Whether Your Ceramic Coating has already been installed (hopefully by Kings Valet) or you are early in the research process- cleaning Ceramic Coating can feel like a daunting task. It shouldn’t be! Below is an in-depth guide for how to care for your Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet.

How to Clean Ceramic Coating – Introduction

Because Ceramic Coating is a larger investment, many folks want to ensure they get a long life out of their Ceramic Coating. Kings Valet promises a showroom new look for a lifetime! This is just one step in that process. It does not have to be an overwhelming concept! There are a couple simple methods used to maintain Ceramic Coating. I will also cover what not to do with your brand new ceramic coating. For the majority of this blog / guide; I am going to assume you have already had Ceramic Coating installed. 

The 2 Methods of Maintaining a Ceramic Coating

In Principle there are only two proper methods to clean your ceramic coating; Hand Wash or Automatic TOUCH-FREE Washes. While there are many ways to hand wash a vehicle, the cream of the crop method is the “2-Bucket Wash Method”.

In-depth Guide for How to Clean Ceramic Coating Kings Valet

First Method: 2-Bucket Wash

A breakdown of this method will include a lot of detail; meaning a lot of reading. However, the good news is that you should be able to wash your car in the amount of time it takes you to read this method when you are done. You also only have to read it once.

In the supplies section I mention specific brands. We sell all items at about retail price. The goal here is not to make a sale and you are welcome to swap all these suggestions out for similar brands / items. Kings Valet is not in the wholesale / resale detailing supplies business. Kings Valet offers these products for only reasons; we use them ourselves and we want to make it easier on you.

Two-Bucket Hand-Wash Supplies Needed

  • Two 5 Gallon Buckets – Any Brand
  • Two Grit Guards – Any Brand
  • Foam Cannon – MaxShine Snow Master Foam Cannon (Not required, makes life easier though)
  • 1 to 2 Microfiber Mitts – Autofiber Monster Mitt
  • Car Soap – Undrdog Soap
  • A High GSM Drying Towel – Autofiber Dreadnaught XL Microfiber

Two-Bucket Hand-Wash: Step-by-Step

  1. Park your vehicle in the shade / in a garage
  2. Fill foam cannon with 3 parts water to 1 part soap
  3. Fill one bucket with a couple cap fulls of soap and water (place grit guard)
  4. Fill second bucket with just water (place grit guard)
  5. Spray car with foam cannon top to bottom
  6. Grab a wash mitt and scrub top to bottom
  7. Every couple panels dunk your wash mitt a couple times in the water bucket (rinse bucket) then back into the soap bucket.
  8. Once the full vehicle is scrubbed clean – Rinse the vehicle top to bottom
  9. Grab your drying towel and work your way around the vehicle.

See – easy right? If not using a foam cannon you can start by just rinsing vehicle.

Stephen Hand Washing a Jeep with Ceramic Coating - How to Maintain Ceramic Coating

Second Method: Automatic Touch-Free Washes

If you decide to go this route you only need to select the BASE package. You are looking for something that is about $5 to $10 and goes rinse, soap, rinse and dry. You don’t need hot lava wax, bug eliminator or any of the other upsells the wash offers. Locally, Kings Valet recommends American Classic Car Wash or Caribbean Auto Spa. Both offer automatic touch-free options for cleaning your ceramic coating. This method of cleaning will get you 80-90% clean. Don’t ever expect perfection as this is a no contact wash.

2023 Kia Ki5 with Ceramic Coating Maintaining their coating at A touchless Carwash called American Classic Cars

“Can I Use Automatic Car Washes” (Drive and Shine / Mikes)

Kings Valet offers a LIFETIME Warranty if you can follow 3 simple rules.

  1. No setting your hood on fire
  2. No aggressive wash methods
  3. See Kings Valet once a year for a FREE annual inspection

1) Don’t imitate the advertisements you see and set your hood on fire – don’t ask, it’s happened.

2) So what is an  “aggressive” wash method? This is mainly targeting automatic brush based car washes. Locally; we are speaking to places like Drive and Shine / Mikes. It is also a bad idea to use the supplied brushes at self wash bays. They are full of contaminants that you will literally scrub into your paint.

3) This appointment includes a FREE Ceramic Topper and is merely to ensure that you aren’t breaking either of the first two guidelines.

Why no brush washes?

Ceramic Coating is not scratch-proof. For a long time “9H” was such a popular phrase when discussing Ceramic Coating. This is a reference to the hardness of the coating. I have preached for years that if you have an angry ex running around your car with a key… they WILL get to bare metal.

What does scratch-proof have to do with automatic car washes?

The brushes used in these wash tunnels hold contaminants. They clean that construction vehicle covered in mud and sand right in front of you, then slap those contaminants all over your newly coated car. This causes “micro-marring” or “swirl marks”. Now when you bought that nice new coating you were told it would be a glass like gloss for years, showroom new, etc. When this micro-marring gets into the coating; the light does not cleanly reflect; but rather it refracts. (Refracts means to break apart.)

