If you’ve ever looked into ceramic coating for your car, you know that it is the hardest and most durable way to protect the paint from swirls, scratches, UV rays, bird droppings, tree sap and other environmental contaminants. It also adds an insane shine that makes a new car look even more appealing. Having it professionally applied can cost hundreds of dollars or more at a detailing shop, but there are some consumer products that will get the job done for less.
If all you need is a quick, spray-on, wipe-off finish with a water-repelling shine, check out the Shine Armor three-in-one ceramic coating. This product is formulated to be used by itself or over existing waxes and sealants. It has a SiO2-infused chemistry that is highly resistant to harsh chemicals and will shed water off the surface like it’s off a duck’s back. While it does not have the same hardness as professional products, it is still more durable than your average auto wax and will last longer.
To make the most of a ceramic coat, you need to do some prep work on the vehicle to decontaminate it and to ensure that the ceramic particles bond properly with the clear coat. This is typically the most labor-intensive part of the process and the reason that it costs hundreds or more at a detailing shop. It includes washing the car with a high-quality detergent, sometimes with power washers; clay barring the paint and rubbing it with soft clay slabs and lubricating fluid to remove dirt, sap, and other contamination; and polishing the car with an approved compound and a buffer to remove any scratches or swirl marks.
Professional-grade ceramic coating is rated to 9H on the hardness scale, which is extremely tough and will do wonders to prevent minor scratches, scuffs, and oxidation from cutting into or embedding in clear coat. It won’t do much to stop a boulder from smashing into the hood of your car at highway speed, however, so it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning.
Regardless of what type of ceramic coating you have on your vehicle, it will need to be washed regularly with pH neutral car shampoo and a microfiber towel. While a ceramic coat will resist water spots, it is not waterproof and the clear coat will need to be rinsed completely to avoid water streaking.
When a ceramic coat wears off, it will usually leave behind some white residue that can be removed with an IPA (isopropyl alcohol) solution and a microfiber towel. To maintain the best appearance, it is recommended that the ceramic coating be reapplied every three to six months. This is particularly true if it is exposed to extreme conditions such as intense sunlight or being driven through deep water crossings. It is always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance of your specific ceramic coating product. They will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information for maximizing its lifespan. best ceramic coating for cars