Get ICON Rocklear! Outperforms ceramics: 75x stronger, 35x thicker, 30% glossier. No annual upkeep, lifetime warranty optional.

The Ultimate After-Care Guide To Ceramic Coatings

Table of Contents

Keeping your vehicle’s ceramic coating in tip-top shape requires careful attention and a regular maintenance schedule. This protective layer is not a set-and-forget proposition but rather, an investment that needs proper care to ensure its longevity and shine. In this care guide, we’ll provide tips and tricks to help you maximize the benefits of your ceramic coating.

Key Takeaways

Best Practices for Preserving Your Ceramic Coating

1. Allow the Ceramic Coating to Cure Properly

A crucial step often overlooked is the curing process after the ceramic coating application. Don’t wash your car for at least 7 days after the ceramic coating is applied. This period allows the coating to harden and bond properly with your vehicle’s surface, ensuring maximum protection and longevity.

2. Regular and Proper Car Washing

  • Timing: Aim to wash your car every 1-2 weeks to prevent the buildup of contaminants.
  • Sunlight: Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight to prevent water spots and uneven drying.
  • Dedicated Car Wash Products: Use a pH-neutral car wash shampoo that is safe for ceramic coatings.
  • Two-Bucket Method: Adopt the two-bucket method—one for the soapy water and the other for rinsing—to avoid reintroducing dirt onto your vehicle’s surface.
  • Order of Washing: Wash your car from top to bottom, one section at a time, to ensure dirt and contaminants move downwards and off the car.
  • Separate Tools for Wheels: Wheels often have the heaviest dirt and grime. Use a different bucket and mitts to clean them and avoid transferring this grime onto the car’s body.
  • Drying: Do not air-dry your car. Instead, use a high-quality microfiber towel to prevent water spots and streaks.

3. Swiftly Deal with Contaminants

If you notice bird droppings, sap, or any other contaminants on your coated paint, remove them as soon as possible. These can harm the ceramic coating if left unattended for a prolonged period.

4. Utilize Maintenance Boosters

Every 2-3 months, consider using ceramic coating maintenance sprays. These boosters revitalize the coating, enhancing its hydrophobic effect and overall performance.

5. Say No to Automated Car Washes

Automated car washes can be too harsh and may degrade your ceramic coating over time. Opt for hand washing instead.

6. Schedule an Annual Maintenance Checkup

Just like your regular doctor’s visit, your ceramic coating needs an annual checkup. This helps spot any issues early on and address them before they escalate.

For the best results and to avoid voiding your warranty, have your annual maintenance done professionally. Our team at Tap And Shine Calgary specializes in ceramic coating maintenance and can ensure your coating continues to provide top-notch protection for your vehicle.

With these guidelines, your ceramic coating can continue to offer your vehicle superior protection, enhancing its aesthetics and helping retain its value for years to come. Remember, proper maintenance is key to the longevity and performance of your ceramic coating.

Recommended Products and Techniques

Using high-quality microfiber towels and a gentle wiping motion is recommended for drying the vehicle after washing. This helps prevent scratching and maintains the integrity of the ceramic coating.

When it comes to washing tools and accessories, it is important to choose the best ceramic coating maintenance products to ensure the longevity of the coating. Here are four recommended products and techniques:

  1. Microfiber Wash Mitt: A soft and plush microfiber wash mitt helps to gently remove dirt and grime without scratching the surface. It is important to use a dedicated mitt for the car’s paintwork and a different one for the wheels to avoid cross-contamination.
  2. pH Neutral Car Wash Soap: Using a pH neutral and wax-free car wash soap is essential to preserve the hydrophobic properties of the ceramic coating. This type of soap effectively cleans the vehicle without stripping away the protective coating.
  3. Soft Wheel Brush: A soft wheel brush is ideal for cleaning the rims without damaging the ceramic coating. It helps to remove brake dust and dirt, keeping the wheels looking clean and protected.
  4. Drying Towel: Opt for a high-quality microfiber drying towel to absorb water without leaving streaks or lint. This type of towel is gentle on the surface and helps to achieve a spot-free finish.

By utilizing the best ceramic coating and washing tools and accessories, you can maintain the shine and protection of your vehicle’s ceramic coating for years to come.

Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining a ceramic coating involves a regular self-care schedule and periodic professional maintenance to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Self-Care Schedule:

  1. Weekly to Bi-Weekly: Regular washing is key. Use a pH-neutral, ceramic coating-safe car shampoo to gently remove any dirt, dust, or bird droppings that may have accumulated. Avoid automatic car washes as they can be harsh on the coating.
  2. Monthly: After washing, dry your car thoroughly to prevent water spots, which can be harder to remove once they’ve dried. Use a high-quality microfiber towel for the best results.
  3. Every 2-3 Months: It’s advisable to use a maintenance spray specifically designed for ceramic coatings. These sprays enhance the hydrophobic effect of the coating, ensuring water and grime slide off easily.

Professional Shop Maintenance Schedule:

  1. 6-Month Interval: It’s recommended to take your vehicle to a professional for a thorough inspection and maintenance every 6 months. They will check for any signs of wear and tear, and perform a professional decontamination wash to remove any embedded contaminants that regular washing can’t handle.
  2. Annual Inspection: A comprehensive yearly check is crucial. The professionals can assess the coating’s performance and do any touch-ups or reapplications as needed.

Remember, the above maintenance schedule is a general guide. The specific maintenance requirements can vary depending on the specific product used, the local environment, and how the vehicle is used. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can ceramic coatings be applied to other surfaces besides cars?

