If you, or someone else, has recently applied a ceramic coating to your car, you will (or at least should..!) want to look after it. As convenient as it may be, don’t be tempted by a hand car wash. Putting the effort in to clean your ceramic coated car yourself will pay you back with an awesome shine and less swirls!
Follow this step-by-step instruction on how to clean your ceramic coated car. There are only a few steps to take but they are worth following properly.
Followed correctly you can enjoy the benefits of a durable coating that requires less time and effort.
Pay attention as some of the smallest details make the biggest difference
What you will need to clean a ceramic coated car
One of the most important aspects to maintain a swirl free shine is the quality of your tools. You may already some of the items listed but the small improvements can make a big difference.
For example, a high density drying towel over a short pile towel can really help reduce swirl marks.
At a minimum you will need:
- Wash Mitt; microfibre or lambs wool
- Shampoo; plain but effective!
- Buckets; ideally 3 with grit guards
- Drying towels; microfibre
- Maintenance spray
- Wheel cleaning brushes
- Microfibre cloths
- Tire dressing
These will be enough to keep your car thoroughly cleaned and only shampoo and maintenance spray will need to topped up.
How to clean your ceramic coated car
Step 1: Wheels
Wheels are closest to the ground and get caked in hot brake dust and iron from the discs. Therefore expect these to be the dirtiest part of the car so clean these first. It also avoids splashing dirt on a freshly washed car or risk the paint drying while you clean them.
So, rinse off loose dirt with high pressure hose or pressure washer, then clean them with your wheel brushes and shampoo used at double strength. Don’t forget to scrub your wheel arches and tires as well.
Use a towel to clean behind the spokes and a detail brush to clean your callipers and wheel nut holes. Before moving on don’t forget to roll the wheels forward 180 degrees to check for missed bits.
Step 2: Pre wash checks
Before jumping straight onto the wash, wash down your door and boot shuts. You can do this with your wash mitt or detailing brushes.
It’s also worth checking your engine bay at this point; again it should only need wiping down.
Now thoroughly rinse the car from top to bottom. If you have a pressure washer and a snow foam lance this is the time to use it.
Carefully check the sills, lower areas and underneath the rear bumper they are free or mud and grime.
Step 3: Wash
Using your two buckets and grit guards, wash your car one side at a time from top to bottom.
One or two passes over each area should be enough to dislodge the dirt; don’t use heavy scrubbing!
However don’t forget to regularly clean your wash mitt in the clean water bucket before dipping back in the shampoo bucket.
Tight areas can be cleaned with detailing brushes and make light work of seals, grilles and panel gaps.
Step 4: Dry
After washing thoroughly rinse the car again to remove all suds; a flow of water can help dry the car.
Folding your drying towel in half, wipe down the car one side at a time; wring out if needed.
Use a different towel and dry the engine, door and boot shuts.
Finally, dry the wheels and tyres; save time and dress the tires at the same time.
Step 5: Preserve
Ceramic coatings are very durable and don’t need the upkeep that wax coatings do.
However, by using a maintenance spray and 10 minutes of your time you can really help prolong the life of your coating.
Mist your maintenance spray on a folded microfibre towel, spread over a panel, flip the towel and buff to a streak free shine.
Although its main purpose is to protect, it is great chance at double checking your car for any missed bits!
This step alone can make a huge difference to the overall finish of your car whilst further adding protection and preserving your ceramic coating!
To wrap up your cleaning session you can polish your exhaust tips, dress unpainted trim and clean your interior. Small details make a big difference.
If you haven’t already cleaned your glass with your detailer, now is the time to clean it up.
Also if you haven’t dressed your tires do that now.
And while you’re there polish your wheels with some maintenance spray (the same one as the one used for your paint) to keep them protected.
Cleaning a ceramic coated car can be carried out easily and efficiently if you stick to a process. Remember that prevention is better than cure. So by keeping up regular care your car will stay looking clean and shiny with little effort. Use the guide, nail the process and enjoy the benefits of your ceramic coatings.