Investing in long-term paint protection for your car is a great idea; however, you must care for it properly so that you don’t damage it and maximize the longevity and appearance of your protection film or ceramic coating. The proper care always starts with the right car washing technique and while this may sound surprising, caring for your paint protection film or ceramic coating is the same as caring for your vehicle’s factory paint, meaning you need to wash your car regularly. Contrary to what many people believe, just because you have paint protection film or ceramic coating, does not mean you don’t have to wash your car often.
Do not wash your car in direct sunlight or while the paint is hot and use the proper washing tools like a microfiber mitt, for example. The cleaning products you use must be suitable for cars, so stay away from household cleaning products because they can damage your finish. Stick to products that are specifically designed to help loosen debris on cars so that you see results. It is always recommended that you start with the wheels because they are normally the dirtiest part of your vehicle and it makes more sense to get this out of the way before you begin cleaning the painted surfaces. Always rinse your vehicle thoroughly so that you remove as much debris as possible before you apply your wash mitt to reduce the chances of getting dirt trapped under it, which will leave swirl marks on your car. These are just some basic car washing guidelines that can be applied to every vehicle, although there are some care instructions that are specific to cars with paint protection film or ceramic coating, including the following:
- Do not wash your car within seven days of the application because you need to give them time to fully cure, and if you wash before this period, it will affect the curing process and your vehicle’s appearance.
- When using a pressure washer, you must stay away from film edges so that water does not get under the film, which will cause the edges to lift. You must keep a reasonable distance when applying your pressure washer so that you don’t damage your finish.
- Remove bird droppings, tree sap and any bug splatter right away because natural acidic contaminants will damage paint protection film and ceramic coatings as they are not indestructible. Never wipe your film or coating while they are dry and make sure your surface is hydrated when wiping.
- Do not apply aggressive chemicals or force because you will damage and shorten the lifespan of either product. Instead, be gentle so that you get the job done right.