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CarPro HydrO2: Application Tips


CarPro HydrO2 is a revolutionary sealant that allows you to protect paint, glass, metal, plastic, and nearly any other surfaces without wiping, buffing, or rubbing.  This touchless sealant is a breeze to use when done correctly, however there are many scenarios that may lead to issues such as streaking.  In this article I will discuss some of the more common user mistakes made when using CarPro HydrO2 so that you will be better prepared to use this product properly and have a more enjoyable experience.

Working in Sunlight or on Hot Surfaces

HydrO2 is not designed to be used in direct sunlight, or on any surface that is hot.  Your work area needs to be in complete shade, and the panels of your vehicle should be cool to the touch before using HydrO2.  This will ensure the product is not drying on the surface before you can rinse it, thus eliminating the risk of streaking in this situation.

Using Too Much Product

One of the best features of HydrO2 is that very little solution (water + product mixture) is required to cover an entire vehicle.  On average, only 160mL (or ~5.4oz) of solution is required to cover a 4 door car.  There is no benefit to over applying, applying thick, or overlapping areas.  A light mist will yield the same amount of protection, and will reduce the chances of streaking as the product will be easier to rinse from the surface.  It seems to be a common issue of using way too much product per panel when applying HydrO2.  Simply set your spray trigger to a very fine mist setting, and lightly cover the panel you are working on, then immediately rinse.  Easy as that!

Allowing Product to Sit for Too Long

HydrO2 is meant to be applied and then immediately rinsed away using a strong stream of water.  In ideal conditions, the product should be rinsed from the surface no more than 1 minute after you have started applying the solution to the panel you are working on.  Ideal conditions consist of low humidity, moderate temperatures, and a cool surface.  Since many of us will be using this product in warmer environments with potentially high humidity, it is important to remember to rinse the solution from the surface right away.  I recommend working on only one panel at a time, beginning with the horizontal panels (roof, then hood, then trunk) and then working your way around the vertical panels.  Mist a small amount of product onto the panel, and immediately rinse away (usually within 30 seconds from the time you started applying). There is no reason to let the product dwell on the surface.  Also, remember to thoroughly soak the panel before application.

Incorrect Dilution of Product with Water

HydrO2 is sold in a concentrated form.  The product needs to be diluted with distilled water to create the solution that will be used to spray on your vehicle.  The dilution ratio for HydrO2 is 4 parts of distilled water to 1 part of HydrO2 Concentrate.  This is very important, as a weaker dilution may yield decreased durability and gloss, while a higher dilution may make the product more difficult to use.  It is recommended that you only mix enough solution to use within a short period of time, so do not mix the entire bottle of concentrate if you do not intend on using it right away.  Simply mix a small amount before each job, and store the remaining concentrate indoors to help prolong the shelf life.

Dilution Amounts for Common Spray Bottle Sizes (4 Water : 1 HydrO2)

*Update (5/23/17): CarPro now recommends diluting 1 part Hydro to 6~10 parts water. This new dilution ratio really helps reduce the risk of streaking/staining and may be a big help to some users who are struggling to enjoy the product.

Not Accounting for Over Spray

Since HydrO2 is applied via spray bottle, it is not possible to be too precise with your application.   Consider the scenario of applying HydrO2 to your roof.  As you are spraying, there are particles of solution in the air that may miss the roof, and settle on the glass surrounding the roof, or even drift further and land on the hood, a door, or the trunk.  Also, if you are applying the solution to your hood, it is highly likely some over spray will land on the fenders, bumper, and glass.  You must be aware of any possible over spray areas while you are working, especially if you are working outdoors, and even more so if it is windy.  It is a good idea to not only rinse the panel you are working on, but also those that are nearby, to reduce the chances of that over spray causing streaks if it is allowed to dry before you work on that panel.

