So you’ve decided that it’s time to ceramic coat your car, and the affordability associated with the DIY approach has you hooked. Well welcome to the club compadre. We’ve been expecting you.

But before you can begin, all of that bug splatter, dried-up bird crap, tree sap, road grime, and crusty carnauba wax has to first be removed. So you do the sensible thing, and order a bottle of Ceramic Coating Prep Shampoo from AvalonKing, assuming that all you have to do is rub it on, rinse it off, and get to coating.

Well we hate to break it to you homeskillet, but that spray, pray, and wipe away approach isn’t going to do squat without the right gear, some sweat equity, and perhaps a cold beverage or two.

Here at AvalonKing, we’ll show you what deep cleaning products and tools work best with a high pH ceramic prep shampoo. We’ll also explain the difference between maintenance car soap and ceramic prep shampoo, and when to use one over the other.

The following tips, tricks, facts, and fair warnings will help introduce you to the world of high pH ceramic prep shampoo, and hopefully help you decide if this sudsy stuff is right for your vehicle.

Knowing when to use a ceramic prep shampoo is just as important as having the right car cleaning tools for the task at hand.
Photo Credit: Pan The Organizer/YouTube

What Does a High pH Surface Prep Shampoo Do Anyhoo?

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of options to choose from, each one claiming to be better than its competitors. This makes deciding what kind of automotive shampoo to purchase an incredibly daunting task for fledgling DIY automotive detailing devotees.

Ceramic prep shampoo stands apart from the pack due to its specialized formulation. A hardcore “decontaminating” solution, that’s built more for stripping an automobile’s exterior of build-up and ageing surface protectants, than providing routine cleaning.

Surface prep shampoos are so potent, than when combined with the right microfiber wash mitt and enough elbow grease, they can sometimes even be used in lieu of a clay decontamination product.

A thorough hand washing with a foamy car shampoo, followed by a rinse and a microfiber towel wipe-down should always be the first steps taken when removing contaminants from a car's exterior.
A thorough hand washing with a foamy car shampoo, followed by a rinse and a microfiber towel wipe-down should always be the first steps taken when removing contaminants from a car’s exterior.

5 Best Ceramic Prep Shampoo Cleaning Tips and Tricks

But the strength of a ceramic prep shampoo won’t do jack- if your cleaning etiquette is complete crap. So scrub responsibly, and check out our car detailing guide for beginners if you require further assistance.

  1. Blast and scrub your wheels and tires first. Rollers are usually the dirtiest part of the vehicle, and cleaning them can contaminant surrounding body panels, so buy a separate wheel-and-tire scrubber and bucket.
  2. Unless you like the look of water marks, never wash your car in direct sunlight or apply soapy water to a surface when it’s hot to the touch.
  3. Always use the two-bucket wash method to avoid cross-contamination.
  4. Keep the vehicle’s surfaces wet at all times, even when you haven’t scrubbed them yet.
  5. Never scrub in a circular motion, as that can cause swirl marks. Instead, use a sided-to-side action, followed by an up-and-down method to create a crosshatch pattern.
If you are not using a two-bucket hand washing method, you are contaminating your car shampoo and your automobile. Photo Credit: Pan The Organizer/YouTube
If you are not using a two-bucket hand washing method, you are contaminating your car shampoo and your automobile.
Photo Credit: Pan The Organizer/YouTube

Getting the Most Out of Your Ceramic Prep Shampoo

In order for surface prep shampoos to work, they must be extremely concentrated, and following the suggested water-to-shampoo ratio is crucial to their success.

For instance, AvalonKing’s Ceramic Prep Shampoo rocks a 10.5 pH rating, therefore 1-ounce is all that’s needed for 1-gallon of water. In contrast, our Maintenance Car Shampoo requires four times the amount of water, and is far milder, but it still somehow makes you feel sexy when you use it.

Speaking of water, be mindful of your H2O hardness levels. You can have the greatest prep shampoo on the planet, but if you are using an overly hard source of H2O, water spots are going to become an issue.

Instructions? We don't need no stinking instructions! In all seriousness though, please follow the damn directions on the bottle for optimum results. Photo Credit: Pan The Organizer/YouTube
Instructions? We don’t need no stinking instructions! In all seriousness though, please follow the damn directions on the bottle for optimum results. Photo Credit: Pan The Organizer/YouTube

When to Use a High pH Surface Prep Car Shampoo

A high pH prep shampoo should only be implemented when the complete stripping of contaminants and surface protectants from an automobile’s exterior is required. Applying a prep shampoo to a healthy ceramic coating can lead to damage, so break out the big guns only when you deem it absolutely necessary. Alright, Rambo?

Using a high-grade, pH-rich surface decontaminating shampoo, like the Ceramic Prep Shampoo by AvalonKing, has many perks. Not only will it lift deeply embedded contaminants and reduce the risk of surface scratches and swirling, but it will also help make the subsequent prep steps all the more easy to complete.
Using a high-grade, pH-rich surface decontaminating shampoo, like the Ceramic Prep Shampoo by AvalonKing, has many perks. Not only will it lift deeply embedded contaminants and reduce the risk of surface scratches and swirling, but it will also help make the subsequent prep steps all the more easy to complete.

Parting Shots

While deep-cleaning ahead of a ceramic coating install may be mandatory, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Just stick with the basics listed above, and remember that improperly using a prep shampoo, or applying it at the wrong time, can be just as detrimental as not using one at all.

That’s why having a low pH car shampoo for routine cleaning is just as important as proper surface prep ahead of a ceramic coating install. A topic that we’ll discuss in detail in a forthcoming blog article of extreme awesomeness and uninhibited informative overindulgence. Damn, that was a lot of vowels and consonants in one sentence…

If you enjoyed this article, then you'll love AvalonKing's automotive care products for Do-It-Yourselfers. We create "No B.S. products" for an affordable price. And the best part, we treat our customers like family, so if you have any questions or just looking to chat about cars, we're only an email or call away. Check out our homepage here.