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Initial Impressions: Hydrosilex Recharge


Silica is now a common term thrown around in conversation regarding detailing.  There are silica coatings, silica sealants, silica-infused waxes, silica-based tire dressings, and the list goes on.  In every case, silica is associated with protection.  It has provided us with a lot of revolutionary change in the detailing industry over the years, and Hydrosilex is, at least to my knowledge, a relative newcomer in the silica-based protection market with Hydrosilex Recharge.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

HydroSilex Recharge is an Sio2 based, easy to apply, spray on protection product! In short you can mist it on clean paint, wipe away any excess product and get durable protection that looks great! The unique chemical makeup of water-based Silica Dioxide makes this formula a pioneer in detailing. Once cured, Recharge morphs from liquid to a highly flexible transparent top layer, that adds gloss, and protects various surfaces from the elements.

While the label on the bottle reads “Ceramic Coating”, Recharge is not a full-fledged paint coating, but rather a spray on silica sealant.  These easy to use products offer durable protection for a variety of surfaces, exceptional hydrophobic properties, and they can be applied in a very short amount of time.  Hydrosilex indicates Recharge can be used on a wide array of vehicles and surfaces including boats, planes, cars, trucks, showers, kitchens, motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers, glass, plastic, metals, fiberglass, vinyl, paint protection film, wheels, wood, Plastic-Dip, stone, countertops, single stage paints, gel coats, clear coat finishes and more.  The bottle says to “Apply on all surfaces”, therefore, I think it is safe to say you can go ahead and try it out on everything.


According to the manufacturer, Recharge can be applied three different ways.  With any method, it is important to remember that you should be working on a cool surface and out of direct sunlight.  First, and most recommended, is the dry application in which the product is simply sprayed onto a clean vehicle and then wiped away.  There is also a wet application alternative in which the product is sprayed on a wet vehicle and then rinsed away.  And lastly, there is a  foam cannon application where Recharge is dispensed via a foam cannon onto the paint and then rinsed away.  It is indicated that both the wet application and foam cannon application processes are only recommended for well-trained professionals, so keep that in mind.

For my initial testing I have opted only to experiment with the dry application as I find it most practical, and as mentioned it is recommended for all users.  Before I began, the vehicle was thoroughly washed, and the test panels were wiped with Hydrosilex Rewind.  I applied a light, even mist to my test area as it describes in the instructions.  It is worth noting that if you are like me and are very accustomed to using other popular silica spray sealants, this may be more product than you are used to.  Based on my personal experiences of struggling with some other silica spray sealants when I have over applied the product, I was very interested to see how this worked out for me as I generally only use one or two sprays directly onto a towel, not onto the paint, when applying other similar products.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

I immediately spread the product out using my favorite plush towel, the double thick edgeless towel.  As you can see, there was still quite a bit of product residue left to remove.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

I then grabbed my second plush towel and was very pleased to see the product melt away with very little effort and no streaking.  The panel was noticeably slick feeling.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

Something I have noticed on nearly all spray on, wipe off products is that if you inspect the surface with an LED light, there tends to be some visible residue that is otherwise undetected with general lighting.  This used to really annoy me, however, it seems it is nearly unavoidable.  For what it is worth, this is only visible under harsh direct lighting immediately after application and it seemed to fade away after some time as I monitored it in my garage.  I only mention this to assure you that it is a normal thing to see if you chose to use an inspection light during application.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

There was no rain in the forecast the day after my initial application, but I was eager to see how water behaved on top of Recharge.  I will let the photo speak for itself, the beads were very attractive.

ZRM | Hydrosilex Recharge

Hydrosilex Recharge is priced right in line with its competition.  The manufacturer claims Recharge can last up to six months, which is a bit more ambitious than some other manufacturer’s claims for similar products.  At this point, I have had very little time to monitor my test panels, but I will certainly follow up with any details as time passes.  I have to say, the first time I saw this product was in a video on Facebook.  I wasn’t particularly interested in it as it seemed like just another company trying to recreate the wheel.  I am happy to say that after using it I am starting to believe that all of the social media hype is not without some justification.  The application is very forgiving, and the initial results have been great.  I am excited to see how it holds up to real-world use on my daily driven vehicle.

Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL

30 comments on Initial Impressions: Hydrosilex Recharge

  1. rlmccarty2000 says:

    I bought the first version and it streaked horribly when the “wet method” of application was used. They have since released a second version that was supposed to be ok when the “wet method” was employed. The manufacturer finally said don’t use the “wet method” for application for either version. If there is new info available please let me know.

    • Sorry, I have no experience with any other versions and didn’t even know there had been prior versions. As mentioned, I have not attempted the wet method, but I had no issues with the dry method.

  2. Roger K Rexroade Jr says:

    I bought this product about 6 weeks ago and I’m not sure which version I received but I know this, it’s a dream to use!

    For my first use I decided to apply it wet on my wheels. While wet I sprayed an even amount on the wheel face as well as in the barrels and simply rinsed away with my Worx Hydroshot. Since that single application my wheels have been beading up when wet, are easier to clean and have a nice finish on them. For this reason alone it’s worth buying/using, but then there’s your paint!

    For this application I did the dry method and couldn’t have been happier with the ease of use and finish left behind afterwards. I simply sprayed a section, like half the hood and wiped it in and buffed away, simple! A little goes a long way, just cover the section and get after it. As you move along your mf towel will get saturated but that’s ok, keep using it and have the spare mf towel for buffing, no problem.

    Once my bottle is empty, I have the smaller one, I’ll be upgrading to the larger size without a doubt. Btw, my car is Sio2 coated with TAC systems products and this product just adds to its look and durability, use with confidence in this department as well.

    As I finish this post I’m about to go down to the garage and apply a coat of Hydrosilex “just because”😎

  3. rlmccarty2000 says:

    The best way to determine if you have the v1 is the color is light pink. The V2 is more red in color or google Recharge.

    • Tghosh says:

      Thanks for that distinction. I definitely had v1 of the product and was very much unimpressed. It left horrible water spotting when using the wet method. Also was very grabby on the towel when buffing off. I vowed never to buy it again.

  4. Billy says:

    I have 4 of the big bottles of Recharge and been using it on many things. I’d like to see an update at 90 days post and 180 days post application from Zach for his impressions. I use this as my top coat after a full Ceramic coat like MOHS and it adds the slickness with ease. I really wish I seen some comparisons tests with Recharge VS XXX to see how it holds up to similar products like Cure and Reload etc please!

    • I’m not sure I will make it even 90 days before I decide to strip it and apply something new for testing, but I will certainly provide some follow up whenever possible. I may decide to apply it to my wife’s car to monitor it for a longer period of time and see how it behaves as we approach wintertime here in the Midwest.

    • (Copied response from other comment below)

      I will have a follow up article coming out, but to provide some early data, I have done some side-by-side testing of Recharge & Marine on the same door and after approximately 1.5 months and 2,500 miles or so, neither bead water at all. Also, I applied a synthetic spray wax between the two on the test panel and did not notice any considerable difference in self cleaning ability between either Hydrosilex product compared to the inexpensive spray wax.

      Also, I do plan to do some more testing in the future with various spray sealants side-by-side. I will be sure to include my results in a series of articles on the blog whenever I can get around to doing it.

      • Wild bill says:

        I heard from CarPro that Hydrosilex Recharge was copied after one of their products, not sure how true it is but Hydrosilex seems like colored water but it seems to work okay even if it is considered junk. Reload and Cure seem to be the same milky product and work less than Hydrosilex but I believe they probably are superior.

        • @Wild Bill: It would not surprise me if several products from various manufacturers are very similar on a chemical level.

          @2DollaBill$: The mixing of products is not a new idea. The combination you are describing is quite popular for an enhanced use of EcH2O. EcH2O, as I’m sure you know, can be used as a waterless wash, rinseless wash, and quick detailer. In an effort to enhance hydrophobic properties and protective abilities many people have experimented with mixing spray sealants, such as Reload. Thanks for the feedback.

