Have you ever gone through a car wash only to have marks and dirt appear shortly after? It doesn’t take long for dust and grime to attach to your finish like a toddler clings to its mother. Even the very process of cleaning your car can leave water spots and swirl marks. But what can you do to keep your car looking like new?
Imagine a futuristic product that transforms your vehicle surface to a glossy, sleek, silky-smooth finish. Well, the future is here, and the product is called ceramic coating, sometimes referred to as nano-ceramic coating.
So, what is ceramic coating, and what can it do for your car? How is it applied, and how long does it last? Can it fail? What are the reasons for failure, and what symptoms should you look for? If it fails, can it be removed? This article will delve into these questions and provide information you can use to choose what is best for you and your vehicle.
While ceramic coating does not eliminate the need for ongoing maintenance and regular washings nor prevent the risks of scratches, swirl marks, or chips, it certainly adds a good deal of protection that would otherwise not be present.
The resilient surface means washings will become easier and needed less frequently while minimalizing staining from naturally acidic chemicals and impurities. Reduced exposure to UV rays that cause oxidation and a faded paint appearance result in a beautiful, ultra-smooth, and longer-lasting gloss finish.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic Coating is a new protectant finish that has changed the way detail and car wash industries view available defensive measures against harsh elements, such as ultraviolet rays, rain, bird droppings, salt, and other contaminants.
How is Ceramic Coating Applied and How Long Does It Last?
There are currently two classifications of ceramic coating. Professional grade, which is a semi-permanent application used by detailers and body shops, and a temporary, spray-on ceramic coat used in the car wash industry.
Professional grade ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that, when applied to a car’s exterior, chemically bonds to the factory paint to generate a hydrophobic (water repellent) layer that fills in and seals microscopic pores in the finish to protect the vehicle surface.
The hard, invisible coating is similar to having a clear paint layer or clear coat applied to the vehicle. The coating creates a superior water repellency, making washing easier and preventing moisture build up that attracts unwanted soils to your car’s finish.
It should always be applied by a professional detailer or body shop, as it is a hard, brittle coating. These applications leave a hardened, more ceramic-like layer which is extremely durable and needs special care instructions. With proper upkeep, these coatings tend to last a year or longer.
Professional grade ceramic spray coating are designed for maximum durability and if there is a coating failure, it can be complicated and difficult to remove. We highly recommend hiring a professional for removal.
The ceramic craze in the car wash industry employs a softer reactive silicone fluid, which is not as hard as automotive paint, but does leave a gloss on the vehicle.
What is ceramic coating maintenance spray or ceramic detail spray?
Sometimes referred to as ceramic coat maintenance spray or ceramic coating detail spray, these versions, although temporary, still offer great protection, water repellency, and gloss. If offered by your local automatic car wash, it will most likely be applied with an automatic metered spray and rinse.
The shine produced by this process may continue to improve after a small amount of time has passed, usually a few hours, as the liquid silicone levels out and cures.
Looking for a DIY? Ready-to-use clear ceramic coating spray may be applied in a self-service wash bay. For best results, prepare your vehicle by washing thoroughly with wax-free soap and drying with a microfiber towel to ensure there is no moisture on the car.
Spray the product onto a cool surface, out of direct sunlight. Wipe evenly with a microfiber towel, then buff it out by hand for an amazing shine and long-lasting protection. (Consult manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply ceramic coating spray.)
The effects of temporary ceramic coatings naturally wear off after six to eight weeks.
What Are the Reasons for Failure and What Symptoms Should You Look for?
In the event of a failure in your coating and you don’t want to wait the few weeks it takes to wear down. a simple medium polish may do the job, or you could refer to a car wash operative or product manufacturer.
As always, if you decide to apply or remove a coating yourself, you should follow the manufacturer’s directions and consult your local car wash product distributor before using any car wash product, especially if you have concerns or uncertainties.
Coating failure for both permanent and temporary products comes down to three basic causes. A bad installation, cheap or poorly applied product, or deteriorated bodywork. Most complications will fall into one of these categories.
1) A Bad Installation:
Perhaps it’s your first time, and you’re unsure of the procedure. Or the surface may not have been properly cleaned and decontaminated prior to application. Too much or too little liquid ceramic coating product can create an uneven layer.
Forgetting to wipe it off after it flashes or not giving enough cure time can also cause problems. The good news is a failed application will not affect the vehicle paint. It just produces an ugly finish that doesn’t perform. However, once it sets, wiping it off isn’t an option.
2) Cheap or Poorly Applied Product:
All ceramic coatings will eventually break down or lose quality. But using a cheap product or an incorrect application will show wear more quickly.
3) Deteriorated Bodywork:
Ceramic coatings are not immune to physical erosions, such as scratches, scuffs, dings, and dents. Their main performance objective is gloss and resistance to chemicals, UV rays, and water.
What Exactly Are the Signs of a Failure?
The first sign may be when your vehicle surfaces remain wet, and water no longer beads off. A loss of sheen is also a good indicator that the quality of your treatment has declined. Surfaces are no longer sleek or have that silky feel. They may become tacky with accumulations of dirt and grime.
Although these are viable signs of a failed coating, it’s possible the car just needs a good washing. If cleaning doesn’t take care of the problem, a new coating may be needed. But first, the old coat should be removed to obtain a proper application of a new ceramic coating.
What is the Best Ceramic Spray Coating?
Obtaining premium products for any car care procedure is key, and naturally, we believe they are ours. Warsaw Chemical is a nationally trusted manufacturer that has been manufacturing for the car wash industry for over 30 years. We have an outstanding reputation for producing quality products with superior performance and value for use in all types of car wash equipment and systems.
We have crafted three exceptional options of car wash ceramic coating sprays proudly made in the USA. Formula 579 Guardian Ceramic Coating, a concentrate for metered equipment, and a ready-to-use, ceramic coating maintenance spray-on formula, Guardian Ceramic Spray Finish.
These products deliver a long-lasting all-weather shield with a truly unique combination of bonding and levelling agents that optimize the interaction between the ceramic’s cationic silicone polymers and carnauba, creating an unbeatable total surface protectant and a noticeably brighter vehicle that is softer and smoother to the touch. Both the concentrate and the RTU feature a fresh citrus scent that promotes a pleasing sensory experience.
Formula 579 Guardian Ceramic Coating is available in 5-Gallon Tighthead and 15-, 30-, and 55- Gallon Drums. Guardian Ceramic Spray Finish is available in Case 12 Quarts.
Our newest ceramic coating product is Guardian Stellar, available in 5-Gallon Tighthead and 15-, 30-, and 55- Gallon Drums. Guardian Stellar is for use in tunnel washes and in both touch-free and friction in-bay automatics. It produces a spectacular purple foam show and delivers noticeably better results in single-step applications.
Why Choose Warsaw Chemical Carwash Products?
Warsaw Chemical’s experience in the carwash industry has resulted in a vast range of products designed to perform at the highest level to minimize cleaning costs and deliver results quickly and safely.
Our innovative methods and processes ensure each product is formulated, mixed, and packaged to the utmost quality standards.
From liquid and powder concentrates, cleaners, degreasers, and detergents to presoaks, drying agents, protectants, tire and wheel cleaners, we have what you need. You’re simply not going to find a better performing family of products for the money than Warsaw Chemical car wash products.