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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.