        • rlmccarty2000 says:

          I’m on Autopia and I’m at the end of my testing of 12 SiO2 spray toppers. I’ve got a few more to test and then I will post all my “findings”. Recharge is closer to Blackfire SiO2 Spray as both are red and watery. Cure is thicker than most of the other toppers and some people are mixing it 1:1 with water. I’m not a fan of Cure as it will streak and takes longer to wipe off than others. The non-premium brands look and last pretty much the same. The premium ($) brands may last a little longer but side by side comparison doesn’t show any gloss difference. My advice buy a gallon of any of the mainstream toppers at the cheapest price available and use it. 99% of shine comes from preparation of the surface. Some waxes may look different than others but you will be hard pressed to see a difference between any of the toppers when looking at them side by side. Imho.

          • Billy says:

            Thank you for your comment and how to find more on this topic over at Autopia as well. I really want to follow this discussion further and look forward to hearing from Zach as well. I’m just getting back in the car care game after 10 years and need to brush up on some techniques.

      • 2DollaBill$ says:

        For anyone reading this I am hearing of a new milkshake that Detailers are calling it ElixR. It’s 15 oz of distilled H20, 1 oz of EcHo2 and 1 oz of Reload (17oz spray bottle) and it is the mega all in one maintenance and wash/Detailer and seems to be spreading like wildfire in Florida and the Tristate area. Anyone heard of this or have some thoughts on it?

        • CarPro is announcing a new quick detail spray called Elixer at SEMA 🙂

          • Billy says:

            Really? I wonder if it is the same mixture and expected results? If so I hope it isn’t inflated on the price side. I was told that this milkshake is not only a quick detailer but a quick safe wash and hydrophobic properties as well. Not sure if that new product is the same yet.

          • rlmccarty2000 says:

            A quick detailer from CarPro is a smart business move. Some people are too lazy to mix their own spray up (see Hydro2lite). I hope CarPro doesn’t try to sell it as a “new” product, I hate it when my intelligence is insulted. You can mix any SiO2 spray with ECH2O and have a good performing QD spray. If you want the spray to last a little longer, add a little more SiO2, but adding too much SiO2 defeats the purpose of making a QD spray. If you add too much you might a well just use your SiO2 spray neat.

            Reload alone only lasts 1-2 weeks so mixing it with ECH2O works great by adding some shine and protection while removing the dust from your vehicle. TAC Systems makes a SiO2 containing waterless wash that can be used just like ECH2O, the only difference is that it is pink. TacSystems sells Quartzmax which works exactly like Reload. Gyeon has Cure that you can mix with ECH2O, and since Cure is thicker than Reload, for me it makes a better QD base.

          • Will says:

            Thank you so much for that info. ANy personal mixture preference you can recommend to make the ultimate “Waterless” wash and also a Quick Detailer mix so I have the best of both scenarios to use? I have a race car with new paint that cant be washed with water and can get pretty dirty at times and other times it just needs a quick wipe down but don’t want to scratch it. California duster still gets used and I know I shouldn’t use it but old habits die hard.

          • rlmccarty2000 says:

            Will, my personal mixture is ECH2O with Quartzmax instead of Reload. It works great, but probably the same as a mix of ECH2O/Reload. If you have a race car I can see you wiping it down a lot more often than a normal car. I’ve been testing SiO2 toppers for the last 3 months and for the most part they are all the same except for the more expensive ones from Polish Angel, Kamikaze, and IGL. I would suggest you coat the race car to cut down on marring and then put a coat of IGL Ecocoat Premier (it seems to last longer than most of the other toppers) then I would make a mixture of IGL Ecocoat Premier and ECH2O to maintain the shine. But for a regular maintenance I would use straight ECH2O or McKees N-914 to provide the maximum lubrication. The more SiO2 spray you add to your mix the less lubrication you have in your wash, increasing the likelihood of installing marring, swirls, and scratches. Make sure to use plenty of high quality microfiber towels.

          • Will says:

            Thanks for that special mixture RLMCCARTY2000! I will give it a whirl next week as I order those items. How about a prep spray that is best after all PC is done or when you just want it to be oil/product free to prep before coatings and sprays like yours for best results? I have been using Rewind and Gyeon Prep as well as ERaser and 91% Alcohol but I’m told all of these will yield the same results and we should just buy whichever we can get the cheapest since they are all that close in results and the only factor that is next is cost, is this true? I’m hearing CarPro and Gyeon are basically sister companies as well, truth? Id really likes to try that new Elixir spray out but I fear its just the mix of what we all been using or maybe it is more refined? Again, if I can get it on the discount code it might be a good buy at that time only. I will follow you on Autopia as well.

