Updated: Jun 26, 2021
NOTE: The products mentioned in this post are subject to change. You're welcome to substitute in your car shampoo, towels, and various other products. These are recommendations to give you an idea of what to look for.
Congratulations on getting a Ceramic Coating installed by us here at Robust Auto Detailing. Protecting the finish of your vehicle is very easy and you're now part of an elite community of car owners who will have a beautiful-looking vehicle for years to come.
Though the duration of the coating itself may vary from 2 years to 10 years depending on the coating installed on your vehicle, the maintenance procedure is very simple. Most of the time, you will have to eyeball and see if the vehicle needs to be washed but washing the vehicle at least once a month or bi-weekly is a good place to be. If you go off-roading or on long travel trips, you may want to wash your vehicle right after you return from your trip.
There are three ways to maintain the vehicle.
One Bucket Rinseless Wash Method:
This is my favorite method and usually the easiest to do while using the least amount of water. It is also very fast and can be done inside the garage with minimal water spreading around. This method is great for most people who are looking to maintain their vehicles with minimum hassle.
Rinseless Wash Detergent (eg. Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine)
Wash Sponge (eg. Big Black Sponge)
Grit Guard (eg. Chemical Guys Grit Guard)
5 Gallon Wash Bucket (eg. Home Depot 5 Gallon White Bucket)
1x Glass Towel (eg. Rag Company Diamond Glass Towel)
Spray Wax or coating booster (eg. Ethos Dry & Seal)
Place the grit guard at the bottom of the bucket
Fill up the bucket with 3-4 gallons of water, depending on how dirty the vehicle is. Please ensure that the water is de-ionized. If not, you can use soft water but do this washing inside a shaded location.
Add in the detergent and use the mitt or sponge to mix it into the water
Starting from the top of the car, start spiraling downwards to wash the car using your sponge.
Once the rest of the car is done, you can wash the wheels
Optional: Gently spray a tiny spritz of spray wax on the vehicle while it is still a bit wet
Using the drying towel, you can start drying the vehicle spiraling top to bottom around the car.
You can use the rinseless wash detergent at low concentration to use as a glass cleaner alongside the glass towel.
Two Bucket Wash Method:
This method is recommended for extreme car enthusiasts who don't want to compromise on the finish of the vehicles. This is recommended for show cars and vehicles that need a very rigorous wash. Though this method uses lots of water, it is one of the safest methods that you can't go wrong with. For most people, however, this is overkill.
Wash Detergent (eg. Ethos Ceramic Car Shampoo)
Wash Sponge or Mitt (eg. Big Black Sponge)
2x Grit Guard (eg. Chemical Guys Grit Guard)
2x 5 Gallon Wash Bucket (eg. Home Depot 5 Gallon White Bucket)
1x Glass Towel (eg. Rag Company Diamond Glass Towel)
1x Glass Cleaner
Place the grit guards at the bottom of the buckets
Fill both buckets with water
Add the detergent to one of the buckets and agitate using the mitt or sponge to dilute. This will be your "wash" bucket. The other filled bucket will be your "rinse" bucket.
If the car is too dirty, pre-rinse the car by blasting it with jets of water to remove dirt and debris
Starting from the top of the car, start spiraling downwards around the car using your wash mitt and work in a couple of panels.
Dip and agitate the mitt or sponge in the "rinse" bucket before reloading it with the detergent in the "wash" bucket.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the entire vehicle is soaped up. Then blast it with soft or de-ionized water to completely rinse the vehicle.
Wash the wheels last.
Dry using the drying towel.
Use a clean glass towel with the glass cleaner to clean the glass, as needed
Optional: If you have a compact leaf blower, air compressor, or master plaster, you can dry faster while blotting out the remaining water with the drying towel.
Optional: Apply spray wax to bring restore the slickness and gloss of the coating.
Public Car Washes:
Sometimes, you don't have time to wash your vehicle. Here are some tips on ensuring you're at the right place when it comes to having someone else wash your vehicle:
Ensure that it isn't an automatic car wash. These places use very strong chemicals and abrasive methods that can not only destroy your coating but continue to wreck your car's paint. It's not worth the gamble even if it's very tempting.
Dealership washes may be ok if they are using high-quality hand washing but a lot of times it's usually an automatic car wash with inexperienced personal. Proceed with caution.
Use a high-quality hand wash place. If you can afford it, use a quality detailer to come to wash your vehicle. However, this can add up fast when it comes to cost.
Here's a very basic timeline on how you should maintain your vehicle. This can vary based on your mileage and how your car looks.
Every 2 Weeks or Monthly: Wash your vehicle
Every 6 months: Use spray wax alongside wash to give the coating a nice booster
Every 2 years(Optional): Have your car inspected and fully detailed on the coated areas by us to see if everything is holding up well. This is a good chance to clay bar or decontaminate the vehicle as well.