic coating for their own vehicle, and for those who already have it, here are some ways on how to care for ceramic coating:
1. Wait for the ceramic coating to cure
Ceramic coating needs time to dry so that it can provide that rock-hard protection it promises. The first 48 hours after curing is crucial: do not let your car get caught in the rain or other moisture, covered in sap, pooped on by birds, or anything else that could hinder the effectiveness of the coating.
If possible, keep the car inside a garage or under some kind of cover for the recommended period of time before giving it up to the elements.
2. Avoid tunnel washes
A good tip on how to care for ceramic coating is to avoid tunnel washes. Many tunnel washes use brushes with thick, strong bristles. These machines clean so hard that they can actually scratch the coating you’ve just paid a bunch of money to protect your car with.
Some tunnel washes have soft cloth-like cleaning materials, but they aren’t careful or controlled like people can be, so it’s best to avoid them all together.
3. Avoid brushing against or leaning on your car
Anything rubbing against your car without something to lubricate it (i.e. water) is going to grind any tiny particle of dust or dirt right into your ceramic coating. For this reason, leaning against your car, or sitting on the hood or the trunk is a big no-no.
So is drawing happy faces and other pictures in the dirt that collects on the side of the car. It may look cute, but it’s also causing hundreds of tiny micro-scratches into the ceramic coating, and into your paint job.
4. Wash it by hand properly – Every 1-2 weeks
A proper hand wash employs the two-bucket system. This is where a bucket of clean soapy water is used to wet the cloth, and a different bucket of water is used to clean it off when it gets dirty. The reason for this is because once the water gets full of dirt particles, then they don’t come off the cloth anymore.
Just like what happens when you lean against your dirty car, the cloth you’re using to “clean” your car will end up grinding dirt into it and scratching it up.
5. Have a reputable hand washer – Every 1-2 weeks
Don’t care to put that much time and effort into washing your car? Fair enough. It can definitely be a tedious job. You can take your car to be hand-washed when it gets dirty, but make sure it is by a company or individual who is reputable for doing it right.
The downside of taking your car to be washed by someone else is that you have no control over how they do it. However, most reputable car washers will likely be doing things the right way so as to keep their customer base.
6. Use the recommended care products – As directed
When you pay for a ceramic coating, it will likely come with a collection of different products that can be used to care for it. The person who applies to coating for you will likely go through these products with you one by one, and explain to you how to use them and how often to use them.
Do follow their instructions – they don’t really care if you ruin your ceramic coating (it just means you’ll be back for another one sooner!) which means they’re telling you these things so that you can get the most out of your investment.
7. Coating maintenance detail – Once a year
You can have professional coating maintenance done on your car about once a year to ensure the integrity of the coating remains in tact.
8. Don’t let your car get super dirty before washing
Your car is dirty before it looks dirty. And the longer that dirt sits and builds up, the more opportunity it has to scratch up your ceramic coating.
9. Avoid aggressive machine polishing
Any sort of aggressive machine polishing, for whatever purpose, is going to damage the ceramic coating. Avoid it altogether if at all possible. If it is not possible, prepare to have that part of the car recoated.
10. Avoid paint sealant and wax
It’s not that you necessarily need to avoid paint sealant or wax, but they’re a total waste of money if you have a ceramic coating. The point of the ceramic coating is to eliminate the need to constantly wax or seal your car. So, let the ceramic coating do it’s work, and don’t waste your time and money applying additional and unnecessary coatings.