Think like a poorly cut diamond – the light bounces around inside rather than providing that nice clean gleaming shine. Ceramic Coating may “protect” the clear coat from these swirl marks, BUT the lackluster will just occur in the layer of coating versus in the clear coat. You then call me and say hey your product sucks – when the reality is that it wasn’t designed for this use. This is why Kings Valet does not have fine print and covers their lifetime warranty in detail prior to installation.

Corvette Specialist in Granger Indiana - Kings Valet - Lifetime Ceramic Coating! - Free Maintenance on Ceramic Coating

How to Clean Various Coated Items:

How to Clean Ceramic Coated Glass?

Have bug guts, bird droppings or other contaminants on your Ceramic Coated glass? No need to worry – it is easier than ever to clean! All you need is a high quality microfiber (like Autofiber – Mr Everything) and a 50/50 mix of distilled water/ isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.

  1. Spray 50/50 mix directly on  glass – less is more (Ex. SINGLE spray for an entire window)
  2. Take a microfiber and fold it in quarters
  3. Scrub the piece of glass with one face of the quartered towel
  4. Flip the towel to a different face and wipe and remaining streaks

Seems too simple right? The real difference maker is using less. Every company encourages you to spray the glass to the point that it is dripping everywhere. Also when cleaning interior and exterior glass on a car a tip is to wipe opposite directions. So when wiping exterior do it horizontally – on internal glass wipe vertical. Wondering why? If streaks are left you will know exactly what side they are on!

How to Clean Ceramic Coated Rims?

There are many approaches to this, but Kings Valet prefers the conservative and least aggressive methods first. With the Ceramic Coating installed on your rims – brake dust will wipe right off with minimal effort. You can clean your ceramic coated rims during your two bucket wash. During your soap scrubbing stage of the vehicle grab a spare microfiber and throw it in the soap bucket. Once the entire vehicle is scrubbed clean simply wipe each spoke with the microfiber.

Dispose of the towel when done. Do not use a wash mitt and we suggest staying away from rim douches. These types of brushes cause more abrasion and are meant for when you do NOT have a coated rim. Why? Because without the coat brake dust sticks and is a pain to remove. This is why wheel cleaners (acidic and non acidic) came about. It is one of the harshest cleaners you will use on your vehicle. While Ceramic Coating would have no problem if you decided to use an acidic wheel cleaner – it just isn’t necessary. The brake dust literally wipes off – try it the next time you see some sitting on a rim with ceramic coating.

Wanting to clean the rims between washes? All you need is a high quality microfiber (like Autofiber – Mr Everything) and a 50/50 mix of distilled water/ isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray each individual wheel one at a time. Wipe entire wheel with a single microfiber, then follow up with a dry wipe with another high quality microfiber.

How to Maintain Ceramic Coating - Kings Valet

How to clean… (Various Contaminants)

Road Tar on Paint and Glass

Break out the clay bar! While road tar is much easier to remove from Ceramic Coated Paint and glass it will still require a clay bar. When using a clay bar Kings Valet always recommends that you start with a tow bucket wash to get any large contaminants off the vehicle. Once done the two bucket wash all you will need is a quick detailer or clay lube. You will move a single panel at a time, spraying the entire panel liberally then rubbing the clay over the surface. Like magic the tar will slowly disappear. Kings Valet suggests washing the vehicle a second time after clay barring. Random fact: Kings Valet washes a vehicle 3 total times prior to polishing and installing a Ceramic Coating; one of these falls after the clay bar. Many detailers will push that after every clay bar you MUST have a polish. While I agree that clay barring does leave micro-marring in a clear coat – I do not think it is always needed. However, if you notice a lackluster appearance – a polish will fix this.

Tree Sap on Paint, Glass and Plastic

Tree Sap on a car is one of the worst scenerios. It is fixable; but very time consuming – even if the vehicle is ceramic coated. Tree sap on your vehicle is one we suggest leaving to the professionals, but if you are determined – here are a couple suggestions. Break out your 50/50 isopropyl alcohol mix and saturate the sap until it is “gummy” again. Take a plastic blade nearly level tot he paint and “pop” the sap off the surface. You will likely still have a ring left on the surface from the outline of the tar. There is no good way except a polish to get this back to 100%.

Road Paint on Paint Glass and Plastics

Do not attempt removal at home. Many YouTube videos and “expert blogs” will feed you the idea of “quickly” using strippers or denatured alcohol. While this is a method of removing road paint from your car – it is a very risky one if you have never done it before. Being blunt – coated or not you run the risk of the same chemical you are using to remove road paint, also removing your car paint. I don’t mean to be a dooms day bell ringer – but wouldn’t you rather have it be not your problem if something goes wrong? For plastics – it is cheaper and less time consuming to just replace the affected trim. With glass you can spray your 50/50 isopropyl mix and use a metal razor blade almost parallel to the glass to scrape the paint dots off.

