Can You Wax Over Ceramic Coatings?

Can You Wax Over Ceramic Coatings?

Every year, automotive enthusiasts and daily commuters alike spend billions of dollars on car washes, car wax applications, and a broad array of other exterior detailing and surface protection products.

While reducing exposure to UV rays and airborne crap may be a core cause for much of this detailing mania, a lot of people are more concerned about their vehicle’s appearances than its overall health. This invested interest in aesthetics, as well as a general dislike for washing and detailing, has caused car owners to pursue fresh application options.

One of the more recent entries in the “shield & shine” exterior detailing game, are DIY ceramic coatings, which due to their affordability and availability, have become an ideal way to save time, money, energy, and resources.

That being said, here at AvalonKing, we do occasionally get a customer who wants to know if they can apply car wax on top of their freshly ceramic coated car, to which we respond…

Below, you will find a list of reasons why waxing over a ceramic coating is pointless, pricey, and potentially harmful, along with some explanation as to why a nano ceramic coating doesn’t require waxing in the first place. You’ll also find a handful of tips for keeping a ceramic coat, like Armor Shield IX, in ship-shape, thus negating the need for this discussion in the first place.

 

The Problem With Nano Ceramic Coatings

To this day, Armor Shield IX by AvalonKing wears the crown for being the highest rated consumer-grade DIY nano ceramic coating on the planet.
To this day, Armor Shield IX by AvalonKing wears the crown for being the highest rated consumer-grade DIY nano ceramic coating on the planet.

Those who are new to nano ceramic coatings, or who are unfamiliar with their various forms and functions, often assume that once the product has fully cured, any detailing product on the shelf can be slapped atop its hardened surface. This is about as incorrect as it gets, and here’s why…

Nano ceramic coatings are hydrophobic by design, which means that they repel pretty much anything that comes into contact with them. Rain water, road salt, tree resin, bug guts, an incoming albatross with irritable bowel syndrome… it all gets kung-fu kicked to the curb by nano ceramic coatings, leaving nary a trace of contaminant behind.

So while a high-end ceramic coating booster/topper will play well with a previously applied nano ceramic coating, slapping a layer of carnauba palm wax on top is only going to generate more heartache than help.

Quick Nerd Note: In the scientific community, hydrophobic properties are occasionally referred to as the lotus effect. The reason for this unusual namesake, is that out of all of the vegetation on our planet, the leaves and petals of the lotus flower are the most resistant to moisture and airborne debris, thus earning it a “superhydrophobic” title.

The Risk of a Poorly Maintained Ceramic Coating

While nano ceramic coatings are indeed ultra resilient, they are by no means invincible, nor are they immune to things like water spots and dirt build-up.

Some shadier ceramic coating companies will brag that their products offer “outstanding self-cleaning attributes,” which is not entirely true. Although contaminants and liquids may struggle to stick to a ceramic coated surface, it is by no means “self cleaning.”

Despite all of their kick-ass repelling properties, nano coatings still require routine maintenance in order to function properly. A bi-weekly wash with a ceramic coating maintenance car shampoo and an ultra-plush microfiber chenille wash mitt is typically all that is needed in order to keep this futuristic protectant in top form.

Failing to wash a routinely driven ceramic coated vehicle every two weeks or so will eventually lead to a layer of filth forming on top of the coating. This can lead to the development of swirl marks while washing, as well as things like the acids found within bug splatter and bird crap slowly eat into the ceramic coating itself.

So do yourself and your vehicle a favor, and stick with a routine cleaning regiment.

Quick Nerd Note: In order to properly install a nano ceramic coating, you will likely need to spend around $100 on detailing materials and tools, and set aside a full eight-hours for the ceramic coating prep and installation process. While that may sound steep, it’s a hell of a lot better than coughing-up hundreds of dollars every year on car wax, and dedicating numerous hours every few weeks on its removal and reapplication.

What Happens When You Apply Car Wax to a Ceramic Coated Surface?

Just to set the record straight, yes, you can apply car wax to a ceramic coated surface. But it’s going to cause far more issues than solutions. Routine cleaning, garage storage, and applying a high-grade SiO2 ceramic booster spray on top of your coating has proven time and time again to be the best form of protection.

When you apply a paste or liquid wax on top of a ceramic coating, you’re hindering its ability to fully function. In fact, traditional car wax is notorious for being quite the debris collector, primarily due to the oils and lubricants found in natural carnauba wax, which remain present even once fully hardened.

