• George Hunt

How to Care for a Ceramic Coating

Are you excited for your new Ceramic Coating, but have no idea how to take care of it? If you have filled out a Ceramic Coating Quote Request Form on this website or given Kings Valet a call; you have been asked "How do you currently wash your vehicle?" After answering that question you were sent here: Wondering why?

Kings Valet believes deeply in properly educating both potential clients and the general public prior to any sale of Ceramic Coating. We are here to inform you that Automatic Brush Washes are AWFUL for a vehicle's clear coat and paint 😬.

Why are Automatic Brush Washes (including "soft-touch") So Bad?

The way an automatic brush works is to spin and slap small pieces of fabric or synthetic material (like Polyethylene, Polypropylene or Nylon) on your vehicle's clear coat to remove dirt and debris. When they contact the clear coat high-speed they leave micro-marring (very fine scratching). This is worsened by the fact that the brushes are not cleaned between vehicles. The brushes (especially "soft-touch") trap dirt and debris and slap it against your car's clear coat (causing even deeper scratching). The marks are often called spider-webs or swirl marks. An example is below.

The advantage to having a Ceramic Coating installed and then using this cleaning method is that a Ceramic Coating is a sacrificial layer of protection for the clear coat and paint. Swirl marks will still slowly appear; however, your vehicle will still be protected from mother nature, road salt, bird bombs and bug guts. The disadvantage is that this wash method will void the warranty for any type of Ceramic Coating (this goes for consumer, dealership and pro-grade coatings alike).

Can Swirl Marks be Fixed?

Great news for you - YES! It is a process called Paint Correction. Kings Valet uses buffers and various compounds and will remove any existing damage to your clear coat prior to Ceramic Coating Installation. If you have used a brush based car wash in the past - no need to sweat; Kings Valet can have you back to a deep rich gloss in no time!

Okay, So How Should I Care for My Ceramic Coating?

Both Automatic Touch-Free and Hand-wash are perfect cleaning methods for a Ceramic Coating. Automatic touch-free has an arm that is hanging down and does "laps" around your vehicle alternating between soaps and rinsing. Most of these will also have heated blow drying attached upon exiting. Hand wash is what you see in every detail shop. Fresh buckets of soap water and clean wash mitts do the dirty work. Never USE a pole brush. These will also trap dirt and debris. Microfiber wash mitts are the best option when cleaning the surface.

In a Rush?

While Kings Valet is always going to recommend using a "two-bucket" hand-wash method for a pristine clean, however... Just a power-washer will clean 90% of the debris off your vehicle once you have a Ceramic Coating. After the power-wash you can use a quick detailer and chamois ("shammy") to dry. Simple, right?

In Summary:

We strongly recommend against using a brush-based car wash after a Ceramic Coating, but at least you will have some additional protection if you choose to do so. Touch-free automatic and hand wash are the ideal ways to care for your Ceramic Coating. These wash methods will keep the vehicle looking dealership new for YEARS to come!

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