Detailing Service Aftercare: PPF, Ceramic Coating, & Car Wash Tips

Detailing Service Aftercare is vital to preserving and maintaining automotive finishes.

The same is true of enhanced protection technologies such as Paint Protection Film (PPF) or Ceramic Coatings. Proper & Regular vehicle washing enables ALL forms of protection to perform their best by avoiding topical contamination build up. Some topical contaminants are very aggressive and are able to wreak havoc if allowed to dwell on surfaces, potentially effecting how surface protection technologies work.

Detailing Service Aftercare: Ceramic Nano Coatings

0-14 Days After Installation

Ceramic Coated Vehicles require a different maintenance approach than past protection technologies. This is because the extremely low surface energy created by the ceramic nano coating requires maintenance with products containing similar characteristics.

* * Note: DO NOT Use a traditional wax or sealant on a coated vehicle. It will alter surface properties and lower the coating’s effectiveness.

Immediately after the coating is installed, please note the following:

  • The longer the vehicle can be left to cure, preferable untouched, the better.
  • No unnecessary water exposure for 10 days. And no car washing for 14 days.
  • Do not use a car shampoo with the words “wax” or “gloss” in the name or description. We recommend Meguiar’s Hyper Wash. For Waterless or Rinseless Vehicle Wash Methods we recommend Optimum No Rinse. Dilute this with 1/2oz to 1 gallon of DISTILLED water.
  • Keep a regular vehicle wash schedule. E.g. once every 2 weeks for daily drivers.
  • Every 3-4 months apply CarPro Reload Silica Sealant to the surface. (product linked below)

Using the Silica Sealant builds up layers of protection over time. This is the best strategy to ensure painted surfaces remain at their optimal state for both performance and aesthetics.

Detailing Service Aftercare: Clear Bra / Paint Protection Film (PPF)

PPF & Clear Bra Do’s & Don’ts – 2 Weeks After Installation (0-14 days)

  • Air bubbles and water take up to 14 days to fully dry. Do not push or touch them.
  • Never pick at film. This may compromise the installation and/or adhesive.
  • No unnecessary water exposure or car washing for at least 14 days.

Vehicles protected with Clear Bra / PPF need regular maintenance wash cycles and a silica sealant application every 3-4 months.

Standard Ongoing Maintenance for PPF/Clear Bra (15 days +):

  • NEVER use a Pressure washer to clean PPF/ Clear Bra edges. If dirty, GENTLY use a wash mitt to clean areas.
  • Keep a regular vehicle wash schedule. E.g. once every 2 weeks for daily drivers.
  • Every 3-4 months apply CarPro Reload to the surface to help with ease of maintenance and water spots. (product linked below)

Vehicle Car Wash & Maintenance Methods

All vehicles, including those protected with PPF and Ceramic Coatings, greatly benefit from regular wash intervals.

Below are links for Traditional Washing (with a bucket) and Waterless Washing (a solution in a spray bottle with towels) methods are demonstrated on the YouTube channel of my colleague @ OCDCarCare Los Angeles

Watch each demo a couple times to learn the ins and outs of each wash method:

Waterless Car Wash Method

Traditional Car Wash Method

Application Method of Silica Sealant to Vehicles with Coatings or PPF

At Signature Detailing New Jersey recommend applying a Silica based Sealant (such as CarPro Reload) at least 2-3 times a year for vehicles that are stored in garages during evenings. For vehicles living outside 24/7 365, we recommend applying as many as 4-5 times a year. This depends on the environmental and climate conditions of your area.

Application time is quick and simple; 20 minutes, even when done very slowly:

  • Start with a clean vehicle with cool panels in a shaded area.
  • Dilute into a spray bottle 1:1 – 1 part Reload to 1 part Distilled H2O.
  • Mist 2-3 sprays of the product onto a clean plush microfiber towel then spread evenly over the panel.
  • Use just enough product so it is detectable while wiping on.
  • Spread it evenly over the panel, wiping in an aerodynamic pattern.
  • After applying to the entire panel, use a second clean microfiber towel and wipe the section until the surface appears clear.
  • The silica sealant works great on wheels to protect them from ferrous iron contamination while making cleaning super simple and fast.

Products & Equipment for PPF/Clear Bra & Ceramic Coating Aftercare:

1] Car Wash or Waterless Wash Solutions – Depending on your Wash Method

2] CarPro Reload –  topical sealant to put on clean vehicle every 3-4 months. Safe for Paint, Plastic, & Wheels.
CarPro Reload @ Detailed Image

3] Long Pile Microfiber Towels for Waterless Washing and Ceramic Sealant Application. Recommend to buy at least (8).
THE RAG COMPANY 16 in. x 16 in. Eagle Edgeless Blue Professional Korean 70/30 Super Plush 480gsm Microfiber Detailing Towels

4] Plush Microfiber Towels for Drying Vehicle after a Traditional Vehicle Wash:
Griots Terry Weave Drying Towel @ Detailed Image

Closing Thoughts on Detailing Service Aftercare:

Proper Detailing Service Aftercare and ongoing maintenance will ensure long life for your vehicles Paint Protection Film (PPF or Clear Bra) and Ceramic Coating.

The simple instructions listed above, along with regular vehicle washing cycles and techniques, will leave you with a vehicle that is easy to clean and puts a smile on your face for years to come.