          • rlmccarty2000 says:

            I feel that all the prep sprays do a good job of removing oils and leftover polish residue and this is a product where I look for the cheapest one available. CarPro and Gyeon are not sister companies though there chemicals are produced in S. Korea. CarPro and TacSystems are closely aligned and TacSystems used to make CarPro’s chemicals for them. It is almost impossible to get a manufacturer to say who they make products for. There are many manufacturers in Japan, S. Korea, and China and they offer relabeling to anyone willing to pay them. They will also add color or scents to differentiate products. It’s best just to find a product you like and stick with it. From what Corey from CarPro says Elixir is a combo of Reload, ECH2O, and Hydro2. I have not tried adding Hydro2 but I will give it a try to see how much difference it makes.

  5. K. Wayne van Dommelen says:

    I normally use Carpro Reload as a coating maintenance product. I tried the HydroSilex recharge in lieu of the Reload recently. It certainly applies easier with less initial streaking, however I feel Reload has a better cleaning/polishing effect. This was noticeable while maintaining a coated vehicle that hadn’t been cleaned at all in about 3 months.
    My normal maintenance routine for this vehicle is: Foam then power rinse. Iron remover and mineral deposit remover sprayed on, then power rinsed again. Hand wash with Carpro Reset. Blown dry. Dry application of Carpro Reload. (HydroSilex in this case) This yields exceptional results.
    I’ve noticed that the cleansing/ polishing properties of Reload are far superior, but the HydroSilex’s hydrophobic properties last considerably longer on well maintained coatings. There is room in the arsenal for both.

    • Thanks for your feedback!

      I will have a follow up article coming out, but to provide some early data, I have done some side-by-side testing of Recharge & Marine on the same door and after approximately 1.5 months and 2,500 miles or so, neither bead water at all. Also, I applied a synthetic spray wax between the two on the test panel and did not notice any considerable difference in self cleaning ability between either Hydrosilex product compared to the inexpensive spray wax.

  6. Chuck Sharin says:

    rlmccarty2000, I recently purchased ECH20 and Black Fire SiO2. Would you please share your suggested formula of how much of what to mix together…..and the intended purpose of this “milkshake”
    I am an amateur “detailer” working to correct my 2012 Vette Grand Sport and a few friends cars

    Chuck Sharin / Auburn,WA

    • The new CarPro Elixer quick detailer was born from the “milkshake” similar to what has been described above.

    • rlmccarty2000 says:

      Chuck the mix ratio that works good for me is 2 oz ECH2O, 2 oz SiO2, 32 oz distilled water. This,works as a great QD and drying aid. I haven’t tried it with BF SiO2, but I have used BF SiO2 and see no reason why it would not work as well as Reload, Quartzmax, or any other good SiO2 topper spray.

      Zack, the new Elixir spray contains something similar to Hydro2 as well as ECH2O and Reload making last longer (maybe). I’ve got a bottle on its way but I don’t see me switching to the pre-bottled version ever. It’s just to easy (and cheaper) to mix up a gallon of ECH2O Plus (my name) and use it liberally. It works great on interiors as well as exteriors.

  7. Hi Guys, I just tried something new to use as a detailer and a light car wash all in one spray like others use but with a small twist.
    I used a 8oz bottle and put 2oz recharge, 2oz ECH20 and 4oz distilled water and it seems to work great with no streaking and the beading is amazing. So far it has been 6 weeks without a wash and still beads tight and car is pretty clean still even with salted roads.

    Has anyone else mixed Hydrosilex Recharge with anything?

    • rlmccarty2000 says:

      I’m surprised you got 6 weeks out of Recharge + ECH2O. I can’t get more than 2 weeks out of Recharge without diluting it. I tested Recharge with a bunch of other SiO2 sprays on a daily driver sitting outside 24/7 and within 14 days the beading was gone. Mixing SiO2 sprays with ECH2O is a good idea instead of buying a ready made QD.

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