In my article “The Benefits of a Paint Coating”, I discussed several advantages of popular paint coating products. One of the key benefits highlighted in that article is the noticeable difference in ease of maintenance.
Many people have the incorrect impression that paint coatings are a “no maintenance required” type of product. This is simply not true. Proper maintenance is still required to take full advantage of your coating. Basic routine maintenance will help to keep your coating looking and performing its best and will help you get the maximum life out of your coating.
Routine washing is crucial. I recommend my customers maintain a wash routine that consists of a proper hand wash at least every two weeks. As your coating becomes covered with dirt and contamination, you will notice a decrease in hydrophobic properties (i.e. beading & sheeting). It is important to remove these surface contaminates often.
Using a specially formulated shampoo like the CarPro Reset will help to effectively clean your coating and it rinses away easily without leaving behind gloss enhancers or other surfactants. This is an ideal coating maintenance shampoo, however there are other options that will be just fine as well.
You will notice that your vehicle will be very easy to wash because the dirt will wipe away easily from the coating, and your wash mitt will slide effortlessly across the surface. Likewise, drying is also much easier because the majority of the water can be easily sheeted from the surface. I recommend using the Master Blaster to quickly blow the remaining water from the surface.
Photo: CarPro Reset – ready for the two bucket wash method!
Water Spots & Decontamination
Water spots are always a potential hazard. Hard water spots are a common occurrence if water is allowed to dry on the vehicle’s surface and is not washed shortly afterwards. Sometimes the mineral deposits can become so tough that even a thorough washing will not remove them. These water spots are often removed with a light polishing process, however this is not a good remedy for a coated vehicle because you may risk removing the paint coating. Luckily CarPro created Spotless Water Spot & Mineral Remover for this exact situation. This product quickly and easily eliminates hard water spots from your vehicle without the potential risk of harming your coating.
Coatings resist bonded contamination better than most traditional forms of protection, however they will still become contaminated over time. Luckily, this contamination is typically easy to remove with a product like CarPro’s TarX and IronX. In most cases these products will remove the majority of bonded contaminates from the surface of your coating, but it is possible that your vehicle may also require light claying to remove other contaminates. I typically recommend a quick decontamination at least once each year.
Photo: CarPro IronX reacting with bonded iron contaminates and safely dissolving them.
Many people are interested in applying additional protection on top of the coating. It is important to remember that when you are topping your coating with another product, you are covering or masking some of the properties of the coating. For example, if you apply a wax on top of your coating, you will be observing the properties of the wax until it wears off and the coating is exposed. If you choose to top your coating, you will still have a great base layer of protection beneath your “topper” since the coating will still be present, but the beading, sheeting, dirt/dust attraction, and other properties that you observe will be characteristic of whatever product you have used to top the coating.
While a typical spray wax may work fine, there are other products that tend to perform much better on top of paint coatings. My personal favorites are CarPro HydrO2 and CarPro Reload. These two products are silica based, just like CQuartz and 22ple coatings, therefore they are excellent “coating toppers” because their properties are very similar to the coating that is beneath them. When used on top of your coating, HydrO2 and Reload will provide additional protection, slickness, amazing hydrophobic properties, and best of all – they are extremely quick and easy to use! If you decide to top your coating, these products can be used as often as you’d like, but I typically suggest using one or the other every 2-4 months.
Photo: CarPro Reload being applied to added protection on top of the CQuartz UK paint coating
If you follow these basic steps for coating maintenance, you will be certain to achieve excellent durability and performance from your paint coating!