In this article you will learn:
As one of the most durable protectants for a car’s paint job, a ceramic coating can stand up to a number of harsh conditions. UV rays, acid rain, road salts and other commonly encountered threats are no match for a ceramic coating; however, ceramics were never designed to withstand a polishing compound. And, by the nature of how car polishes work, they were never intended to be used on ceramic coatings. Simply put, they don’t play nice together.
Every car polish on the market helps shine your car by removing scratches, swirl marks, oxidation and other damage from your clear coat. They work, not by adding a layer of shiny stuff to the surface of your paint, but, essentially, by sanding the surface smooth again, thanks to tiny abrasive particles in the polish. If used on ceramics, these abrasives will strip off the coating just like they remove oxidation from the finish.
So, if you paid a small fortune to have your car professionally coated and then you polish your car, you will have just wasted a lot of money along with your car’s new protective layer. The lesson is simple: unless your goal is to strip the ceramic coating off your car, keep the polish away.
Car wax and polish are not the same. Car waxes with ingredients like carnauba wax and synthetic shine polymers are perfectly safe to use—and even recommended to use—on top of ceramic coatings.
While you should never use a car polish after applying a ceramic coating, you should always use one before. This is because polishing your clear coat is a restorative process that removes scratches, swirls, oxidation and damage from everyday wear and tear. These are the sort of imperfections you need to remove to get your car shining before adding a layer of protection.
If you’re having your car professionally coated, make sure your detail shop intends to polish the finish before applying ceramics, no matter what. Even brand-new cars require some degree of paint correction, and polish will help restore the finish before they seal it in with that protective barrier.
If you plan to use a DIY ceramic coating, such as our Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating, then you should likewise spend the proper time preparing the clear coat beforehand. That includes a thorough car wash, paint decontamination and polishing with a product such as our Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 & Done Polishing Compound and a foam applicator.
Investing the proper time and effort prepping your car, including polishing the finish, before applying a ceramic coating will make your car look far better, and the ceramic coating will perform better than if you hadn’t.
Ceramic coatings deliver incredible protection and durability to your car’s finish, but they don’t necessarily add the same eye-popping shine that you expect from a traditional car wax. That’s why it’s a great idea to wax your car intermittently even after you’ve protected it with a ceramic product.
As long as you steer clear of integrated, 2-in-1 polish and wax formulas, wax will improve your car’s ceramic coating—not damage it—like a polish might. We recommend our Hybrid Solutions Pro Flex Wax with pure graphene or our Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating as high-performance options. They not only add shine, but also additional protection, extending the life of your original ceramic application.
These easy-to-apply spray waxes will boost the shine of your car’s paint while adding yet another layer of protection on top of your ceramic coating. With regular wax applications, your ceramic coating will look better and last even longer. These levels of extended beauty and durability are exactly why you chose ceramic coatings in the first place, so it just makes sense to wax regularly.
Waxing a ceramic-coated car is no different than waxing uncoated clear coat. Starting with a freshly washed, perfectly clean finish is critical. You don’t want to seal in any dirt between your ceramic coating and wax layer. Just wash your car thoroughly with a pH-balanced car wash soap like Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Wash & Wax. Rinse and dry the car with a microfiber towel as you normally would.
Spray your car with 1-2 mists of wax per 2’ x 2’ panel. Wipe the area in a wide circular motion with a clean, microfiber towel, spreading the wax evenly across the surface. Then, dampen your detailing cloth and use it to level out any high spots in the wax to prevent streaks on your ceramic coating. Allow the wax to dry to a light haze and buff to a beautiful shine. Continue working around your car in 2’ x 2’ sections until you’ve waxed the entire car.
That’s all there is to it. In a matter of just 5 or 10 minutes, you’ll have refreshed that ceramic coating with a beautiful, protective shine. Certainly time well spent!
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