As the wax slowly soaks-up all the crap in the air, the ceramic coating underneath is left with little to do but wait, its hydrophobic repelling capabilities rendered useless by the waxy media spread atop it.

“I wouldn’t stop failures if I could. In all honesty we learn far more from our failures than success.”

-Dale Pearl

Synthetic waxes aren’t much better either, as they too tend to absorb contaminants, and are unable to create the glossy sheen that carnauba waxes naturally generate. Sure, they have some hydrophobic water repelling attributes, but the hardness levels of most synthetic waxes are crap compared to a 9H-rated nano ceramic coating.

The result? A dull, hazy-looking wax job with a metric ton of airborne crud embedded into it, that is unable to cling to the surface in places due to being rejected by the nano ceramic coating’s superior hydrophobic properties.

Hell, even if you were able to get a wax to evenly cure atop a ceramic coating, you would still need to strip it away in its entirety a few weeks later with chemicals and clay decontamination media. This process would more than likely remove the ceramic coating right along with the wax, and therefore require a full reapplication once all necessary prep work and paint correction had been completed.

Applying something like a quality carnauba wax to a ceramic coated surface can be time-consuming as all hell too, for it requires additional buffing in order to remove all those waxy dingleberries that tend to form. (You heard it here first folks. Wax residue is officially being referred to as “waxy dingleberries” from this moment forth.)

How to Maintain a Ceramic Coating Without Wax

Car wax can create some frustrating issues if left neglected, and has a large margin of error during the application process.
Car wax can create some frustrating issues if left neglected, and has a large margin of error during the application process.

Ultra-strong, fully transparent quartz crystal defense shield of ceramic coating armor applied, and the your dream of waxing over it officially deflated, the thought of prolonging longevity surfaces once again.

Do certain maintenance methods and products work better with 9H-rated nano ceramic coatings than others? Wax definitely won’t do diddly-squat, so what’s a deflated-feeling DIYer supposed to do?

The answer is threefold, and surprisingly simple:

  • Wash the vehicle every other week, using a ceramic coating approved car shampoo, and the two-bucket hand wash technique.
  • Use a ceramic coat SiO2 boost spray as directed to retain surface shine and reinvigorate the coating.
  • Keep a multi-pack of microfiber cloths on hand for when a quick wipe-down is deemed necessary.

Parting Shots

A well maintained 9H-rated nano ceramic coating will last for years and will provide both easy aftercare and a rich, glossy finish.
A well maintained 9H-rated nano ceramic coating will last for years and will provide both easy aftercare and a rich, glossy finish.

Regardless of what brand or grade of ceramic coating you choose, it is important to remember that you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for coating aftercare. Extending the lifespan of the ceramic coating is the name of the game here folks, not shortening it.

That’s why here at AvalonKing, we try not to over-complicate things, which is why we formulated Armor Shield IX to last anywhere from two to five years when properly cared for and boosted with the right products. Car wax would not be one of these products.

48 comments

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Oh definitely think if it was my car I would go with Armor Shield. There isn’t anything in Armor Shield that can hurt your paint. Safe for old and new paint.

Oh definitely think if it was my car I would go with Armor Shield. There isn’t anything in Armor Shield that can hurt your paint. Safe for old and new paint.

Jules

Jules

Ok Gotcha.
Whilst I understand you are obliged to recommend Armor shield , in you unbias opinion which do you think would be best For my car which is 15 years old, on original black paint that isn’t in the best condition ..?

Ok Gotcha.
Whilst I understand you are obliged to recommend Armor shield , in you unbias opinion which do you think would be best For my car which is 15 years old, on original black paint that isn’t in the best condition ..?

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Jules!
Though you can do that we don’t recommend it. If there is an issue or a failure it would be difficult to appraise what caused it. The diamond coating will not extend the life of the Armor Shield bond. When the initial coating fails so will everything applied above it.

Hi Jules!
Though you can do that we don’t recommend it. If there is an issue or a failure it would be difficult to appraise what caused it. The diamond coating will not extend the life of the Armor Shield bond. When the initial coating fails so will everything applied above it.

Jules

Jules

Hi guys, thanks for explaining the difference between 9H ceramic coating and 10H diamond coating .
Can you apply a diamond coating on top of a ceramic coating..?

Hi guys, thanks for explaining the difference between 9H ceramic coating and 10H diamond coating .
Can you apply a diamond coating on top of a ceramic coating..?

