Owning a car means ensuring it looks its best while prolonging its lifespan. Ceramic coatings have become a trendy way to protect the vehicle’s paint and appearance. However, a common misconception is that once you have a ceramic coating, your car no longer needs washing.
In this blog post from the expert team at Wash Doc Auto Detailing in Fort Worth and the DFW area of Texas, we will debunk some myths about ceramic coating and guide you on the best way and optimum frequency for maintaining the shine of your ceramic-coated car.
Does getting a ceramic coating mean you never need to wash your car?
In short, no. A ceramic coating provides a protective layer over your car’s paint, making it more resistant to minor scratches, UV rays, and chemical stains and offering a hydrophobic effect (water-repelling). This means that contaminants like dirt, bird droppings, and rainwater will be less likely to stick, and when they do, they’re easier to wash off. However, it doesn’t grant your car immunity from getting dirty. Regular washing is essential to keep it looking pristine.
How often should you wash your ceramic coated car?
There are various factors that affect how often you should wash your ceramic-coated car, including:
Your car’s exposure to different environments is crucial in determining how often it should be washed. For instance, driving frequently in areas with a high concentration of dust, pollutants, or salt, especially if you live near coastal areas, can lead to a rapid buildup of grime and contaminants on your vehicle. The salty air near the ocean can negatively affect your car’s paint over time. Therefore, in such circumstances, it’s recommended that you wash your vehicle at least once a week or, at most, every two weeks to maintain the integrity of the ceramic coating and the underlying paint.
How often you use your car also dramatically influences the cleaning schedule. Vehicles driven daily are exposed to various external factors, from road dirt to exhaust fumes, which accumulate faster on the car’s surface. On the other hand, if you have a vehicle that’s reserved for weekend drives or is not used as frequently, the accumulation of dirt and pollutants will be relatively slower. However, regular washing is essential to maintain its pristine look even with infrequent use.
Where you park, your car can be as impactful as where you drive. If your usual parking spot is underneath trees, your vehicle is more vulnerable to tree sap, which can be tough to remove and potentially damage the ceramic coating over time. Similarly, areas frequented by birds can lead to a higher likelihood of bird droppings on your vehicle. Bird droppings are acidic and can harm your car’s paint and ceramic coating if not cleaned off promptly. If your car is regularly exposed to such conditions, wash it more often to ensure the contaminants are removed before they cause damage.
General guidelines for frequency of car washing
Considering the abovementioned factors, a broad recommendation would be to wash your ceramic-coated car every two to three weeks. However, always be attentive to your car’s needs and adjust the frequency as required to keep your vehicle looking its best and maximize the benefits of the ceramic coating.
Tips for washing a car with a ceramic coating
For best results when washing your ceramic coated car, follow these guidelines:
The two-bucket washing system is a tried-and-true technique trusted by car enthusiasts worldwide. Here’s why: When you wash your car using only one bucket, the water quickly becomes muddied with contaminants. Every time you dip the wash mitt into the bucket, you risk reintroducing those contaminants onto the car, potentially causing scratches. With the two-bucket method, one bucket holds your soap mixture, and the other contains clean water meant solely for rinsing the mitt. Regularly rinsing the mitt in clean water keeps the soap mixture relatively free from dirt, thereby minimizing the chances of scratching your car’s surface and ceramic coating.
Not all car wash soaps are created equal. Many generic soaps contain harsh chemicals that can strip the protective layer of the ceramic coating or even damage the car’s paint over time. On the other hand, a pH-balanced car wash shampoo is specifically designed to be gentle on your vehicle’s surface while effectively removing dirt and grime. When selecting a soap, always choose one labeled safe for ceramic coatings.
Read more: Ceramic Coating Types: Which One?
When washing your car, the tools you use matter as much as the technique. A microfiber wash mitt is superior to regular sponges or rags because of its unique design. The fibers lift and trap dirt away from the car’s surface, significantly reducing the chances of scratching. Moreover, microfiber material has a vast surface area that can absorb more water and soap, allowing for a more efficient and safer wash.
Post-washing, ensuring all soap residues are rinsed off thoroughly is essential. Leftover soap can leave unsightly marks or residues and, over time, potentially harm both the ceramic coating and the paint underneath. A thorough rinse also prepares the car for drying, ensuring that you’re not dragging any leftover contaminants across the surface during drying.
Dry Using a Microfiber Towel
Washing and drying the car might seem straightforward, but the technique and tools matter here, too. Air drying can leave water spots due to minerals in the water, and these spots can be hard to remove later. Using a microfiber towel ensures the water is absorbed quickly without leaving marks. Moreover, just as with the mitt, the soft fibers of a microfiber towel reduce the risk of introducing scratches during the drying process. For an impeccable finish, consider using a dedicated drying aid or quick detailer spray to add shine and protection.
Adhering to these guidelines will ensure that your ceramic-coated car remains sparkling clean and enjoys a prolonged life of its protective coating.
Where to find the best ceramic coating services in the DFW area of Texas?
If you’re looking for top-notch ceramic coating services in Fort Worth and the DFW area, TX, consider contacting Wash Doc Auto Detailing! Our attention to detail, expertise, and customer service make us the go-to choice for many car owners in the area. You can contact us at +1 817-225-8586 to schedule an appointment. We offer premium mobile detailing services surrounding Fort Worth and the DFW area, TX directly to your doorstep, so you don’t need to leave the house!