How to Maintain a Coated Vehicle

Paint protected Mercedes

AFTERCARE

WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT
The purpose of a quality coating is protection for the surface of the vehicle, the glossy finish and the ease of maintenance due to it’s beneficial properties. This doesn’t mean to say that this coating needs no care itself.
 
If the care and maintenance of the vehicle after it has been coated is gone about incorrectly, this protection will be a waste of time and money. Therefore, it is crucial that you know how to properly care for your vehicle after it has been coated. Let’s see how to properly wash, dry and maintain your car with ease of mind, knowing that your coating and paint is safe.

WASHING YOUR VEHICLE

IMPORTANCE
Washing your vehicle is probably the most important step and the easiest to get wrong.
If done incorrectly, this can do more damage then good. How? The wrong equipment or technique can leave micro marks and scratching even on a coated car. Simply put, you want to minimise the possibility of reintroducing dirt and grime that you have removed off the vehicle back onto the car. Let’s look at three simple safe wash methods.

 TIP: Remember to wash and dry your vehicle in the shade and out of the Sun to prevent heat and water damage.

TWO BUCKET METHOD

WASHING YOUR VEHICLE
Two bucket wash method used to safely wash vehicle

Firstly, rinse your vehicle from all loose debris. Make sure that your buckets are both fitted with grit guards to prevent grime and grit from getting back onto your wash mitt/cloth and scratching up the surface coat.

Why two* buckets? 

One bucket is filled with water for rinsing your wash mitt and the other is filled with soapy water for washing. The principle is that you rinse your wash mitt in the rinse bucket releasing all contaminants your just removed off the vehicle, before your get more soapy water and continue washing your car. This ensures that you are continually using clean water to wash the car rather than putting the dirty water back onto the car.

*A third bucket for the wheels with a dedicated wash mitt is also recommended to keep any debris away from the paintwork.

TIP: Agitate your wash mitt/cloth against the grit guard at the base of your rinse bucket to help in releasing all the contaminants from your wash mitt/cloth.

ONE BUCKET METHOD

WASHING YOUR VEHICLE
Multiple wash mitts used to wash car safely

Another safe car washing method is to simply use multiple microfiber wash cloths/mitts

After using a towel on a section of the vehicle, dispose of it into another bucket or bag and then grab another wash towel/mitt from your wash bucket. This ensures that all debris removed from the vehicle will not be reintroduced to the cars paint and cause micro scratches.

Remember, you want to minimise the possibility of reintroducing dirt and grime that you have removed off the vehicle back onto the car.

TIP: After use, wash you microfiber towels/wash mitts so they are clean for the next wash.

Multiple wash mitts used to wash car safely

EQUIPMENT AND PRODUCTS

WASHING YOUR VEHICLE
The next most important thing to remember is the only items touching the car are your wash mitts/cloths so make sure that these are top quality and are taken care of too. Investing in good quality mitts and towels will, again, help to prevent unnecessary damage to the surface.
Foam on car to safely wash it
The cleaning soap should be carefully chosen. Use a pH neutral soap so as not to add any chemical, wax or gloss enhancer. You don’t want to leave anything extra on the vehicles coating.
 
Detailers, waxes and gloss enhancers are great products on their own, but stay away from these products when you’re dealing with a coated vehicle! Why? The coating is a long-lasting protection that provides self-cleaning characteristics, anti staining and hydrophobic properties. When you put one of these other inexpensive products on top, you dull the benefits of the coating and you are now only getting the benefits of the last layer, which is much less effective and not as long-lasting. So, in effect, this makes getting a highly-effective coating pointless. 
Foam on car to safely wash it
Another option for washing your car in a safe way is using a pressure washer. These can be a seriously good investment especially for a coated vehicle. Why? Because it rinses your car without anything, except the water, touching it. This means your coating and paintwork is fully protected from marring. Another plus is that a pressure washer uses less water than a bucket or garden hose and also takes less time. 
If you do choose to invest in a pressure washer or you already own one, a foam cannon can be a great addition as it, too, helps to gently remove dirt from the vehicle leaving the coating scratch-free.
 
So now you have carefully washed your vehicle using the correct equipment, products and methods to prevent any damage, now you want to ensure the drying process is done correctly as well. 

DRYING YOUR VEHICLE

IMPORTANCE
Safely cleaning a detailed and paint protected vehicle
Safely cleaning a detailed and paint protected vehicle
It is crucial that you fully dry off all the water after washing your vehicle rather than letting it air dry. Why?

The water contains minerals that do not fully evaporate from the surface. This will leave water spotting and streaks on the surface of your car, making the appearance look worse than before you washed it. These minerals can, overtime, degrade the cars paintwork and coating if not properly removed and if left to sit on the surface.

COMPRESSED AIR/AIR BLOWER

DRYING METHODS
How to dry a care safely
The most recommended way to get rid of as much water as possible is by using air. Why?
 
If there is any remaining water, you can go over this with a high quality clean micro fibre towel. These will gently remove the excess water without agitating and damaging the coating.
 
Make sure these towels are stored in a clean area and are washed thoroughly after use. 
How to dry a care safely

MAINTENANCE

DO'S AND DONT'S
Bucket with cleaning supplies on wooden surface at car wash.
Bucket with cleaning supplies on wooden surface at car wash.
When it comes to maintaining a coated vehicle, you want to stick to products that are designed specifically for coated cars. Sounds simple but it is an easy mistake many make. Products that are intended to be used on coated vehicles have the same characteristics as the coating itself, however, they act as a barrier and a sacrificial layer that can be stripped off if marks appear leaving the coating in tact. So do stick with a coating product.
 
Do not use any type of quick detailers, spray waxes or paste waxes. Why?
These are great products but they are designed for non-coated vehicles. Again, we don’t want to add any extra chemicals to an already coated car because that defeats the purpose of the quality coating. 
Applying these tips will ensure that your car stays looking better for longer and you aren’t wasting your time and money.
 
If you require any further information or you’d like to book in for a service, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Please share