Ceramic coating cars/trucks/suvs - how easy is it to clean after application?
Ceramic coating cars/trucks/SUVs - what you need to know about cleanup afterward!
Ceramic coating cars/trucks/SUVs creates a high level of hydrophobicity, meaning that it repels water and other liquids. This feature makes it easier to clean a car after ceramic coating because the coating creates a smooth, slick surface that prevents contaminants from sticking to the car’s paint. Dirt, grime, and other debris can be easily removed with a gentle wash using a pH-neutral car soap. This also ensures water and other liquids will bead up and slide off the car’s surface. Note: ceramic coating does NOT mean you can avoid washing. Dirt, grime, and other contaminants will still be on the car after ceramic coating – but it makes it EASIER to clean.
Additionally, the slick surface can help prevent contaminants from embedding themselves into the car’s paint. When a car is not ceramic coated, it makes them more difficult to remove. In this case, thee scrubbing action during removal means you are more likely to damage the paint with scratches or swirls. Therefore, the ceramic coating makes them glossier and keeps their new appearance for longer.
How does ceramic coating cars/trucks/SUVs work?
In our other ceramic coating FAQ page, we talked about how a ceramic coating fills in the peaks and valleys of your car’s paint, making dirt and contaminants easier to remove.
As we mentioned above, this is what makes the vehicle easier to clean after ceramic coating. And it’s not just vehicle paint, either. All of this can work for metal, plastics, wheels (powder coated or painted), brake calipers, glass, and more.
Does that mean you don't need to wash your car afterward?
Unfortunately, ceramic coating doesn’t mean they don’t need to be cleaned afterward. Dirt and grime will still get on the vehicle. Brake dust will still get on the wheels and calipers. What ceramic coating cars DOES do, is makes them not STICK as much, meaning it cleans up much easier. This keeps the vehicle looking new and makes everyone more inclined to wash them (because it takes less time out of our busy schedules).
Ceramic coating cars/trucks/SUVs - does that mean you can go through a car wash?
Ceramic coating cars and then taking them through a car wash invalidates any warranty by any manufacturer. This is because most automatic car washes use (dirty) brushes or other abrasive materials to scrub the car’s surface, which can scratch or damage the ceramic coating (and the vehicle’s clearcoat).
Ceramic coatings are designed to create a protective layer on top of the car’s paint, which helps to repel water and other contaminants. However, ceramic coating does not make them immune to damage, and abrasive materials can still cause scratches or other types of damage to the coating (and paint).
To maximize the lifespan of the ceramic coating and maintain the appearance of the car, we highly recommend hand washing (or using a pressure washer/hose). This helps to reduce the risk of damage after ceramic coating cars and keep them looking its best for as long as possible.
It IS possible, although not recommended, to run the car through a touchless car wash. We don’t recommend using a touchless car wash for several reasons.
- They tend to use harsher chemicals to remove dirt, which might shorten the lifespan of the ceramic coating over time.
- Many touchless car washes do not have spot-free water and an adequate drying system, which can leave water spots or dried water streaks on the car.
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Ok, ceramic coating makes it easier to clean, but will it prevent rock chips and scratches?
In the sense that ceramic coating cars makes them easier to clean, it INDIRECTLY prevents swirls and scratches ONLY because it makes you have to scrub less to clean them. If you have ever tried to get Texas bugs off the front of your vehicle driving to and from Austin from Copperas Cove/Killeen/Harker Heights, you know how much you have to rub the paint. Rubbing the paint will cause swirls and scratches. So in a sense, ceramic coating DOES prevent that effort, which itself scratches the paint.
However, in the sense that ceramic coating ITSELF provides a barrier against swirls and scratches – it does NOT. To prevent swirls and scratches, you must install clear bra/PPF/paint protection film. Nor does ceramic coating fill in swirls and scratches. All of these myths circulate in the auto detailing industry but are not true.