Ceramic coatings can be successfully applied to various household surfaces, enhancing their durability and aesthetic appeal. The benefits of using ceramic coatings on furniture include increased protection against scratches and stains, as well as a long-lasting glossy finish.

How long does it take to apply a ceramic coating to a car?

The duration of ceramic coating application to a car can vary depending on whether it is done professionally or as a DIY project. Factors such as the size of the vehicle and the condition of the paintwork can also affect the time required.

Are ceramic coatings safe for all types of paint finishes?

Ceramic coatings are generally safe for all types of paint finishes. However, proper surface preparation is crucial to ensure adhesion. Pros include protection and enhanced appearance, while cons involve the need for meticulous maintenance and the possibility of needing reapplication after a few years.

Are ceramic coatings safe on paint protection film? How does the process differ for gloss and satin finishes?

Yes, ceramic coating is generally safe for paint protection film (PPF) and is frequently used to enhance its longevity and protective qualities. The ceramic coating provides an extra layer of protection against environmental contaminants, UV radiation, and minor scratches.

However, the process and products used may differ based on the finish of the PPF. Let’s elaborate on this:

  1. Gloss Finish: The gloss finish of a PPF has a shiny, mirror-like appearance. For gloss finishes, a standard ceramic coating product can be used. The application process involves thoroughly cleaning the surface, applying the ceramic coating evenly, and allowing it to cure. The curing process may vary depending on the specific product instructions, but typically it involves leaving the vehicle undisturbed in a temperature-controlled environment for a certain period. This helps to harden the coating and ensure its durability.
  2. Satin Finish: The satin finish of a PPF has a matte or semi-gloss appearance. For satin finishes, you’ll need to use a ceramic coating product specifically designed for matte or satin surfaces. These products are formulated to enhance and protect the unique appearance of satin finishes without adding unwanted glossiness. The application and curing process is similar to that of gloss finishes, but again, the specific instructions may vary depending on the product.

Remember, irrespective of the type of finish, the PPF and the ceramic coating need to be maintained properly for maximum durability and performance. Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions to preserve the longevity and aesthetics of your vehicle’s protective layers.

Are ceramic coating safe for vinyl wraps?

Yes, ceramic coating is generally safe for vinyl wraps and is often used to provide additional protection and enhance the durability of the wrap. The coating adds an extra layer of protection against environmental damage, UV radiation, and light scratches, which helps prolong the lifespan of the wrap. It also makes the wrap easier to clean, as dirt and grime are less likely to adhere to the coated surface.

However, it’s important to select a ceramic coating product that’s specifically designed for use with vinyl wraps. These products are formulated to work with the flexible and textured nature of vinyl, while providing the maximum amount of protection.

It’s also worth noting that while ceramic coatings can greatly improve the durability and longevity of vinyl wraps, they do not make the wraps invincible. Regular maintenance and proper care are still necessary to keep the wrap looking its best.

Can a ceramic coating be removed if desired?

The ceramic coating removal process involves using abrasive methods such as machine polishing or sanding. Pros of removing ceramic coating include the ability to restore the original paint finish, while cons include potential damage to the paintwork.

Are ceramic coatings resistant to scratches and swirl marks?

Ceramic coatings offer better scratch resistance compared to wax. They create a protective barrier that can prevent light scratches. However, they cannot completely prevent swirl marks, as these can be caused by improper washing techniques or contact with abrasive materials.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ceramic coatings offer a powerful combination of shine and protection for cars. By following proper washing and maintenance techniques, such as the two-bucket wash method and using pH neutral car wash products, the longevity of the coating can be maximized.

Regular maintenance, including the removal of contaminants and the use of maintenance boosters, is crucial for retaining the coating’s benefits. By avoiding automatic car washes, direct sunlight, and parking under trees, potential damage to the coating can be avoided.

Overall, ceramic coatings provide a durable and glossy finish that enhances the appearance of cars while providing long-lasting protection.

What's your main goal today?

  1. Get a free quote: If you’re considering protecting your vehicle and giving it a showroom finish with world-class coatings, paint protection film, or window tint, click here to request a free quote. Just answer a few quick questions and get an instant quote within minutes!
  2. Work at Tap And Shine: We’re always on the lookout for talented, skilled, and hardworking people. If you or someone you know is considering a career in PPF, window tinting, or ceramic coating, check out our Careers page here.
LEARN

More articles you might enjoy

OUR SERVICES

Our Services

Unlike ANY other Calgary PPF shop – We’re the FIRST and ONLY shop in Calgary to offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee.
We stand behind our quality of work and put our name behind our work. Meaning if you’re not happy with our workmanship or service, you simply don’t pay!

5 STAR RATING

See What Calgary Says About TAP AND SHINE

JUST TAP, AND WE'LL SHINE IT

Get The Ultimate Protection Today

Industry Leader
Our team has decades of combined experience installing ceramic coating, tint, PPF, and vinyl wraps.
100% Money Back Guarantee
If you're still not happy with the workmanship or the service... YOU SIMPLY DON'T PAY!
Free Shuttle Service Available
We offer complimentary 2-way Uber rides anywhere in Calgary on select ceramic coating packages.
Fast Same-Day Bokings
We'll do our absolute best to get you booked in within 24 hours.
FREE Unmatched Warranty
All our ceramic coating installs are guaranteed to last 1-10 years, depending on the coating you choose.

Located at:

4505 1 St SE
Calgary, AB T2G 2L2

We’re located just two blocks southeast of Macleod Trail and 42 Ave SE.

*10 minutes from downtown*
*3 minutes from Chinook Mall*

By Appointment Only