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Munaf!

One thing to consider is the law of stacking. Basically, the law of stacking states that the longest lasting products should be put on first. Ceramic sprays and wax products probably have a similar life span but I wouldn’t recommend combining the two. Wax on first will prevent the ceramic spray from lasting at all. A wax on top of a ceramic spray is going to attract dirt instead of repel. Does the stacking achieve protection? Well, sue but I don’t think the combination is ideal.

Most use a quick detailer in between washes or to pick up noticeable spot on the car. If you are using ceramic products avoid generic quick detailers and rather seek out one that is ceramic friendly.

Hi Munaf!

One thing to consider is the law of stacking. Basically, the law of stacking states that the longest lasting products should be put on first. Ceramic sprays and wax products probably have a similar life span but I wouldn’t recommend combining the two. Wax on first will prevent the ceramic spray from lasting at all. A wax on top of a ceramic spray is going to attract dirt instead of repel. Does the stacking achieve protection? Well, sue but I don’t think the combination is ideal.

Most use a quick detailer in between washes or to pick up noticeable spot on the car. If you are using ceramic products avoid generic quick detailers and rather seek out one that is ceramic friendly.

Munaf Siyamwala

Munaf Siyamwala

Hi, I applied CMX mother ceramic coating with two coats. Is it advisable to use mcguires spray wax on top or should I just leave it there? What about using McGuire quick detailer instead of wax? When do I use detailer? It’s really confusing. The guy at the advance auto part told me to wash the car first then apply CMX ceramic spray coating wait 24 hours for the second coat wait another 24 hours then apply mcguires spray wax and eventually detailer. I feel like I shouldn’t be using all these.

Hi, I applied CMX mother ceramic coating with two coats. Is it advisable to use mcguires spray wax on top or should I just leave it there? What about using McGuire quick detailer instead of wax? When do I use detailer? It’s really confusing. The guy at the advance auto part told me to wash the car first then apply CMX ceramic spray coating wait 24 hours for the second coat wait another 24 hours then apply mcguires spray wax and eventually detailer. I feel like I shouldn’t be using all these.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hello Armand!

You should use a commercial car care product that is a degreaser designed at removing waxing agents from the surface of the car.

Hello Armand!

You should use a commercial car care product that is a degreaser designed at removing waxing agents from the surface of the car.

Armand Montreuil

Armand Montreuil

Luv the article. I just waxed my car about 3 weeks ago. What do I have to do to or how long to wait before I apply ceramic.

Luv the article. I just waxed my car about 3 weeks ago. What do I have to do to or how long to wait before I apply ceramic.

Tim C

Tim C

Thanks for the question.

If the coating is displaying a lot of errors like you’ve mentioned, it’s best to fully remove it – prep the vehicle correctly, and reapply. This should be done via paint correction or polishing the coating off. This will also help to remove any swirl marks and scratches under the coating – which is more likely than in the coating itself.

Thanks for the question.

If the coating is displaying a lot of errors like you’ve mentioned, it’s best to fully remove it – prep the vehicle correctly, and reapply. This should be done via paint correction or polishing the coating off. This will also help to remove any swirl marks and scratches under the coating – which is more likely than in the coating itself.

Joram

Joram

Hello Team,

I purchased Armor shield . A month ago I used someone whom I assumed heard more experience in applying ceramic coating to coat my car with Armor Shield!! He was working with other products and not Armor and I don’t think he followed the instructions of Armor Shield application and when I look at my car I see a lot is still desired to what is advertised. He used 2 bottles on coat Subaru Forester – Airbreak.

How do you improve a poorly done ceramic coating job without having to reapply the coating again? For example I see swirl/small scratch marks inside the coating as well as finger prints.

How do you remove water marks from a coating?

How do you remove scratches you get after ceramic coating the car?

Apologies for long message. Thanks

Hello Team,

I purchased Armor shield . A month ago I used someone whom I assumed heard more experience in applying ceramic coating to coat my car with Armor Shield!! He was working with other products and not Armor and I don’t think he followed the instructions of Armor Shield application and when I look at my car I see a lot is still desired to what is advertised. He used 2 bottles on coat Subaru Forester – Airbreak.

How do you improve a poorly done ceramic coating job without having to reapply the coating again? For example I see swirl/small scratch marks inside the coating as well as finger prints.

How do you remove water marks from a coating?

How do you remove scratches you get after ceramic coating the car?

Apologies for long message. Thanks

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