Road Salt on Paint, Glass or Plastics

There is a WONDERFUL product for this called be StarBrite Salt Off. Follow the directions on the bottle to remove that annoying light white film from your vehicle in the winter. It is a simple spray that was original designed for boats in salt water, but works just as effective on ceramic coated vehicles. We can not reccomend this product highly enough and it can be purchaed here: Salt Off Product. (This is not a sponsored link – meaning we make $0 from suggesting this product)

Bugs Guts on Paint, Glass and Plastic

Take a guess where I am going with this… Did you say 50/50 isopropyl alochol mix? We have a winner! Kings Valet almost always starts any clean up project with this mix as it is mild, but extremely effective. This mix will remove bug guts with ease. Can bug guts hurt Ceramic Coating? Only if left for substantial time as they are very acidic. I reccomend checking once a week through the buggier seasons and giving you grill and mirrors a quick wipe. Bugs being left a day or two will not harm the coating, but leaving them for weeks baking in the sun is not a great idea.

Bird Droppings on Paint, Glass and Plastics

Yes, you can use the 50/50 isopropyl alcohol mix in a pinch on this – however, I would suggest getting a wash when possible. With bird droppings on your car; there is always a chance of spreading the bird droppings versus actually getting it off. You will be fine for a day or two if you don’t have time to immideately wash the bird dropping off the Ceramic Coating. Even ana automatic touch-free wash should be able to fully remove bird droppings with no issues.

Hard Water on Paint, Glass and Plastics

As always start least agressive and work your way up. To truly see how much mineral is actually stuck to the Ceramic Coating start with a two bucket hand wash. Typically all that will be left after a was is an outter ring of where the hard water spots were. You can then move up to your 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol; sprayed directly on the surface. Allow to dwell about 30 seconds to a minute then wipe dry. If the hard water spots persist you can try either distilled white vinegar (its magic) or eraser gel from 3D. Vinegar works miracles because the same science that made the baking soda volcanos blow up in 3rd grade. Vinegar is a mild acid, while the minerals are basic. You can allow the vinegar to dwell for up to 10 minutes if needed. Yes, this does work on shower glass as well! Spots still there? Time to call Kings Valet for a quick polish!

Lifetime Ceramic Coating - 5 Year Ceramic Coating Kings Valet

So What Does Kings Valet Offer?

An Experience worth a drive! Our vehicle to deliver said amazing experience is Ceramic Coatings. That’s it. We have a huge belief at Kings Valet that mastery of a single trade is a much better option than being a jack of all trades. We offer a Lifetime Ceramic Coating and a 5 Year Ceramic Coating. Our singular focus allows us to maintain an average lead time of less than two weeks. Yes, we do offer Paint Correction IF you are having a Ceramic Coating installed. 

Once have had a Lifetime Ceramic Coating Installed by Kings Valet: you welcomed with open arms to our FREE Maintenance for Life Program. We have been asked to maintain Ceramic Coatings installed by other companies / dealerships. This is NOT a service we will offer. Our Ceramic Coating Maintenance programs are limited to those who have had an installation done by Kings Valet. Why? Much of the integrity of a Ceramic Coating is in the preperation. Without knowing the steps taken and level of detail put into the prior installation; we cannot guarantee life-spans or quality of the product. 

Remove Your Old Ceramic Coating for the Best in Michiana.</p>
<p>High Quality Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet

Are you curious about the cost of ceramic coating?

Both Inclusions and cost for ceramic coating is covered transparently on the service’s corresponding page. To provide a short answer here: Ceramic Coatings from Kings Valet include a full exterior detail, buffer applied polish, paint decontamination bath and application of selected ceramic coating to the paint. Pricing starts at $899 for the 5 year ceramic coating and $1350 for the lifetime ceramic coating. We do offer additional packages that include things like glass ceramic coating, leather ceramic coating, rim ceramic coating and plastic ceramic coating. We also offer financing through Wisetack; check out our financing page Here. Checking if you pre-qualify will NOT affect your credit – it is a “soft pull”.

Why Kings Valet for Your Next Ceramic Coating?

As mentioned prior – we offer an experience like no other. Beyond the Peace of Mind Guarantee; our business is based on philanthropic ideals. Kings Valet donates 10% of EVERY dollar in sales to local causes. These charities include: Center for the Homeless, Cultivate Food Rescue and A Healing Hope (among others). Kings Valet’s Mission Statement is: Instilling confidence – one coating at a time. This is a two prong mission. First “prong” is likely obvious; your coating makes you feel more confident in the longevity of that showroom new look lasting for years. The other “prong” being our donations allow those who are homeless, children who are neglected / lost or those born with incurable diseases to get the help they need to land on their feet as best as possible.  This allows a restoration of confidence to them through our work on your vehicle.

Best Ceramic Coating Maintenance Near Me Kings Valet

In Conclusion: Maintaining Ceramic Coating

Kings Valet has done their best to remove the perceived headache of taking care of Ceramic Coating with their lifetime of free maintenance. If you are looking to do it yourself or have a different brand installed; hopefully this helped. Have a question that I didn’t cover? I would love to hear from you. Email me at george.hunt@kingsvaletind.com–  send our shop a text at 574.777.0033 or call Kings Valet at 574.347.4445.