How to Wash a Ceramic-Coated Car: Complete Guide

You may be wondering how to wash your ceramic-coated car. In this article, we will discuss how to wash a car that has been ceramic coated, how to maintain it so it looks great and what to consider when applying a ceramic coat to your car.

To wash a ceramic coated car, it is recommended to use a pressure washer or to hand wash it by using a gentle soap with a microfiber cloth or mitt and then drying it. They are washed like any other car but the products are more gentle and designed for ceramic-coated cars.

Washing a ceramic-coated car is necessary and important to ensure it stays in great condition. It is different from washing a clear coat or waxed surface. Let’s explore what supplies you may require to wash a ceramic-coated car and what the washing process looks like.

What You Need to Wash a Ceramic-Coated Car

To wash your ceramic-coated car, you want to ensure that you have the correct equipment, such as:

  • A gentle soap or a quality PH-neutral car shampoo that is made specifically for ceramic-coated cars. You do not want to use an aggressive soap that you may use on other cars.
  • A microfiber cloth or mitt to clean the car
  • Two buckets, one for the water and soap, and the other bucket for soaking your cloth or mitt.
  • Have a blower or dry cloth to dry the car after you have washed it.

You will also want to ensure that there is no direct sunlight on your car as you wash it, so washing your ceramic-coated car in the morning, evening, or in the shade is best.

Three Different Washing Methods for Ceramic-Coated Cars

There are a couple of options when it comes to how to wash your ceramic-coated car. However, in all ways, ensuring you have the correct washing soaps or shampoos is key. It is recommended that you start washing the car at the top and make your way down to the sides and bottom of the car.

1. The Two Bucket Wash Method

A popular method for washing ceramic-coated cars is called the Two Bucket Wash Method. This is a method that will produce the best wash results and avoid swirl marks from the cleaning process.

In this method, your rinse bucket is filled up with clean water and is used to rinse any dirt off the mitt or cloth after each individual section of the car before putting it back into the bucket of water and shampoo. This will result in your cloth or mitt being dirt-free before using it on the car again.

2. Using a Pressure Washer to Wash Your Ceramic-Coated Car

A pressure washer is a great option to wash your ceramic-coated car as it allows you to remove the dirt and debris without touching the car, which reduces the risk of causing scratches.

It is a bonus if you have a foam cannon to use on it as this increases the lubricity of the surface and it can be used as a pre-wash where you cover the car in thick foam that emulsifies dirt and lifts it off the paint before anything touches the paint.

3. Applying a Maintenance Spray to Your Ceramic-Coated Car

After you have washed your car, it is optional to use a maintenance coating spray to support the ceramic coating to last longer and also support leaving a clean, streak-free appearance on the car. Ensure that the spray is designed for ceramic-coated cars and avoid the ones that aren’t.

Additional Tips for Washing Your Ceramic-Coated Car

  1. Wash the car out of direct sunlight such as in the mornings, evenings, or in the shade.
  2. Start by washing the top of the car and make your way down to the sides and bottom of the car.
  3. Avoid washing the car doing circular movements.
  4. When using a microfiber cloth, ensure you use all sides of it.
  5. It is important that you dry the car after washing it to avoid any minerals from the water being etched onto the paint. To dry the car, you could use a blower of some kind or take it for a quick drive around the block and then use a dry towel.
  6. Do not wash your car within seven days of applying a ceramic coat. It needs to harden and cure before the coating can be effective. As it is curing, it is best to protect your car such as keeping it dry and in the garage to protect it from the rain as it can be vulnerable to the elements during this time. Depending on the brand of coating, some cure within 24 hours, then you can add a second coat.

Why You Shouldn’t Use a Touchless Car Wash on Ceramic-Coated Cars

Taking your ceramic-coated car through a car wash is not a good idea as it will not be gentle on the car. A touchless car wash isn’t recommended either due to the heavy-duty, degreasers and acids that are used. Public car washes do not use the gentle soaps and shampoos that you need to use on ceramic-coated cars.

Ultimately, a car wash will not wash all the parts of the car efficiently, may cause scratches, it won’t use the soaps required and the blow dry at the end most likely won’t be long enough to completely dry the whole car.

Ceramic-Coated Car Maintenance

It is recommended that you wash your car fortnightly to avoid a build-up of dirt and debris on the car. You could use a car cover to protect the car but if you do, know that it is likely to collect dust.

Cleaning and caring for the car on a regular basis will support any maintenance and repairs that need to be done on it and make it last longer. It is said that a ceramic coating will last for a year and then you should get it redone.


What Does Ceramic Coating on a Car Do?

Having a ceramic coating on your car will act as a protective layer over your car and provide long-lasting protection from water spots, chemical impacts, and spoiling compared to traditional wax products. Ceramic coatings have great hydrophobic and durable properties.

The ceramic coating forms a chemical bond with the surface of the car. This helps to keep it in place through rough weather and chemical exposure. The purpose of the ceramic coating, once it is on your car, is to endure the damages and wear that your clear coat would otherwise take.

Therefore, we can see that the ceramic coating is designed to take damage while it protects the surface of the car.

What Is a Grit Guard?

A grit guard is a plastic plate with fins extending below it which is placed into the bottom of your car wash bucket, which helps to separate and trap sediments at the bottom of the bucket. They also act as a washboard for your microfiber mitt or cloth.

What Are the Disadvantages of Ceramic Coating a Car?

Some disadvantages of ceramic coating your car include the high cost, the potential of scratches and water spots and can be difficult and time-consuming if you choose to do it yourself instead of taking it to a professional.

Is Ceramic Coating Permanent?

Ceramic coating is not permanent, it will break down over time. The coating may stay on the surface of the car for up to five years. However, it is recommended that you apply a new coat every year to maintain the look and protection of the car.

Final Words

Overall ceramic coated cars need to be washed with care and it is essential to use gentle soaps and shampoos that are specifically made for ceramic-coated cars. Always use a microfiber cloth or mitt and dry the car after washing. You can use a pressure washer if you have one and you can add some coating maintenance spray for some extra care.

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