ATD | HydrO2 Tips

Now that you are more aware of some common oversights that can lead to a poor experience with HydrO2, you should be prepared to use this product as it was directed and take full advantage of the incredible time savings this product has to offer.   HydrO2 can be applied to your entire vehicle (wheels, paint, and glass) in a matter of minutes!  There is no rubbing, wiping, or buffing required during application, and once applied, your vehicle will be a breeze to dry off.  Simply flood or sheet the majority of water from the surface, and then blow the rest off with your Master Blaster.

Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL

43 comments on CarPro HydrO2: Application Tips

  1. kevin says:

    I have a ford explorer and the bottom of the panels and bumpers are black plastic can I spray the plastic pieces also or would that be a bad idea?

    • Kevin, I have not found a surface that HydrO2 is not effective on. You can use it on paint, plastic, metal, glass, etc! It is extremely versatile. Keep in mind that it will not provide any restoration or darkening on plastic trim like CarPro DLUX or other type of trim restorer will. HydrO2 will simply provide a layer of protection on top of the surface to which it is applied. Hope that helps!

  2. Steve Webb says:

    Hi Zach
    I am about to paint my calipers white with G2 paint, as I will be using use vinyl stickers for the Tesla Name and Logo I will need to protect them with a clear coat.

    G2 advises against using Clear Coat over their product as the clear coat may yellow, and as the caliper’s are going to be white this is a real concern.

    As an alternative could I use the HydrO2 / CQuarts / EXOv2 or another protectant in place of clear coating the calipers.

    Does any one protectant stand up to heat over another.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated


    • Joe says:

      A bunch of Lexus guys used VHT clear coat with no problems with the G2 kit. I’ll be using both pretty soon!

    • Hey Steve – you can purchase high temp clear coats, but I do not have any real experience with them. From a detailing standpoint, a product like 22ple VM1 Wheel & Metal Coating would be a nice choice as it can withstand temps up to 700F.

      For what it’s worth, I have had my own calipers painted with the G2 kit for years now and they still look like new. I also added a “Lexus” decal to mine and did not apply any clear coat over it, and it also still looks perfect.

  3. Rick G says:

    I applied the Hydro 02 last Summer and while I had some streaking issues on my Lexus ( the dark red finish) they were resolved. I think I probably didn’t rinse soon enough or the solution from flat surfaces dripped down on the sides and I didn’t rinse them as well. Anyway,I also applied to my 05 deVille and it came out beautifully. I am still getting beads of water when I handwash both cars. Both of these cars are “garage queens” and don’t put many miles on them. Should I reapply if it is still beading ? Thanks

    • Hi Rick, you can certainly reapply if you’d like, however I find it is best to wait until water beading has decreased some so that the surface remains nice and wet during application. HydrO2 needs a wet surface for best results, so when the water beads and sheets away from the surface, it is not the best time to apply HydrO2 in my opinion. Hope that helps!

  4. William Thatch says:

    I noticed that the write up said to only mix the product as you plan to use it.

    CarPro now offers the product pre-mixed. Are you aware of any differences between that and pre-mixing the concentrate yourself?

    • HydrO2 Lite is not yet available, though as I understand it, it is a less concentrated version of this product that can either be sprayed on/rinsed off or wiped on/wiped off. It will be less durable than the original concentrate, but other than that it should provide similar results in terms of appearance and hydrophobic properties.

  5. Roxanne says:

    I have black powder coated wheels on my motorcycle and I ran through some fresh tar and as a result I have tar bumps on the wheels. What cleaner and finish do your recommend?

    Thanks in advance

  6. Franco says:

    I got a new windshield glass because my other one cracked. My other one had Hydro2 and lasted months. When I washed my car again to apply hydro2, it only lasted one day because my windshield wiper seem to have taken it off. But even areas where the wiper doesn’t touch on the glass it seems to have come off. What may have caused this as I’ve been using it for over a year and never had this issue?

    • Hi Franco – was your windshield replaced with OEM glass? or a third party brand?

      Some higher end OEM glass is hydrophobic by nature. My lexus glass, for instance, repels water very well without any sort of product on it. Perhaps this was the case for you and the replacement glass does not have the same properties?

