In the blog entry “Ceramic Coating Primer for the DIYer”, we discussed how ceramic coatings work, the three categories of ceramic coating products, and consumer cautions when shopping for or being offered ceramic coating options in the car care industry. The consumer has two choices for ceramic coating installation:
- Professional installation by a Proje’ certified detailer, and
- “Do-it-yourself” (DIY) installation.
Regardless of which route you go, the durability and protective value of any ceramic coating is determined in large part by the post-maintenance activities that are performed during the expected lifetime of the coating used.
Annual Maintenance of Professionally Applied Coatings
Long-term coatings like Proje’s 9H Ceramic Coating or Gold Label Ceramic Coating require an annual maintenance service, which is typically provided by the ceramic-certified professional detailer that installed the coating to begin with. This annual service, which is sometimes referred to using the term “topping”, typically includes:
- a thorough wash,
- as needed, a surface decontamination bath using an iron remover or water spot remover,
- a clay step,
- light polishing as necessary, and
- final wipe-down with Proje’ Prep Spray.
- application of Gold Label Ceramic Coating as a topper.
As you can see, this is a complicated set of procedures, each of which requires knowledge and experience. This is why we suggest leaving the annual maintenance of professionally installed ceramic coating to the professional. Note that in some climates, it may be necessary to perform this procedure more than once a year. Consult your local pro to determine the recommended frequency.
Regardless of the frequency, this service will not only maintain the protection and durability of your ceramic coating, it will also rejuvenate the appearance of your vehicle each time it is performed.
Professional Maintenance Between Topping Events
Further ensuring the performance and appearance of your coating takes place during normal washing of the vehicle. If you have the budget or lack the time and desire, you can certainly have your detailing professional wash your vehicle on a regular basis. This will likely provide the best results as the detailer will wash your vehicle with the correct chemicals, tools, and techniques to best maintain the coating on your vehicle, as well as keeping it looking great.
Your professional detailer will also be able to evaluate the coating performance during each wash, adding extra coating as needed.
Between Topping Maintenance for the DIYer
Some consumers who have had a professional coating application choose to wash their own vehicles to save on the expense of professional handwashing or simply because they enjoy the Saturday-morning activity. If so, then follow this procedure for your vehicle wash. Of course, the wash should be performed out of direct sunlight or early in the day.
Rinse off the vehicle first. Then you can make a batch of Proje’ Ceramic Soap in a bucket that has a Bucket Grit Guard on the bottom. Utilize a Proje’ Microfiber Car Wash Mitt to gently agitate the vehicle surface, removing loose dirt and grime. (You might want to use a separate bucket and Rim Cleaning Brush for the tires, wheels, and bug-filled front grill.) Then fully rinse the vehicle. Dry the vehicle using Proje’s Ultimate Drying Towel or DryPro Microfiber Drying Towels.
If you want to add your own ceramic boosters to the vehicle coating, there are several options available from Proje’, including:
- Show Shine Ceramic Quick Detailer
- After Wash Ceramic Spray Coating
- SiO2 Quick Coat
Any of these are valid options and they all have active ceramic ingredients that work in concert with the long-term coating that was originally applied to your vehicle so as to help reduce coating wear and tear while enhancing the vehicle shine and gloss.
After Wash can actually be misted onto the vehicle after the final rinse and while the vehicle is still dripping wet. Then simply continue with your drying step.
SiO2 Quick Coat can actually be used as a “waterless” wash if the car just needs to be dusted off with out the full wash cycle. Spray it into the vehicle surface and wipe off with a Proje’ Polishing Towel.
If you prefer to wait until the vehicle is fully washed and dried, use either Show Shine Ceramic Quick Detailer or SiO2 Quick Coat as a final wipe-down of the vehicle, using a Proje’ Polishing Towel to wipe away any streaks.
Ceramic Maintenance for DIY-applied Ceramic
If you are a DIYer who self-applied a Proje’ ceramic coating as suggested in the blog entry entitled “Ceramic Coating Application for the DIYer”, then simply follow the directions outlined in the section above, as these will help you maintain your vehicle coating.
At least once a year, you will want to run through the “Professional Style Prep Process” outlined in that same blog. This will ensure that your coating is actually adhering to the vehicle paint and not contamination that has accumulated over the year.
Ceramic coatings offer superior protection and stunning appearance enhancement for vehicle paint. These benefits will last longer with proper maintenance of the ceramic coating after initial application.