      Did you thoroughly clean and polish the glass before applying HydrO2? I am not too familiar with glass replacement, but it might be possible that there is some sort of film on the glass that needs to be removed?

      Sorry I dont have any real answers for you.

  7. NOTE: CarPro has updated their instructions on product dilution. The new ratio is 4:1 (water:concentrate)

    • NOTE: CarPro has updated their instructions on product dilution. The new ration is 6:1 (water:concentrate). Bottles with the newer formula should have an updated label with this ratio printed on it. If you’re unsure which version you have, I would recommend using the 6:1 ratio just to be safe.

      • NOTE: CarPro has again updated their instructions to read “Concentrated Value: Dilution of 1 part Hydro to 6~10 parts water ” for “Durability: 3 to 6 months”.

        If you are following all of the guidelines and are still struggling with streaking issues, the higher dilution ratio may be the ticket to your success.

  8. Gene says:

    My car has a coating of Ceramic Pro lite and one of Cquartz. I applied hydro2 and must not have got all of the dirt off. Now my car looks horrible. What’s the safest way to break down the hydro2?

    • Hello Gene – HydrO2 relies on a wet surface in order to work properly, and since coatings repel water, the majority of the surface is actually dry. For this reason, I don’t usually recommend products like HydrO2 on coated vehicles as the chance for streaking is much greater. For those who wish to use these spray on, rinse off products on a coated vehicle, I recommend diluting the chemical more than what is recommended on the bottle.

      As far as how to remove streaking, it is not easy, and I have never had that great of luck with HydrO2 streaks that have been on the car for more than an hour or so. I would recommend contacting CarPro directly for more help as they will have the most experience with their chemicals.

  9. Jaakko Johan says:

    My bmw 5-series -08 wash polished and then protected with Autoglym HD hybrid wax. It is 11months and 14000km (In Finland, salt in winter) now and the paint is still beading like crazy. On the lowerpanels there is some very little roughness, i guess tar/ iron particles..

    Since the paintwork is 85-90 swirlfree, I was thinking of just using Carpro Iron X and Tar X to make the panels smooth again and then apply Hydr02 or Reload to the paint?

    • Yes, decontamination should be performed as needed on coated vehicles. Iron X and Tar X are both safe to use on a coated vehicle, though they may affect the hydrophobic properties, so using a product like HydrO2 or Reload is the perfect solution to increase surface tension.

  10. larry says:

    Zack, would you use this after I sealed the car with UK Quartz?

  11. larry says:

    Zack would you use this after putting UKCQ Quartz on?


    • HydrO2 can be used on a coated vehicle if you’d like, however since HydrO2 relies on a wet surface for optimal application, in my opinion it is not the best option for a coated vehicle if it still has a very hydrophobic surface. If water is still beading/sheeting from the surface very well, then the majority of the panel will be dry and might lead to spotting or streaking when using HydrO2. Reload would be a better option in this case. If the hydrophobic properties have diminished, and the water clings to the panel, then HydrO2 should have no issues when used properly.

      • Thanks Zack I do use reload so I will stick with that. Really appreciate your quick response. You know Wisconsin Winters and they are just hectic on my paint finish on my stable of cars. Would you be able to put Essence Plus on over the coating and reload before winter or just continue to use reload till summer. Thanks Zach

      • Thanks Zack I do use reload so I will stick with that. Really appreciate your quick response. You know Wisconsin Winters and they are just hectic on my paint finish. Would you be able to put Essence Plus on over the coating and reload before winter or just continue to use reload till summer. Thanks Zach

  12. Jorgen says:


    I live in a rainy wonderland and need to wash my car outside in the rain.
    Is there really a need to dry off the car after the rinsing?

    • If your tap water is anything like mine, it is full of minerals and other “things”… it is hard water.

      When hard water is left to dry, it creates water spots. Water spots can create significant damage in the worst case scenarios, therefore it is highly recommended to dry the vehicle to eliminate the risk of water spotting. Another way to eliminate this risk is to use a spotless water system such as the CR Spotless. These systems remove all dissolved solids from the water so there will be no spotting on the surface when the water droplets are left to evaporate.

      • Jorgen says:

        Thanks, that answers my question. When washing and not drying deposits of minerals and praticals usually isn’t a problem, because it rains too hard. If it doesn’t rain, I dry off the car as you would.
        So I’ll probably try the Hydro2 without drying it off afterwards, as long as the rain keeps pouring.

  13. Ron says:

    Well…. I applied product with a wash mitt…. did not follow instructions and now I have minor streaking. How do I correct. I love the product and where it did not sit long looks awesome. Any suggestions for removing the streaks?

    • Hi Ron – Unfortunately I have found streaks to be a bit of a chore to remove if they have been allowed to dry and are not removed immediately after application. I would start by simply wiping the streaks with a waterless wash or quick detailing solution to see if they have any effect. Depending on how long it has been since application, they may not come off with wiping or washing… long story short, you may have to either let them fade over time or if you cannot bear to look at them you will need to use a polisher to quickly remove them.

  14. Jack says:

    I’ve got a vinyl tonneau cover on my truck…will the Hydo2 affect it ( streaks, discoloring, etc.)….I’m concerned on how careful I need to be with overspray…..

    • According to the product details page, it states “suitable for any wet surface”… but to answer your question, I have no experience with HydrO2 on a either fabric or vinyl such as convertible tops or tonneau covers.

  15. Joe says:


    I was wondering if there are any issues with applying the Hydro2 or Reload on other brands of ceramic coating (e.g. Ceramic Pro).

    PS – I understand that Hydro2 will not work as well on newly applied coatings as the surface may be not wet enough.

  16. Sean O'Connell says:

    What should be used to treat a car that has Hydro2 applied for weekly maintenance? If I have Hydro2 applied via the spray and rinse application should I use the Hydro foam car wash every week to keep it fresh and lasting? Or should I just use a regular car wash soap like chemical guys honey dew foam and do the Hydro2 every 3 months? Would a quick detailer of some sort be best to use with Hydro2 sealant?

    • Hi Sean – I would use CarPro Reset for general maintenance washes. You may follow up with CarPro Reload (or similar) sealant sprays if you want to boost protection after washes, or simply use HydrO2 as needed every 2-3 months.

  17. Tommy says:

    hey there. My car has been previously coated with CQuartz UK and it has been 16 months. As I can see, the water is not beading as much anymore after car washes. Vehicle is parked outside and driven throughout harsh winter.
    Would Hydro2 Lite be a great alternative? Can I use any top coat or sealant (Reload) on top of the Hydro2 lite?
    Or just decontaminate it with IronX and then Reload?

  18. Jerry says:

    Zach, i saw you mentioned minerals in your water. I have this issue as well. Is using HydrO2 (lite) a good idea or does it just trap more minerals under its application since the surface is still wet for the application?
    Thank you.

    • Reece @ DI says:

      Jerry – Unless you are using a filter to help remove minerals from your water, they will be something you will have to deal with. To combat water marks, just make sure you are washing on a cool surface, and out of direct sun. Use a towel to remove as much standing water as you can and as long as you dry the surface before the water dries, the minerals will not etch into the surface.

      • Jerry says:

        Hey Reece, thank you for the quick response, but maybe i didnt ask the question correctly? I want to try HydrO2 (lite). But, since you apply it to a wet surface, ie the water that is still on the surface for the product to adhere to, im wondering if the product will trap the (more?) minerals in the water to my paints surface? I understand you dry the vehicle after power spraying it again. Maybe the HydrO2 sticks to the paint w/o adhering any of the water on the surface? Idk thats why im asking. I hope this makes more sense. Thank you

        • Reece @ DI says:

          Jerry – Hydr02 Lite will not adhere to the water or trap any minerals onto the painted surface. As long as you thoroughly dry the surface and apply to a cool surface and out of direct sun, you should not have any issues with water marks.

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